Keeping up with numerous news items, blog posts, and tweets on the state of the humanities can be challenging, but fortunately several free tools help you to stay informed. In this post, we profile several approaches:
- Read relevant blogs and websites. Several blogs and web sites—including 4humanities, Defend the Arts and Humanities, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, Humanities and Social Sciences Matter, and the National Humanities Alliance (US)—offer recent information about the state of the humanities. You can visit the sites directly, or you can subscribe to RSS feeds, which enable you to receive the latest information directly to your RSS reader/ aggregator, such as Google Reader, Sage, NetNewswire, etc.
- Sign up for alerts focused on a particular set of keywords through Google or Yahoo. Whenever new information that includes the keywords appears online, you can receive notification via email or RSS feeds; you can have the alerts delivered daily, weekly, or as they appear. Other web sites (newspapers, journals, etc) also offer alerts.
- Find out the latest via a custom news page. Using Google News, you can create a custom page to display recent news items that include keywords that you have specified. For instance, I’ve set up a Google News page focused on humanities cuts OR crisis.
- Follow Twitter feeds. If you want to learn about recent developments in the state of the humanities, turn to Twitter, which facilitates real-time conversation and information sharing. For instance, the search http://search.twitter.com/search?q=humanities+cuts+OR+funding+OR+crisis will get you recent tweets that include “humanities” and the word “cuts,” “funding,” or “crisis.” You may also identify Twitter users who frequently post on topics of interest and choose to follow them.
- Track items bookmarked by others. For instance, I’ve been collecting resources about the humanities (recently most are on the crisis in the humanities) and sharing them through the social bookmarking service diigo.