Ah, ‘The History Blogging Project‘, a project that pulls together two of my big interests, history (as you can see on this blog), and digital media (which you can see on Digital Fingerprint). “Run by postgraduates for postgraduates, the History Blogging Project provides a forum in which postgraduates can publicise their research, network with other historians, debate the role of blogs in academic and public engagement, and contribute to a continually developing online set of resources on blogging technology.” So, I’m a bit past that stage (would you believe, 6.5 years since I completed my PhD, and the book not yet written….), but maybe I can help in other ways (and the definition appears to have been widened, on Twitter at least, to include postdocs…)…. encouraging others within academia/the church to use such tools.
What has blogging done for me?
Well, I first set up a website about the topic of my PhD research in 1997, and kept that ticking along in various iterations until January 2009, when I discovered WordPress, and developed a blog alongside the pre-existing content. I break many of the rules that I tell others about blogging (blog at a consistent time, etc.), but it’s a great space for me to keep records of things I’m interested in (and draw them to the attention of others) alongside other projects, and brings my research to the attention of many – including the New York Times and the BBC. I now work far more in digital media than in history itself, but history has given me great skills (writing, structure, critical analysis, etc) to apply to newer roles. My PhD was essentially a cultural history of a specific form of communication at a specific moment in history… and that is something I still focus on!