WordPress no longer supported the blog theme I was using, so I decided to start from scratch with a minimalist block theme (Livro) that allows full site editing. I’ve got most of the kinks ironed out now, though it still needs tweaking on mobile phones, in particular. More news and content will follow soon.
Some years ago, I used a Tumblr blog as a kind of commonplace book. That fell by the wayside, but lately I’ve felt the need to have a place to save quotes again. Rather than use a separate venue, however, I’ll just collect them here under the commonplacing
I don’t intend to take extensive notes this way, but rather to grab things that I think can stand on their own. That’s the plan for now anyway.
I have closed my old blog, Clio and Me, and I will be slowly migrating select material to this blog. I will keep the original dates of the migrated posts, point out where I first published them, and update any outgoing links as necessary, but I will probably not carry over old comments, unless something strikes me as especially relevant in this new context.
I hope the slow migration does not cause havoc with subscriptions.
Update, November 24, 2014: I am doing the same kind of housekeeping (or curating) for my old blog about writing and learning English, Language for You. But I am not bringing much of that over here, because most of those posts were only short grammar and language tips for my ESOL and history students.
For a historian, I seem to have a rather cavalier attitude towards preserving my own past on the web. This site was once a personal blog in which I politicized, philosophized, and mused about the economic crisis that began hurting people some five years ago; about the presidential race that led to a wonderful, if cold inauguration day here in Washington, DC in 2008; and, less frequently, about aspects out of my everyday life, past and present. I’ve saved that stuff for my own records, but I don’t know what purpose it serves on the web. I blog to make sense of things or tell stories or both, but I don’t do so with the sensibilities of a diarist or archivist.
For the same reason, there are also a few thousand tweets missing from the early days of my twitter account—though I understand that the Library of Congress might have preserved that junk. No matter. In the past I’ve deleted teaching blogs, a Mac blog, and a tumblelog that outlived their usefulness for me. Whether or not they got cached somewhere doesn’t matter to me. I just didn’t feel like maintaining them or having them show up in current search results. But I won’t kill off a couple of my other blogs Clio and Me and Language for You, since they contain a few bits of useful information, and some of it even relates to what I’ll be doing here.1 They’re like the old notebooks that I want to keep around just in case, unlike the larger piles of stuff that went into the recycling bin.
I’ll probably also keep Commonplacing, a tumblelog in which I have been collecting random quotes.
So what will I blog about here? For starters, I would like to dust off the old dissertation, which I defended in 2006, and ponder what I might do with that research. Occasionally writing about that work should help me clarify my own thinking. As an added bonus, maybe this blog will also help me communicate with others who might be interested in similar issues. Time will tell.