Practicum: PressForward

PressForward is a WordPress plugin created by Aram Zucker-Scharff, Boone Gorges, and Jeremy Boggs. The plugin functions by aggregating content using RSS/Atom feeds, collecting it via a bookmarklet, and importing it in the form of text, images, videos, and metadata. According to the project’s “About” page, “just about anything on the open web is fair game,” including journal articles, conference papers, white papers, reports, scholarly blogs, and digital projects. The project is available within the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media through the George Mason Archival Repository Service.

The landing page for the PressForward project.

On the MARS PressForward project page you can view various pieces of the project, from screenshots of the “About” page and other landing pages to entire files of project documents. Below is an example of one of these screenshots.

Screenshot of the PressForward “About” page.

Digital Humanities Now is one of two examples I’ll be showing you that utilizes PressForward to aggregate and provide content to the public. Below is an image of the main content categories available on DHN: job announcements, general announcements, resources, CFPs/conferences, funding/opportunities, and reports. DHN is a great example of how useful PressForward is for professionals–not only can one find up-to-date scholarship for a peek into the state of the field, but there are also lots of resources available to aid those seeking jobs and/or funding.

DHN’s content categories.

dh+lib employs the same general concept as DHN, but as you can see below, it’s organized a bit differently. The site posts events, conferences, job opportunities, field-specific pieces, and more, in addition to more blog-style posts by dh+lib editors. You can also view the site’s archive, organized by month, to retrieve older posts.

Above are a couple of examples from dh+lib’s feed.

After taking a look at DHN and dh+lib’s websites, which both use PressForward to function, I was quite convinced of the project’s usefulness. I think its ability to aggregate content must save a decent chunk of time and energy on behalf of the folks running these sites, which in turn allows them to contribute to the field in other critical ways. Moreover, the ability to view scholarship, conference information, and job/funding opportunities in one place is immensely valuable to those of us who are relatively new to the professional world.

3 Replies to “Practicum: PressForward”

  1. Hi Karly!

    This kind of reminds me of the National Council for Public History’s website with their job page and different conferences coming up. I really like this for a more general history perspective. I think the part that I found the most interesting was the funding section. I think it is amazing that they give resources on how to and where to get funding for projects. I am going to look at that page for my digital history project for this class if I decide to go further with actually creating the program. Great job!

    -McKenna Crews

    1. McKenna – great point about NCPH’s website. It’s super helpful to be reminded of these types of resources, especially when on the hunt for jobs/funding. I’m glad this might be a potential help for you in continuing with your project!

  2. This is a great resource, especially for emerging historians! I think it’s great that these digital tools are useful for all aspects of history. In this case, this digital tool helps decrease the barrier to entry for the field. I’ve never thought of using digital history to increase accessibility to knowledge for the more administrative aspects of the field.

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