J.L. Bell at Boston 1775 reports on a “Blogging History” panel at last year’s annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. I thought it would be interesting to see how well “The Way of Improvement Leads Home” measures up to a couple of the comments about history blogs put forth by the members of this panel.
Larry Cebula of Northwest History notes (as summarized by Bell): “Historians’ blogs have tended to have a predictable life cycle. They start out discussing history and history-writing, shift (especially in 2008) into arguing politics, and end up focusing on the blogger’s personal life.” I think the “Way of Improvement Leads Home” does its fare share of history, politics, and the personal (perhaps “professional” is a better term to describe the way I talk about myself here), but I am not sure if I would describe the blog’s content in terms of declension as Cebula implies. We have been covering all of these topics from the beginning.
Ari Kelman and Eric Rauchway at The Edge of the American West make a good point about the importance of contributors to group blogs not, as Bell puts it, “stepping on–i.e., posting shortly after– someone else’s post.” While “The Way of Improvement Leads Home” is not a group blog, I have often wondered about following one post too quickly with another one. Perhaps my readers could answer this one for me. Am I “stepping on” my own posts?