This is the 60th post on this blog. And what is more: it is now a year since I posted the first one. Thankfully we live in a time in which we are entirely used to expecting babies to reach their first birthday, but for blogs one-year-and-still-going is already starting to be respectable. It is also a logical moment to evaluate.
So – happy days of ceaseless surveillance! – I took a look at the statistics of this blog. Its readership has grown from zero to a fairly stable 100-and-a-bit unique visitors each day. That is not very many for a blog I guess, but it is far more than the number of people one can reasonably expect to read one’s PhD dissertation. It feels like enough. And though I haven’t looked sufficiently deeply into the stats to actually know this, it is my impression that there is a fairly stable base of regulars, which is great.
A few things don’t seem to work very well. I think I’m too unpredictable – I tend to post in bouts and then keep silent for too long. Also, because I have pledged to myself I shan’t spend more than an hour on a blogpost, and use them as a means of thinking aloud, the quality of most posts is relatively low, taking into account that this is my most public form of sharing. Also, I consistently fail to live up to the promise to write about certain topics on certain weekdays. Unless you mass-protest soon, I shall give those up and just write about whatever wanders into my mind, as is the practice already (except today!)
One issue I worry about particularly is the balance between attention to FDR/memory studies/myself. I tend to say that my research is about FDR because that is concise and concrete and true, but for me the really interesting question is how storytelling works in remembering and re-constructing the past and, through that, (collective) identity. FDR as a cultural icon is a case study – a paradigmatic one, but still. And I always want to talk more about my own process, and feel that is probably the least interesting to read about, until I find a better way of synthesizing that with discussing the content.
But unless you tell me otherwise, I’m happy, and inclined to continue on more or less the same footing. This blog has grown out of my wish to share more about my research, both in terms of content and about the process. And I do feel that the last year has been very successful in that I have found more ways of doing that. It has been a good year in general: productive, reproductive, and a sometimes confusing jumble of sowing, reaping and garnering (probably precisely why I am such a bad gardener – I can’t keep pace. On the other hand, it all feels organic enough.)
Blogging perhaps always is a form of talking to oneself, and I do that a lot anyway – still: I don’t mean this to be only about me sending messages. So if you have feedback, advice or things you’d like to read, write about or discuss: do drop me a line in a medium of your choice.
I am not going to thank individuals publicly here at this point, but you know who you are. To everybody reading this, but especially if you are one of the 100 or so regulars: thank you for coming along this far!