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Name a blog by a medievalist. Any blog. You need not comment to list it, but think of one.


The first and most obvious one which came to the mind of someone on a roundtable I attended today was Medievalists.net. Now Peter is doing wonderful and interesting things there, but I certainly don't think of it primarily as a blog. It includes a blog, but the site does a whole lot more than provide a news feed on medievalia.

Yet in the mind of this presenter, a news feed blog was the most obvious example, an exemplum among blogs by and for medievalists. This isn't the first time that I've seen news blogs privileged over other kinds, specifically professional, critical, academic life, and other personal blogs. I can't check right now, but I'm fairly sure I've been seeing news blogs crop up as winners in "best blog" categories very frequently lately. They're a good and useful service, but they certainly aren't the only kind of blog out there, and they show an ignorance of the richness of the medieval blogging community, its resources, and its history.

It's really made me think today. Should there eventually be a critical online book-equivalent for the "Weblogs and the Academy" series that we've been organizing? Why is there such a hierarchy of blog types? (I've heard some constructive answers to that today, and hope to continue the discussion at tomorrow's 3:30 session, this year's installation of our series.) Should we care that someone working professionally in online presence was less interested in more analytic, critical, and personal sites?

(Note: I'm reading a lot into a a few lines here. The short talk wasn't about blogs; it was about online presence modes, and only mentioned blogs in passing as one example of that. After a few sentences on Medievalists.net, he also mentioned Per omnia saecula in passing. Also, that medievalist bloggers have real senses of humor. He didn't omit other kinds of blogs entirely, but the speaker clearly privileged news over other types of content, at least in unplanned instinct.)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
You know, I am still boggling at that, and was surprised that P had nothing to say at our session.
May. 10th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
To be fair, Q&A did fly by. I bet a lot more people would have spoken up had we had more time for it.
May. 12th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
It was interesting when you told me that Medievalists.net was mentioned at this roundtable - first of all, it is exciting when we get noticed. But getting back to the issue, does our site constitute a blog? I certainly could consider our Medieval News section a type of blog, but I think "news feed" would be a better description. The problem for both that section and the rest of the site is that the software the runs it - blogger and wordpress - are primarily used in blogging. We also get indexed in the Google Blogs section. Alas, technically speaking, we are considered a blog by Google, and that means a lot in the online world.
I certainly never thought of the main Medievalists.net website as a blog - it is not structured that way, but for many readers they would see it as a blog, especially because we update it with posts every day and those posts can be viewed by RSS, so some readers will see it come to them just like any other blog post. I also notice that other bloggers have listed both of our sections on their blogrolls, so I can see how the person who mentioned our site and spoke kindly of it just might see the site in this fashion.

If people ask me what Medievalists.net is, I would say we are the news and resource center for the medieval community, but that is a mouthful. To add to the confusion, we video blogged the congress, and posted those pieces to both our main site and the Medieval News section. Anyways, we are always eager to what other people think about us!

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