Under Construction

Just a quick note for those of you who may have been just a bit confused when logging onto Civil War Memory today.  You will notice that the blog is no longer the default landing page.  I am beginning to think of Civil War Memory as more than just a blog.  It’s still the core of the site, but you will notice that I created a page for my forthcoming book on the Crater and I hope at some point soon to create a page for some of my favorite classroom lesson plans.  I want this site to be a resource for k-12 history teachers and others in the field.  It should also more effectively reflect my own work as a teacher, public speaker, and historian.

I am still in the beginning stages of thinking through this shift in focus so be prepared for continuous changes to the site and perhaps a few breakdowns.  Of course, I would love to hand this project over to a professional, but I simply do not have the funds for it, so I will rely on my own meager web skills.

Feel free to offer suggestions.

Welcome Encyclopedia Virginia

With the addition of the VFH’s Encyclopedia Virginia to my list of advertisers I’ve sold just about every ad space available apart from two 125×125 slots in the right sidebar. EV is the most reliable online encyclopedia for Virginia history and it is still a work-in-progress. The Civil War selections are under the editorial supervision of Peter Carmichael of Gettysburg College. You should also check out the EV companion blog as well as their page devoted to the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

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Dear National Geographic,

No, I will not feature your content on my site for free.

Spend a few minutes on the National Geographic website and count the number of advertisements that they feature.  Does anyone believe for a minute that they would seriously consider featuring the content of one of these companies for free?  It’s absurd to even consider it and yet they apparently have no problem asking this of bloggers, many of whom maintain self-hosted sites.    Yes, that means we pay money out of our pocket to host these sites. This is business as usual for these spammers.

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Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc.

Many of you have no doubt noticed the new banner advertisement in the header.  I couldn’t be more pleased to host an ad for the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago.  I had the opportunity to visit the store a few years ago and I hope to visit again at some point soon to take part in a Virtual Book Signing event once my Crater study is released.  This is a perfect example of the kind of companies that I hope to feature on this site.  I want to showcase the products and services of companies that add value to the Civil War community and the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop fits this niche perfectly.  Click through the banner ad and take a few minutes to explore what I think is one of the most unique bookstores in the country.

I hope to be able to announce the addition of a major academic publisher of Civil War studies to the line-up in the very near future.  Click here for additional information about advertising on Civil War Memory?

Advertising on Civil War Memory

Back in January I announced that I was adding affiliate links for Amazon.com books into my posts.  As a result, I get a small percentage of each sale in the form of a gift certificate.  A few weeks ago I added a widget in the sidebar that extends this affiliate program to include titles from my personal library.  Well, this little experiment has gone better than I anticipated.  Since the beginning of January Civil War Memory has earned $55 dollars in commissions based on the sale of 49 ordered items.  I am feeling very good about this program.  Most importantly, I have complete control over the products that I advertise and it is clear that readers of this blog are clicking through, which implies a certain amount of trust on your part.

I’ve proceeded carefully down this road with the full understanding that it is my wide readership that makes Civil War Memory such a popular and dynamic site. The last thing that I want to do is alienate readers with misleading advertisements or even worse, inferior products.  I have resisted utilizing Google Ad Sense and other automated programs precisely because they do not afford me a sufficient level of control over the placement of specific products.  At the same time I simply can’t ignore the fact that this site could help to supplement my income over the next year.  If anything, it could help offset the costs involved in maintaining this site and given my impending move to Boston every little bit helps.

What I can guarantee all of you is that the ads will compliment the content of this site and will allow me to continue to direct this blog’s audience to companies that support my broader mission of history education.  Let me know what you think and please feel free to voice any concerns.