2/26

The logic behind a database system is not that a story is being told. Databases purpose is not to tell a story or lead you towards some significant solution; its sole purpose is to provide the viewer with information. This information however has an equal amount of significance and importance throughout. In Lev Manovichs article, he discusses the different types of databases, and how questions are answered differently depending on which realm. For example in scientific databases, the information is formulated to be accessed in a certain order. With new media forms constantly on the horizon there is an influx of different databases that occur with them. Some of these new forms have been CD-roms and DVD-roms which was a way to store the aforementioned databases. This article also discusses different narrative platforms. Such as with the use of video games; its users experience a narrative. A story is being told with a set beginning, middle and end. In the article written by Nina Simon, it discusses museum discourse with its viewers and how using the internet could help reach its viewers/visitors. The author feels that in order to create a better discourse, should better develop relationship with use of the internet. For many places a way to distribute information to current visitors and potential visitors is by supplying the information on the web. At the time of this article the most visited sites were Myspace and Facebook. The correlation between these sites and a museum were that these sites became so popular and received repeat visitors due to the personalization that is given to each visitor. Being able to gear information and exhibits to visitors based off of their likes and tastes would create a better opportunity for the museum to become a venue for discourse. Simon does list several drawbacks to placing museum in a 2.0 status: 1. a museum exhibit is given to the public view once it is in a completed state; in 2.0 it would be forever changing 2.museums are designed spaces; placing it in 2.0 opens it up to all designers and interfaces 3. Museums rely on authorities: curators, researchers, designers, educators. Web 2.0 relies on users, who grant each other authority at will. Simon offers an excellent example of how 2.0 can create a relationship with a museum. The Brooklyn Museum of Art, uses several different type of media to interact with visitors such as; hosting its own blogs, podcasts, photo and video streams on their community site. They also maintain an active presence on MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr, where tens of thousands of people have accessed and interacted with museum content. In the spring of 2007, Google Earth released a new layer (interactive 3D map), “Crisis in Darfur” (www. ushmm.org/googleearth), using content from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to allow Google Earth users to explore first-hand accounts, photos, and other resources regarding the genocide in Sudan.

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2/19 Advantages/disadvantages of podcasts

The podcast Serial has several seasons thus far. The show follows one case over the course of a season. The first episode introduces a story from 1999, in Baltimore; a high school senior disappears after school one day. Six weeks later the police arrest her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. There is no evidence linking Adnan to the case asid from the testimony from one of his former friends. The consensus is that no one thought Adnan was capable of murder he seemed like an all around good kid. Someone in this case is lying, and there is an eyewitness who says that she knows where Adnan was the day of the murder. Using podcasts as a way to engage listeners to topics, cases (whatever their topic may be) is the content finds its audience. With stories that were assigned this week to listen to, from a crime podcast to one that is about human curiosity. Most podcasts have a niche audience that they are targeting, sometimes this audience is forever changing to a variety of reasons. Podcasting does not only encompass audio to reach out to their target audience. Many podcasts include audio, video,and PDF files. This is a new digital media outlet that can be used as a tool in a variety of different realms. It can be used in academia to communicate with parents/teachers/students, to help convey information and as an instructional tool. Like with any media there are advantages and disadvantages: some people take podcasts and expound up on them. Creating social media posts, blogs etc. Podcasts allow for them to be portable and episodes can be skipped, FF, rewind, etc. Some disadvantages is that, podcasts can get you into legal trouble with infringement laws. FCC laws regulate radio, but there are currently no laws to regulate podcasts.  As far as bringing the general public to your podcasts is a different issue altogether. If your podcast is being used to bring attention to your business, it will be difficult to bring attention to your podcast/business, as podcasts as a stand alone don’t generate in a google search. Podcasts need to be limited in regards to time constraints. When podcast episodes exceed a certain time frame, and this isn’t a requirement, but a majority of the time listeners may lose interest. I personally like podcast to learn about different niche areas that I normally don’t have time to read about or separately research. You are able to listen to a vast variety of topics and you are then introduced to a number of people who are interested in the same things you are. Being able to correlate the podcasts to a visual media is sometimes beneficial in creating a solid foundation. Some topics require a visual representation in order for the topic at hand to be thoroughly discussed. That is one of the major drawbacks from working primarily in only audio format.

