A day of DH

An authentically-messy desk
An authentically-messy desk

Rather than splitting my day up into separate blog posts, I’m going to just take you through the whole of it in one.

I started the day by collecting the papers for our building, on behalf of my colleague who is on leave today.

I checked my emails – thankfully not much new came in this morning, so I can concentrate on getting straight into my tasks for the day. Time to finish off a report I’ve had in progress for a while about effective blogging, in light of us starting our own DH blog. We hope to be able to document our work and share what we do, so that we can get involved in the wider DH conversation, and make our work available to those who are interested. Emailed a colleague who’s working from home today with some queries about what should be included.

Bought a croissant for breakfast and made a cup of tea (the important things).

Worked for a few solid hours on this report, researching the presentation of blogs and writing up the conclusions – what works and what doesn’t, what I would recommend and what I wouldn’t. Created some charts in Excel to analyse some of the data I had gathered, and gathered more data to analyse too. There’s only me and Rich in the office today – everyone else is on leave or working from home – so it was nice and quiet. Good for concentrating.

Took a break from working on this report at around 1.

Had a quick lunch at Costa’s (pushing the boat out because it’s a Friday) and quickly checked the news when I got back.

Had a go at testing some example sites on mobile and tablet to check whether they’re responsive.

My line manager Gary dropped by the office for a catch-up about the University’s investment in new DH facilities. The investment has now been officially announced, so we can start spreading the word! The new labs are due to open in 2017 so it should be an exciting next few months.

Spent the afternoon setting up a new WordPress site on our virtual server, for a new project in the English department. It’s related to one of our previous projects, so I was waiting for instructions on how similar the project partners wanted it to look to the other site. I had an email through today with directions, so I was able to make a start. This involved setting up WordPress with its famous five-minute install. I work in Dreamweaver, although other members of my team prefer the open-source NetBeans.

Getting to design our research sites is one of my favourite parts of the job. I love having the freedom to do whatever I like with the design, as long as the project partners are happy with it (and obviously as long as it still looks good). I spent most of the rest of the afternoon on this.

Gary dropped by again in the afternoon to talk about Twitter, and we got slightly sidetracked into an interesting discussion about benefits and pitfalls of social media.

Time for another cup of tea, and a photo of my cluttered desk.

Later in the afternoon I went back to the report for some tidying-up, before it was finally done and dusted. Glad to be able to share it with the team, and to tick the issue off my to-do list.

Finishing the report was the bulk of the work that I did today, but I’m not usually so engrossed in reports. Usually I would have dedicated the majority of my day to creating the new research website, to answering queries and dealing with email (it’s also been an exceptionally quiet day for email, which allowed me to really concentrate on a couple of larger tasks rather than lots of smaller ones).

So there you have my day of DH this year. How does yours compare?

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