A few days ago WordPress notified me that I’ve been blogging for 10 years!
Some will remember that Sowing the Seed actually began in 2006 using Apple’s iWeb software. In any case, the anniversary was a good reminder for me to take a look around at what’s been going on at StS. Believe it or not, it’s easy for me to forget.
I was trying to find archived images of StS and came up short. (Apple and I did a great job at wiping the slate clean.) I did come across a quaint discussion of the then-emerging feature know as “Push.”
Of course the social web presumes use of “push” and “the cloud,”‘but in the early days of the site, I used a lot of workarounds to make the Gen-1 iPod Touch manage blog posts and feed updates on-the-go. This is to say nothing of the digital camera and camcorder I rocked with my white MacBook (which I affectionately called “iPod Jumbo”).
The good-riddance trip down memory lane got me thinking about how I’ve navigated the changing internet and academic blogosphere. It helped me realize the extent to which Sowing the Seed is more than a website.
The community it represents is increasingly active @seedpods on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On each platform, I try to include different facets of teacher-scholarship. Facebook tends to be more link sharing of interesting reads and the latest news at StS. Twitter’s where most of the talkback happens. And Instagram features behind the scenes video and images of my study–with the occasional Kid Newton and Kid Twoton photobomb. There’s some overlap between all of these, and my presence admittedly shifts among them. My point is that something is usually going on at StS.
What’s most exciting is the impact StS is having among readers and contributors alike. In the past week, I’ve received a surprising amount of messages saying something like, “I saw your blog and I’m planning on trying something like this in my classroom.” This past month people have reached out to say that either they’re listening to Broadcast Seeding or planning on recording their own podcasts and videos. (BTW, More of this kind of stuff is on the way.)
I don’t know what will come of the website in future days. My plan is to live into the thing I’ve created rather than to make plans. After all, I bought the .org domain name because it was cheaper than the .com and .net. And it probably was about ten years until I got the idea of having guest posts, and that’s been one of the best things to come of the site.
Another good thing to come is that my writing here has led to writing opportunities elsewhere. I’m going to try and be better about posting clips to some of these pieces. I may even share some that I’ve already done just to catch up.
I’ve also begun to explore the idea of hosting some real-time video and text-based social media conversations on religion, culture, and teaching. They would be archived here as a resource. I figure that since this community has been great for professional development, this might be avenue to explore further. If your interested in, say, talking through course design, let’s make it happen.
For now, I’m just trying to kick off this semester.
“Qué Será Será”
Till next time,
Richard Newton, PhD is curator of Sowing the Seed and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College. His scholarship focuses on the anthropology of scriptures. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @seedpods