The Future of Public History

The 99% Invisible podcast featured an interesting story on the Octothorpe, also known as a pound sign and more recently as the hashtag. The podcasters gave a brief history of the sign and the way in which it has come to be used since the 1970s. While this does not seem like normal scholarly history it certainly did seem to have an air of good research behind it and a striving to bring about the solid micro-history. Radio Lab, with their story on Fu-Go, was done very well also. Their story was more of a mystery history dating back a little further than 99% Invisible’s story. The story opened up in the 1940s during World War II. The first thing that caught my attention was that most of the history of this period is almost exclusively or directly related to the war and more specifically military history. However, this story was not in the same way and again like the Octothrope story was a micro-history, falling outside the regular genre of historical scholarship. In both stories the podcasters seemed to use interviews from real people that were either directly or indirectly involved in the history of these events. Their stories provided narrative for the whole story and gave the podcasters enough information to form a solid historical investigation.

If this is the future of podcasting or if that era of time is already upon us than I think the study of history has a bright future. Of course these are not the first radio-type shows to do this. NPR has featured stories somewhat like this for many years but the podcasters gave these stories a slightly different feel. Their stories seem to be a mix of both history and pop-culture at the same time whereas NPR never felt like that. However, the stories still seemed truthful and real, dedicated to good scholarship, and projecting a sense of quality. Is this the future of public history? It seems like it could be. If these podcasters continue to air these types of stories and listeners continue to listen they may find a full-time audience, many of whom do not have any background in academic history, but simply like and appreciate good historical investigation. This audience is in many ways who public history aims reach. The public outside of the academy and a public that looks forward to learning and growing in their knowledge of the past and how the past informs the present.

These two stories give new life to public history and to the academic nature of history in general. As with all good stories the podcasters will find themselves walking a tightrope at times in an effort to hold their audience while presenting unbiased history, but this is the art of delivering history to the public. Podcasting seems to have come a long ways in recent years and looks to be well adapted to take on the delivery of history to the masses. This era is certainly an exciting time for history with so many new ways to distribute knowledge of the past. The key will be to work hard at presenting true history as best as possible. A podcast, just like any other form of media, can easily fall victim to the “fake news” problem that has so quickly ensnared the American media in recent years and the public is quite susceptible to this type of quagmire. Hopefully podcasting websites can gain good reputations for solid delivery of history and scholarship short of full peer review status. This may be difficult but it’s possible that these two websites and their podcasters may already be on their way to doing just this. Quality research balanced with quality presentation seem to have produced an excellent product for these podcasters and is doing nothing but good things for the field of history and for public history in particular.

See one of my favorite podcasters at http://inthepastlane.com/podcast/

Of Twitter and Podcasts

Social media sites and emerging technologies have changed the way information is discussed and shared. In Vanessa Varin’s article, she discusses the ways that historians have come together on Twitter. With the help of maps made by the Pew Research Center and NodeXL, they discovered that with the help of the #Twitterhistorians hashtag, historians were more likely to use the hashtag for help or advice, rather than initiate conversations. The maps show the many, interesting ways that certain hashtags, such as #PublicHistory or #history, evolve and are used for information rather than communication.

In addition to social media sites, podcasts have become a unique and important way to discuss historical events. In one episode of 99% Invisible, the history of water fountains in London are discussed. It also tracks the social movements behind drinking fountains and water. These included the early temperance movements and an on-campus movement for drinking water at a college stadium that became known as, yes, “water-gate”. It comes full circle! Podcasts have also become a tool for conversation; the podcast Serial gained popularity for exploring the complex case behind the murder of a high school student from Baltimore.

