Category Archives: History on the Web

Is the historical blogosphere doomed to peter out?

A couple of years ago I took a grad course from a very tech-savvy professor.  A classmate asked him about setting up a blog for purposes of professional visibility.  The prof was dismissive.  “The whole blogging thing has pretty much run its course,” he said.  “Everything’s moving to Twitter.”

For my own part, I’ve become much, much more active on Twitter than here on the blog in the past couple of years.  We’re still chugging along here at PitP, but between a full-time gig running a museum and trying to write a dissertation, I’m doing well to crank out a post every week or ten days.  And just as I don’t have much time to write blog posts, I don’t have much time to read them, either.  I used to make a daily circuit of history blogs, checking in with my favorite writers every morning or during a lunch break, keeping up with whatever conversations were current.

On those rare occasions when I’m able to make my electronic rounds, it seems a lot of history bloggers are having the same problem I am.  Many of the sites I used to frequent have been dormant for months, especially the Civil War ones.  Civil War Memory is still going strong, but some of the old standards have apparently given up the ghost.  With so many folks blogging less frequently or ceasing to blog altogether, the sense of community across the historical blogosphere—of a conversation among like-minded folks—isn’t what it used to be.

Part of the problem is that most historians already have to do a lot of unpaid writing.  For a lot of them, blogging doesn’t even bring in the sort of professional, non-financial rewards they get from all this other uncompensated writing.  If you start something that requires time but brings in neither money nor professional cred, there’s a good chance it’ll be the first thing to fall by the wayside when you’re stretched too thin.

Personally, I’d hate to see the historical blogosphere dry up entirely.  I think there are itches that only a forum like this could scratch—discussions about the intersections between history and pop culture, informed but informal discussions about historic sites and museums, updates on preservation advocacy, and so on.  Those itches are still there, and I think it’s worthwhile for historians and history enthusiasts to address them.

By CrunchySkies [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under History on the Web

Age of Revolutions is rolling out a series on Native Americans

If you don’t already follow the Age of Revolutions blog, keep an eye out for a series of posts they’re rolling out over the next seven weeks.  Each piece looks at a dimension of the Native American experience in the American Revolution.  The contributors include some of my favorite historians, so I was doubly honored and excited when AoR’s editors invited me to join in.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Revolution, History on the Web

Dusting off Civil War Bookshelf

It looks like Dimitri Rotov is blogging again after more than a year on hiatus.  And he’s just as dissatisfied as ever with the state of Civil War historiography.

I’ve always found his posts stimulating, even when I disagree with him (which is often).  It’s nice to see him back at the keyboard.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War, History on the Web

Images of Native Americans on the next BackStory

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been taking a seminar on Native American history this semester.  It’s been an absolute blast, and I’ve learned a lot.  My professor for that course, Dr. Julie Reed, will be on the next BackStory with the American History Guys to discuss depictions of American Indians through the years.  Click here for info on how to listen.

Leave a comment

Filed under History and Memory, History on the Web

100 Civil War websites

MilitaryOnlineColleges.org has created a pretty handy list of 100 Civil War websites. It’s aimed at military personnel, but anybody interested in the Civil War should find plenty of useful stuff listed—databases, blogs (including this one), CWRTs, museums, and so on.  Definitely worth checking out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War, History on the Web

Follow me as I commence tweeting into the void

I’ve always been reluctant to join Twitter. I’m so long-winded that I never thought I’d be good at it.  But when I contacted my advisor a few weeks ago to ask him about classes for my first semester as a doctoral student, he recommended I create a Twitter account and use it to keep up with what’s going on in my field.

So as of today, you can start following me @mlynch5396.  It’ll be just like this, only in smaller doses.

Leave a comment

Filed under History on the Web

Two MOOCs for American Revolution buffs

UVa and Monticello are launching a massive open online course on Jefferson; Peter Onuf is handling the teaching duties.  The kick-off date is Feb. 17.

William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg are also setting up a free online course on the Revolution, to be taught by James Whittenburg.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Revolution, History on the Web