This morning the Junto published this interesting blog entry by Ken Owen tackling the question “Is blogging scholarship?” For anyone interested in the dynamics between history, historians, and blogging, I strongly suggest reading it.
Which brought me to my own reflections on blogging.
I started this blog a few years ago after a discussion with a good friend of mine. I was telling him how I keep finding fascinating tidbits in my archival research, but with no proper use for them. I pointed out the shame in leaving these anecdotes in the shadows. To which he said: “Why don’t you start a blog to post them?”
What a good idea! Whenever I find interesting stories that have no direct link to my current research, I now have the luxury of having a readership that is eager to enjoy my modest discoveries.
Throughout the years, however, I’ve also found that my blog can serve as the gateway to a hard day’s work. For me, there’s no better way to break the ice than to do a quick blurb on my blog to get my creative juices flowing.
For students in particular, blogs are a great way to exorcise any research-related anxiety. I love reading other people’s experiences as well as sharing my own. Together, these blogs serve as a kind of support group that snaps us out of our solitary mental confinement.
I am particularly happy knowing that my blog is read not just by academics, but by the general public as well. After all, it is important that we share our research beyond the confines of our universities and colleges. (Which also begs the question: what language do I write in? But that, my friends, is another post).
Finally, let’s not forget the importance of following other blogs as well! Whether the Junto, F.-X. Charlevoix, or other historical blogs, these help me keep on top of current events and discoveries in colonial research.
Suffice to say that I agree with Ken Owen: yes, blogs are definitely an avenue to scholarship.