Finally, in an episode from the Radiolab podcast, a mysterious balloon with Japanese origins was discussed in a larger context, discussing the connections between World War Two, the government, and small-town America. This episode effectively explains the science behind the balloon bombs, and how the government researched and reacted to them. Most notably, the podcast explores how the U.S. government sought to censor reports on the balloons and telling news organizations that there was to be no reporting of the balloons, to prevent helping the Japanese and avoiding scaring the American public.

For my article this week, Eric Zorn from the Chicago Tribune discusses the way Serial and other nonfiction podcasts have found popularity in recent years, with Serial being downloaded over 175 million times. Other podcasts, such as 2 Dope Queens, have been so successful that the creators haven been approached to make comedy sketches based on podcast episodes. Zorn pushes back against the notion that podcasts have peaked, saying that not everyone has heard of a podcast before, let alone subscribed to one regularly, so there is still room for podcasts to grow.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/zorn/ct-perspec-zorn-podcasting-boom-revolution-audio-0218-20180216-story.html

Finally, a question-are there any podcasts that fellow readers/bloggers recommend? I’m personally a fan of two podcasts from the Washington Post-Presidential and Constitutional.

Background Learning with Podcasts

Although I am not a stranger to podcasts, I admit that the two I choose to write about here — Radiolab‘s “Fu-Go” and 99% Invisible‘s “Fountain Drinks” — were, in a way, a first for me. My initial impression of both was that it ‘felt’ like a VICE documentary. Informative, playful, and teetering on the fine line of professional and hipster. It was, to me, this interesting combination of part-documentary, part-talk show, part-sensory experience. I highlight the latter point first, since I found it to be the most interesting. I am always curious about how popular shows edit and compile audio and video to create addictive formulas that make the audience come back for more. It is certainly both an art and a science, involving a willingness to play line delivery, pacing, background audio, and so forth. Radiolab, being the first podcast I listened to on the list, struck me as the most ‘jarring.’ That is the best word I can use for the sort of pacing they used in their “Fu-Go” episode, especially regarding the timing and mixing of people’s speech. Where one presenter would begin talking, the editor quickly cuts to another so as to finish their sentence. It is then that I noticed that, although I was working on other things physically and letting the podcast run in the background, the show never became ‘white noise.’ That is, I never really ‘tuned out’ for any given moment. I think the audio editing had a great deal to do with that.

But, editing aside, what about the educational value?

That is, at the end of the day, our main objective as digital historians: how can we get an audience to listen to a podcast and come away from it knowing something new? 99% Invisible‘s “Fountain Drinks” is the more straightforward in delivery of the two podcasts. It begins with a hook, taking advantage of what the listener already knows and playing off that. ‘Of course everyone knows what a water fountain is,’ asks 99% Invisible, ‘but did you know? . . .’ And it goes from there. Suddenly, the listener becomes engrossed in this story about the history of water fountains, filled with stories of disease, legislation, and even a shameless Game of Thrones reference. It is an engaging formula, so much so that I barely noticed the sudden switch in topics at the half-way point of the show. From literal water fountains to music about ‘fountains’ (in a sense), 99% Invisible plays off the theme of the show in creative ways. In its own way, it keeps the audio too from becoming ‘white noise.’ Although its editing is more straightforward, its presentation is not. It keeps the listener engaged, working off basic premises and presenting new information while also surprising the audience with a more ‘liberal’ interpretation of theme. In short, neither Radiolab or 99% Invisible treat their content dryly, as if it were some spoken essay.

To conclude, I ask whether or not these shows are credible. That has been, after all, one of the main topics in our course thus far. For Radiolab, they certainly went the extra step in bringing on academics (two historians and a geologist!) and doing on-site research. This gives them credibility, as they show they are willing to engage with academic ‘authorities’ but, at the same time, keep the tone casual but still educational. The same goes for 99% Invisible. My main take-away has been a newfound respect for these shows. If there is a digital medium dedicated to encouraging discussion between the public and the academy, bridging both together into a shared literal conversation, then podcasts are it.


