What’s in Your Backlist?

In his post from yesterday, Seth Godin talks about the concept of the “backlist” and how the idea no longer belongs to just authors and musicians.

A backlist is the collection of works from earlier in a career that fans discover (or rediscover) even as the artist continues to create new works.

It used to be that ordinary people didn’t have anything like a backlist. Before web publishing tools became cheap and easy to use, very little of we did was ever stored in a way that someone could easily find. Now I have ten years of a backlist* that may have value to someone, even if it’s only me.

The same applies to students. Not too long ago, the work most of them did – both in and out of school – largely disappeared after graduation. It was as if their creative life didn’t exist prior that point.

Now most are building their backlist at a furious pace, whether they realize it or not.

Godin ends his post by stating “Your history of work is as important as the work you’ll do tomorrow.”. 

So, what are we as their teachers doing to help kids make that history something they’ll be proud to have their fans discover in the future?


*More if you want to go rummaging through the Internet Archive.

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