From the News column of the December 2006 Perspectives
AHA Today: The New Blog on the Web Site
Robert B. Townsend, December 2006
Have you seen AHA Today, the latest development on the ever-evolving AHA web site? AHA Today is a blog (to be found at http://blog.historians.org) launched late in September to bring reports, comments, and notes on the latest happenings in the broad discipline of history and the professional practice of the craft.
The staff and officers of the Association work constantly to support and represent history in meetings, conferences, and a host of other activities. Too often, however, these activities are so immediate or time-sensitive that they never make it into Perspectives. We hope this blog will bridge that gap, by reporting more regularly on these activities while they are still fresh and newsworthy. We want you to know what we are doing on your behalf (whether you happen to be a member or not), and hope to encourage you to feel a part of the work and advocacy efforts of the Association. We also want to hear your voice because it can play a real part in this work.
We hope this blog will serve as a clearinghouse for interesting and perhaps useful information about the profession. This could be a pointer to an interesting newspaper article on changing practices in the history classroom, new data about the qualifications of history teachers in the schools, a significant new book on best practices in the preparation of historical documents, or a significant new internet collection that will be of general interest to students of history. And occasionally this will be news about a forthcoming project or activity that could interest or affect a sizeable portion of the membership.
To that end, the authors of the blog posts will be the professional staff of the AHA and occasional invited guests who can offer a fresh perspective on one of these issues. As anyone who reads blog postings regularly knows well, this medium tends to blur the line between the professional and the personal that seems much more secure in traditional print publication and their web-page analogues. This blog will try to maintain that line, while still bringing the same high quality of writing that you have come to expect from the articles that appear in Perspectives and more recently online in our News Briefs column (which has been incorporated into this blog).
Like the medium that makes this blog possible, we see this as a dynamic work-in-progress. So we encourage you to write to us with your suggestions for topics we need to address and new areas or events we need to cover. The AHA is here to serve the interests of all professional historians, and we hope you will expect no less from this blog.
—Robert B. Townsend is the AHA's assistant director for research and publications.