Sunday, August 19, 2012

A million thanks

My feelings about closing the blog were distinctly ambivalent even before all the messages. I am so sorry that it has taken me a while to respond, but you all gave me a lot to think about. Thank you SO much for all those messages!  I feel very lucky to have had so many great people reading the blog for all this time, and I am very sorry that I am no longer able to carve out the time to do the job properly. It seemed (and still seems) better to admit defeat rather than trying to do the job, and doing it badly. 

As a thank you to all of you who posted and emailed, here's an offering, not a very good one, but perhaps something that's better than nothing. A lot of people have said that they have a horror of Twitter, or simply that they cannot access it. The best thing about a blog is that it doesn't require membership, and quality control is very easy - something less easy to control on Twitter and even less on Facebook. I do understand why people don't want to sign up to Twitter.  So by way of a very small gesture, I have added my Twitter feed to this page, in the right hand column. It is an exact mirror of everything that I now post on Twitter, with the link to the article at the end of each short post. It will show the most recent 30 posts.  It's not the same as the blog, but it will contain exactly the same news items that I would have posted, just without the excerpts.  I realize that the excerpts are what made it most attractive, but that was the time-consuming bit.  I spent some months on Twitter, getting a feel for it, before doing anything useful with it.  I'm still having trouble getting the message across in so few words, but I'm getting better.

Others have asked whether Egyptological will suffer the same fate.  The answer is, in the words of one of our authors, "a big fat no."  We are working to build a team for Egyptological, with people who will continue to support it in the event of any disaster (like Kate and I being run over by the same bus).  As well as editors and volunteers for various different activities, we will appoint people to look after the site as an enterprise (albeit a non-commercial one).  We have invested an enormous amount of time and energy into Egyptological, and we are committed to its ongoing maintenance.  Doing both of our blogs taught us that one-person or even two-people teams are insufficient, because you never know what life is going to chuck at you.  So we have that in hand.

I will continue to use the blog, not just for the Twitter feed, but to add email newsletters, like the excellent Amarna report, to which I will then link from Twitter.  There are also going to be occasions, as Paul Rymer observed with so much insight, that I won't be able to keep quiet about things that interest me, so there will doubtless be comments and some analysis of particular news stories - again mainly for the purposes of being able to link to them from Twitter.

Obviously, I have regrets.  And I am, of course, suffering withdrawal symptoms!  I have read through all the comments here and on Facebook many times, and can only say THANK YOU so much.  It's been great to be in touch with so many terrific people.

Hugs all round



Vincent said...

I just want to remind your readers that there is no need to sign up to Twitter if all you want to do is read without posting.

All you have to do is visit the Egyptology News Twitter page just as you have been visiting this blog. Simply visit this page:

Vincent (@bennu on Twitter)

AliceG said...

Well, wonderful. I've just checked the site and found I am no way behind time. Thank you. Very happy here.