Once upon a time (well, two years ago), I asked on twitter "where are all the historians?". The answer became the Twitterstorians.
The 7th September marks the second birthday of the #twitterstorians list. We had a small party last year, and since then the list has continued to grow! We've been mentioned on the American Historical Association blog, and it's interesting to see how use of Twitter is spreading, particularly among more senior academics.
If twitter had existed earlier in my academic career, my dissertation would have been the stronger for it. On the other hand, it might not have been finished...
Twitter (and the #twitterstorians) have been a godsend to me the last couple of years, when I've been working at home. Having the daily water-cooler type chat with colleagues (who happen to be thousands of miles away) has helped me immensely. And being able to turn to such a resource of historical knowledge is at times, mindblowing. I've been introduced to new fields, and some of the best articles I've read. I'm using it more and more, as I get much quicker responses to my tweets than I ever do to email....
I am interested to see how a critical mass of historians on twitter changes other things about the field, from conference organisation to the job market (the wiki, for all its shortcomings, has already had a dramatic effect in how people approach searches; in the past I have been wikijected, and this year I found out that I didn't get a fellowship because I saw the recipient post it on twitter! While that was disappointing, I'd rather find out sooner than be kept hanging for months).
Some twitterstorians (and other people I had originally known online, through the Chronicle of Higher Education fora) became members of the editorial board of Transnational Subjects. We've discussed editorial goals, recruited submissions, and sought advice and expressions of interest from other historians. We even found our publisher, @gylphi! There is no way that without twitter we could have done it at such speed or so successfully.
Some other #twitterstorians who are posting to mark the date are:
Jonathan Dresner - @jondresner
Rachel Herrmann - @raherrmann
Kathryn Tomasek - @kathryntomasek
Wilko Hardenberg - @wilkohardenberg
Suzanne Fischer - @publichistorian
Charlotte Riley - @lottelydia
Mark Cheathem - @markcheathem
Sharon Howard - @sharon_howard
Kelly Hignett - @kellyhignett
Janice Liedl - @jliedl
Brett Holman - @airminded
Kelly Baker - @kelly_j_baker
Heather Prescott - @hmprescott
and from @ministorian in the #historynoir theme:
You can see more #historynoir at his tumblr.