Five years of blogging

My fifth blogiversary was almost two weeks ago and I nearly missed it. I think when I came on sabbatical my blogging went on one as well even though I’ve tried to stay on the scene to some extent.

Looking back, I can tell I was an early adopter, because in my first post, I felt the need to explain what a blog is.

People often wonder when (if ever) is a good time to start blogging. I’ve decided that graduate school was the perfect time. While the following is nearly impossible to appreciate when you’re still in grad school, I know it now: you honestly will never have as much free time as you do when you’re in graduate school. Granted, I was in a cushy position of not having to teach so that experience won’t generalize completely. Nonetheless, the number of obligations that follow once you’re in a faculty position makes it a more daunting undertaking later. (I guess perhaps blogging during a post-doc may also work well assuming that the post-doc experience happens before one gets a faculty position.)

I sometimes look back with longing on the topics I covered during the first year. They seem more interesting than what I get around to writing up these days. It’s not that I don’t think about an equal number of random and intriguing issues, I just don’t find the time to construct blog posts about them. I also wonder if size of audience influences what I blog about and how often. Perhaps one is more hesitant with some topics when blog posts go out to a large number of people instantly, the latter thanks to RSS, also not something one considered back in the “old days”.

One of the most amusing outcomes of a post during the first year of my blogging had to do with the movie Chicago. I wrote a few brief comments about it including a critique of a very annoying movie mistake. For some reason (different search algorithms at work at the time favoring blog posts perhaps a bit too much), my entry came up very high in the results on Google in response to a search on movie chicago. And when I say very high, I mean that it was the first hit on Google having to do with the movie! I got tons of visitors many of whom disagreed with my dislike of the movie and weren’t too shy to tell me. I ended up disabling the comments on the blog it got so ridiculous.

By September, 2003 I joined Crooked Timber. Thanks to the folks there who invited me and allowed me to reach a larger number of readers. It’s been a blast. Thanks VERY much to you, dear reader for making this a worthwhile activity. I don’t know if I would’ve kept it up for five years without, what has mostly been, valuable feedback. I’ve met some great people through this activity and have learned a ton, so I thank you!

6 Responses to “Five years of blogging”

  1. scott Says:

    Thank you, Eszther.

    Are you planning to attend Blogher this summer? I hear it’s in Chicago.

  2. marc Says:

    Yes, thanks for this post Eszter. Often as a grad student I consider (usually publicly on-blog) whether I should really be blogging. From this post, not only should I continue, but I should be sure to make them interesting! Also your blog really introduced me to the Internet community in ways I hadn’t realized or participated before- and that’s just from your posting in the last year or so. Thanks!

  3. eszter Says:

    Thanks, Scott & Marc.

    Scott, I’m afraid I won’t be at Blogher. I keep missing it. Last year it was in San Jose and I was in Chicagoland. This year I’ll be in Silicon Valley most of the summer, and now Blogher is in Chicago. Bummer.

  4. B.L.I. Says:

    Eszter, congratulations on five excellent years. As one of your most loyal readers, I enjoy coming to your site, checking out the links you are suggesting and reading your opinions on some issues. Keep up the good work!

    Your commentary on the “Chicago musical” blog entry brought back some memories for myself, too. I still feel that most of the answers to that piece were perfect examples of comments taken out of context, people not reading the whole entry, just a few words and also in this case most of the people who read your blog were obviously not your intended audience.

    I am looking forward to many more years of reading your blog!

  5. eszter Says:

    Thanks much, B.L.I.! Yes, I agree, it is very doubtful that most people read the whole post. Perhaps I should’ve shifted the bit about the movie mistake closer to the front of the entry.

  6. dan Says:

    Wow! 5 years! That’s like an entire epoch in blog time. Congrats.