I couldn’t sleep last night, so I opened up my computer. That’s guaranteed not to help me sleep, of course. But the work of a digital scholar is never done.
I checked Twitter while my Outlook inbox was updating. It’s interesting how these two digital tools work in concert. Twitter is ephemeral and invites quick scans. Email, it turns out, slows me down. And, since email also takes longer to load, I usually start my day checking Twitter first.
Today, I hit on a tweet by Mark Carrigan (@mark_carrigan) to this post on the Sociological Imagination blog. It’s worth reading in its own right, but it also led me to look up Martin Weller’s (@mweller) book The Digital Scholar, which is available to read free here, and which is related to this blog. I’ve just started to read it, but there’s something approaching a phenomenology of digital scholarship going on there. I’ll be interested to compare it with Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s (@kfitz) Planned Obsolescence, which also has an associated blog. I wonder how much each of them are having similar thoughts to mine. It’s interesting to be able to discover community in the digital realm. I even doubt that the ease of communication these days (in the sense of Bataille’s ‘weak communication’) interferes with the sort of communication (in the sense of Bataille’s ‘strong communication’) that makes community possible.
As I was flitting back and forth between email, this post, and twitter, Mark Carrigan tweeted something about the difference between blogs and physical notebooks. I think he’s right that there’s a difference. I also think one can still use blogs much as one used notebooks in the past. I’m doing so here. But I’ll also publish this post so others can add their thoughts to mine.