I am a week away from my 1000th post. I have written 1.3 million words since I started in August in 2002. I’ve had 1,350,000 page views since I starting counting in April of 2004. There are a couple of thousand visitors a day. Bless you, one and all.
I did my first post in early 2002, I guess it was. And then I gave up. I thought, "Everyone’s writing. No one’s reading. What, really, is the point?" I happened to see Virginia Postrel at a conference. She said, "Oh, no, things are changing. You have to start again." So I did. Blame Virginia.
Six years later blogging proves a relatively simple process. It takes about an hour a day. I can’t blog about the work I do for clients, but there is always some idea buzzing about that can serve as a talking point.
Relatives no longer scorn my blogging as "pretend writing." I think all bloggers are feeling a little less marginal. When were we vindicated? Sometime, in the last 12 months I guess. I always felt my obscurity was hard earned and well deserved, and I bid it farewell with some sadness.
The real challenge recently has been excavating 1.3 million words for the books within the blog. But to find these books meant chipping away 1.1 million words. Tough! A clear demonstration why it is always easier to build new than to renovate. Hey, but eventually two quite interesting books emerged, one of branding, one of the new impulses shaping contemporary culture. (Publishers looking for manuscripts on same, please let me know.)
But books are old media and no longer the obvious form for knowledge to take. And I am now read by lots of people after they drop a key word into Google. And in this form, I get read by people interested in how Craig Ferguson, Peter Drucker, Alec Wildenstein, and Lawrence Summers, (TV personality, management guru, plastic surgery enthusiast and university president, respectively). They come to this blog because they are interested in the cultural implications of pets, doing ethnography at McDonald’s, the life of an anthropologist working in Russia and China.
"Oh, he’s all over the map," someone will surely say. Not at all. Proof of concept, I call it. Anthropologists do not specialize. It’s the death of their specialty. The idea is to cast the net wide. To find culture in all of its manifestations. Proof of concept, proof of anthropologist. The anthropologist who can’t or won’t cast the net wide isn’t an anthropologist.
Anyhow, that’s my excuse for 1.3 million words. Thanks for reading some of them.
McCracken, Grant. 2005. President Summers, Beware the Yalies Within. This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. March 23, 2005. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2006. Sanya, the Wonder Cat. This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. June 28, 2006. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2006. Meet Rosie: scourge of the new advertising. This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. October 27, 2006. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2006. Craig Ferguson (brand exemplar?) This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. December 21, 2006. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2007. The Charlie and Barney Show: birth of a new American male?
This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. January 3, 2007. here.
Molly and me, photo by Pam.