Debeakered: One year and 49 posts later

It’s been a year since Jorge managed to convince me to start blogging.  Things have mostly been downhill since the 15K+ views for my iPad environmental impact analysis, but that was mostly to be expected, given the media coverage around iPad at the time.  Besides, many of the views are just from spammers.  However, truth be told, most of my personal favourite posts such as the Tragedy of the Commons 4-part series and Peddling an idea were written when I used to spend more time thinking about and writing posts.

Having learned early on to curtail the amount of time spent on this blog lest it interfere with “real” work, I’ve written a few “throw-away” fluff posts such as the Paperclip Chronicles to put off writing a real post every now.  This is a side-effect of posting on a regular basis (every eight days): sometimes, I have so many timely things to say that they eventually become stale and not worth posting and, other times, I have nothing to say at all.  This may be reflected in my comments rate.  Steve mentioned in one of his blog posts that he garners on average about three comments per blog post.  I have managed a piddling average of one comment per post, excluding replies I’ve written to other people’s comments (things look a bit better when fluff pieces are excluded)1.  I’m not sure how many people read my posts, but it’s nice to know that at least I’m not talking to myself.

This blog was originally intended to focus on my research.  I’ve occasionally ventured off-track such as into user interface design of cameras and psychological disorders; however, off-roading sometimes means running into surprise alligators.  For the most part, though, this blog has remained fairly true to its original focus.  Not only that, it’s sometimes helped clarify some of my own thinking by forcing me to write it for an audience, even if it isn’t posted.  In that respect, this blog has been successful.  I’m not sure how useful it’s been for improving my writing, though; Steve said that he felt that his students ought to write more so as to improve our (scientific) writing.  However, the kind of writing one finds in papers is quite different from most blogs you’ll encounter.  Besides, when I exercise literary latitude on this blog, it seems to go over most people’s heads if they expect me to be serious all the time (big mistake!).  For example (and be honest here), how many of you found, on your first read, at least one pun or three hidden references in the last paragraph alone of What keeps me up: Google Cloud Print?

That’s all the retrospecting I’d like to do for now, but I hope you’ve derived entertainment, knowledge, and/or a new perspective on some topic from at least one of my posts in the last year.  Stay tuned for more musings of a happy scientist next Sunday.  Oh, and what’s that?  No thanks; I still don’t want an iPad.

  1. A few comments may have slipped through the cracks, though.  Because I receive so many spam comments a day, I can’t be bothered to sift through them.  I rescued a few legitimate comments from the spam filter in the early days. []

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