The Unstoppable Twitterstorians

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Back in September 2009 Katrina Gulliver, urban historian and all round talented web person,  started to compile a list of people who responded affirmatively to a question she posed on Twitter: ‘Where are all the historians on Twitter?’

Yesterday, I asked where all the historians were on twitter. Thanks to the generosity of retweets, my message got around, and I received greetings from many – and I decided to compile a list here (including anything they posted about what they work on).

and today marks the anniversary of that list. Those  on the list (including myself) were branded ‘Twitterstorians’. With the anniversary coming up Katrina (on twitter, natch) asked if anyone wanted to post some comments on this milestone and as I posted on it at the time (see here) I wanted to take up that suggestion and offer my thoughts one year on.

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It’s fair to say Katrina’s initial lists formed the backbone of my nascent follow list, and looking at it they still do to a large extent. Some accounts have fallen by the wayside and I’ve found many more via the people I followed initially, but most have proved to be the bedrock of a highly satisfying social and intellectual network. In last year’s post it’s interesting to see that what I was most concerned about was whether I could, or should, class myself as an historian. I think actually I missed the point a little bit. I think the joy of hashtags such as ‘Twitterstorian’ is that it is self-defined and is therefore more inclusive than just a list of ‘academic historians’. It’s got me on it for example! On that point, I’ve started to come across more academic historians on twitter as the year has gone on, but there still aint enough, get your finger out academics.

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Sooo, a year on I’m confronted with a different problem and that is the sheer volume of history content that whizzes around on twitter on a daily basis. Aside from the many links to quality stuff ( TV programmes, blogs, websites, sources, museums, exhibitions, the list is endless) I also get insights into the work and thoughts of history professionals of all sorts and the musings of amateurs and writers. It’s this diversity that is the most rewarding aspect. I studied Jewish History and Culture at university and when I returned to history I focused on the Restoration (as evident on this blog) but Twitter has introduced me to a much wider gamut of periods and approaches than I would otherwise have discovered by just browsing the old google; Georgian, Victorian, Medical, Scientific, Tudor, Literature. The sad thing is that I probably miss more than I get to read or view.  It is, however, a nice dilemma to have and in this Internety age it’s a common problem across all interests I suppose. I’d love to read more, and with a little more discipline I probably could. So more historians on Twitter please, and say hello. Oh… and get yourself added to the Twitterstorian list!

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2 thoughts on “The Unstoppable Twitterstorians

  1. Pingback: Early Modern Notes » Twitter, blogging and historians

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