writing a book about blogs!
This spring I was asked by Andrea Drugan at Polity Press whether I’d be interested in writing a book about blogging for their new series of books on new media. A few weeks ago, I signed the contract!
So that’s my big project for this year – my deadline is September 1, 2007, which is just two months after my sabbatical starts, so I’m going to have to do the bulk of the writing while running the department and teaching and so on. That means discipline and writing a bit every day. Right now I’m working on the prehistory of blogs. I’ve been reading a lot about the introduction of print, and thinking about the many connections between that and blogging today.
And I’m strangely shy about blogging it. I’m not sure why.
7 thoughts on “writing a book about blogs!”
That’s pretty cool news Jill. Good thing to include a historical perspective – way to go.
jill/txt » blogtalk
[…] Right, I’m going to BlogTalk in Vienna in a couple of weeks time. I’ve been dithering about registering and getting the plane ticket and all the rest of it, but now I’ve done it (nothing like having a deadline to make me get to small practical tasks) and I’m going. It’ll be my first time – I didn’t go to the previous Blogtalks, but I figure writing a book on blogging means I should keep up with the field! […]
This is cool! I’m definitely taking a look at the book when it’s finished!
But here’s an idea for you: Why not blog the book while writing it? That is, the stuff you say you’re going to write each day, don’t just write it for yourself, blog it! Maybe that will clutter up this blog too much, then you could just create a book-about-blogging-blog (blogbook.jilltxt.net?).
I don’t know if you like the idea of releasing that much of your work into the wild while it’s still a work in progress, or if you’re even allowed to do that by your publisher. But of course you wouldn’t have to blog everything, and it would mostly be the drafts, that I’m sure will be changed a lot before the book is actually published, that would be blogged. I think it would be very cool, especially since it’s a book about blogging, and it could even help you make the book better by listening to the comments you’ll get.
I’ve thought of blogging the writing of the book, but I’m not quite sure exactly what I’d want to do. Obviously blogging it would be in the spirit of the book and of blogging in general, and might well be motivating for me too. And no doubt I’d get lots of useful feedback, and it would probably be great promotion for the book too. I have reservations though, too – which I sort of cover in part in my chapter in Uses of Blogs about what it’s like being a research blogger during the transition from PhD student (i.e. very peripheral to the academic system) to established academic with a real university job. (I got permission to put that paper online, so it’s now available in my university’s open research archive.) I should probably just get past that though 😉
I might have to talk with my editor about blogging the book, see what they think. And of course there are various levels of blogging it – I don’t think I’d want to blog every word I write.
I recently enjoyed Hugh Hewitt’s book BLOG that laid out a history of print and text and how it all unfolded and got us to this point. Your perspective may be different, but I enjoyed reading him and learned a lot about the journey.
I have Hewitt’s book at my office, but hadn’t actually opened it because the cover looks so over-sensationalist I assumed it was, well, um, drivel to be honest. Thanks for tipping me off to interesting content in it – I’ll have a look!