How Interactive or Collaborative is Day of DH?

I wasn’t the only one who created an archive of the #dayofdh tweets; my colleague Ernesto Priego did too. And rather than do the work twice, I’ll share the visualization that he set up for the tweets of the day (you can zoom out and see just how big the day was for twitter users). I tweeted the second-most during the day (not much of a surprise there, I guess), but what did surprise me is just how isolated we all are in this giant twitter bubble.


According to my spreadsheet totals, there were 603 unique twitter handles who tweeted using the #dayofdh hashtag at least once (these numbers will change as the spreadsheet continually updates). That, to me, seems like a lot of people participating. Here is a breakdown.


That’s a lot of links and a lot of RT. So, a lot of sharing. And, almost 5500 tweets, all told.

But what about interaction between the participants? DayofDH was perhaps,¬†unsurprisingly, the most “conversationalist” during the day.


But most of us just broadcast ourselves during the day using the #dayofDH hashtag, while few of us used it to actually carry on conversations. That isn’t to say that conversations weren’t happening, but that we weren’t using the hashtag to carry them out.

I think that’s problematic, although there is no way to force participants to tag everything that they say during the Day of DH, I think that it shows a really narrow picture of what DH is, and that is collaborative. If in my first post on Sunday night I mentioned that I am trying to do DH alone, I neglected to mention that I am physically alone doing DH in my small, relatively isolated geographical area. But, I am a part of a larger collaborative¬†community through my social media networks who support and help each other in our work.

My work yesterday in Voyant would not have been possible without the virtual assistance of Stefan Sinclair, but also the valuable introductory tutorial shared by Brian Croxell. I only know these tools exist largely through Twitter. When I’m stuck, I tweet out my issue and I almost always get an immediate response from someone on my network.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m a little disappointed by what the #dayofdh twitter archive reveals about what we did with our day (or, what we choose to highlight as important in our day).

So then I decided to run the raw tweets through Voyant. Here is the Word Cloud:


Sorry this isn’t an embedded live tool; I couldn’t get it to work. Anyway, we apparently need more time. Not tremendously surprising there. If you want to play with the data yourself in Voyant, here is the link. I took out things like RT, http, and the hashtag itself to get the proper data. I exported my google spreadsheet, copied the text into a text file and then uploaded it to Voyant, in case you’re interested.

Final thoughts. I just spent an hour putting this post together, gathering the data, and making the various visualization techniques work. Why?

I did it because I believe in being a good DH (and social media) citizen. I can’t do much (yet), but what I can do (archive), I think is important to do and to share widely. When I live-tweet conferences or archive hashtags, I do it because I think it’s important that someone keeps track and publicly archives this material, making it available and¬†usable.

I call it Twitter-Karma. I put out useful things in the hopes that useful things come back to me. Hasn’t let me down yet.

Happy #dayofdh, everyone.