What’s In It For Them? A shorter version.

For those people that do not want to read the my last post in its entirty, here is the abridged version.

Probably the most important thing I learned this week is “WIIFT.” Well, actually, I learned “WIIFM” which is a business term meaning “What’s In It For Me.” But, despite what some people (probably many) would say about me, I am not self-centered, so I changed WIIFM to WIIFT, meaning “What’s In It For Them.” I came across this little gem while I was looking up blogging tips and I argue that this is a critical component to defining digital history. Digital History is an open, ever-changing medium for practicing history utilizing “new” technology to reach a specific client.

Utilizing this definition, historians could quickly focus their efforts and shape the quality and scope history on the web. Before we can do this, there are two facts that we have to accept. First, the internet is obviously here to stay. Second, digital history is a growing area of the internet. More and more people are turning to the web to get information and if historians don’t quickly engage this medium the public will be exposed to incorrect and/or biased content.

Digital History is able to reach such a large audience because anyone can publish here, it is an accessible medium, new technology makes history accessible and exciting, and it is fairly easy to reach a specific clientele. The most important aspect of this outlook is the clientele. If the task of history is to make an impact on society, then the means is digital history. The web is the fastest growing medium for people to acquire information. Now is the time to make an impact. Other disciplines have already embraced new technology. When will historians actually realize what’s in it for them?

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