A Blog Around The Clock

New Year’s Day, a time to reminisce about the past year, perhaps to analyze its ups and downs, and in the blogosphere: to link to one’s “Best of” posts for all of those who missed them.

I posted 2960 posts so far this year – with six days to go I may reach 3000. It is not easy sifting through all of those, so I picked the highlights for you here. Some are milestones, some are examples from multi-post series, some are posts that provoked a lot of comments, some are posts that took a lot of time and effort to write, and some are, well, just very long. There were other posts that elicited a lot of comments, or traffic or incoming links, or people found them useful or fun, but these choices, I think, best describe the year as a whole. Do these links tell a story?

January (205 posts) is always busy for me, finalizing the latest edition of the anthology (Open Lab 2007 – Up For Sale!) and organizing the conference – check out the videos and essential blog posts.

Thus, most of my blogging at the time is either related to these two events, or quick linkfests, videos and quotes. It was also the time of the early primaries, and although several candidates were still in the race at the time, we already started thinking about who the new President should appoint as the new Science Advisor. We had a vigorous debate here on scienceblogs about the grammatical correctness of Unshaven vs. Reshaven?. This was also the beginning of the Aetosaurs scooping saga.

I got hungry and posted my Mom’s recipe on How to Fix an Authentic Serbian Sarma (Stuffed Cabbage). We also did another round of “Ask the ScienceBlogger” and I responded with The Dangers of Blogging, or, the Quest for Male Contraception. This was also the last time I tried to quit posting Quotes, picks from ScienceDaily, links to carnivals, etc. as my commenters told me not to ever stop.

January was also the time when my Mom guest-blogged her second 5-part series here: Memories of War, Part I, Memories of War, Part II, Memories of War, Part III, Memories of War, Part IV and Memories of War, Part V.

At the end of the month, I started a series of interviews that spanned several months, covering 40 fascinating people, starting with Karen James. Oh, there was also science – The Hopeless Monster? Not so fast!

In February (225 posts), all the Quotes were from Charles Darwin. The problem of science popularization hits a snag in I inform people against their will!, but science education is doing fine – check out the local Island Project. But off the island, In Space, Holes are a problem.

Food and Guilt – questions about some extraordinary claims answered nicely in the comments. The interviews continue, including this one with Anne-Marie Hodge. The BlueSci interview went online.

We tried to remember our own Obsolete Lab Skills and I tried the Nth iteration of the answer to the life’s persistent question: What is a Science Blog? Finally, some fun science – Open Access Beer!

In March (241 posts) a bunch of bloggers answered the tough librarian’s question: How Do You Shelve Your Books? But then there was time for a little bit of science: Mel-Mel-Mel: it’s easy to remember in snowshoe hares. We got our first Super Readers and this blog received its 8000th comment.

I wrote a lot about telecommuting and related stuff, including about the 40-hour workweek. The series of scienceblogging interviews ended with a reverse interview – with me.

Then I penned a long rant about The so-called Facebook Scandal and an even longer follow-up – Individual vs. Group Learning Redux, both of which elicited a lot of heated commentary, and finally the third of the trifecta: ‘Generation’ is the mindset, not age.

Another off-the-cuff rant – Not all blogs are tech blogs. March was the month of Invertebrate Wars, the 5000th post and the millionth visitor to this blog, and the defense of profanity.

I was abroad for most of April (224 posts), so I picked a bunch of old good posts and had them scheduled for automatic re-posting during the month. The April Fool’s joke was about Brain Doping, which was taken too seriously by too many (and still is!). Before the trip, I wrote a comprehensive recap of all of my goings and doings of the previous month or so, with pictures. But before I left, there was enough time for another response to a clueless blog-basher: Moms, don’t let your daughters marry bloggers!

And then the EuroTrip started, with many, many posts (too many to link them all here today), each with many, many pictures! First stop – London, then Cambridge, then a great weekend in Cromer and back to Cambridge.

Next stop – Trieste, where I was on the Open Access panel (recordings are here), on the radio (recording is here) and the Science blogging panel.

Then, after thirteen years of absence, I arrived home in Belgrade, where I gave two talks about Open Access on the first day I arrived and did three radio interviews. I saw some of my childhood friends, and of course, the horses (with a follow up).

