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Taking Stock, Again

Well, it's been a little while since I've done one of these meta posts, but here goes...

Let's see, my first blog post ever was back in December of 2005. Not too long after, towards the end of March 2006, I realized I wasn't keeping up with the blog as much as I'd have liked, but I still liked the idea of having a blog, so I resolved to make a good post at least once per month, and, for the most part, I was able to keep up with it.

Towards the end of this past January, I made a new resolution to make a post at least once per week. I never announced it before, just in case I wasn't able to keep up with it, but I have been doing pretty good at it. I actually got a boost in motivation when PZ Myers of Pharyngula announced a Blogroll Open Enrollment Day. I hesitated to submit my name at first, since I have such a mediocre blog compared to others, but after seeing how many other people were submitting their own personal blogs, I thought, what the hell, the worst that can happen is that I don't get added. He ended up adding everyone that submitted a blog, but with a few warnings, including that many would probably be deleted once he had a chance to review them, and that he would definitely remove blogs that hadn't been updated within the past 30 days. Well, luckily for me, he hasn't gone through and purged the blogs he doesn't read, yet, so I'm still on there (I'm guessing it's only a matter of time, though). And the warning about the 30 day post or purge deadline has kept me motivated to keep my post per week goal.

As long as I'm talking about Pharyngula, I guess I'll point out something else interesting. Way back in February of 2006, I posted a trackback to Pharyngula for an entry about What Is the Value of Algebra. That entry got me a trackback and two comments. On that Blogroll Open Enrollment Day post on Pharyngula, just by having a link to my blog in his comments (and there were over 150 comments in that thread), I got a noticeable increase in traffic, and a comment to one of my posts. Considering that I normally get zero feedback, I think it's interesting that just posting a comment on Pharyngula and feeding on his scraps gets me an infinity percent increase in comments/trackbacks.

Speaking of blogrolls, I recently got added to Matt's blogroll over on Pooflinger's Anonymous (which, by the way, is one of the three blogs I check on a daily basis, the other two being Pharyngula and Confessions of an Anonymous Coward; in other words, it's a good blog and you should check it out if you haven't, yet). It was a similar situation to Pharyngula, where Matt posted that he was getting ready to update his blogroll, and told people to leave a comment if they wanted to be considered. And once again, I shamelessly plugged my own blog, and was lucky enough to be added. And again, it's given me more motivation to try to make good weekly posts.

In both of the above cases, it felt very awkward asking to be added to their blogrolls. I really get kind of self conscious advertising for my blog. I feel that if I've got good content, people will just find me. I mean, I never advertised my French Polynesia Photos page on my main site, but if you Google "bora bora photos," I'm on the first page of results (currently eighth). And if you Google "autogyros" or "autogyro history," my Autogyro History and Theory page is the first or second result (damn you Wikipedia</Charlton Heston voice>). So posting comments on other people's blogs, asking them to add me to their blogrolls, seems a bit pathetic too me; it almost felt like begging. Oh well - I'm on the blogrolls, now, so I might as well just do my best to make good posts.

Something else I felt like talking about in this entry was what I plan on writing about on this blog in the future. I started this blog "pre-Dover," when Intelligent Design was making the "real" news on a regular basis. It was also around the time I first discovered that nearly half of Americans believe humans were specially created. I guess I'd been naive before, believing that it was only the loonies that still doubted evolution. The history of life on this planet has always been a topic I've been really interested in even before I knew there was this controversy, so getting such a wake up call made me start to look at the issue more. It also lead me to take more note of the religious fundamentalism in this society, that I guess I'd been kind of sheltered from before, and realize that it wasn't just a fringe element of society, either. So, when I started this blog, those were the main topics I wrote about. Well, it's been over a couple years now since I started following this controversy, and while creationists certainly haven't gone away, I can sense my interest in the topic waning. It's partly a conscious effort, as well - my wife told me I was becoming too obsessed, so I've been trying to think about other things. So, to get back to the point of this paragraph, I doubt I'll ever stop writing about the science/religion/creationism issue entirely (especially in the narrower field of evolution), and for the time being, the majority of my posts will probably still be about this issue, but I plan on writing more entries on other topics.

One last thing - I had been considering using this post to announce that I was going to disable trackbacks. You wouldn't believe the number of spam trackbacks my filter catches (well, maybe you would if you have your own blog). But, I decided against it. I figure that if something I write inspires somebody else to write something, I'd like to know about it.


See? My threat to purge my blogroll is the scourge and whip of teh interwebs!

Well, in this entry I wrote how putting a trackback to Pharyngula got me comments, and putting a link to this blog in a comment on Pharyngula got me even more comments. Now, I briefly discuss Pharyngula and I get a comment from PZ himself. I guess that confirms it. The best way for me to get comments on this blog is to whore myself out to PZ Myers.

Hmm, I wonder if that would work for other people. Let's see, I like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Burt Rutan, Carl Zimmer, Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

I anxiously await your pearls of wisdom and the vigorous intellectual debate that will ensue in this comment thread.

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