Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog Year in Review

The meme seen everywhere today (first seen by me at Dr. Crazy's):
  1. Harken back to your archives.
  2. Collect the first sentence you wrote every month for the whole year.
  3. Entertain us.
January: "I've known what next year's resolutions will be for weeks...well, they are not resolutions exactly but more like the areas on which I want to focus my energy in 2006." I got #1 (earn a PhD) out of the way, but #s 2 and 3 are more debatable (have a healthier lifestyle, help my husband lead a happier life).

February: "Dr. Free-ride has put together another great edition of Tangled Bank, the carnival of the sciences." Of course I had to promote my one submission to Tangled Bank. These days I rarely have the energy to read blog carnivals, but I should note that there is now a physical sciences one (Philosphia Naturalis) as well as the more life science oriented Tangled Bank.

March: "As seen over at AAYOR (and probably elsewhere, I am seriously behind on my bloglines)" The US map meme - a reminder of how much of my blogging is just ideas stolen from all of you and of how much time keeping up with all of your blogs can take if you let it. But usually I let it - sometimes at the expense of my own posting. People just have such interesting things to say!

April: "Where in the world did March go?" Gosh, I have that sensation almost every month. This was one of my goals and accomplishments posts that I try to do at the beginning of most months.

May: "This is what my desk looks like when I am working hard." A post about the mental agony and physical consequences of working through reviewer comments. Right now my desk is almost as messy, but I'm not really doing anything hard. Maybe I'm just a poor housekeeper.

June: "With all the work and travel I have in the month ahead, I've decided to go on a bit of a vacation from blogging." A wisely planned vacation from blogging that coincided with a bunch of work-related travel and the fatigue of early pregnancy - and to prevent myself from saying anything about it before I was ready.

July: "Happy Canada Day." What follows is another list of monthly goals.

August
:
"I promised myself I wouldn't blog today until I had written at least a couple of good paragraphs of my current paper." That's the start of a post about the final weeks of dissertating and the frustrations that lie therein.

September
: "(Scientific vocabulary increasingly eludes me or fails to capture what I mean, so I am turning to other fields for help. The final paragraphs of my diss will be titled "denouement.")" 3 days before my dissertation went to the committee. I was on an emotional roller-coaster.

October: "My post-defense vacation included a trip to Eastern Oregon to witness the most complete range of Tertiary fossils found anywhere - the John Day Fossil Beds." My first science post to come up in this list - reinforcing exactly how little I blog about science around here.

November: "What a great way to start the day. A colleague just sent me this bit of scientific fun."
I guess this counts as 50% silliness and 50% science.

December: "This week has been a blur." Dude, this year has been a blur.

To summarize and quantify: If we accept the assumption that these twelve posts are a representative sample of my blogging over the past year, then the following is true:
  • 25% of posts are goals or other lists (probably an overestimate)
  • 25% of posts are about writing science for publication or dissertation and the resulting emotional fallout
  • 17% of posts are bemoaning the passage of time
  • 12.5% of the time I actually write about science itself (probably an overestimate)
  • 12.5% of posts are memes or other silliness
  • 8% of posts exist solely to promote other people's blogging (and my own)
  • 8% of the time I'm on blog-vacation (hey, that's less than the president)
In reviewing these 12 posts, I didn't find a very compelling reason to regularly read this blog. So why do you all keep doing it? And what do you want the breakdown to look like next year?

1 comment:

Jane said...

I actually find it really refreshing to read about the Real Actual Lives of other woman scientists. In a way, it makes being a woman scientist seem less weird. And it's comforting to hear that we all are dealing with and thinking about the same things---science, sure, but also balance, and publishing, and burnout, and goals....it's all good! So keep up what you're doing this year...and keep us posted on the whole new motherhood thing, too!