“How I Do”: Hacking Black Literary and Cultural Studies

One of the things that is exciting about being involved in the digital humanities is that there are always new products and services that help you do what you do. Indeed, “hacking” doesn’t necessarily involve getting more technical skill, you just need to know what questions you are trying to answer and what work you want to do. In the digital humanities, the focus for me is always on the work. As a professor of English, I am enamored with the way that technology allows one to tell stories and connect people more closely with those stories. I’ve already spoken about how useful Storify has been to my scholarship and teaching. But more recently, the Storehouse storytelling app on iOS has risen to my attention. While, I still prefer to keep a blog on wordpress and prefer the written word, I cannot deny the power of the visual.

However one discovery that has really revolutionized the way I “do” digital humanities is the service IF This Then That . IFTTT is something that will allow all your different hacks to work together. Want to save and archive all your tweets about a certain subject, save your blog posts as PDFs in your Dropbox, or automatically upload your Storify projects to Facebook or WordPress and you don’t code? Get IFTTT. Really the possibilities are endless. What I like is that it can be ever expanding as more services and “recipes” are added. Here is an article on Mashable about some of its’ uses. What are some of the hacks that allow you best to be a digital humanist? Do you use IFTTT?

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