I’m starting this last EMUTalk.org post about two weeks before the start of the Fall 2015 term, just under three weeks before the account I’ve been using to host this site will lapse. I’ll keep the domain name for at least a year, but very soon, I’ll be shutting things down.
To keep up on new EMUTalk-type news, check out (and hopefully join!) the Facebook group page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/emutalk/ For the entire archive of this site, check out https://emutalkarchive.wordpress.com/ It’s only an archive– that is, I won’t be posting there or maintaining with any regularity, but it is a record of the entire site, including comments.
We’ve been through a lot here, folks. There have been 2,799 posts and 14,165 approved comments (and counting). I don’t have great data on the number of visits, but considering the fact that the site has had about 423,000 hits since 2011 and there was a lot more traffic when the site started in 2006, I’m pretty sure the overall total is well over a million hits– not exactly google.com sorts of numbers, but pretty large for a little site devoted talk about Eastern Michigan.
Writing and maintaining EMUTalk has been extremely rewarding to me in lots and lots of different ways. I feel like I helped create a space where all kinds of people could talk about EMU related issues, and I like to think that the conversation made positive contributions to the EMU community. I’ve had the chance to meet a ton of folks at EMU I would have never met otherwise, I’ve informally chatted with many members of the board over the years, and I’ve had coffee with administrators and other folks about the “PR function” of EMUTalk on campus. Geoff Larcom started sending me press releases about a variety of EMU events as if I was actually a “source.”
We’ve talked about ugly faculty strikes, about murders, about failed computer systems, about supposedly drunken presidents, about Hurons, about terrible football coaches, about dangerous apartment complexes, about parking, about general higher education ridiculousness. We’e also talked about fantastic students, great faculty, and even a few pretty good administrators once in a while, about outstanding achievements, about great ideas that came from folks on our campus, about the joys of college, and even about successful contract negotiations. Rarely has it been about emus.
Even though I’ve spelled this out already, I feel like it’s worth repeating why I’m shutting EMUTalk.org down. It boils down to four things:
- I started the site as an effort in “citizen journalism” and there were a lot of different contributors in the first couple years. But, long story-short, it didn’t quite work out the way I was hoping. And as a slight tangent here, the same fate has met most citizen journalism efforts. I’ve tried to restart the contributor thing a couple of times and of course I have posted lots of things based on emails I’ve received from many loyal readers. But it just started to feel like it was too much about me, and since I already have my own blog, I don’t really need another place about me me me.
- When I was on sabbatical in winter, I realized that I was spending a lot more time on EMUTalk.org than I really thought I was. Or maybe another way of putting it: while trying to work on researching and writing a book and while I wasn’t teaching or on campus much, I started to really see how the 15 or 30 or so minutes every day on EMUTalk.org started to add up and take away from what I could have/should have been doing.
- EMUTalk.org isn’t as popular anymore. There are lots of reasons for this, but a part of it is the drop-off of readers of blogs generally in favor of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Which is fine, and it’s why I wanted to continue this as a Facebook group: less work, more opportunity for others to contribute, and folks are already “doing” social media things.
- It was time to do something different after nine years.
So I’ll keep blogging at my own site about all kinds of different things, including things having to do with EMU. I’ll certainly be posting to the EMUTalk Facebook group on a regular basis, and I hope you all a) join and b) do the same thing. But this, this is how EMUTalk.org ends.