Tag Archives: Red Dirt Chronicles

Happy Birthday to Us. We’re FIVE Years Old!

Day 28: It Was So Loud, I Couldn't Hear Myself Praying
A quote written in the UK that answered a need I had at the time. Now, I’m finding stillness in rural, suburban and metropolitan Oklahoma…one discussion at a time.

In July of 2010, I left for a 40 day educational trip to Oxford and other parts of the United Kingdom. Having never traveled abroad other than to Canada and Mexico, I began researching the world of blogs.  I warmed up my writing skills with a Google “Blogger” based platform entitled “Red Dirt Kelly.”

A week or so later, I left for my journey and began what was basically an online journaling exercise to document my trip.  This series, entitled 40 Days in the UK, helped me realize the benefits of daily writing and perspective sharing.

Women on hand cart treks in NE OK pulling carts back up the ridge to safety.

In the past five years, bloggers have been called out for their lack of journalism credentials, heralded for their insightful research and posts, and been in the courts for cases involving informational sources and classifications.  And while the days of online journaling still exist, the All American Blog has certainly developed in its own right.

Case in point: The Red Dirt Chronicles (RDC).  A month post Oxford, I began to think about whether to keep my blog or evolve the project into something I still cared about now that I had returned to Oklahoma.  These dreams eventually carried me to recruit eight content authors and for almost three years they wrote on a regular basis covering their area of expertise with an Oklahoma perspective. At that time I moved to a WordPress (WP) platform and although the RDC has had four different “faces,” all our history is stored on very large WP servers and for that I’m grateful.

At the point when I began toward the homestretch in my doctoral program, I raised the issue of “slowing down” the RDC production and almost simultaneously all authors agreed they, too, would like a break.  For another year while I dug deep into my dissertation research, Alisa Hines at Oklahoma Horizon TV deployed video posts covering their work with either her notes, or the notes of other journalists.  I am grateful for our former authors, and for Oklahoma Horizon producing Oklahoma cultural content deployed through the RDC.

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August prairie grasses. Photo by Rachel Apple

Our RDC content is now much more focused on revealing Oklahomans and their cultural diversity.  Most of this work is done through our Every Point on the Map (EPOTM) posts.  In some ways, EPOTM is like a ten-year ethnography.  The work of our team feeds my social research side as well as my love for Oklahomans and all they encompass.

To our readers who have continued to check in with us through the past five years, I wish to say “thank you.” To those who have joined along the way, I appreciate your presence and thoughtfulness. And, to the work we have yet to produce, I can only say, “We’re ready. Whomever we meet, and whatever they say…it’s our pleasure to hear their stories and share them with our readers.”

Happy five year birthday, RDC!

~ Red Dirt Kelly

 

The Red Dirt Chronicles: A Year in Review Plus Our Top 25 Most-Read Posts

Photo by pilgriminprogress on Flickr. Click photo for photographer's page.

Dear RDC community and occasional or first-time readers:

Monday, August 1st, will be our official “Red Dirt Chronicles” first birthday.  What began back in May of 2010 as a small individual project, was turned into a group contributor project just twelve months ago.  So much has happened since then; so much writing has taken place, decisions to grow or change the way we do things, and our second website is – at this very moment – getting its third set of upgrades.

A few of those upgrades you’ll notice immediately, but some of them will take a few weeks to work themselves out.  For example, if you read the RDC on your mobile phone, you might have noticed an RDC Mobile version available at our website.  That is…IF you have an iPhone, an Android, or a few other styles.  However, we’re still working on the Blackberry upgrade.  Technical details take patience and much debugging.  I truly appreciate our web developer, Maria Yuliana, for the work she does behind the scenes.

Another special announcement is that last night we surpassed the “100,000 reads” mark.  As editor, I was keeping my fingers crossed to reach that milestone before our first birthday.  And…we did it, with two whole days to spare!

Our contributors and our readers, and the connection and feedback between them is basically all that the RDC comprises.  Therefore, I want to first thank all our contributors who have labored, thought, written and thought some more over this past year.  In fact, Continue reading The Red Dirt Chronicles: A Year in Review Plus Our Top 25 Most-Read Posts