Hey there, it’s time for another self-referential post, because there are some new things happening around and that’s the way it was and some new things that I hope will be happening soon.
Let’s start with a little recap about social media, because I’m going to pin this post to the top of the blog in place of our tired old social media post but I feel like I should reiterate the same information. All of this blog’s social media outlets can be found at the top of the home page:
We’ve got a nice-to-look-at Pinterest page, a Twitter page that’s an excellent way to follow the site, and a Facebook page that, as promised in my 2018 New Years resolution, actually features unique content from time to time in the form of historical birthdays. Basically when I see a birthday that piques my interest, and I have time to do so, I write a little about that person, like so.
Before we get into the new stuff that’s coming, I also want to reiterate that your support is key to making this whole place go. If you’d like to become a sustaining subscriber to this blog and get access to a lot of additional content in the form of podcasts and essays, please check out my Patreon page for more information. I’ll be referring to subscriber-only content as we move on here, and Patreon is the way to get at it. If you’re not interested in more content but would like to support the regular updates I do here and maybe even help me pay to redesign this site to make it more useful, then please drop whatever you can spare in my PayPal jar. If you’re already supporting this place then thank you, and also please spread the word. The way we get more cool features here is by increasing the cool features budget, which means growing our audience.
OK, so on to the new stuff. There are four things currently in the planning stages around here. Well, one is actually out of the planning stages, actually, but whatever.
- More writers! A while back I set a Patreon goal at which I promised to start looking for guest writers to come in and contribute to attwiw. We’ve hit that goal, and so, well, I’m looking for guest writers to come in and contribute to attwiw. Is that you? Then please drop me a line at attwiw dot submissions at gmail. I want to be clear about a couple of things: I won’t ask anybody to work for no compensation, but this place is still mostly running on a shoestring budget and so I can’t (yet) offer much and I can’t run that many guest pieces per month. Hopefully we’ll keep growing and that will change. I’m especially interested in pieces on history and analyses of international affairs and current US foreign policy. If you have a thinkpiece on lefty foreign policy I would urge you to send it instead to the Fellow Travelers Blog, which is an exciting new venture that aims to build a left foreign policy sphere and is just getting started. We need to build this space out as much as possible and that means multiple outlets that complement one another.
- More podcasting! But different! I’m going to start exploring the idea of quick hit podcasts, maybe 5 minutes or so, on interesting news of the day, or perhaps something that happened on that date in history, or whatever gets my attention. These will be Patreon-only content but they will be available to all Patreon subscribers at the $1 and up levels. This one is still very much in the planning stages so I’m not entirely clear on all the details yet, but I’m hoping to start recording them soon and let the details kind of work themselves out.
- A site redesign! This is really in the planning stages but I have some ideas about how to make this site more appealing and more useful. My problem? Apart from typing words onto WordPress I basically don’t know what I’m doing around here. So maybe that’s where you come in. If you’re good at building websites, are a fan of attwiw, and again understand that we’re just sort of sliding by right now (granted, that’s better than scraping by or not getting by at all), then you should also drop me a line at attwiw dot submissions at gmail. I was going to set up yet another email address for website stuff but then I figured the one email was probably fine for that too.
- A new project! Starting in about 10 days I’m going to undertake a new history-centric project, tracking the journeys of 14th century Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta. I’ll explain who he was in a later post, but for now I’ll say that, over a ~45 year period from 1325 to his death in 1369, Ibn Battuta journeyed from his home in Morocco throughout the Islamic world and beyond on a series of treks that took him as far as China, sub-Saharan Africa, and Spain. He catalogued these adventures in a book called al-Rihlah or “The Travels,” which is available in multiple English translations. It’s an excellent window into a chaotic and challenging period in Islamic history. I’ll be tweeting Ibn Battuta’s progress, adding more detailed information at Facebook, and posting still longer essays at therihlah.com (I’m deliberately not linking to it yet because I haven’t done anything on the site other than securing the name). Some of those longer essays, those that have to do with Ibn Battuta’s experiences, will be available to the public. Others, which will contextualize his trip within the Islamic world of the 14th century and talk about the kingdoms and peoples he encountered along the way, will be available to $5+ per month Patreon subscribers. I will periodically be podcasting about his journey as well for $3+ per month Patreon subscribers.
So that’s it! It seems like a lot when I get it all down in words like this, and I guess it is so I would ask you to bear with me as I take on the extra workload. Someday I hope attwiw gets large enough that it’s not just a one-person operation, but we’re definitely not there yet. Thanks for reading and supporting the site!