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The Future of History and Blog Skills

It seems to me, as men­tioned, that his­tory will prob­a­bly become less about evi­dence and more about the struc­ture of the argu­ment. Less about the man­ual accu­mu­la­tion of data–the split­ting and chop­ping and stack­ing of fuel for the stove–and more about the con­text, the fram­ing, and the discussion.

I often get asked why I study history when the majority of what I do in my “real life” is online and future-oriented. (And it’s worth noting that my like for the subject is often not explanation enough to the kind of people who ask that question.)

I think that blogging and history writing require similar skill sets, namely the ability to aggregate, analyze, and distill disparate sources into a coherent and well-reasoned narrative structure. In that sense, I can see where the author is coming from, but I disagree with his point that history will become less about evidence. A greater number of primary sources doesn’t make the future historian’s task any easier! The challenge just shifts from being about scarcity to being about surplus. Which sources do you choose and why? How does research change when we have too many sources?

That’s why I think that we’ll see future histories deal more overtly with data analysis. Tools like Netbase, Opinion Finder, or the Google- Profile of Mood States [PDF] can and will be leveraged for historical research. Might be a fun project to try something like that at Penn State. Let me know if you’re interested.


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The past, present, and future of making the WordPress Editor work for editors

Presented originally in 2017 at WordCamp Baltimore and adapted for this weekend’s WordCamp Lancaster.


The people you meet at WordCamp

Last weekend I presented at WordCamp Lancaster and had a great time. When I did this last time, I wrote about driving route 30 (the historic Lincoln Highway), but this year I wanted to spotlight a few other attendees, as it’s the people that make WordCamp worth attending. And really, it’s the people that make WordPress and other open source communities so special.


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