Well, at least I’m starting it with a plan – and one that might provide some public accountability!
Yes, I went the entirety of 2016 without posting to this blog. Hard to believe, but there you have it. I drafted quite a few things and stayed busy with actual work (interviews, listening to interviews, attending trade events, and such). Gave my first talk from the project at George Mason University’s Cultural Studies program in the spring and got some useful feedback. [Update: Because this kind of self-promotion is what people seem to do, here is an interview I did in the run-up to my visit to GMU] And, most significantly, I also wrote my first academic journal-length (10k words) article manuscript about the NAHBS and some of the limits to the “NAHBS model” for framebuilders. That was well reviewed and I’m staring down the mid-January deadline on submitting the revised version for reconsideration at the journal. I’ve been circulating the draft amongst builders and other interested folks – by all means drop me a line (if anyone reads this thing) if you would like to see a copy.
So, on to 2017. What’s the plan? A simple one: post to this blog at least every other week. I’m not going to worry about quality so much, and I’m also not going to worry as much as I did this past year about posting only material about the bike biz (which seemed to discourage me from posting at all). It will still mainly focus on the framebuilder project and the bike biz, for sure, but I’ll likely need to meet my every-other-week quota by talking a bit about academic-y things having to do with the research process and back to some broader framing about my motivations as they relate to alternative economies, industry organizations and other such things.
In addition to the current article manuscript, I’ve got a number of paths for the research that I was working on in 2016 – a framebuilder survey, perhaps some analysis about who counts as a “professional” in this field and how that connects to attempts to create some industry organizations for framebuilders over the years. I want more of that to come to fruition in 2017, and pushing myself to post something (anything!) here every other week should also give me at least 20 little public drafts of things to work with (beyond the research notes to myself I’m already writing).
To that end – and if anyone is still listening out there – please check back in at times or add me to an RSS reader. Would love to build some conversation along with more output in 2017!