This post is part of a series of final reflections from 2017 Digital Scholarship Incubator participants.
Katherine Kim: To be honest, this incubator has given me quite a few things to think about regarding digital humanities projects (especially related to their creation and use). Just like other types of projects, there are so many more things to think about and decisions to be made “behind the scenes” than may be anticipated. Perhaps because of integration in higher education practices, people like me are very used to the “state, cite, interpret, incorporate” type of work that happens in most academic essays/projects. However, many digital humanities projects can provide a lot more flexibility than traditional academic essays because of the multiple ways in which the audience can approach as well as interpret presented information. For example, reading an essay is more of a linear process for which there is one specific way to progress through the information provided. However, for many digital humanities projects, people can determine the order in which they explore different parts of pages and pages themselves. Thus, many projects require a more detailed, multi-dimensional approach to thinking about the organization and presentation of material. The “front end” of things definitely seems heavily loaded for digital humanities projects even if they include community participation aspects.
Through this incubator, I have found that such a factor actually can have more of an influence of audience understanding and reaction than I previously thought, and so there is more to consider when creating a digital humanities project. Consequently, one thing that I am really thinking about now is the speed at which creating even a relatively simple project like mine could actually be. From what I have learned this semester, I feel that my project will take an incredible amount of time if I try to do it all myself, and so I might have to “cut corners” a bit by having someone who is knowledgeable about websites help me actually create the site that I hope to have. It is somewhat disheartening but also necessary to think about such issues!