I ♥ E-Poetry: Year Three Retrospective

Text: "I ♥ E-Poetry Year 3"As the third year of the I ♥ E-Poetry project draws to a close, I’d like to offer some numerical data, reports on our activities, future plans, and acknowledgements– a tradition I started last year. This reader-friendly report should have special appeal to those who would like to know more about the community of readers they belong to and how the project is developing.

I ♥ Metrics

Last year WordPress.com’s Jetpack service started offering cute, personalized Year in Blogging reports, so I’ve included this year’s report, which compares statistical data with relatable imagery (see below).

2014crunchynumbers

While I would love to take I ♥ E-Poetry to the Sydney Opera House, but I don’t think this kind of critical writing show would have the same kind of reception, though an e-lit show would rock the house! For now, we’ll stick to online spaces, conferences, festivals, and book fairs. More telling metrics can be seen in the graph below, generated with Google Analytics.

Click on image to enlarge.The line graph shows pageviews (the total number of pages viewed) per month for 2014, with a peak of 5,829 in April and a valley of 1,845 for an average of about 3,600 pageviews per month adding up to a grand total of 43,173 pageviews. Not depicted in the graph are the 13,286 individual users that have visited I ♥ E-Poetry this year, about 1,200 per month, 65.8% of whom are new users. These numbers have been consistent for the past 3 years, which accounts for its growth pattern of about 1,200 monthly pageviews each year. Between the monthly traffic data and incoming links from course sites show how the rhythms of the academic semester have an impact on I ♥ E-Poetry on our visitor traffic.

Where our visits come from is also telling of how much of a global phenomenon electronic literature continues to become.

2014VisitorsTop5The data visualization map above shows the 139 countries I ♥ E-Poetry received visits from and the top 7 countries by number of pageviews. Click on the image above (or on this link) to see a listing of all the countries we were visited from, listed by number of sessions (1 session = approximately 2 pageviews in I ♥ E-Poetry).

You can see our top visited pages for 2014 (from WP Jetpack Stats) below.

2014popularpostsI’d like to think the most important factors for I ♥ E-Poetry’s widespread reach is its users, compelling content, and spreadable design, but let’s not forget human nature. If you look at the results above, you might notice a few popular search terms in the titles of entries. I doubt we’ll “break the Internet” anytime soon, but it’s kind of gratifying to think of a handful of people who might stumble upon electronic literature while searching for whatever else they might be interested in. Perhaps there’s a Buzzademia listicle in I ♥ E-Poetry’s near future. We will certainly seek to expand within and beyond the academic bubble to reach popular and global audiences.

Activities

Academic events have had had a major impact in visits: my participation in the MLA 2014 and ASA 2014 conventions helped expand the audience for I ♥ E-Poetry in the mainstream academic community, as did being nominated and winning 1st runner up for the 2013 DH Awards. A 19-day series of entries on bots leading up to the Bot Roundtable at ELO 2014 and resulting in an updated Genre: Bot resource also helped expand our audience, as did a presentation and resource on Children’s E-Literature. The Around DH in 80 Days project helped place Puerto Rico on a global Digital Humanities map as the home for I ♥ E-Poetry, as did Critical Making in the Digital Humanities.

click on image to enlargeFrom its launching, I ♥ E-Poetry has sought to reach out to audiences beyond academic contexts. This year, a resource on love e-poetry (released on Valentine’s day 😉 seemed to get people’s attention, as did a Boston Globe article about botmeister Darius Kazemi that I was interviewed for. A major outreach activity fueled by my Spring 2014 Interns was our participation in a Book Fair in Mayagüez, which allowed us to develop posters, teaching materials, and make presentations to groups of school children and teachers, and share this resource with the western Puerto Rico community.

None of this would be possible without my collaborators. Many of the entries written in 2014 were done by guest contributors as well as my DH Internship students. Our Spring 2014 interns described an “alt text” for all our images up to May 2014 to satisfy the W3C accessibility guidelines. They also developed an Index for the site. Our Fall 2014 Interns helped redesign the I ♥ E-Poetry website, optimizing it for ease of use, they also developed a new brochure, and brought our content to Pinterest. Without their tireless labor behind the scenes and fresh perspective, this resource would quickly become dated and outdated. Their insightful entries have discovered the e-poetic in digital genres I was not even aware of, such as Vocaloids, visual novels, Creepypastas, and the DealWithIt meme, and their insights into digital culture have informed fresh readings into genres I knew about.

A key outcome of my own work in I ♥ E-Poetry for the past few years was that I was elected by the Board of the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) to be part of the Editorial Collective for the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3 (ELC3). The honor of helping shape this important publication is worth the sacrifice of taking a hiatus on writing I ♥ E-Poetry entries until we’ve completed the ELC3 (projected for January 2016). My energies need to be focused on selecting, fundraising, and producing this Collection with my esteemed fellow editors. So what will happen to I ♥ E-Poetry in 2015?

Plans for 2015

Part of the fun of I ♥ E-Poetry is its spontaneity. It can put together critical writing performances, resources, and series to enhance events as they arise. But here’s a taste of what to expect:

  • The year will begin with a recruitment drive to bring in new contributors and reactivate previous ones.
  • I will take a step back into a Publisher mode to free up time to work on the ELC3.
  • Bárbara Bordalejo will take on the role of Editor to work with new submissions from our contributors.
  • I will continue to develop I ♥ E-Poetry with my collaborators and DH Internship students:
    • Implementing metadata schema developed with partners from the Consortium of Electronic Literature (CELL).
    • Integrating I ♥ E-Poetry within the CELL search engine.
    • Creating new resources to describe e-lit genres, authors, and technologies.
    • Continue updating our connection to the ELMCIP Knowledge Base, Alt text descriptions for images, and more.
  • We will continue to seek grant funding to support our activities and development.
  • We will continue to promote I ♥ E-Poetry to expand its readership.

Acknowledgements

I ♥ E-Poetry is made possible by people who donate their time, resources, and mental energy. But I’d like to acknowledge some behind-the-scenes support.

  • The College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez Campus supported this project by granting me research course reductions and conference travel funding to continue developing it.
  • The Interim Chair of the English Department, Dr. Rosita Rivera, who has been an ally in my many requests for institutional support and has helped make my DH Internship course an integral part of my workload.
  • My dedicated DH Internship students, who have proven themselves to be a powerful human resource for the project.
  • The Electronic Literature Organization and the Electronic Poetry Center, organizations that create a community of scholars and artists– the fertile ground upon which this project grows.
  • Our Advisory Board– Kathi Inman Berens, Alan Bigelow, and Mark Marino– offer great advice and moral support year after year, serving as a compass that keeps the project in course.
  • Everyone who links to I ♥ E-Poetry, with their blog, course site, article, resource, or citation.
  • Our contributors, who donate their insights on works of e-literature to this project.
  • Our readers, who reward our efforts with every visit and shared link.

Thank you all! And Happy New Year!

P.S. Feedback is always welcomed. Use our contact page to communicate with us.

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