Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Webapp Project

I talked a bit about the following opportunity in class earlier in the Semester:
This project will be to build a website and service for students, professors and other scholars. A significant problem in some parts of academia is that important announcements are made via a variety of electronic media platforms and are rarely machine-sortable by keyword or announcement type. One announcement might come out over a list serve and be a job announcement (here’s an example), while another is a Call For Papers over an RSS feed (here’s a HASTAC announcement – they use RSS), while a third could be the table of contents of a new book, sent to the emails of particular people. In this project, students will build a website which will aggregate announcements from across the disciplines of History and English from numerous social media platforms. Users should be able to select specific criteria of announcements they want to receive, for instance job announcements, Calls For Papers, etc., or announcements with certain key words in them. The website should process the language in the pool of all announcements it has collected for keywords specified by users. Ideally, the website would itself offer users multiple possibilities for receiving this information – over Twitter, Facebook, an RSS feed, email, in digest form, etc. I envision that the user basis for this would begin small – say about 10-20 users in the first month, but could grow quite rapidly to many thousands or more within 6 months. There is a golden opportunity here to provide a far better means of information-distribution than currently exist.

Student on the project would work in collaboration with Dr. Colin Wilder and staff at the Center for Digital Humanities at USC. If the project turns out well, students might be able to continue working at CDH in the summer or fall 2013 as well on other projects.

There is no funding for this project, but you could do it as a 498 class this Spring (we could even count it as a 500-level elective for your degree) with me as the faculty advisor. It would look great on your resume, much better and an easy class, and it could lead to further employment (ask Mike Helms about that).

Email me if you are interested.

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