End-of-Year Post

Friday, December 22, 2006

This post will be my last of the year as I will start my annual hiatus from blogging once I hit the "Publish Post" button. Look for me to be back here by January 2, 2007.

I find myself feeling a bit rushed (and preoccupied) at the moment, mainly due to the numerous things I still need to do for the holidays. If this post seems a bit disjointed, that would be why....

Looking back at the previous two end-of-year posts, I see that I never posted blog stats for last year and that I have gotten out of the habit of keeping track of them this year. So just for kicks, I'll go ahead and pull up the stats for comparison of all three years now:

visits/month (1)1302,9734,125
technorati rank780,67943,29437,607
TTLB rank14,8895,3634,546
TTLB creaturewiggly wormcrawly amphibianflappy bird
blogshares valuation (B$)1,000.0025,586.6345,959.95

(1) This is sitemeter's automatic projection for the month based on visits in the past week.

While it is fun to see the old corporation growing, such statistics really do not mean all that much. Why? Because the value of any activity to the person doing it cannot really be measured by comparing his output to that of others.

Is blogging a worthwhile activity to me? On balance, it has been, but it has also been disappointing in some respects.

On the positive side of the ledger, I have gotten myself into the habit of keeping an eye out for developments in politics and culture to the point that it is becoming second nature: I can be quite efficient at it now. I have also noticed over the past couple of years that my thinking about the relationship between philosophy and politics has become clearer and more sophisticated. I am not so sure that blogging has helped my writing, although it has taught me several things about writing in general and my writing in particular. Among them:
  • I need to become better at judging whether something I want to have published is, in fact, good enough for publication.
  • I need to raise the bar a little. Blogging is fun, but it will not advance my opinion writing career as much as getting into a print outlet.
  • Blogging is easy. Writing a column is hard. I need to do less of the former and more of the latter.
Another positive of blogging has been that it has allowed me to meet lots of people I would otherwise probably have never met. I have gained quite an impressive collection of friends and contacts over the past couple of years. This alone makes blogging a worthwhile activity.

On the negative side of the ledger is that blogging takes quite a bit of time. I do not recall exactly when I decided to blog at the frequency I have maintained over the past year, but I decided to do it in part just to see whether I could. Well, I can and I know that I can, but I am feeling somewhat ragged right now and wondering how valuable this knowledge really is!

Even though I have been able to blog rather efficiently, I have come to realize that I cannot continue at quite the frenetic pace I have maintained over the past year. I am sure that for blogging to continue to be as worthwhile as it has been to me that I must continue posting regularly, but I will have to post less in order to have more time for other purposes. (A facility at work I have been waiting on should finally be complete and I want to devote more time to getting myself seen in print outlets.) Also, I over the past year, I have felt like I was working two jobs most of the time. I have no problem with that, but I want to realize more tangible benefits for this amount of effort.

I haven't worked out how I will adjust my blogging to achieve the best balance between good, regularly-published content and time for other writing, but finding that balance will be my major goal over the next year. So expect changes, but don't expect me to tell you what they will be, because I don't know myself!

In the meantime, I plan to enjoy some time off with my family and hope all of you can do the same. Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my blog. I wish all of you a very merry Christmas!

-- CAV

PS: Internet connectivity will be spotty. I may or may not get to comments or email over the next ten days.


Dan said...

And the best to you and yours thru this Christmas season also CAV.

I have enjoyed your blog since discovering you at the inception of mine this past fall.

May 2007 be a great year for us all... even if it's only in the world as it ought to be - Objectivelyspeaking of course!

See ya' round in '07.

My best regards

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been great reading, and yours is one of the few blogs out there which has had, frankly, an absolute torrent of relevant content on a pretty frequent basis. I think you could get away with spacing the posts out more, given how much signal and how little noise there is in them.

The only reason I even blog as often as I do on my side is because my streak of never missing a weekday since I started is still intact. Since I go off on tangents writing about whatever strikes my fancy, my signal to noise ratio is likely very low for any given topical reader -- but I do spread the love to all of them and many read out of interest for different content from one another.

Conversely, you have tightened the focus of your blog to the point where your average reader knows exactly what he or she will see on any given day. Given the quality of the content, quantity becomes a tertiary issue.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thank you both for your kind words and again for your visits.

I also appreciate your sugestion, Mike. I think if I can be creative with it, I can save time not necessarily at the expense of post frequency. Hopefully, as the problem sits on the back burner over the next few days, I'll come up with an elegant solution. (At least that's how my mind seemed to work back in college with mathematical problems.)

Inspector said...

Merry Christmas, Gus!

You've had a great year.

softwareNerd said...

Happy New year to you.

Bubblehead said...

Have a Happy New Year!

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you, guys! And may you have a happy and prosperous New Year!