Last week I celebrated my own anniversary of solar orbits completed, and this week I am celebrating the seventh anniversary of this here blog. SEVEN YEARS. Seems sort of crazy, but there you are.

The title refers to the total number of posts that I’ve made over that time. Again, sort of crazy. It has felt like I’ve been blogging less frequently than in years past, and being a scientist I decided to examine the data. Here’s a plot of PPM (posts-per-month) over each calendar year:

Presentation1That’s a pretty easy trend to see — there has certainly been a decline over the last couple of years after being pretty darn consistent for the first five or so. Why? I’m not sure. I’m sure there are several factors, though in reality, I think the main reason is that I take the disposable time that I used to use for writing posts for other things — social media, WWF games, actually doing my job.

Also, I have been trying to pick and choose post-topics a more carefully, so I’m not doing many “get to know me” memes like I used to, because really, I think you all know me pretty well by now.

Is there anything to do about that drop off? Should I do anything about it? The last thing you want is a personal blog to feel like a chore, but sometimes I do miss writing more. I think sometimes ideas that would have made good posts get truncated into status updates on social media — and that’s sort of a shame. Blogging for me is hardly “longform” writing, but I do think it’s a good idea to try and organize my thoughts into something a little heftier than 140 characters.

So perhaps over the next year I will be able to make that PPM climb a little. I’ve started keeping a google-docs folder of post ideas, so maybe that will prompt me some. Of course that means when I sit down to write that I’ll have the discipline to not surf to distraction.

august_cakes_019.sizedSpeaking of surfing, one good blog-related thing that happened just this past month was the creation of a new Facebook group: The Vox Neighbourhood on Facebook. It’s been great to see so many old faces and find out what they’ve been up to (and if you’re a former Voxer and not in it, let me know, I’ll send you an invite). A lot of them don’t seem to be blogging any more, but some are — so maybe we can all encourage more of that [this is good] vibe again.

And, as always, thanks to everyone that stops in and reads here. I am constantly delighted and amazed by the interactions and friendships I’ve developed over the years because of this blog.


27 thoughts on “1140

  1. Seven years? Grats! That’s a long time for any activity. A good moment for self-reflection like you’ve done. There is something to be said about quality vs. quantity, but I ignore that voice. I say blog on as long as you enjoy it!

  2. Wow, Happy Birthday Stevil Blog! And where is your Birthday post? How did I miss that??

    It’s been quiet around here. You said it well, I don’t like my public blog to be the “here’s what’s happening in my life” type; yet that’s the kind I enjoy reading most. As I’ve said to other friends, it gets frustrating when people post a slew of cute photos or videos from the internet. I can see those anywhere; I add people to my ‘hood so I can get to know THEM! So…..my vote is for personal posts.

    Of course we science geeks want to also share the latest, coolest stuff too. I try to intersperse my long biology posts with lighter fare as well.

    Sigh I still can’t get over how depressed I am about Six Apart kicking us out. Vox was a great blog. And honestly, I’ve tried Facebook. It’s no Vox and I can’t tolerate the platform. But maybe some day we’ll land on a site that we can all call an alternate Vox home. HG pointed me to Bloguru, and I’m also on Pinterest (although I can barely update my Goodreads as I’m so busy).

    • Thanks Amelie — I have a couple posts about the weekend before my birthday – we went up to San Jose/Santa Cruz for the weekend.

      You’re right about people that post cute stuff or even interesting stuff from other sources — if it doesn’t come along with posts from them about what interests them, then it’s just someone curating content.

      I don’t mind Facebook — it’s got its purpose and does it pretty well, but it’s not a place to connect to someone new.

  3. I’m with Shouts. A big smooch on the cheek for seven years of blogging. Maybe you’re suffering from the seven-year itch. I say give ‘er a good scratch and you’ll get the urge for less scratching and more blogging. I hope so anyway.

  4. Congratulations on seven years! Looking at your history to the right there, it seems to me you’ve maintained a pretty steady pace in writing. I’ve found it hard to update mine—not enough time, too tired when I do have some. Then I suspect Facebook and Twitter have taken the place of blogging as a means to stay connected to people: or as my younger daughter once told me when I asked her why she didn’t blog anymore, “It’s easier to update my status on Facebook!” Ironically, she and her sister were the ones who got me to start blogging on Vox. All of my children had blogs there, but I think my son is the only one who continues to blog on another site, and he updates very rarely. Even I find it a lot easier to just upload my photographs onto Flickr these days and let people figure out for themselves what I’m doing.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Steve. I always look forward to your new posts.

    • Thanks HG! It does take a bit of a force of will to compose a post rather than a status update or quick upload. It’s a little scary as even the folks that I know of as “steadfast” bloggers have fallen into that well from time to time.

  5. I post less creative stuff. I have icky issues at work and more crazy-lizard-self-preservation brain (as you know as a scientist) equals inability to create. ::shrugs:: While a different job may take even more time, I surely hope it will eventually lead to a better use of my brain — chemically. I certainly have ‘more free time’ considering I’m not shovelling hours a month towards an IRL writing group! I am, however, filling that very lately with courses for update my skill set in my own industry.

    You seem as chipper as ever, so I don’t know that anything like that applies to you. I’m glad you still blog. You’re quality stuff! (and for your quality stuff)

    • Thanks Lily! Maybe the outlier was the five years of steady output — and that the normal course of these sorts of things should be more of an ebb and flow. Either way, thanks for sticking with me! :)

      • The writing group I started lasted 6 years before I tried to scale back (not saying shutting it down or slowing but where I wouldn’t show; leaving it to the regulars to greet any newcomers).

        It fell apart. As far as I know some of them still talk on FB (from speaking to a few via text or phone) but I don’t think it’s ‘because of me.’ I think it was just played out.

  6. Congrats. And wishing you many more anniversaries. I have no idea how I came to read your blog, I suspect I hopped over from AK, but I am glad I did. Have enjoyed all your posts and feel like I almost know you in person !
    Thank you for blogging.

    • Thanks LG — I think it was via AK that we got to know each other. I think the funny thing is that the bloggers that I’ve gotten to know online have almost always been in-person exactly like they are online — so I think you could extrapolate to say you DO know me in person! :)

  7. wow, 7 years! I’m almost there. I started (on Vox) in August 2007. I floundered all over the place when Vox shut down, until I finally settled in at BlogHer. (which isn’t just for women!) Then after BlogHer12 last year, I took the plunge and bought my own domain. Have you ever done NaBloPoMo? It’s a write every day challenge, and you get prompts daily if you need them. Nice to meet you and thanks so much for visiting my blog today! :)

    • Karen — Nice to meet you too! Vox is still bringing people together long after its demise! :)

      I think I did NaBloPoMo once — and it was hard!! :) I also did the 30 Days of Book Blogging — I think it took me 50 days! :)

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