Reflecting on museumgeek’s first three months

Posted on July 15, 2011

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This blog has now been running for just shy of three months. In that time, I’ve written 31 posts, and received double that many comments (yep – you’re starting to talk back, which is awesome). Within a day or two, I should hit 2500 views, which is significantly more than I imagined I would have at the start (and even more surprising because my Mum has only read the site once – so it’s not just her!). I’ve been shocked (and excited) to find people responding to my ideas by writing entire posts of their own (and here), and have been honoured to discover my site listed in blogrolls of people whom I respect.

With all this, museumgeek has thoroughly exceeded my expectations.

What has surprised me is finding out the posts that get the most reads and reactions. When I started blogging, I thought I’d post a fair bit about technical innovation in museums. After all, that’s what the people whose blogs I read write about, and they’re always interesting to me.

What I quickly learned however is that the difference between those bloggers and me is that I’m not actually a tech geek. I might love technology and enjoy seeing the technological advances taking place in museums, but I have neither the background nor the mindset needed in order to best exploit the possibilities of technology.

Instead, it’s my more philosophical posts like Museum objects and complexity, Visualising the museum collectionWho owns the virtual space in your museum? and Who are you collecting for? that have drawn the greatest interest. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this… museums are inextricably linked with philosophy, and my own bent of inquiry leans towards the existential. I probably write more passionately on these issues than on other things. Despite this, I didn’t expect that these would be the posts that would inspire the greatest response.

So there is that. In the last few days, this feedback has led me to start reconsidering the approach I was intending to take in my PhD. Although I need to discuss this with my supervisor, I’m starting to think that my research should be a philosophical inquiry, rather than a strictly “scientific” one. This is probably a silly idea… It will involve far more work, and be a lot harder. But I also think it will be a very interesting approach, and will certainly push me to look deeply into the issues. Hmm. I’ll keep you posted on this idea once I talk to my supervisor…

On a personal level, I’ve discovered that blogging is a lot of work, but very enjoyable. My writing muscles are growing stronger from regular use, and writer’s block is far less tyrannical than it was. Writing for an audience is great for helping me clarify my thoughts – although I still get scared every time I hit the “publish” button in case I’ve said something really stupid… although even if I do, hopefully you guys will take me to task for it so I can learn something new as a result.

In the mean time, thanks for reading and being part of my first three months!

Posted in: Ideas, PhD, Uncategorized