H-Poland has been reborn on the new H-Net Commons system. For most subscribers this will not mean much; you’ll still receive e-mail notifications as before, only with nicer fonts and sometimes even graphics. The primary difference now is that the H-Net leadership has decided to move away from e-mail as the primary medium for conversation, opting instead for a web-based social-media structure. I will do my best to ensure that this transition involves as little disruption as possible, but please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you with any problems. For a summary of the changes and an introduction to the new system, just click here for a basic overview and here for a more complete explanation (embedding hyperlinks in our posts is one of the new things we can do).
In short, the biggest change is that you can no longer simply send an e-mail H-Poland in order to post a comment, announcement, or question. Instead you must go to the website, log-in, and click on the “Create New Discussion Post” link on the lower right hand side of the page. Complete instructions are available by clicking here. E-mails sent to the old H-Poland address will automatically be returned to you, but you can always contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As most of you know, I have been critical of the underlying premise of this new system—the idea that e-mail is destined to fade as a universal system of communication in favor of social media websites and participatory blogs. But now that the new H-Net system is up and running, I have been persuaded that this change might not be as bad as I initially feared. The multimedia capabilities of the new H-Poland open new possibilities for us, and for those who just want to read the posts without responding, there should not be any significant disruption. The procedures for posting are not as complicated as they might seem at first glance, and for most of you they will be intuitive.
I hope that H-Poland will continue to be a valuable resource for everyone, and I’ll do all in my power to make it so. I encourage everyone to explore the H-Net Commons, and participate actively in the conversations on H-Poland.