30 December 2018

Reflections On Blogging In 2018

This has been the lightest year of blogging at Wash Park Prophet since its inception in 2005, although at 224 posts at a minimum this year, and six posts even in my slowest month, it is hardly a moribund blog.

Some of this reflects the split of my blogging into this blog and Dispatches at Turtle Island, which was established midway into 2011. Between the two blogs there will have been more than 436 posts in the year, with 17 combined posts in my slowest month. Again, very active by the standard of most blogs, but less active than I have been in the past, with the exception of 2014 which was the record low number of posts on both blogs, with a combined 331 posts (still more than six posts a week on the combined blogs).

This is a decline, mostly due to a shift of short and dirty posts from the slowly less popular blog format to Facebook on social media, upon which I often make several posts a day that receive a lot more attention. This space has become more focused on analysis or on posts with less immediacy and more of a long term relevance than the posts I make on Facebook which tend to be more partisan and political, more focused on current events, and more focused on my personal life.

I have also had a fair amount of activity at the Stack Exchange forums and on Physics Forums, and I sometimes post long comments at other people's blogs.

I average about 382 readers a day at this blog and about 383 readers a day at the sister blog, for a total of about 765 readers on an average day on the combined blogs, although this bounces up and down depending upon how often I post and how much interest people take in the posts I make at the time. A significant minority of traffic involves Google searches leading people to old posts. Twenty-two posts made this year at this blog (about one in ten) have had more than 200 readers, some of which had many more. Other posts attract much less interest. Despite the fact that the number of readers are about the same on both blogs, the number of comments is much higher on the sister blog than on this one.

Thirteen and a half years of blogging is a long time. My handwritten journals go back about four years earlier, to 2001. Both were started, in part, because before then I would clip paper newspaper articles and write down ideas on stray pieces of paper (something I did at least since my college days), with really no order, which was messy, hard to refer to, took up lots of space, and tended to suck me into cycles of writing the same idea over and over again because I had no way to refer back to what I had already done.

I have published all but about 22 of the posts that I have written in that time on both blogs combined, with the publish button not pushed in nine of them because they earned the "too much information" tag. I am not a particularly private person, but there are some things that even I don't want to share with the entire world on the Internet. Two are recent posts that are in process. The other eleven posts are posts that I put a lot of substantive research and thought into over the years, but bit off more than I could chew at the time to polish and finish and have never gotten back to completing (compounded by the fact that some are a bit dated now).

I suspect that I will make even fewer posts in 2019, but will probably still maintain an active blog here for the same reason that I started it, I want a place to organize my thoughts and keep track of interesting new information that I come across that I wouldn't have otherwise, and if I share it with the world, then it has more value.

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