Tell us what you think about this blog!
Whether you're a regular reader or this is your first visit, we want to hear from you. We appreciate your feedback! Please take five minutes to complete this online survey.
Yesterday, a colleague of mine told me a real-life ghost story. Lauren Jaeger, a contractor in Collections Documentation, had been doing an inventory of part of the collection related to workers on the Panama Canal. As she sifted through photographs, documents, and a particularly morbid telegram, she discovered a historical twist that had escaped notice.
Luckily for Lauren and I, we don’t have to keep this story to ourselves.
Next week, Lauren's blog post will bring the ghost story to light. You'll be able to see the photographs she inventoried and read the century-old letters and documents—real voices from the past. This blog allows us to share behind-the-scenes stories an unexpected angles on history with you as we discover them.
But the blog can also do a lot more.
The blog can be a jumping-off point for discussion, such as when this post about bringing little tots to museums sparked a flurry of commentary on Facebook and Twitter.
It can also provide a platform for participatory projects, such as when we decided to commission a portrait and asked you to decide who it should depict.
Those are just a few of the possibilities. We know there are more. So we’re asking you: what do you want this blog to be? So far, 144 of you have given us your feedback and we’re hoping that even more of you take this short survey.
While waiting to receive our ideal number of responses and close the survey, I couldn't help peeking at what you've said so far.
You identified the blog's strengths, which will help us stay grounded in what works as we make changes:
- "I love having a peek into the museum's 'behind the scenes' operation"
- "The blog often helps me with my family tree search by giving me other areas to research."
Others provided constructive feedback that the blog team is already excited about acting on:
- "More photos to go with the story."
- "More short posts, single photos, interviews, less walls of texts. Most posts are way too long."
- "Have a mobile phone display version."
- "I think you have to diversify your posts so it's focused on different subjects and interests. Decide what your audience is, and how the blog fulfills your mission."
- "...you're writing for a public audience—not an academic one. It needs to be funny and engaging to read!"
You also recommended history blogs to inspire us as we re-envision our blog:
- The Museum of the City of New York's blog, which posted about the "Oyster Wars"
- Boston 1775, which gushed about a historic wedding dress
- The Harry Ransom Center's blog, which explored the re-telling of war narratives
- The Tenement Museum's blog, which explained how New York immigrant families made dinner in apartments without running water, electricity, or refrigeration
- Two Nerdy History Girls, which divulged how to reveal your future spouse on Halloween
We try to be real and honest on the blog. We hope you are, too, when you share your feedback with us!