Digital Yoknapatawpha, Stepping forward


Hi folks --

First, it looks like Elizabeth, Joost, Taylor, Garrett and Bob are registered users at our new data entry site. If any of you have had a chance to take a look at what's there -- i.e. at what you'll soon be doing as editors/data-enterers -- and want to share first impressions, please do so.

It looks like Dotty, Steve, John and Jay still haven't signed in. Please do that. If you've forgotten the URL, it's "" -- and when you get there, you need to Create A New Account.

Second, I think we've finished debugging the system, so it should be ready whenever each team of editors is ready. I'm attaching to this a (long) Instructions for Entering Data, in which I try to explain clearly what all the categories of data involve, and how to work the system. I am sorry it's so long, but as I say somewhere in the instructions, a database absolutely depends for its value on the consistency as well as the accuracy of the data that is entered, so we all have to use the same playbook.

At the same time, the playbook can change -- and your feedback is crucial to the long term DY project, so please don't hesitate to make suggestions or file complaints about either my Instructions (and the kinds of interpretive assumptions that underlay them) or the data entering system.

I'd suggest you read through the instructions, see if they make sense, and if so, start working together as a team to come up with the "items" you'll be entering for your story: i.e. who are the characters, what are the locations and events, how to categorize each of them, etc etc.

Using Flags in the Dust, I've been entering a few items myself in each of the 3 main categories -- Locations, Characters, Events. You'll see them and can use them as examples, but the main thing I noticed as a rookie is that the system wants all the required fields filled in, otherwise it won't save an item. That's a good quality control feature, and the system will tell you what you still need to fill in. But in practice it means, I think, that once you've gotten a handle on the kinds of data/choices, you and your collaborator probably want to finish making lists of Locations, Characters, Events before either of you starts filling in the forms.

Alternately, you can simply put something provisional in an item category, to allow the SAVE to work -- but please make sure you keep track which entries ARE provisional, and after you and your collaborator agree on what belongs there, go back and EDIT the Loc/Char/Event to correct that entry.

Okay -- enough for now, especially considering how long the Instructions are. Look them over as soon as you have a chance, write back if you have questions or complaints, start "talking" with your collaborator, and let's see how it all works when we start editing the stories -- i.e. entering the data!

Thanks, as always, Steve

Microsoft Office document icon Instructions for Data Entry65.5 KB