On my search for more ‘history-oriented’ podcasts, I found one last detail that was most interesting. The more ‘compelling’ shows tend to be outwardly about history and more about public knowledge in general. Food for thought, in my opinion. Still, I found this one titled Stuff You Missed in History Class. I am a bit of a sucker for ‘fun fact’ style presentation! Here’s the link to it.

#tweetsandtalks #octothorpe

Podcasts are an incredibly innovative form of storytelling, and I love listening to them. Somehow they make bits of history more interesting to me than simply reading about them does, so it seems like they are a great tool for historians. Perhaps this is because we can hear the more casual voice of the historian, instead of only reading their stuffy academic voice, and historians are (typically) nothing if not passionate about their interests. Passion makes for great listening. There’s also the ability to bring in music and interviews to deepen and excite whatever the story is, such as with the very catchy water fountain song in 99% Invisible’s “Fountain Drinks” that has been stuck in my head for several days now, or the moving interview with the woman who witnessed the people throwing rocks at the Japanese mother and child who needed water, and were headed for an interment camp, after the Japanese bomb killed so many people. She was emotional and hearing that in her voice heightened the impact of the whole episode. So there’s definitely more pathos in listening to this sort of history-telling than in simply reading a nonfiction book or textbook. Podcasts can do almost all of the things documentaries or documentary series can do (often with a more relaxed feel), and you can listen to them on your commute.

Podcasts also require the creators to chop their history lesson into a small, digestible chunk that keeps readers engaged. The way Serial does this is particularly interesting to me. There is a story arc for the whole season, but each episode delves into one aspect of the crime, such as the episode on cell phone records, or the one where they try to recreate the state’s timeline. There is a mystery to the way the story is presented overall, and within the episodes, and history is used as a sort of evidence or means of explaining the details of the case, not as the defining quality. Thus while the show focuses on a historical case, in that it happened in the past, it feels very present, and we learn a good deal about the changes in technology and whatnot since the crime took place and find ourselves invested in the old-fashioned workings of cell towers.

Now, when Serial came out, people were able to listen to it week by week and talk about it via Twitter. They could put Adnan on social-media trial as often as they wanted, simply through the use of a hashtag. I cannot imagine how hard it must be be to find an un-influenced jury in cases with a lot of press these days. Twitter can connect people from all of the world who share similar interests, and what I use Twitter for the most is gauging people’s reactions to things like award shows. I definitely think it has the potential for more substantial conversations, like the “Twitterstorians” seem to use it for. I cannot imagine Twitter would have taken off in the same way without the hashtag (I really enjoyed the podcast on the octothorpe, and now fully plan on calling hashtags by that name in conversation), because hashtags are how we connect, how we feel a part of some bigger conversation, and for better or for worse, it makes that conversation, and all the ones under it, feel important.

Here is an article (that’s rather funny) about the important role historians can play on Twitter: https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/02/opinions/historians-twitter-debate-opinion-steinhauer/index.html. Also, here is an article about the history of Twitter. : https://www.wired.com/story/a-brief-history-of-the-ever-expanding-tweet/ And here is one about historians that are apparently great to follow on Twitter: http://www.liberalartsdegree.com/33-historians-worth-following-on-twitter/.

Blogging to be whole

After engaging with the diverse readings this week that raised conceptual issues and offered examples of types of academic blogs one may encounter, I am struck by a few issues but most strange to believe is fear of animosity by colleagues and employers. Certainly, I could see how if a scholar were blogging about something considered to be too much personal information might negatively impinge on one’s career, or if they blogged about unethical matters. However, the thought that a history blog within a history department might spur negative comments from colleagues (particularly on the blog) is just sad (Cummings & Jarrett, 2013). I want to believe this is an outdated idea and that scholastic colleagues really are not this juvenile (or with this much time on their hands) but given the date of the blog and the creditability of the authors, I need to believe it. I suppose these curmudgeon commenters argue they are simply engaging in the peer-review process: offering a certain ethic to being critical. I could see how this could easily lead one to pulling down the piece, possibly the blog entirely, or engaging in a robust flame-war.

