Social media is strangely becoming one of the most shared items among people. I use various social media platforms, as does my nearly 60-year-old mother, as does my 9 year old cousin—in fact, the president is known for his Twitter ramblings. Why not try to adapt this platform into the world of history? The capabilities of social media have been recognized so much that, as Ana Stevenson points out, the American Historical Association even created a set of guidelines for historians to become more effective tweeters!
The intertwining of social media hits especially close to home for me, as it has contributed a great portion to my own research. I began by “friending” a musician from Haight-Ashbury during the mid-1960s, and soon began messaging his other “friends” about their experiences living in San Francisco, giving me an excellent collection of sources to pull from. Another way I have seen social media benefit someone in the history field is during my undergraduate years, the potential of Twitter was starting to be realized, and we had a guest speaker come in to talk about how, if I can recall the story correctly, she became an archivist at CNN. In short, she started following the head archivist at CNN and after a few history and political oriented post, she eventually got followed back by the head archivist. Upon graduating, the head archivist informed her and asked her to apply through Twitter, and she got the job.
I found it rather difficult to find a historian who has a website. My favorite historians either have pages on the faculty sites at the universities they teach at, and/or pages on their publisher’s sites (which typically provides the same information as the faculty, except a “Buy the Book!” link has been added). One of my favorite historians, Kevin Kruse, does have his own website found, naturally, at www.kevinkruse.com, however it is also dedicated almost entirely to his books, like the publisher websites—in fact, his publishers’ site is far more user friendly and I’d recommend it over his personal site.