I’ve been running this blog for over four years now and it’s been some time since I really engaged with it beyond posting my mystery object on Friday and the answer on Monday.
I finally forced myself out of bed extra early on a Saturday morning to give the old blog a bit of a spring clean. What I found was both distressing and heartening.
The links I had to other sites were so out of date that half of them had moved or had simply stopped being updated over a year ago.
With others I found that the content had moved on, from blogs about being a hopeful museum newbie to blogs about being a capable museum professional (see Wunderkammer and Museological Meanderings as examples). In the case of Jake’s bones the blog had changed from being a 9-year-old talking about his bone collection, to an eleven-year-old talking about his forthcoming book on bones.
This sort of progression is wonderful to see and it led me to consider how my blog has changed over the years.
An opportunity for self reflection
The photos now are generally of better quality than they were at the outset, so that’s good. However, I feel that the detail and quality of the answers to the mystery objects have deteriorated, as the time I have available to research and write about them has decreased.
The mystery objects themselves have also become a bit less inspiring, perhaps because the number of striking specimens in the Horniman’s collections that need identification has decreased.
One thing is certain however, after nearly 4 years of running the mystery object I have built up a fantastic community of people who come to Zygoma to have a go at identifying the Friday mystery object, which is something worthwhile.
So now I am left with a quandary – how do I rethink Zygoma to make better use of my increasingly limited time, while maintaining the sense of community on the site?
I may try reducing the number of mystery objects so they’re not a weekly feature, but if I do that I can fill the gap with photos of interesting specimens I’ve come across at work and perhaps specimens that people request.
If you have any ideas about what you’d like to see on Zygoma please leave a comment below – I’d also appreciate links to other related blogs that I may have missed when tidying up my list, so please feel free to suggest away!