The first thing is to thank everyone that reads this blog. There is a joke that I heard once, and have referenced before on postings that most blogs have an audience of one. There were times when I thought this quip was not too far from the truth. Every time some one makes a reference to me on their blog, sends an e-mail, has their visit counted on the page view counter, follows the blog, or makes a comment in the discussion section I am grateful, because it means people are listening.
The second thing worth noting is that this blog is time consuming. I wrote a lot of the early postings for this blog in 2006—three years before I actually started the blog. I had things I wanted to say, I just was not sure where, when or how I would say them. I am pretty proud of those postings, but as time went on I went through those essays, but other issues developed that I wanted to address. The postings that I am most proud of are those that have generally taken the most time to produce. Some of them are:
- The Whole "Eight Questions" Series
- The Whole "The History Ph.D. as..." Series
- Blog XLVI (46): The History Ph.D. as Public Historian
- Blog CII (102): The History Ph.D. as Novelist
- Blog CIII (103): The History Ph.D. as Novelist
- Blog CIV (104): The History Ph.D. as Novelist
- Blog CLXVII (167): Job Hunting Tips: Before Hand
- Blog CLXVIII (168): Job Hunting Tips: The Application
- Blog CLXIX (169): Job Hunting Tips: Know Yourself
- Blog CLXX (170): Job Hunting Tips: Be Prepared
- Blog CLXXI (171): Job Hunting Tips: The Interview(s)
- Blog CLXXII (172): Job Hunting Tips: Follow Up
- Blog CLXXXII (182): "I Want My History TV!"
- Blog CXCIX (199): Reviewing the Official Historian
- Blog CCVIII (208): Ten Greatest Television and Film College Professors
- Blog XII (12): Sex in Grad School—1288 visits at last counting
- Blog XIII (13): Marriage and Grad School—with 12 comments
- Blog XXVII (27): The History Ph.D. in the Military School System—1376 visits at last counting
- Blog XXX (30): The History Ph.D. as a Foreign Service Officer—2005 visits at last counting
- Blog XXXI (31): The History Ph.D. as a Librarian—16 comments and 2607 visits at last counting
- Blog XXXIV (34): The Plight of the Adjunct—9 comments and 1263 visits at last counting
- Blog XLVI (46): The History Ph.D. as Public Historian—7 comments and 2673 visits at last counting
It is also worth noting that two essays on this blog became articles in the American Historical Association's newsletter Perspectives on History: Mike Creswell's Blog VI: Getting in the Door: The Graduate Admissions Process became Michael H. Creswell, "Navigating the Graduate Admissions Process, Perspectives on History (December 2009) and Blog CXLIX (149): "Reform Time" Part III and Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, "Reform Time: Some Proposals to Help Solve the Job Crisis" Perspectives on History, vol. 54, no. 4 (April 2013), 38-39 are the same essay. The blog has also led to my participation in three different conferences panels on the job market.
All of that is a roundabout way of getting to my third point, I think the blog has done some good work. I want to be realistic about that point. I have watched other blogs get much bigger audiences for any number of reasons. I also realized that I had a bigger readership as an undergraduate when I wrote for The Daily Texan, the school paper of the University of Texas. Of course, I was doing daily reporting whereas I am writing about a pretty narrow. professional topic here, but it still makes you take a deep breath and pause for a second.
Final and perhaps the most important point: I am optimistic for the blog about the coming year. I took a lot of time off in 2016 to work on my next book—you might notice that I have not had one published in five years—and for a time considered giving up the ghost and shutting down the blog, but time away has also been a good thing. I have got a lot more to say about the history business. We will have two new entries in "The History Ph.D. as..." series, some more on the Logevall and Osgood debate, more information on non-academic employment, a long essay on another public debate similar to the new one on political history, and some commentary on the blogs of other historians. It should make for some good professional reading.