Blog Overhaul and Lessons Learned

Image credit: "Escalator overhaul at City Hall" by Kai Hendry, licensed under CC-BY 2.0

Photo credit: “Escalator overhaul at City Hall” by Kai Hendry, licensed under CC-BY 2.0.1

In order to make my blog GDPR-compliant, I switched its whole design from Wordpress to a static website based on pure HTML, CSS, JS with Hugo where one has more control over what the code actually does - namely, which user data the website processes or exposes. This way, I could make sure to design a blog website that does not unnecessarily save data about visitors, does not give them any cookies or track them and thereby enhances their privacy by design: You are welcome. :) Going through the new regulations and getting rid of as many potential user data exposures as I could possibly find from the code of the webpage was an intense, time-consuming as well as educating exercise.

A side aspect of this exercise was that it gave me the opportunity to highlight the scholarly value of minimal computing for smaller digital scholarly editing projects. As Amanda Visconti and Alex Gil have stressed during workshops that they gave on Jekyll-based editions (one of their examples with manual) and in writing, static webpages can be a self-empowering tool alternative for scholarly editors to get digital editions done fast with less technical and human resources. Static websites may furthermore offer relevant reliability-, flexibility- and longterm-preservation-advantages compared to larger, database-driven or XML-based systems.

MSCA Grant Award

Image credit: "Pierre and Marie Curie at work in their laboratory" Wellcome Collection, licensed under CC-BY 4.0

Photo credit: “Pierre and Marie Curie at work in their laboratory” Wellcome Collection, licensed under CC-BY 4.0.1

I am honored and looking forward to my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions IF (MSCA-IF) research project at University of Sussex (UoS) on digital forensics in the historical humanities (Hanif Kureishi’s private digital archive at BL, The Mass Observation Archive, Glyn Moody’s private digital archive). This is a truly exciting opportunity for me to extend the range of my research to an interdisciplinary perspective. The project will run for 12 months and I will be located in the Department of History and the Sussex Humanities Lab at UoS. I am looking forward to work together with the great team at UoS and especially with James Baker, for further details see also his blog post.