I’m guessing that I share a similar lack of computer knowledge with other historians. I admit that I still only use two fingers to type (although I’m quick enough), and for me to understand html and website codes will probably honestly never happen. Yet, this is the future, and I guess I’ll have to at least make an attempt, or I’ll be left in the past. And in today’s modern world, historians ironically cannot be left in that lonely place. Thankfully sites like Omeka allow people like me to make good online exhibits without having to master the type of stuff which our guest lecturer last week attempted to explain, but that I still don’t get.
Podcasting apparently also looks like a high tech medium using low tech methods. If it’s as easy as the tutorials suggest it is, then I might feel comfortable trying it, although I think I’d have to hire a professional narrator since my monotone voice can even put me to sleep. I suppose that is a major issue with podcasting- how to make it interesting. I guess historians won’t only need the help of computer geeks, but radio announcers as well now.
I know that like all of you I’m a history geek, but I still can’t quite understand why we have to package history into flashy mediums with constant sounds, images, and other stimuli. Why can’t people just like history for history’s sake like us (sigh)? Is there possibly a limit to how far historians can go to educate the public about the past before we trivialize and downplay history to an unrecognizable point? Podcasting, facebook, twitter, YouTube…when should we just call it a day and come to the realization that some people simply don’t give a damn about history, no matter how hard we try? Maybe the attempt is more important than the results, I suppose.
Cohen & Rosenzweig: http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/appendix/