31 December 2011

837 Posts In 2011

If you simply looked at the archive page for Wash Park Prophet, you'd think that this was a pretty slow year for blogging, but that would miss the main blogging event for me in 2011, the launch of my Dispatches From Turtle Island blog, focused mostly on physics and anthropology where 205 posts this year were diverted in an effort to distinguish policy and political and cultural posts (which have remained here) and apolitical science blogging there.

Prior to the split, this blog had gotten a bit too scattered. The idea to split the two was blatantly copied from Maju, who split his blog a few months earlier. The result has been close to optimal. There has been a roughly a 50-50 split of my blogging, with each blog becoming more focused, and Dispatches From Turtle Island have provided a space to really dig down into deeper issues in the fields a blog about there, rather than merely covering current events and highlights. The traffic has been split, but comments over at Turtle Island have made clear that its audience is a high brow one with some high profile bloggers and academics as sometimes readers and commenters.

I've thought about trying to put together a sidebar feed, at least from Turtle Island and visa versa (on Maju's model) and perhaps of some of the linked blogs as well. But, that kind of redesign will have to wait for a slow spot in real life, as my law practice had picked up dramatically in the last half of this year relative to 2010 and early 2011, somehow, with no discernible impact on my blogging output. My aspirations to reduce my total blogging volume at the time that I split the two blogs were not successful. There were actually more posts this year than in any year from 2007-2010. Each blog gets an average of about one post a day (o.k., sometimes closer to two a day on average on this side for several months when both of the blogs have been in place), and I seem to be incapable of writing less even when I try.

There are topics which have had reduced coverage here in the split: defense procurement and technology, international affairs, non-Colorado politics, coffee blogging, legal theory, and reflections on daily life in Denver. I'm still not entirely pleased with the balance of coverage at this blog, where the somewhat random process of blogging which doesn't always end up matching my bigger picture priorities. I'm considering strategies to give these posts more direction. But, like law, blogging is something that you practice rather than master and it's always changing.

In my own defense, while the topic mix has not been all that I would hope for, I've definitely made strides in embedding visuals in posts (thanks in part to changes in the Blogger interface that make it easier to manage and changes in the way that open access academic journals are formatted online these days).

I have a firm policy against embedding audio and video (beyond perhaps an audio clip necessary to illustrate a point of phonetics or a link to a radio news story with a warning attached), as I don't like podcasting myself (which is also often not appropriate for workplace readers), just as I prefer the newspaper to TV news. So, you won't being seeing more of that at this blog. I do enjoy post specific charts and maps, which Razib at Gene Expression and several other blogs I read, like Calculated Risk and Neuroskeptic use to great effect.  I resolve to master the technical skill of this kind of visual customization in the coming year.

Still, after six and a half years of blogging, it still seems like a worthwhile venture for some reason. Thanks for reading in 2011, and, stay tuned for more prophecies and dispatches in 2012.

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