You know how when you go on vacation and you come back to an email box so full you are stunned that so many people love you enough to keep sending you stuff? Well, that’s a little bit of how I feel after taking a little Placing Literature break. After our website launched at the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, the best kind of chaos has ensued! In just over a month, Placing Literature has been featured on CNET, Media Bistro and Huffington Post. We’ve been mentioned in The New Yorker (scroll down a little) and by New York Times columnist, Carl Zimmer. Andrew was interviewed on Literature for the Halibut on 88.1 KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri.
The really amazing thing to me, as a geographer, is how far, wide and fast Placing Literature has spread. The CNET article was reposted by several news outlets and translated into at least Dutch and Russian. After the articles were translated, you could see more spots on the map in the Netherlands, Russia and other places in Europe. About 4% of our page visits have come from the Netherlands. 4%!
So, in just over a month, we’ve had 12,200 visits and over 10,000 unique visitors. Readers have mapped more than 530 places. We have over 500 “likes” on Facebook. Fans of particular books and series have mapped their favorite places. A few authors have mapped places from their own books. As more people read about our project, more people have contacted us.
One of my favorite recognitions is that The Great Lakes Commons has called Placing Literature one of their member artists. The Community of Artists in the Great Lakes is raising awareness of the Great Lakes through artistic works – working to connect those who live in the basin to experience and love their Great Lakes. This is a topic that will be explored more in future blog posts.
That’s the goal of Placing Literature, to use literature as a tool to identify the elements of and give people a way to describe the places they know and love. Now people on the other side of the world will know about your favorite places when you add them to our (everyone’s) map.