Wednesday, May 7, 2014

First year review of Celtic2Realms-medieval news blogspot

First year review of Celtic2Realms-medieval news blogspot

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

On this day, one year ago, i.e. 7th May 2013, I published the first article on my blog called Celtic2Realms-medievalnews. The article was called A life of Adam Pode in fourteenth century Gloucester. The title was a bit of fun word play. Adam as the first man in the Bible was an appropriate name for the first article while Pode is near to IPad and modern technology with the internet and blogging as part of that modern technology. The joy was that Adam Pode was a real person who walked the earth 650 years ago. The article got 120 views on my blog and 129 views on my page from where it was featured on the website – a very nice result for a first article.

Writing medieval manuscripts so we could write medieval blogs

A long beginning

The idea of writing a blog was in long gestation. I created the blog in November 2010 with the idea of posting articles on medieval history using the record books I had to hand. But distractions of the day job and problems with my computer meant that the blog was left still-born for nearly three years. For much of 2012 and the early months of 2013 I suffered some mental health problems and found it difficult to write articles for journals of County and Local Historical Societies.

By starting to post articles on medieval history concerning Ireland and Britain – the 2 realms of the Celtic2Realms – on this blog, it would give me a vehicle to write articles that may not be fully formed as a historical society journal would expect an article to be on high standard. The blog would help me, therefore, to get out of the rut of dong little or no writing of medieval history and hopefully over time get back to publishing in historical journals and may be even publish a book or two.

As the internet expects fresh content on a constant basis it was my plan to write and post an article every week. But of course plans are great for never actually succeeding in full measure. Instead I managed to write 40 articles in 52 weeks which is not bad and got an article published in a County Historical Society Journal in the same past year.

Others on the internet have written that a blog has a life-span of about three years and that many blogs never get past the first three posts. Well – on this blog I did get past the first three posts and made 43 posts in the first year. Not all 43 posts are full articles on medieval history. One of the posts is an index of early articles [].This post was made because the list of published articles on appears on screen for the current month. You have to scroll down through the different months to find earlier articles. In this review article all the blog posts are listed below with a link to each article.

Two other posts - and were written because I was well behind on publishing regular articles and just wanted to tell my readers that they were not forgotten – that the three year life-span of a blog had not reached just yet.

The statistics

In this first year of blogging has got 12 followers – 13 actually – but one of them is I – a good commander has to lead by example and another 20 people on email notification. Ok – not a monster meeting following compared to some blog sites but I value all my followers and email recipients very much and am delighted with their companionship.

The articles are mostly promoted via sharing on Facebook history sites. One could use such vehicles as twitter but I have little grasp of how twitter works especially when the twitter account I did set up a few years back keeps changing the password every time I tried to enter it and so I just opened the window and left twitter to go free!  

As said, in the first year I had 40 articles with 12,394 page-views (whatever they are supposed to be!). The highest readership was for the article on the deaths of Professors James Lydon and Mike Aston - - with 4,321 views. Sorry James but I think the name of Mike Aston is generating the most Google hits for the article. The specific article on Professor James Lydon generated 222 views.  

The article with the lowest readership views was on - with just 9 views. The problem with promoting material on Facebook is that posts can quickly fall down the news wall and just get lost in the avalanche of other posts.

Types of published articles

The big Google hits generated by Mike Aston would encourage a writer to only write articles on popular people and events so as to get the most internet hits. Yet my policy as a historian is to as much as possible go off the wide roads of research and venture into the places and people who history has forgotten. The harvest in any period of history is vast and the labourers are often few, yet thankfully growing in number – thus there is a whole world out there as the source for new articles and books.

It is easy to write about the well-known people and events of history and get loads of hits but popularity is not everything. To write articles on people and places that have had few published articles to date means a lot of long hours searching the original sources and trying to understand what is the story with few markers to determine that story. That is one of the reasons why I did not achieve the target of one article per week. Had I written about popular people and events we could have done two articles a week – on a good week!

Yet I enjoy wandering off on roads less travelled by - meeting people and places that are as important to our understanding of the past and to our understanding of our own time. The articles I have written about used the books published by such organisations as the Somerset Record Society, Wiltshire Record Society and the Irish Manuscripts Commission – to name but a few – who work tirelessly to make available edited versions of original documents so that people who live far from the main archive libraries can take part as fully as possible it the joyful exploration of history.  

