A little over a year ago, I launched Corinthianmatters as a blog-site devoted to providing current (often digital) resources for the study of the Corinthia, Greece. As I noted in my first post, I was a little wary that I would begin a blog that would die after a few awkward posts (the common fate for most blogs). But I was encouraged by the dynamic platform of WordPress that included both blog and traditional pages. This meant that even if I did not regularly blog, I could at least develop (slowly) the ‘stable’ content of the website through the pages. This would be much easier to develop and maintain than, say, a traditional webpage created in html through Dreamweaver.
My idea with this site was to create a place on the web for connecting the archaeology, history, and study of the Corinthia with a broader public audience already interested in the subject of ancient Corinth: students, pastors, teachers, gamers, tourists, ancient world enthusiasts, Bible readers, among others. In that respect, I was inspired by colleagues blogging Greece like Bill Caraher’s The (New) Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, Diana Wright’s Surprised by Time, and Kostis Kourelis’ Objects, Buildings, Situations, as well as resource sites like The Rogue Classicist. I was interested also in creating resources that would be useful for scholars of Corinth and ancient Greece as well. And I saw the site as an outlet for discussing the research of the Eastern Korinthia Survey and some of my own work on the Isthmus that was of broader interest.
WordPress has some basic statistical tools that allow one to assess patterns of traffic and pageviews. For example, I can see that the top search engine queries that led to this site over the last year include “diolkos,” “vita basilii,” “corinth,” “dyrrachium,” “acrocorinth,” “paul in corinth,” “lechaion,” “modern corinth,” “ancient corinth,” and “corinth map.” I can also assess the increasing number of visits to the site. Last October-December, the site received about 400 page views per month, or about 10 per day. Now it receives regularly over 1,500, or about 50-60 per day. This is small-scale, of course, but an encouraging sign that people are finding something of use here. It has been interesting also to monitor how outside referrals to the site influence the traffic patterns. A summary piece about the blog at the ASCSA website doubled the number of visits to the site over the course of several weeks. A post about this site at Bibleplaces.com generated 500 hits in a single day, 200 the following day, and higher numbers for several days thereafter.
The posts and pages that have proven the most popular in the last year suggest a mix of interest in resources, scholarship, news, and visual content:
1. Maps of the Corinthia (463)
2. Images of Acrocorinth (347)
3. Corinth Dissertation List (245)
4. The Diolkos – A New Video (181)
5. Intro to Corinth Educational Video (177)
6. Church of the Panayia Photos (167)
7. Service Excavations Unearth Corinth City Walls (163)
8. Corinthian Studies 2010 Publications (157)
9. Kouroi Arrive in Corinth (151)
10. Erastus Inscription Photos (127)
As Corinthianmatters goes into its second year, you’ll see some changes at the site. Most immediately (starting tomorrow), you’ll see additional authors contributing to the site. I have been inviting other scholars with an interest in the Corinthia, digital humanities, and public scholarship to contribute at least occasionally to the stable content (pages) and the blog. One feature that I am especially excited about will be current overviews and reviews of scholarship that has just come out. I am plan to ask Corinthian researchers to discuss their work online. Finally, I aim to increase the stable content of the site through visual resources like photos and videos of Corinthian sites (the kind unlikely to appear on Flickr), modern bibliography, ancient texts, and gazetteer of sites. An archaeology intern in our history department at Messiah College will be helping to that end.
I redesigned the “About” area of the website last week and decided on this set of objectives:
1. Current news on archaeological investigations, conferences, presentations, and publications on Corinth from antiquity to the early modern era.
2. Resources for scholars, teachers, and anyone interested in Corinth, including especially images, video, maps, and bibliography.
3. Essays and reviews about Corinthian history and archaeology, and the place of Corinth in modern culture.
4. A filter for the digital noise concerning the ancient Corinthia, including blogs, tourist websites, and news articles.
5. A place for the presentation of the work of the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey and the study of the territory of the Isthmus.
So, we’re still under construction here. If you’ve got news about Corinth, ancient or modern, its territory, or other items of interest, send them my way.