And while I was traveling, I posted the first guest-post by Anne-Marie Hodge: How do bats in a cave know if it is dark outside yet? So, yes, there was real science blogging on this science blog in April!

At the beginning of May (181 posts) I flew from Belgrade to Berlin and then finally came back home, just in time to vote in the NC primary.

There were some good answers in the comments of this post: Ettiquette for blogging a scientific meeting – a question. Why did I ask? Because I was about to go to reconnect with my tribe – the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, from where came this long summary.

And I wrote a real science post as well – Clock Classics: It all started with the plants.

I started June (156 posts) with some thoughts on Historical Open Access. Then this video with a short commentary provoked so many comments that this post is still the starting point for an entire series of subsequent posts about the future of work, office, telecommuting and coworking.

Not everybody liked my review of Kung Fu Panda, though the NC symphony review apparently went over better. Then I briefly revisited academic blogging.

The new carnival – The Giant’s Shoulders got started. My paper on the future of the scientific paper got published. I made my first SPORE creature. Birds were the focus of the month in PLoS ONE.

And while I was galivanting around NYCity with my family at the end of the month, you could read the science post of the month: Why do earthworms come up to the surface after the rain?

In July (282 posts), blogosphere rose against Declan Butler and in defense of PLoS. Yes, some of the ScienceDebate2008 questions were, with permission, based on some of my questions.

Apart from politics, I went back (so rare these days) to debunking crackpottery. Then, When religion goes berserk! here, in the Balkans, and universally.

The documentary ‘Sizzle’ came out and a bunch of us here at scienceblogs.com got advance copies to screen. I wrote my review in two long posts, with lots of comments: Sizzle and Scientists are Excellent Communicators (‘Sizzle’ follow-up). Question: Are Science Movies Useful?

Back to an old topic of mine – Blog Carnivals – what is in it for you? I hosted the first edition of The Giant’s Shoulders and the seventh edition of Berry Go Round, then joined in the chorus debating the term Darwinist.

Some more on the media dinosaurs: Lee Siegel – who let him into a media room again?. Then The Web: how we use it. Finally, some science: Running the green light…. is all about cool chemistry.

August (306 posts) was a busy blogging month and a poetry month: There once was an Editor of FASEB…. and Well versed in science. Practical advice: What I try to do when I travel abroad across several time zones. Job-related: Post-publication Peer-review in PLoS-ONE, pars premiere. And a cool new site: iNaturalist rocks!

Back to teaching: BIO101 again and There is no need for a ‘Creepy Treehouse’ in using the Web in the classroom and Why teaching evolution is dangerous and What are teachers for?.

With the election approaching, I blogged about politics more than usual, doing my part in informing the voters, e.g., Vote McCain, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule? By eliminating Free Market, of course, Just informing the voters…., Candidates on Science, and Palin?

Another epic: Importance of History of Science (for scientists and others). And another epic: Science vs. Britney Spears. And in the series of posts about workplace – Paperless Office? Bwahahahaha! and The 21st Century Workplace is wherever you and your laptop happen to be.

I hosted the first edition of Praxis. Celebrated the 6000th post here, 3 million pageviews and the 4th blogiversary. On wifi in hotels and watching the Olympics online: Rage 2.0 and a similar rant – Drinking Age?

SciBling MeetUp in New York City was a blast! Next thing, they outlaw cooking at home: it’s chemistry, after all…..

Want science? Domestication – it’s a matter of time (always is for me, that’s my ‘hammer’ for all nails) and Green Sahara Cemeteries and Rainforest Glow-worms glow at night because their clock says so and To Equine Things There is a Season (guest post by Barn Owl).

In September (325 posts) I received the 10,000th comment. PLoS ONE theme of the month were bats, and also a new push towards my own field. And I did a little analysis of my own traffic: What kinds of posts bring traffic?

We opened the submissions for the Open Lab 2008 and opened registration for ScienceOnline’09 which filled up in three weeks (we have about 30 people over limit, plus about 60 on waitlist!). And, the SciBlings and readers met at the Zoo for the Millionth Comment Party.