Over the coming year I hope to write and post more articles on medieval history. I say thank you, to you the reader, for coming this far along the road. I have enjoyed publishing the articles listed below and have found the experience of writing and publishing to be fulfilling. I look forward to your continued companionship on this time travel through medieval history. Thank you very much.  

Articles published in the first year

7th May 2013
A life of Adam Pode in fourteenth century Gloucester = 120 views

17th May 2013
Thomas le Reve, first bishop of the united diocese of Lismore and Waterford = 130 views

6th June 2013
Keynesham family of Gloucester in the early fourteenth century = 42 views

19th June 2013
Index to published articles = 39 views

27th June 2013
Royal Constables of Cashel, Co. Tipperary = 181 views

1st July 2013
Professors James F. Lydon and Mike Aston = 4,321 views

2nd July 2013
Professor James F. Lydon, M.R.I.A., biography and bibliography = 222 views

16th July 2013
Morland vicarage and the lost book = 90 views

19th July 2013
Medieval Record Sources in Printed Books and Articles = 183 views

1st August 2013
Knockanore in medieval times = Writing about castles and abbeys for the August Bank Holiday = 59 views

27th August 2013
Rincrew Religious House, Co. Waterford = 135 views

1st September 2013
Matthew the Archdeacon of Bath, 1333-1342 = 20 views

10th September 2013
Edward Curtis, burgess of Wells in the fifteenth century = 28 views

15th September 2013
Knockanore in Cork or Waterford in Early Christian times = 74 views

23rd September 2013
Thomas Fitz Anthony: thirteenth century Irish administrator = 126 views

30th September 2013
Molana Abbey in County Waterford, Ireland = 137 views

8th October 2013
Editing Youghal Harbour shipping records = 27 views

18th October 2013
Dovecotes in the Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous Volume Eight = 141 views

31st October 2013
Nicholas Cusack, Bishop of Kildare 1279-1299 = 62 views

21st November 2013
In search of a woman in the time of King John and Henry III = 65 views

27th November 2013
Gloucestershire people hedging their bets in the political instability of 1470 = 72 views

30th November 2013
The building, fixtures and fittings of the medieval Irish Exchequer = 54 views

9th December 2013
Henry de Pont-Audemer: a royal official of King John and Henry III = 42 views

13th December 2013
Mocollop Castle, Co. Waterford: A history of a medieval castle: Chapters one & two = 101 views

16th December 2013
Kildemock parish in medieval times and the jumping church = 71 views and 1 count

23rd December 2013
Mocollop Castle, Co. Waterford: A history of a medieval castle: Chapters three & four = 82 views

27th December 2013
Mocollop Castle, Co. Waterford: A history of a medieval castle: Chapters five & six = 117 views

30th December 2013
Mocollop Castle, Co. Waterford: A history of a medieval castle: Chapters seven, eight & nine = 50 views

9th January 2014
Dean John Bernard of Tamworth and the sale of the church books = 24 views

23rd January 2014
Irish Parliament of 1264: The first Irish parliament or just another parliament = 65 views

24th January 2014
Dovecots of Llanthony Priory in Ireland = 26 views

31st January 2014
Feast days, church holidays and the market = 9 views

3rd February 2014
Church activities and saving the harvest = 16 views

11th February 2014
Margaret de Cormeilles and a miscarriage of justice = 55 views

12th February 2014
Geoffrey of Crowcombe: a witness to early thirteenth century Ireland = 49 views

16th February 2014
Okyle parish, church and people in County Waterford = 72 views and 2 comments

2nd March 2014
Anchorites at churches and elsewhere = 61 views and 2 comments

21st March 2014
Huish manor in Wiltshire: from death to debt = 40 views

31st March 2014
Pedigree of John Goien in medieval Amesbury, Wiltshire = 28 views

18th April 2014
Good Friday 1014: Brain Boru, Clontarf and the long shadow = 36 views

20th April 2014
Dublin apprentices admitted to freedom 1468-1470 = 12 views

26 April 2014
Mary Magdalene buildings and places in Ireland: first report = 62 views

5th May 2014
Irish Parliament of 1269 = 13 views


End of post and looking forward to the next post


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