1500 Posts & Going Strong

So this is my 1500th post. My 1001th post was published just over 2.25 years ago.  Not a bad milestone for a blog that's been around since 2010.  Numerically, that works out to about 187 blog posts a year.  Of course, that average is misinformed since there were 2 years where I did a minimum of a post of day (that would be my Photo A Day Project and my Short Story a Day Project).  

An image that reads "1500 Blog Posts.  Mission Accomplished! "

A Look Back

This post, like so many others, is an opportunity to reflect and I'd like to spend some time hitting some of my highlights and thoughts about this little slice of the Internet where I park my thoughts.  

In looking at that first year, my first blog post is not much to talk about.  It is the essential "hello, world" blog post.  And we can see by my second blog post that I'm still dawdling a bit.  My third post isn't even worth mentioning (except I did).  But I would say, by my fourth post, I'm heading in a direction that is often familiar to my readers.  That first year, my posts got limited readership to say the least but I'm still baffled how my post on sequels and remakes somehow got thousands of hits.  
Screenshot of First Blog Post
Screenshot of First Blog Post

Speaking of hits, it's one of the funnier things that I find about blogging--what gets a lot of attention and what doesn't.  For instance, my all-time highest post with nearly 16,000 hits is this one that is a synopsis of a Ray Bradbury tale.  In fact, among my top 10 highest blog posts, only one of them isn't from when I did the Short-Story a year series--it's the one I did last fall on my workshop on hybrid-flexible teaching and learning.  

I think there are definitely posts that I had hoped more people would read--not because I necessarily want the attention (but sure, I don't write and post my work for nothing).  These are posts that I felt just might have been helpful or meaningful to others.  For instance, there was this post about what I hope students take from my class, or this one about the death of a student.  There's this one, also geared towards my student, hoping they understand just how intelligent they truly are.

There are other posts where I definitely feel like I've been a bit punchy than I might be today.  For instance, there's definitely a bit of self-righteousness in this post on sexism in memes. To be clear, I would say my intentions were in the right place but my execution could have been better.  However the posts that I've done of late that focus on reflecting my identify such as understanding my privilegeexploring my bisexuality, and the ways that I frame it.  Then, of course, there's part one and part two about getting a vasectomy.  

For those that have been around, we know that I'm a runner and did a good amount of blogging about that in previous years.  I do hope to get back to blogging about that but obviously, I have other priorities right now (cough, cough, doctoral program).  But one of my favorite posts on this is the one where I think about what I do and why I'm able to do it.  This reflection is what I strive for most in my life--balancing my efforts with my privilege.  Another favorite blog post in this series is the one where I talk about the doubt demon that runs with me.  There's also this one how I talk about how running and learning intersect in my life.  

I also have written about what it means to be on social media.  For instance, I rather needed to write this one on fatigue and compassion in social media.  There are also my 2 part series on blogging (Part 1 and Part 2).  Then, I also found it necessary to talk about LinkedIn Profiles too.

There are other posts that still delight me such as this one with my first published short story or this one of a blog post I did for another blog on 9/11 and superhero comics.  Of course, I also had a lot of fun with this post, where I deconstruct the Playboy logo. I talk a lot about media on this blog and so my coverage of my top 100 films is of course, a favorite series of mine.  There's the time I developed a stand-up routine on being bisexual.  

I also enjoyed the series that I did for June (also known as Audiobook month)--that's still a delight.  Of course, I've enjoyed my current series of posts on my experiences within a doctoral program.  That's given me loads to talk about and also appreciation from other students to learn from.  I've also enjoyed my new video series, The Weekly Pop.  It's been a new creative direction to take my work in.  

Lessons Learned

So what are the lessons that I from blogging?  Here are a few that come to mind.

1.  It takes time to build a readership.  I probably average about 1000 hits a day.  Much fewer comments on the blog, but I definitely hear from people outside of the comments via email, hallway conversations, and on other social media.  

2.  It takes time to think and figure out what  you have to offer to others.  That is a hard thing for many of us.  I'm still figuring it out and thus my blog continues to morph.  There are some things that solidfied over the years.  Books are an obvious and prominent feature of it.  Talking about popular culture, social media, and politics also finds its way in.  Reflecting about big ventures I pursue such as training for a marathon, doing a doctoral program, and the like.  I'm sure I'll do more of those.  But I do think finding your focus can be a challenge and sticking to it may also prove challenging for some (or hesitating to change it; I've changed the direction of this blog a few times--it started out as "The Hitchhiking Adjunct").  

3.  As you get more into it and want the blog to be as effective as possible, it requires getting more familiar with the ins and outs of the technical side and paying attention to that.  That includes understanding the importance of labels and headers to using images all the time to learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and how RSS feeds work.  

Why Do I Still Do It?

Given the abundance of things that keeps me busy these days, why do I still find myself writing for the blog.  

1.  It continues to help me process.  For instance, I don't think I would be learning as much in the doctoral program if I wasn't blogging.  The space to reflect and capture where I've been and where I think I'm going continues to help me to center myself and be mindful within my life.  The blog continues to help that process.

2.  I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with others and others have appreciated that opportunity to hear my experiences.  I regularly have conversations about what I've written about that has helped others or just provided them with a different means of looking at something they were looking at.  These conversations are quite rewarding because often, there would have been little opportunity for both of us to end up discussing whatever the post was about.  

3.  I still enjoy doing it.  It's that simple.  I get pleasure from thinking and writing.  That is and forever will be the Nerd in me (hence, "By Any Other NERD").  

4.  It pushes me to learn and to think.  I have to learn new things in order to keep the blog going and I also have to think about how things sound and think outside myself.  That's quite important for me as it's something I continually think about in terms of teaching and learning, which is central to my work and to my being.  

5.  It is an opportunity to share the amazing things that I encounter in the world--particularly around books and pop culture.  The opportunity to let those in my circle know just what are some of the cool things that I'm seeing and encourage them to take a look is one that I value.  If I can introduce someone to a powerful author or a mesmerizing series; then I think it's worth still contributing to this blog.  

Well, here's to 1500 posts and more!  

What have been some of your favorite posts?  Why do you keep coming back to the blog?  What's the value you see in reading it?

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