Collaborative History Blogging

Blog_(1)There are a lot of good history blogs out there and many of them are collaborative efforts.  Think Nursing Clio, Black Perspectives, U.S. Intellectual History, and The Junto. I am glad to see that the American Historical Association has taken notice of these blogs.

Here is a taste of Sadie Bergen’s piece at AHA Today, “From Personal to Professional: Collaborative History Blogs Go Mainstream.”

In 2012, when Jacqueline Antonovich, then a first-year graduate student at the University of Michigan, founded the blog Nursing Clio, maintaining it was as simple as “throwing stuff up online.” Five years later, Antonovich is finishing up her dissertation and overseeing an editorial team of seven as Nursing Clio’s executive editor. As she puts it, the blog, which connects historical scholarship on gender and medicine to current events, has become a “fine-tuned machine.”

This process of professionalization—the shift from blogging as a hobby to a line on your CV—is not unique to Nursing Clio. Over the past several years, collaboratively produced history blogs have blossomed into popular venues that give current historical scholarship an accessible public face. They have grown rapidly, formalized their editorial procedures into those of small publications, and recruited new historians to join their ranks of writers and editors.

Written and edited almost entirely by graduate students and early career historians without tenure-track positions, collaborative blogs have emerged as platforms to share and engage with scholarship in a discipline with high bars for professional advancement. No longer mostly within the realm of the personal, blogging now provides valuable writing and editing opportunities that enable early career historians to cultivate a wide range of skills, promote their work, and make valuable connections, all on the front lines of an emerging form of public history writing.

Read the entire article here.

I envy these collaborative blogs.  With multiple authors it alleviates a lot of the work of posting regularly.  There have been times throughout the eight-year run of The Way of Improvement Leads Home that I have thought about bringing-on other regular bloggers. This piece has made me think about it again.

But perhaps unlike the blogs mentioned in Bergen’s piece, The Way of Improvement Leads Home has really developed around my own interests, personality, and quirks.  I am not sure what a collaborative blog would look like here.

Recently my former student Drew Dyrli Hermeling (you may know him as the producer and co-host of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast) pushed me to have bigger dreams about the future of this blog.  He suggested a larger online presence that would include other writers and podcasters.  I am open to this idea and would love to hear what you, our faithful readers, think about it.  How would you feel if The Way of Improvement Leads Home became more collaborative?

3 thoughts on “Collaborative History Blogging

  1. John: If you are hesitant about it being fully collaborative, you could welcome more guest posts. Then they blog is yours and retains your character, but you can screen the guest post applications. – TL

    PS: Thanks for the shout-out to the S-USIH blog!

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