A logical reason to blog is to circumvent scholastic temporality. When dealing with the incredible slow pace of academic publishing, it makes sense people would turn to something with immediacy. To think academics are just what their curriculum vitea indicate is to suggest we are not full humans with a multiplicity of interests. My mentors have been telling me to be very thoughtful about the precise topic I select to write a dissertation on, as it will set my research agenda for the next five to ten years and it will set how I want people to see me as a scholar for the first large part of my career. I find this task daunting on its own. I am in a discipline that closes itself to many different ways of thinking and that is not how I operate. As a holistic multidisciplinary person, I have interests in advocacy/activism, cooking, art, travel, etc. as well as that which I plan to spend the next years of my life toiling over to write something cohesive about the politics of pleasure.

This is but one reason I blog. I want to get out some of these built-up thoughts that if they do not come out, may well clog the pathway of my academic voice. Luker (2005) offers many examples of scholars blogging about interests that may exist outside that which they spend most of their time, like cooking and photography. This is how we should see these blogs, as different parts of ourselves being shared. There should be room for different styles and voices. Just as our lectures, if written down word-by-word, would not make for a perfectly polished academic piece neither should blog posts be held to that rigor.

The example of the voice used in Fulton (2005) is quite conversational and well-researched. It retains academic appeal but can reach farther into communities outside the hallowed halls of the ivory tower. Reaching those outside of academia, or other parts of my communities, is another reason I blog. My track-record publishing thus far has almost been half open-access, and half traditional closed journal. I have done with this with intention of being more of a public scholar, as I value sharing information to people who cannot afford (or should spend) money to access an article. Similarly, a blog offers that space. It can be shorter, easier to read, and interspersed with pictures to add to the sticky appeal of web space.

I offer my blog cripconfessions.com to show how I have engaged with this process. Like is mentioned in one of the articles, initially I was an anonymous blogger, but people wanted to share their stories with me and it was not reasonable of me to hide behind a handle. Engaging with people in Freire or hooks way feels ethical to me. This does not mean I have not experienced some bullies and other annoying humans. The title of the blog alone bothers countless people, but that is one of the best parts of the liminality of text on the internet-one can happily close the window, block the page, and move on with their lives as though it never existed.

2/5

I found the topics of all of the blogs we read for today incredibly interesting, but I suppose that’s not why we had to read them, so I also went straight to the “about” sections on each. Each “About” had similar language in their goals, such as Nursing Clio’s goals to “ti[e] historical scholarship to present-day issues,” which matches Tropics of Meta as it “aims to offer a fresh perspective on history, current events, popular culture, and issues in the academic world” and NOTCHES as it “aims to get people inside and outside the academy thinking about sexuality in the past and in the present.” The idea of attracting writers and readers both inside and outside of the academy was repeated as well, with Tropics of Meta saying they publish essay from a wide variety of writers from different fields. While they do not have a theme like the others, they do have particular interests, and they seem to market themselves as a sounding board. It does seem like each of these blogs is doing what Ralph E. Luker is saying in “Were There Blog Enough and Time”: “Because I want a place to publish small writings, odd writings, leftover writings, lazy speculations, half-formed hypotheses. I want a place to publish all the things that I think have some value but not enough to constitute legitimate scholarship. I want a chance to branch into new areas of specialization at a reduced level of intensity and seriousness.” While I’m not calling these blogs lazy, I do think that (as mentioned in “Only Typing? Informal Writing, Blogging and the Academy”), there is a different level of scholarship and effort that went into them than what goes into a dissertation, etc., and that’s a good thing in the sense that it gets historians writing more, and faster, getting feedback on ideas earlier, like in the piece we read previously where the author was using the blog platform to get feedback on his introduction for his book. This idea of removing the gatekeeper seems more to me about removing the fear of the gatekeeper, meaning this work is still accurate and held accountable, but historians are able to consider smaller portions of ideas or movements more freely. They’re released a bit from the fear of not telling the whole story, because the blog itself is a story, and hopefully enough people will contribute to, say, NOTCHES, that regular readers will get a broad perspective on sexuality in the past and present, but Bob Cant can focus on his story and experience.

