This is my 610th and final post on Thinking Culture. I’ve been running the blog for around 2 years and 4 months. This is a lot longer than I expected it to run when I first set it up. I originally set the blog up as a way to observe what I ended up calling ‘the politics of circulation‘, I was developing a book project at the time and I wanted to understand the folding-back of data into culture – including what became visible and what didn’t. The blog served it’s purpose, allowing me to see how content circulated, whilst also taking on a life of its own. I ended up averaging several posts a week and archiving all sorts of materials. Most of the posts curated interesting content that roughly related to culture, but I also added longer posts on things I had read, academic practices, cultural analysis or responding to things I thought were interesting. This seemed to work ok and over time the blog built a modest number of readers (most though were discovering the content through search engine connections to tags I’d used or by clicking on a Twitter link).
Having the blog has been productive in the large part. I was able to develop ideas and archive materials for potential use in my research and teaching. I also made lots of connections with people I didn’t previously know (this was probably the best thing about it). So I’d certainly recommend blogging to others.
Given what I’ve said, you might wonder why I’m stopping. There are a couple of key reasons why I’ve made the decision. In the time since I started this blog the opportunities to write in different formats has drastically escalated. There are now some great spaces that make the most of the communicative potential of new media forms. I won’t list them here, but there are a number of really good online magazines and variations on multi-authored blogs now. One thought I’d had was that I’d like to be more of a part of this community and network of (genuinely open access) knowledge creation and sharing. I want to take the limited time I have and use it to write for these collaborative outlets. There are opportunities to be a part of these developments, and I’d like to free up some time to do that. I’ve really enjoyed writng pieces for these types of spaces in the past, and i’d like to try to do more of that sort of writing and blogging. Having your own blog is a solitary (if networked) practice, and I’d like to put more effort into being part of these emergent collaborative publication spaces. As my workload has grown in various ways, I’d simply like to prioritise this other mode of writing/blogging for a while. This means I’ll no longer be able to curate content in the same way, but I think it will be enjoyable and worthwhile to take this alternative approach for a while and focus on more substantive type posts for various outlets. And there are still some great places to go to keep-up with interesting and important books, talks and the like – progressivegeographies.com is still the best blog for keeping-up with important publications etc.
Alongside all of this, I’ve blogged previously about my new role at Theory, Culture & Society. A little while ago I joined the journal’s editorial board (as social media editor), and I also co-edit their open site. The TCS site is a kind of open access supplement to the journal. I’d recommend taking a look, it can be found at theoryculturesociety.org . I’ve been working on this for a few months and it’s been great. The site is really developing now. I see this as an important development, and I want to put as much time as possible into helping to make it a really vibrant resource. I’ve been commissioning pieces, a number of which are now on the site, and I’ve also recently completed three interviews with authors (the most recent interview can be found here). If you are interested in the general themes covered by the journal I’d recommend following the developments at the TCS site. As well as interventions and interviews we also publish video abstracts. Soon we hope to add book reviews and other types of content. At the moment we are publishing a couple of pieces a week, and this is likely to increase over time. Part of the reason for ending Thinking Culture will be to focus my efforts on developing the TCS site. It is already proving to be an interesting role, and the site is, I think, publishing some really interesting materials.
So these are the reasons. For a while at least I’d like to focus on the above (for anyone who is interested I’ll keep using Twitter, for the time being at least @davidgbeer ). It’s been very enjoyable using this blog and I may possibly resurrect it one day – it was a hard decision to stop and I may find I miss using it. For the moment I’d like to focus on writing and editing for these collaborative ventures. Thanks for your interest in my blog, I hope it was of some use (the archive will still be available). I also hope you might add theoryculturesociety.org to your regular eading list (the TCS site can also be followed on Twitter @TCSjournalSAGE ).