1) Irene Martyniuk: I’m a big believer that we are and have to be our own first audience for a blog, especially in those early days when we can’t be sure that many other folks are reading. But even in the early days, and most every day since, my colleague and friend Irene has been not just a loyal AmericanStudies reader, but one who shares her own responses and ideas for many of my posts and series. I’ll go one step further: I don’t know if I would have kept the daily blogging going, certainly not in the early days and maybe not at some tougher points along the way, without Irene’s reading and responses. Thanks, Irene!
2) Rob Velella: What we also need, especially in the early days of blogging, is peers and compatriots, folks who are doing their version of the same thing and with whom we can feel that sense of solidarity and community. No other public scholarly blog did that for me half as perfectly as Rob’s American Literary Blog; Rob and I came to realize we had a lot more in common and to build on than that, including the Massachusetts city of Waltham (Rob’s hometown) once I moved there in January 2013, but I’ll always be especially grateful to the American Literary Blog for helping show me the way, giving me another platform (and helping me give Rob one), and being such a great AmericanStudying blogging buddy. Thanks, Rob!
3) Guest Posters: Both Irene and Rob have contributed Guest Posts to AmericanStudies, and they’re not alone; I’m now at more than 55 Guest Posts and counting! Some of them have come from old friends and even family members; others from longstanding colleagues, at FSU and beyond; and still others from folks I’ve not yet had the chance to meet in person. But no matter who they are, those Guest Posters have without exception contributed my favorite posts across this blog’s 10-year history. I always say that public scholarship is a form of teaching, and by that I don’t mean that I’m the authoritative voice at the front of the room; I mean that, like the best classrooms always are, it’s a conversation and a community. These 55+ folks have helped make sure that AmericanStudies is a wonderful, evolving and expanding version of both of those things. Thanks, Guest Posters!
4) Crowd-Sourcers: My second favorite type of post are the crowd-sourced ones, which as you can see under that hyperlinked label now number more than 120. I love the chance to share so many voices and ideas in those posts, but I think I love even more the collecting of those contributions: putting out the call on Facebook and Twitter, and through the responses getting reminded of the many awesome folks, from every stage and side of my life and identity, to whom I’m connected. And those posts can serve both those purposes as long as this blog is online, the internet exists, society doesn’t crumble, etc.—they can continue to offer crowd-sourced suggestions on so many topics, and can continue to remind me of how lucky I am in my friends and communities. Thanks, Crowd-Sourcers!
5) You (Yes, You): From what I can tell, as of late 2020 AmericanStudies gets between 400 and 500 discrete views a day. I highlight that number to say two things: as I’ve said many times before, I’d really love to hear from y’all, whether in comments here or by email, about what brought you here and what you found; but even if I never do, I want you to know that I’m profoundly appreciative that you’ve spent a bit of your time in this space with me. Thanks, you!
Back to our regular programming with a new series starting Monday,
PS. You know what to do!