David Patrick McKenzie

Digital Public Historian

Blog title angst, or, crowdsourcing a new title

I’d like to change my blog title, but am having a hard time deciding what I want to call it. So I’m asking you, all two of you (if that) who read this blog, your thoughts. Some criteria and titles that I’m considering:

  • I’ve never really been sold on “McKenzie’s Musings,” as I’m afraid it sounds too pretentious. I’m not someone with enough gravitas to be “musing” on various subjects. I mainly came up with that name as a temporary title. Simply changing it to “Musings” wouldn’t work, as my Museum Studies M.A. program uses that. I’m debating whether to include my name, as it (for better or worse) doesn’t lend itself to good puns, a la Greg Weeks’s “Two Weeks Notice.” But I’ve also seen advice to title the blog as simply your name, or some variation that you use frequently, e.g., a Twitter handle–to “brand” yourself consistently.
  • Another thought: Something that reflects what I’m studying–a combination of North American and Latin American history, particularly 18th and early 19th century (i.e., history of the Americas or hemispheric history). I like the title of Colin Snider’s “Americas South and North.” Chad Black’sParezco y Digo” is cleverly based on a saying he found in Spanish colonial legal documents from Ecuador that he studied. I’ve thought about something along the lines of “Straddling the Rio Grande.”
  • At the same time, the subject matter on which I’m planning my dissertation is not most of what I’m writing about in the blog, or reflective of my current public history job for that matter. So I’m also thinking of some variation on the theme of history, as many of my classmates use. What that would be, I’m not sure.
  • Perhaps something a bit more general but still evocative of the era of study, like Kenneth Owen’s “The Committee of Observation and Inspection.”

Some notes about my intent with this blog: I initially started it for a class, but I had considered blogging for a long time. As a public historian beginning to get my feet wet in the digital history world and pushing into the academic history world, I plan to continue it, not just for my classes but to comment on, for example, current events and my own research.

So, crowd, what are your thoughts? If you were me, what would you call this blog?

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been having difficultly thinking of titles for my assignments and my blog as well. I’ve settled on not trying to find a name that encompasses everything about my website and blog. My blog for this class (and Clio I) has been renamed “Clio in Binary.” If I expand my blog beyond this class (which I probably will), I’ve decided on naming it “th[in]gs” (or more completely “in medias res”). In theory then “Clio in Binary” would become a page of my blog or a sub-blog or something. Often the best names come to you either as your finishing the work (not really applicable with a blog, I know) or while you’re thinking of something else entirely. I hope this provides some help.

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