Blogging for Historians focuses on best practice for creating, managing, and writing blogs across the arts and humanities.
It seeks to exchange knowledge of the working and usefulness of blogs between the arts and humanities professions and the archives and libraries sector through the creation of an online resource that includes interviews, tutorials, surveys, and more. These resources are designed to gain an insight into why blogging is useful and what is gained from the process.
The original Project
Blogging for Historians came about through a scholarship award by the Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) in 2012-13. The project idea was to interview experts across the field of History who were already blogging to find out more about best practice and perception. These were produced as podcasts. In addition I carried out a survey of Historians to find out more about the perception and interest in blogging and created a small toolkit or tutorial to help postgraduates and early career researchers to make the best use out of blogs.
Who am I?
My name is Matthew Phillpott. I am an early modern historian, currently working on research facilitation projects for the School of Advanced Study (University of London). For more information about me and my interests please check out my sister blog ‘about me’ section: Sixteenth Century Scholars.
My Interest in the Subject
As an early career researcher (ECR) I believe it is increasingly likely that ECRs and postgraduates (PG) will manage or post on a blog at some point in their career. They are also likely to read about their topic of research on a blog at some point. Having maintained a blog for the History SPOT project for 2 years on behalf of the IHR and now the Talking Humanities blog for the School of Advanced Study (SAS) as well as my own blog (Sixteenth Century Scholars), I have come to the conclusion that I and other ECRs and PGs would benefit from a wider knowledge of approaches and practises both within and outside of academia as a means of improving research profiles online and developing new relationships with similarly interested practitioners.
Originally my interest was to look at History-subject librarians and archivists as the perfect choice for making a comparison. These professions seem to have taken up the challenge of blogging most successfully, as demonstrated through the British Library series of blogs and the National Archives blog. Whilst their goals most likely differ to that of the Historian there is knowledge here that is worth sharing and comparing.
Now that the original project is completed this blog has become a hub for other elements of my activity on social media. For the School of Advanced Study I run a seminar series called Social Scholar, which looks at social media in the arts and humanities. I also offer training on social media to staff and postgraduates at the School and online through the postgraduate research training website PORT.