This blog is just a little more than five months old. In that short duration its readership has climbed from a dedicated audience of one (me) to -- on a good day -- more than a hundred readers. Looking over the statistics, I'd guess that about 30 people peruse "In the Middle" regularly, perhaps 30 more read it occasionally, and then perhaps that many more find it by chance every day, typically by googling things. [Favorite recent search: "medieval cannon law." I was not aware that there were regulations for the firing of heavy artillery during the Middle Ages, and it is even more surprising that Google thinks these pages have anything to say on this under-researched topic].
I've used these pages as a forum for work in progress, for sharing reading that I enjoy, for posting articles and book reviews that might be otherwise hard to track down. Newsclippings about monsters, medieval studies, and medieval-related topics appear from time to time (though I do try to limit the cut-and-paste stories since I don't want this to be a blog of work culled from elsewhere). To my delight, many of the comments have made the blog their own, and taken us down intriguing roads. The best part of all of this has been how these readers' comments have surprised me, and how much I have learned from them. There have also been a few personal posts, though none (I hope) that turn this into a gratuitous and self-promoting forum. Not that I would deny that I am both gratuitous and self-promoting.
In a month I become chair of my department. The demands on my time have already begun. I don't know if I'll be able to continue this blog; it was born during a time of sabbatical. But if I do have the ability to maintain it, I am wondering: where should it go? What should it be? Is it good the way it is? Could it be better? What else might it cover? "In the Middle" is technically my blog, but I don't feel too great a sense of ownership: should it have guest bloggers? Most of its readers are silent, and that is fine, but I wonder: what do people seek here? What do they find that gives pleasure, joy, instruction?
Any and all thoughts welcomed.