Print Project Draft #Twitterstorians

Over the past month I surveyed 9 Twitterstorians to learn about their connection to Twitter. I am compiling their responses into a paper to situate their responses in the scholarship of digital history. The survey was very successful and informative. I was able to survey a wide variety of historians. I have attached photos of the survey questions below.

All of my respondents included their Twitter handles, so if you want to connect with any of them you are able to (just mention this project)! As you can see above, I did not ask any of their historical interests, only their current positions. Most of their Twitter bios include more information about their interests but I have included their jobs with their Twitter Handle:

Francisco Mamani-Fuentes @fmamanif – Phd student

Mary McAuliffe @MaryMcAuliffe4 – Asst Professor in Gender Studies

Amber H. Abbas @AHASouthAsia – Associate Professor of History

Ashley Preston @DrPreston1913 – Lecturer

Alexandra Nicole Hill @A_N_Hill – Professor of Humanities

Jake Newsome @wjnewsome – Educator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Eric Gonzaba @EGonzaba – Assistant Professor of American Studies, Cal State Fullerton

Shirley Tillotson @stillots1 – Professor emeritus, retired from Dalhousie University

Matthew Gabriele @prof_gabriele – Professor, Virginia Tech

I have attached a draft of the paper. This a draft, there are definitely some grammatical errors and sentences that will be deleted or added. I relied very heavily on quotes from the survey for this paper because I wanted to focus on the Twitterstorians’ words. Please look it over and let me know your thoughts! Thank you!

5 Replies to “Print Project Draft #Twitterstorians”

  1. Hey Amanda! I think this is such a fascinating project, thanks for sharing! I wanted to ask how you went about choosing your 9 Twitter historians, and also how you ended up reaching out to them to get the survey responses? I’m thinking about trying to survey some users for my own project and haven’t quite figured out the right strategy, so I would love your thoughts!

    1. Hi Sajel, I went to the hashtag Twitterstorians to find my participants. I looked at the profiles of people to make sure they were professionals or emerging professionals and then I DM’ed them on Twitter. I think I sent messages to about 25 people, but only got responses from 9. Then I asked for their emails and emailed them the link to the survey. I can show you exactly what I wrote to them as well. Hope this helps!

  2. Amanda, I read the conclusion of your paper and I think all of this is so interesting! I’m really looking forward to reading the whole thing when I have a bit more time to really dig into it. My only question is if the Twitterstorians had any negative stories? I read about the Twitterstorians that suggested just watching until you found your voice, but where did the fear of engaging with the digital community come from? Was their fear justified by personal experience or did they just hear horror stories through the grapevine? I am curious about if this fear is ever fully realized or if we live with it as part of a self-consciousness in digital professional space? Just a thought!

  3. Hi Amanda, I really enjoyed reading your paper! I appreciate your deep analysis of historians’ roles on Twitter using the survey answers. As someone who still hasn’t start my own Twitter account, my hesitation is very similar to what you mentioned in the paper, which is don’t feel like I have enough materials to contribute to the conversation in the field or even post regularly. Therefore, I find your analysis very helpful for historians or raising historians to get a sense of what it’s like to be involved on Twitter as a historian!

  4. Love this project! Great to see how far along you are in developing it. Overall, you have a well written paper. You offer thoughtful interpretations of a great set of responses you got from your respondents. I think you also do a great job in connecting between the literature from the course, additional information on twitter, and the responses from your subjects. So you have already hit all the marks to be fully successful on this as a course project.

    If you wanted to take this further, I think it would be entirely possible to develop this, or a version of this, into something you could publish. Below are some notes/considerations to think about as you keep working on this and in particular if you wanted to think about publishing it. I could see something like this being a good fit for the International Journal of Digital Humanities ( ) or The Public Historian.

    – Think about a subtitle for the paper. #twitterstorians is a great pre colon title, but it would be great to add in a descriptive subtitle, could be something like “how and why historians engage with the public and each other on twitter”

    – Consider talking about your method more as a lightweight form of interviewing instead of calling it a survey. Generally folks doing survey research are doing a lot of quantitative analysis on larger numbers of respondents. Your project is instead more like an interview protocol where you asked a relatively small number of respondents a set of more open ended questions that you analyzed. To that end, I think it will likely make more sense to folks if you were to talk about this in terms of interview research.

    – Consider adding in an explicit and specific research question or set of research questions near the front of the paper and then specifically returning to how your research answered those questions in your conclusions. It’s all there, it would just help readers work through and get a sense of the scope of your argument if you drew it out a little more up front and then specifically hit it home in your conclusions.

    – I would suggest considering adding in sub headings throughout the paper to help signpost the themes you are drawing out. That will help readers trace the parts of the argument you are making.

    – Consider adding in a table up front with some info about the profiles of each of your respondents. Like where they are in their career, what kind of work they do, how they describe themselves, etc. I think that would help round out your readers understanding of who your respondents are and it would be useful for making cross case comparisons.

    – As you work through the last set of new course readings on research methods and scholarly communication this week, I think it is worth considering how you could use some of that material to round out some of the literature you relate this to. In particular, we have some readings on the communications practices of historians and I think that could be a useful frame to draw in for part of your analysis.

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