Pure Pedantry

Happy New Year to everyone! I’m back from my lovely New Years vacation, and I wanted to take a moment to look back on my first full year as a blogger for ScienceBlogs.com. (This will be for the last year and a half actually, since I didn’t do this last New Year’s.)

First, let’s do some numbers. Since this site started on ScienceBlogs in June 2006 we received following traffic:

There were 811 posts including this one.
We had 1,609,974 Pageviews and 854,709 Unique Pageviews.
2,541 people commented.

Pretty sweet, huh?

(In the spirit of honesty, however, a large percentage of those visits were for this post about Britney Spears which has — to my continuing amusement and astonishment — ranked highly in Google images for past several months. Every time Britney Spears does something stupid, I get paid. Nice.)

During that period we have talked about science and non-science. There are posts that I am especially proud of — particularly the Floyd Landis post that ended up in last year’s science blogging anthology. (The accepted submissions for this year’s anthology have just been announced, and — though I am not in it this year — considering the quality of the competition I am excited to read it.)

We had some controversial discussions during which I tried my best to be polite. That being said, there were some shouting matches. There are funny posts and not so funny posts.

Like all bloggers, there are some posts that I regret. You are never right all the time, and sometimes you make mistakes. There are some posts where I was clearly wrong, and some posts that show that I have more to learn. Blogging is a process like graduate school: you get better at it as you go along.

For a time, we had Kara Contreary as our lovely and wonderful co-blogger, but sadly for the new year Kara and I agreed that she doesn’t have enough time for regular contributions. She will be remaining with an open account so that she can post, but she need to spend time working on her studies. Thank you, Kara, for all your thought-provoking posts.

Looking backward talking about science on ScienceBlogs has been both fun and enriching. It has made me both a better communicator and hopefully a better scientist.

Looking forward, I have some New Year’s resolutions for Pure Pedantry that I hope will make the site better in the coming year.

  • First, I have been obscenely bad at getting book reviews done. People send me really good books that I end up reading but never talking about. This year I want to get at least on book review a month done.
  • Second, I would like to start a Friday rants section where I rant about something — maybe scientific — on Friday afternoons. I realized over break that I don’t open up about my personal opinion as often as I should, and I would like to start doing that more regularly. There is no need for us to just have sterile scientific debates.
  • Third, I want to get better at posting and responding to reader comments. I do read them, but I want to get better at creating an ongoing discussion. At least once a week, I will post what I think is the funniest or most insightful comment. (I did it once already.)

Like most New Years resolutions, we will have to wait and see how well I see them through.

In any case, it has been a wonderful year and a half. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you here again soon.


  1. #1 cerebralmum
    January 3, 2008

    Happy New Year, Jake. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say in 2008. I shall probably comment rarely, not generally being qualified to add much to the debate. I think I’ll enjoy getting a little bit more personal opinion (if you keep that resolution) but even if you just keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll remain my favourite science blog. (You used to share the podium but with Kate from The Anterior Commissure saying her goodbyes, you’re now alone at the top.)

    Anyway, that’s enough compliment and dribble. I shall now return to lurking.

    Thank you. :)

  2. #2 razib
    January 4, 2008

    fascist libertarian!

  3. #3 Ian
    January 7, 2008

    Sorry to see Kara take a more retiring stance! The idea of “Young & Contr(e)ary” always made me smile!

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