Article (Blogging Crime Histories)
Rather than asking should historians use social media - a question frequently posed online and increasingly discussed in seminars and conferences - this article explores how historians currently use blogging and micro-blogging, and how these media are transforming the ways we think and write about history. Blogging, the article argues, has the potential to ‘turn history upside down’ by breaking down traditional hierarchies separating amateur and professional, young and old, theorist and practitioner, reader and writer. Where early blogger-historians tended to be associated with large-scale digital projects and concerned with digital humanities methodologies, the article detects the emergence of a new generation, led by postgraduates and early careers researchers, committed to writing accessible ‘history from below’. Social media is not simply a tool to reach a larger audience for, as a medium, its visual, interactive and open-ended features allow us - encourage us even - to be more creative and reflective. Consequently, the article proposes, blogging is becoming an integral and dynamic part of the research process, not simply a supplement to scholarly publication or a work-in-progress version of it.