The Sweetland’s Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC) “aims to serve the digital rhetoric/computers and writing community. The DRC offers a community online to those who are interested in digital rhetoric, computers and writing. In collaboration with the University of Michigan Press, the DRC publishes a book series, hosts blog carnivals, offers a space where instructors share resources, a space where ideas and events can be shared, reviews of popular conferences in the field and hosting a wiki that holds the histories of all that is discussed. (I chose to write about the DRC because the content of the site falls under my interests but I also really love the idea of a ‘collaborative’ – it’s something DH offers us that I think is huge for us as scholars, grad students and instructors.)
This project offers collaboration. While non-digital spaces also offer collaboration, this website really makes it easy and accessible for all that are apart of the digital rhetoric community. The DRC have created a tool that allows those that are interested to share resources, publish information, work on the wiki page, etc. The web space makes it easy to communicate and share ideas quickly and conveniently in addition to being extremely convenient. The website is extremely clear in its mission – it works to offer a community resources and a space for conversation to occur. It’s also up to date, and includes post from two days ago through two years ago. The archive available is a great tool for those to look at the history of the conversation all organized in one space.
I can definitely use this in my own research – it’s actually how I can across the site a few weeks ago. I was searching some keywords for my own interests and research, and this site came up and I completely identified with what the authors, editors, board and fellows are working towards. Just tonight, I was wandering around the authors’ section and clicked on a professor’s website to find an archive of syllabi along with their philosophy, which was great to browse. The website hosts a what they call “blog carnivals” that basically there are calls for posts and comments that you can look at to trace back arguments and ideas. For instance, the DRC begin to create a wiki, but before they created it, there was a post along with emails posted about why a wiki? Which took the writers to the question, what is included in the field? In Digital Rhetoric? Basically, there’s loads of information that is completely accessible for free at the touch of a few clicks.
The author group is made up of leading scholars in the field and doctoral students. Many of them are professors, editors of computer/rhetoric journals, etc. Cheryl E. Ball is one of the editors, who I saw this past weekend (with Katelynn) at a conference. It’s neat to see the projects she is involved in. Going back to the author group – I think because of the mix of leading scholars mixed with doctoral student along with the ability to comment, add to the wiki page, the DRC is accessible to anyone. Although, it’s audience is geared toward scholars and graduate students who are specifically interested in digital rhetoric, and also defining and creating a history of the field. It’s specificity is one of it’s strengths along with it’s archive, up to dateness, along with all of the links it offers to different faculty webpages, different articles, etc. You could spend hours, clicking links and ending up somewhere far, far away in the digital rhetoric circle online. For instance, I just clicked a link on a comment someone left, which led me to this useful site by bedfordstmartins called “Bits” ideas for teaching composition.
Weaknesses? I don’t see any weaknesses at the moment – it’s a good website with great authors and hosted by UM. I could imagine an area where they have online books available, perhaps. All in all, the site has been useful in the past few weeks that I’ve been working on my research, so check it out!
I just found this while jumping around the DRC website – and felt like posting it.