Who are the most important American historians of the 20th century? How do historians account for bias? How important is Bernard Bailyn as an American historian? Do historians consider Martin Luther King as important as he is seen in popular culture?
These are a few of the questions currently posed on Quora, a fast-growing social media network. Quora provides a platform for questions, and members of the network provide the answers. While it’s unclear if Quora has mass appeal (see Hackeducation’s post on this), and while it’s even unclear how many users are currently signed up, for now the site provides a fascinating glimpse into what people want to know about history and the history profession, and a way for historians to talk directly to a curious public.
What are history organizations, museums, and others who work in history doing on Twitter? They’re starting conversations, advertising jobs, sharing research, and much more. Whether you want to join the conversation, or just follow along, read on for five ways you can use Twitter.
1. Follow Organizations
Going to the archives for a research trip? See if they have a Twitter feed. It’s a good way to get updates (like early closings), see highlights of their collections, get research tips, and ask questions of staff.
Now, along with Facebook and Twitter, you can network with the American Historical Association through LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals looking to connect with colleagues, share their work history, look for jobs, and more. While the AHA has managed a business page on LinkedIn since last year, the new LinkedIn group page for the AHA is a space for discussion and connection on AHA issues and the history profession in general. Check out the discussion section, which offers another avenue to follow our blog, AHA Today as well as a place to start conversations.
New this week, the FBI has released Howard Zinn’s security file, historian Michael A. Bellesiles attempts to shed past controversy, the National Library of Medicine digitizes a 19th century manuscript, the National Museum of American History puts archival footage to music, and the National Parks offers a free entry weekend. Then, read about the selective use of history, learn “What’s Wrong with the American University System,” and find the most current articles on disability history. Finally, we turn to the digital humanities.
Yesterday in the discussion section of the AHA’s Facebook page we noted Jennifer Howard’s recent article, “The ‘Unconference’: Technology Loosens Up the Academic Meeting” and the strong opinions about traditional academic conferences she reports on.
With this article in mind we started a new discussion thread, with the question:
What can the AHA do to create more interesting and dynamic Annual Meetings?
Sign in to Facebook and join the discussion. We’re interested to know what you think.
In the news this week, Virginia prepares for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, historian Mary Beth Norton becomes a member of the American Philosophical Society, NPR remembers the Kent State shootings, and Richard Overy takes a look at academic history in Britain. Next, we feature three links on web sites: web site creation as a class project, Chinese public health posters on the NLM site, and the Cleveland Museum of Art’s well designed collections display. We also look to Twitter, with an article on the ramifications of saving the Twitter archives and another on how a Calculus II class is resurrecting Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz in 140 character bursts.
The AHA has joined Facebook! Become a fan!
What will it include?
The AHA’s Facebook page will have information about the AHA and will provide up-to-date information about blog posts, deadlines, annual meeting news, events, publications, advocacy, and more.
If you’re a member of Facebook and would like to become a fan of the AHA, just head to our Facebook page and click on the “Become a Fan” link.
The AHA is also on Twitter. Visit our page and follow our tweets for news and information about the AHA and the history profession.