Since beginning this informal and loosely conceived project, I have become more sensitive to the differences between a blog and a HTML website, of the limitations and advantages of each. I originally intended for openanthropology.org to serve as a back-up for this blog, that is, to serve in a secondary and supportive role. Instead, what I have since realized since I started writing the new site, and completing it finally this week, was that this blog is at best a place of rough work, to be sifted through and selected for final posting on the website. The website then is where work that I consider to be the “best” of this blog is listed, along with additional materials that do not exist on this blog, or that are not clearly visible here.
Unfortunately, the main limitation of blogs, in my view, is that they appear to be an undigested stream of posts, with desperate attempts at organization in the form of tags and categories. It was in fact a feature that turned me off of blogs from the outset, and I only turned to blogging in 2003 out of resignation since it became too complicated and time consuming to operate a regular HTML and e-mail newsletter. In fact, my page on this blog, “List of All Posts,” was one way of allowing people to see all post titles and links at once, without having to incessantly click through pages of posts, through calendars, through archives, or perform searches through a mass of posts. The fact that WordPress instituted “pages” for blogs is its own recognition of the limitations of the blog format.
The Open Anthropology website features, in what I think is an easier to digest format, key components of the OA Project, namely: essays, books, courses, open source ethnographies, papers, music, videos, fiction, and poetry. To try and get a sense of those constituent elements of the project, from this blog, is quite a challenge I think. In addition, the selectivity of which posts from this blog are listed on the site allows for an editional layer of editing, even if not a final one.
I would like to hear what you think about the website, as well as any comments you might have on the differences between blogging and HTML writing.