EEBO goes social

April 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

There’s a welcome new development on EEBO–a way for users to share tips, ask questions, contribute information, and (I suspect) moan about the arcane differences between the various keyword searches. (This last item is really a call for help: I can’t get a handle on this despite the EEBO Search Guide. Anyway, EEBO’s new social dimension is called “Interactions: A Social Network for Early English Books Online.”

How do you know if someone’s commented on a document or author? There are two icons on the Full Record and Document Image displays. One’s an empty speech balloon, which means no one’s submitted a comment; the other is a speech-filled balloon. You get to user comments by clicking the latter. If you want to see the sorts of things that users have contributed so far, there’s a link with a list of comments on the “Interactions” page.  Any user can read comments, but you have to be a registered user in order to contribute content. I *think* our college’s subscription allows us to register, but I didn’t have a whole lot of luck this afternoon.

Here’s the official description: “Interactions aims to provide scholars with new ways of engaging with EEBO and with the community of early modernists who use EEBO in teaching and research. The new resource allows its registered users to share commentary, queries, contextual material and links relating to works and authors represented in EEBO, and to edit and expand upon existing contributions by other contributors. Direct messaging between registered participants is also supported.”

A far better way to understand this official-ese is to read Mercurius Politicus’s post, Face-Booke, a very helpful description of Nick Poyntz’s first venture into the EEBOian community.

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