Why a history website/blog?
Because if I sang, this is how people would react:
"Salvation Army Lassie in Front of a Woolworth Store" c. 1940, Photo by Lee Sievan
I’m just trying to do what’s best for everyone…
How do you come up with your posts?
I like to say that I have “History ADD.” One moment I could be researching public reaction to Prohibition in the early 20th Century and the next I’m posting about the origins of “Tweedledum & Tweedledee.” How I get from one completely different topic to the next is still a mystery to me!
Various graduate papers and researches have evolved into some of the posts (i.e. anything relating to women in World War II or warfare espionage).
Additionally, I get suggestions from people. Anything about medicine or nursing is usually asked by my sister. One of my friends loves all things “Old Hollywood” while another is big on quotes.
I try to vary my posts, photos, quotes, etc… accordingly. I try not to post too much of the same topic or time period close together.
Do you get all your information mostly from the internet? How much of this is you verses taking it from another source?
It all depends on the topic. The majority of my book collection is war-related or trivia-based. When I do use the internet, I try to keep my internet sources as reliable as I can, meaning I use museum, university or .org sites as much as possible.
Unless I use quotations or it’s a photo description, the majority of the words are my own (based on the sources).
How long does it take you to finish a post?
Depending upon the complexities/sizes of the posts it can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours, or even longer. I have the habit of starting a post and then leave it sitting in my queue for weeks or even months. There are currently around 30 unfinished posts lying around on my computer, one of which I started back in January. This all goes back to my “History ADD”
Is there a particular subject you like researching the most?
If you have followed History By Zim long enough you can see a pattern. There are a lot of World War II things, American Indian quotes and “First Female Whatnots.” I love a good photo or quote and they are very easy to post hence an overabundance of them…
Where do you get all your photos?
Pinterest is one of the best social networking sites ever! (This coming from someone who was on Facebook when it was only for certain colleges!) I find many great photos from there along with post ideas.
Tumblr is also a useful place to find photos and the Library of Congress has a nice online photo collection, as does many museum websites. LIFE photos also pop up here quite often.
If you’re interested, here are some of the Tumblr accounts I follow:
Cool Chicks from History
A Vietnam Story
We Had Faces Then
Women at War
A World at War (or The Seed of Europe)
Other History Sites/Blogs that I frequent:
The Best of World War II
For the Love of Pete
Once Upon A Time in War
WWII History Network
What have been the most popular posts?
1. Andrew Jackson’s Parrot – This is by far the most popular post on History By Zim. Someone shared this over on Reddit and it made it to the top of the day’s popular list. That day, April 7th, was the busiest day on this site with 37,378 views.
2. Lucille Ball
3. Las Vegas
4. Band of Brothers
5. Drive-In Theater
Do you have a favorite post?
One of my favorite post so far has been The Maine Potato Episode. My dad was watching TV one night and the show was discussing it, he called me up and told me about it. Although most of the facts were wrong, I’m not sure if it was him or the show. My guess? Him. After googling “potato” “World War II” and “submarine” (the few things that were right), I found only a couple of sites that talked about the episode. It’s a great story and unless my dad told me it, I probably would not have known about it – making it the perfect story for History By Zim aka Beyond the Textbooks!
What can we look forward to in the future?
Right now I’m trying to figure out how to upload videos here. And by “I’m” I really mean my computer-savvy brother-in-law who initially suggested I start a website a year ago.
I would like to incorporate more “Zim” into the occasional post, a bit more like a blog. That seems to be the natural progression, but do not worry, it will be every now and then.
I would like to finish the 30 or so posts that are lying around in my computer, but I’m not going to promise anything
This is how History By Zim will face the future:
A brave little girl and a taxidermy grizzly standoff at the Sportsman’s Show, Chicago Coliseum, 1967, Chicago
Where else can I find History By Zim?
Facebook – History By Zim’s page
Twitter – @historybyzim