The conversation that I struck up last week on the viability of the email listserv as a primary mode of scholarly communication has been picked up on the H-German list. I have no way of knowing if Paul Steege of Villanova University even read what I’d written, but even if he has not, he raises the same issues that I did in a recent post on the list. What I particularly like about Steege’s posting is that while I was talking about the general case of email vs. Web 2.0 applications, he offers a very specific instance of how we might look at the difference between an email listserv and a public blog.
A conversation of sorts on this issue has now begun on the H-German list. Dan Rogers, of the University of South Alabama asked (in response to Steege):
“[I]s it time for H-German and other such networks to consider the next great leap, away from e-mail and RSS feeds of e-mail, into a blogging format? Multiple simultaneous yet isolated conversations about different subjects would be possible, rather than the one conversation we have now, which sometimes drifts into an infrequent monologue because no one dares (or cares) to comment.”
Both of these posts on H-German are well worth a close read.
2 thoughts on “The End of H-Net? (4)”
Thanks for the tip about the interesting discussion at H-German, which I see has continued in recent days. On Friday, September 21, Erik C. Maiershofer mentioned something about the actions of a moderator that I had noted here on Edwired earlier in my comments about another H-Net discussion list. Dr. Maiershofer wrote of H-German that
“My experience has been that this list tends to be rather restrictive in its editorial policies. Discsussions that do emerge are rather quickly cut off if, in someone’s mind, they are no longer producing productive discsourse. I have seen this on a number of occassions, and when I asked an editor about this, the response I received was that a)this policy was discussed and agreed upon by the H-German community and b)some were
complaining about the number of email messages filling their in-boxes.”
I have not subscribed to enough different H-Net Lists to know whether some moderators/editors are more flexible about cutting off topics than others.
I see that this week H-Net announced the formation of a new List, H-FedHist. See
Among the editors for the new list are people listed with email addresses for the Department of State and the National Archives.
I don’t know the extent to whether academic editors are required by their employers to consider the representational aspect of appearing in public forums with an institutional affiliation. Some government agencies apply more message discipline to the so-called “representational function” of their employees than do others.
Having once taken part in April 2001 on H-Diplo with Jeffrey Kimball, Warren Kimball, Hayden Peake, and Eduard Mark in a very candid discussion of the efforts by the National Archives to release State Department Lot Files, I’m interested to see if such will crop up on H-FedHist. I haven’t subscribed to it yet, but am a member of the Society for History in the Federal Government, which is associated with H-FedHist.
I’ve been following this series of posts, and the discussion they’ve engendered, with some interest.
It recently occurred to me that the opensource software that powers LiveJournal might be an ideal platform for a new, more 21st century H-Net…
I’ve posted about it here:
…I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have.
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