Another aspect of all of this, though, is I still felt like I was reading a history textbook to an extent when I was reading “‘She Looks the Abortionist and the Bad Woman’: Sensation, Physiognomy, and Misogyny in Abortion Discourse,” mostly due to the way the images were placed within the text. We still need to think more about what technology can do to deepen our work and not simply replicate it in a new medium. Here is an interesting article about a way some historians are doing that: http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2018/02/04/putting-technology-to-work-for-history/

From Low to High Stakes: Blogging in the Academy

I’ll be upfront: I rarely, if ever, follow blogs. I received a rude awakening last week regarding podcasts, and I feel this week I’ll go through the same. The extent of my blogging experience, both reading and writing, stretches to ‘hobby blogs’ — particularly those focused on miniature modeling, role-playing, and so forth. It was during my first semester of my master’s program, as a stressed-out undergraduate trying to finish one degree and start another, that I was introduced to the world of academic blogging. At the time, it seemed so low stakes. An enjoyable pursuit to help historians exercise the mind and encourage dialogue when not busy with class, article writing, or friends and family. But beyond WordPress or Blogspot, there was also the occasional well-informed post on Twitter or close-knit groups on Facebook. All these piqued my interest and, as a result, I’ve started to slowly introduce myself to more and more of these semi-formal forums. To me, the greatest benefit of these is their capacity for good old fashioned communication; a place where the Ivory Tower ceased to be Sauron’s tower in Mordor and more a meeting place for the academic and inquisitive public alike. To be fair, this is more than likely youthful idealism talking. As was discussed in our readings this week, particularly in Ralph E. Luker’s piece for the AHA, the primary audience for many of these academic blogs are other academic bloggers. Put another way, as in Jonathan Jarrett and Dr. Cumming’s collaborative piece, blogs make for excellent peer-review platforms, especially when fellow co-workers are “too overburdened with classes, committees, and family to provide regular input” otherwise (Jarrett and Cummings). At first glance, then, blogs exist in the periphery of the academy — a tool for the adventurous historian willing to engage outside of the department office or the occasional article in a well-to-do academic journal.

So why, then, has the issue become so high stakes?

It is not that I find the dilemma about what place blogging has in the academy trivial. Rather, I am continuously surprised by the amount of hesitation around the use of blogs as a complimentary device in the historian’s toolbox for success in the twenty-first century. Academics, just like anyone else, need to express themselves. Whether it is ideas for a new book or the scrambled musings of the day, the process of sharing thoughts to a public audience can result in constructive feedback at best. At worst, it can lead nowhere or, even worse, to a few nasty comments. Regardless, it is the relative lack of barriers that makes any internet forum or space so intriguing and productive. In a matter of hours, any one person — academics included — can type up a post and send it on its way for public consumption. Jarrett and Cummings put it best, saying that “writing on a blog might not rise to the standard of a university press or scholarly journal, but neither does a lecture” (Jarrett and Cummings). Nor does it have to. I argue that the root(s) of this hesitancy from the would-be ‘old guard’ stems from the lack of peer-review (as has, again, been discussed in our readings). To that, I (idealistically) say: so what?

