A year of blog-lighting

It's the New Year and baby GG&G is one year old!

It began on something of a lark, during last year's holiday break.  Mainly I wanted to show my mother how easy it was.  My mother is an expert in early child development and eduction and has tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm about her subject.  She's also a great story teller.  And she's always claimed she wanted to write one day, so I suggested blogging would be a great way for her to get started.

So far my attempt at leading my mother by example hasn't worked, but I haven't given up.

Visits and page views here at GG&G are gradually increasing and typically range from 50-100 unique visits and 75-150 page views a day.  Sometimes, when Mark Thoma (who's probably responsible for 1/3-1/2 my visits) or some other higher-profile blogger links to GG&G, I can get 400 or more visits and over 600 page views.  (Thanks Mark!)  Besides Mark, I've been linked to by Grist, the Faceless Bureaucrat, Climate Feedback at nature.com (where I'm strangely blogrolled as "Other Voices - 'skeptics', industry, marginalized views"), Ezra Klein, the New York Times Room for Debate, Brad Delong, Andrew Leonard, Arnold Kling, and a few others.  I did a few posts for other blogs, including two at the NY Times and one for ePerspective at FoodTechnology.com.

All in all I'd say this has been less time consuming and way more fun than I expected it would be.  It's also a nice way to advertise some of my research.  But what I like most is that it forces me to keep track of at least some of my random thoughts--an intellectual diary of sorts.

Although, looking back, I'm also more than a little embarrassed by many of my posts.  I occasionally re-read some of them and see so many typos, missing words, bad phrasing, etc.   In many cases my thoughts are much less complete or as well-organized as I'd like them to be.  I don't try as hard as your average blogger or journalist to be catchy, clever, or especially concise. Nor am I a naturally talented writer.

I'd also like to see more comments. What can I do to inspire them?  Come on folks, take me to task on all my outrageous claims.  Or at least flog me for bad writing!

I know I could do better, but then that would take more time, and right now I have higher priorities. You know, that tenure thing is still hanging over my head and a few more journal pubs would help.  And, of course, teaching calls--WAY more time consuming that you think it will be.  Hopefully with practice and time I will improve on all fronts.

But I do think blogging is more than just a fad.  I'm late to the game but this is still a growing phenomenon.  And given the steady quality decline of traditional media, I believe academics and intellectuals will have an ever greater responsibility to communicate their ideas directly to the broader public.  I kinda wish every academic had a blog; maybe some day that will happen. Hey, it's all about sharing ideas and getting information out there, right?

Anyway, Happy New Year! 


  1. Congratulations on making it through your first year! On an internet littered with blogs that never made it to even ten posts that's a major accomplishment.

    I've only been following for a couple of months, but definitely read each new post with interest and I agree it'd be great if more faculty used the web to promote and explain their ideas.

  2. Good luck wiht that tenure!

  3. Well Happy Birthday baby GG&G! The first year is always a milestone and should be celebrated. A year of insightful and thought provoking blogging takes real dedication and commitment. You've laid a solid foundation for the journey that lies ahead and the promise that it holds for opportunities to make a positive difference. Your ma may yet be inspired and courageous enough to follow in your footsteps!


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