With the election in full swing, of course I covered politics a lot, several times a day, for example: Obama: Families are off limits, Obama answers science questions, If you are watching the RNC Convention and…., Compare and Contrast, Part 6, Palin – the fundraiser, Are they cheap, broke, or understaffed?, Just laugh at them, ‘Community Organizer’ – a dogwhistle for ‘Black rabble-rouser’, Obama Blasts McCain on Lipstickgate: Enough of the lies and distractions!. This kind of stuff tends to bring out the trolls.

Now, away from politics. How Inside Duke Medicine got revamped. Then, this was really cool: A non-biological biological clock. A book: The Divine Right of Capital. Not much time for science, but: ‘Normal’ body temperature? Not really. and Aerosteon riocoloradensis – the new dinosaur with hollow bones.

October (298 posts) brought an article in the local newspaper: From Telecommuting to Coworking. And that local newspaper was? Carrboro Citizen – a model for the newspaper of the future.

From there, I went into foodblogging – Offal is Good. And finally a serious post: Wikipedia, just like an Organism: clock genes wiki pages.

The program and organization of ScienceOnline09 got into full swing and the registration was completely filled up. We had a blogging contest for Open Access Day, and we got two winners: Greg Laden and Dorothea Salo.

This one was somewhat provocative: The Nobel Prize conundrum. And this one was provocative for a different reason: Obama-McCain race – a Serbian parallel lesson? When science and politics crash into each other: Palin, autism and fruitflies – it does not add up. And a book recommendation.

I wrote a recap of ConvergeSouth08. And I went to this symposium. And got interviewed again. Then I wrote something more serious: Information vs. Knowledge vs. Expertise.

November (233 posts) was marked by the saga of Roosevelts on Toilets in which I contributed this serious science post: Spring Forward, Fall Back – should you watch out tomorrow morning?

I did The Science Blog Meme. Into Balkan history: Semlin Judenlager. Watched Twilight.

Science: The map is in the bag, but the sequence may yet reveal if kangaroos have jumping genes and, related, Science by press release – you are doing it wrong.

I voted and was obviously happy with the outcome. Unlike four years ago, there was no need for long analytic “what the heck happened?” posts, but that did not deter me from opining about the political future: Transition and the new Cabinet, Post-election thoughts, Republicans? Who’s that?, Obama’s Transition and Will there be new communication channels in the Obama administration?

This golden piece of advice was discovered by one of my students, then, after I posted it, it spread like wildfire around the blogosphere. More science: Mining the Web for the patterns in the Real World. This was serious: Why does Impact Factor persist most strongly in smaller countries. And this is funny: What is wrong with the picture?

And finally, December (270 posts so far, but there will be more). I started by complaining about Google Blogsearch. Then we closed the submissions for the Open Laboratory 2008 and I posted all the entries.

I did the Five-Fiftysix meme and posted puzzle solutions the next day. We spent an hour on air on Radio In Vivo talking about science communication.

I found Inter-connectedness of science blogs interesting, noted the passing of H.M. and thought that Molecules with funny names are funny. So was Scarlett Johansson – Bioterrorist?

But Elites? That’s somehow bad? was a provocative post. And The Shock Value of Science Blogs was even more provocative.

Another two posts in the series on the topic I cover a lot lately – What’s an office for? and Co-Researching spaces for Freelance Scientists?.

Are you Managing your online persona like a Superhero? And another frequent topic here – Bloggers vs. Journalists morphs into Twitterers vs. Journalists and I compared Twitter and FriendFeed as used by companies, and ‘Newsworthy-ness’.

The preparations for ScienceOnline09 are in the final stretch. PLoS ONE turned Two, so we had a synchroblogging competition. The winner was Einstein was smart, but Could He Play the Violin?

Science: Clocks and Immunity and Elephants in zoos and Both Male-Male Competition and Mate Choice are parts of Sexual Selection and Evolutionary Psychology – why it is fundamentally wrong.

Who’s the Blogger Of The Year? What about the hypothesis that Blogs are a means to finding people to do rhythmic things with?

Well, that was fun. Have a great New Year and we’ll continue with the regular programing as usual. I hope you stay around next year and bring your friends….

Related: Year in Review 2007


  1. #1 Coturnix
    January 1, 2009

    OK, ended up with 3008 posts for the year – a record even for me. Anything of note during those last few days? Perhaps How to Blog? or Bloggers vs. Journalists Redux, part N.

  2. #2 Mike
    January 1, 2009

    What a year! I’m exhausted just reading about it.

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