History, Context, and Changes Coming to Oddly Historical

Normally, I stay behind the scenes on this site. After all, I cover some pretty big personalities here, and there’s really no reason for me to interject myself into the situation. I’m a big believer in reducing authorial interference as much as possible. Unless, of course, it helps to do so. In the case of this blog, this is one instance where doing so is justified.

I’ve recently had cause to rethink my approach to the blog. Of all things, it began on Facebook. I saw a post paralleling the modern debate over gun rights here in the US to the actions of Hitler in Nazi Germany in the run up to World War II. This isn’t unusual, of course, especially where I live. However, that day I decided to do a bit of myth busting and wrote a fairly long Facebook post about actual Nazi German gun laws, as opposed to how they’re presented in today’s current political morass (this, by the way, will be the subject of a future post, but more on how posts will change later.)

Surprisingly, comments on my miniature Oddly Historical post I slapped together on my Facebook page where positive. One struck me though, because it mentioned how important context is. This made me think about how I approached this blog in the past. It began mostly to indulge my twin interests in weird stuff and history. Like peanut butter and chocolate, they went together pretty well. The concept was to highlight the bits of history that textbooks forgot. History has a bad reputation for being a dry, boring topic. I hoped to show, through some of the stranger bits of the past, how history could actually be very entertaining. However, something was missing, and that comment on what amounted to a Facebook rant put it into perspective: the site lacked any kind of context. It was just a bunch of stuff, all crammed together with no rhyme or reason.

The problem is that I’m not entirely sure how to tackle the problem. After all, with just over a hundred posts in a nine month span, the site has a fair bit of momentum. The solution I have landed on wraps into other changes I’ve been toying with for awhile. The first is to reduce the posting schedule from twice a week to once a week. I’d like to post more, of course, but I work blog around a day job, and sometimes there just is not time or energy to put toward writing. This will allow me to spend more time doing research on each post, hopefully leading to more in depth and better quality posts in the future. Regular posts will be on Saturdays from now on. I intend to give more context within the posts themselves, explaining how the events mesh into current events of the day and the impact they had on our world today. Some posts will, by the nature of the subject matter, be essentially one offs, because some things are just too weird not to share, but by and large I’ll try to demonstrate exactly why all these odd incidents have some relevance.

This scheduling change doesn’t preclude multiple posts during the week. I want to limit longer, research intensive articles to once a week, but I’ve been toying with the idea of editorial style articles (a bit like this one!) that require little or no research to produce. Basically, they’d synthesize the bits and pieces of subject matter into something halfway coherent. I’m also toying with the idea of doing some sort of mini post, but I haven’t decided how to go about that yet.  Also, I’m toying with the idea of building some sort of index page. There isn’t a whole lot of organization on the site at the moment. I’m trying to figure out a way to remedy that situation that doesn’t involve a complete overhaul.

Time will tell how things will turn out. But I’m having fun, and that’s what matters. I hope you are having fun too, and that you’ll join me in these changes. Let me know what you might want to see on the site, be it subject matter or features. I appreciate any input!