About this blog, past and present

This blog grew from what at first was a group of posts filed by me on Google +.

When Google + introduced Collections, I was able to organise my posts according to topic, this was a huge advantage, because I could cater to different readerships without losing followers who were only interested in specific posts.

Unexpected email from the Google + Team
In 2016, my Egyptology Collection, still very much in its infancy, was featured by Google.

Things took off, the exposure brought me many new followers and with this, I felt, a great responsibility to those readers and the topics on which I was posting and writing.

I reflected upon this and made several decisions.
I resolved to post regularly - a minimum of once per week where possible. That would keep posts regular and give me time to research stories and find neat stuff.

I was somewhat dismayed by the disparity in what I was seeing posted by Egyptologists and Archaeologists and how and what was posted in the media, so in this era of 'fake news' I also decided to try to find reputable accurate sources for readers to follow up on discoveries and announcements.
I set out my foci for the Collection:
Scientific information from different fields, featured artefacts, educational information and news, in an effort to share current Egyptological research, information and discussion with a broad audience.

And added a little about my credentials:
I'm a graduate in Egyptology (University of Manchester, UK 2011-16). All views expressed are my own.

I gathered information from many different places around the web, and tried to include a variety of topics and information.

I freely edited my posts to include clarifications, additional data (sometimes stories of discovery unfolded over several weeks) and further reading links. I felt this was inline with my scientific background of accumulating further evidence and checking sources.

Of course a topic such as this, which is popular worldwide was bound to attract negative attention along with the positive.

"Never underestimate the mysterious, unpredictable, and slightly insane power of Egyptology." Peter Hessler 
or, as I like to put it - Nothing attracts crazy like Egyptology
With this in mind I adopted a zero tolerance policy on comment moderation.

Some technical stuff:
It was suggested to me by Edward Mobius and Diana Studer to discuss the data migration to Blogger to assist others in doing the same.

While investigating a home for this Collection I had to download and learn software to remake pages for my now neglected domain (who needed it when there was Google +? Lesson learned) while I considered self hosting the information as an archive.

I'd managed to break in to the supplied templates with my knowledge of HTML and CSS, but ultimately decided to go to Blogger to create an archive of my previous public information at least. I wasn't sure at that point if I would continue to post. Knowing I can set up on my own website later gave me a little more security than I had felt prior - but it was a big investment in time.

While I am no longer a fan of Google in any form, I felt Blogger could give me what the Collection needed. A stable location (since it's monetised, I presume it is for the moment at any rate), that should be fairly robust in terms of security. This platform allows anyone to read the content and my existing readers could use their existing account to comment and I could moderate comments as before. Also Blogger had not been banned (to my knowledge) in countries from whence many of my readers come.

With assistance I migrated the bulk of the Collection to this blog. At the time of migration, Google's Takeout was functioning poorly, so we used a free version of another service similar which promised to export in a more Blogger friendly format. The irony that Google's own exporter was less capable at this was not lost on us.

However, the free version did have limitations, one of which was that it had a data limit. I'd not posted a huge amount in the Collection (compared to some) but it meant that many comments - and therefore discussion of topics was lost (I do, however have a copy of this in my archives via Google Takeout). Given the huge inconvenience of getting the data and processing it, I was unwilling to pay for a piece of software I would only (hopefully) use once, to process something I have never received any remuneration for.

Apparently Blogger's data export is somewhat better than that from Google + but that remains to be seen.

Moving forward
I envision the original Collection as being a useful aggregation of links and stories over time that could be used for reference by myself, students of Egyptology and people who just share our love of all things ancient Egypt.
So here we are at egyptologyMD - the MD stands for Multi-Disciplinary by the way.

I'd like to thank Stephen Whittle for his infinite patience and technical assistance with the data migration, and Dr Joyce Tyldesley for encouraging me to keep the blog.

By the time Google decided to shut the platform down in 2019, I had almost 86k followers and was the top hit in Featured Collections for Egyptology.

Not bad for 2 years of short blogs.

Life. Prosperity. Health

Posted February 2019