Now, let me be clear. Academics who engage in university work or on the web are, in both cases, putting forth their public character. Inane or misinformed comments, either in the ‘real’ worlds or online, have the capacity to ruin careers or reputations. It has happened before. There is still a need to present’s one self as a responsible, well-educated participant in this “idealized democratic public sphere,” while also balancing the base desire to just be a “compulsive loudmouth” (Luker). To produce stimulating intellectual content, like the review of Daniel Rodger’s Age of Fracture on Tropics of Meta, and enjoy the occasional discussion of history in the periphery, such as an old blog I used to follow about military history and gaming (which has, like many blogs today, died). But, being the young, cutting-edge idealist that my generation expects me to be, I expect academics, especially historians, to have blogs or forums as part of their basic toolkit. We are past the point of hesitancy and fear, of concerns over legitimacy and gate-keeping. Instead, the next step forward should be characterized by a reform in the field, where historians are taught to implement the basic critical thinking they use in day-to-day examinations of history in the reviewing of online content. In this sense, I echo Jarrett and Cummings again, but I argue that scholarship can and does exist online. It may not be a monograph, it may be not a journal article, but it is sure is ten-times more compelling and readable. Communication, then, is my central argument for pushing web literacy in the discipline. It is my position that historians do not exist as a field to exclusively produce knowledge, but also to inform, educate, and review already existing content out in the public sphere. To come not from a place of academic elitism, but to encourage and facilitate educational engagement outside of the Tower.

And all that while still posting cute cat pictures.

Scholarship on the Internet

Creating articles, blog posts, or opinion columns on the internet can be a highly fulfilling activity of an aspiring professor or scholar. With a declining job market and few job opportunities in universities young scholars can exercise their research and writing ability on the internet and never have to worry about waiting for a publication date. One’s research or thoughts can be presented online quickly and reviewed for errors after publication, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately for these up-and-coming scholars this type of publication has not traditionally been viewed as serious work, and in fact can hinder one from a career in academia.

In Luker’s article, Were there Blog Enough and Time, the idea of historians starting blogs seems to be more or less a positive development. The article makes clear that the world of blogs can transform rapidly and historians would do well keep up with it. Luker lists a number of blogs that had become important sources of historical conversation in the early years of the internet and how they seemed to have been showing the first breakthroughs in blog-type scholarship.

In her review of the Age of Fracture Webre demonstrates that book reviews can be done online just as well as they can be in an academic journal. Blogs do not have to be centered on endless chatter or comments but can produce thoughtful insight into someone else’s ideas. Book reviews such as these can then be viewed by people with access to the internet, as opposed to the few that have access to academic journals. For this reason book reviews seem to be one of the most relevant topics on a scholar’s blog.

Fulton’s account of abortion in the 19th century in She Looks the Abortionist and the Bad Woman seems to have been an important way of communicating history to many different types of people because of the relevance of the topic in our own time. This article can be viewed as a historical narrative that intersects with modern thought and dynamics. In this blog is found the past unapologetically informing the present.

In Coming Out in the Trade Union author Cant presents some of his own experiences in a late 20th century set among the difficulties of coming out as gay in the workplace. Cant seems to tie together personal memory with the short history of the gay liberation movement. In doing so the article is interesting and informative at the same time, providing historical context with memory. Some of the best stories are those that are spoken directly from the heart and Cant’s reflection seems better suited to a quick access blog than the laborious journal article that could take weeks or months to publish.

Finally Cummings and Jarrett approach the internet with a critique of the entire reasoning behind what it means to produce real scholarship. In the past scholarship has been the means by which modern scholars moved forward in their careers and blogs were seen a hindrance to regular publications largely because they were not peer reviewed. Certainly for both authors the value of well-researched scholarship and accuracy in details is important, but the changing landscape in communication that the internet has produced is fully accepted as a tool for greater scholarly production and preservation. Overall Cummings and Jarrett share the desire to make the internet a place for scholars to exchange ideas, encourage debate, and create new ways of reviewing one another’s work. In this way the authors tie together both traditional scholarship in an academic journal and the later modern scholarship in the era of the internet.

Somewhat indirectly related to this is this article found in the Scholarly Kitchen https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/01/29/fixing-instead-of-breaking-part-one-open-citations/