Five years ago today, I posted about my job market success and Memoirs of a SLACer was born. Given that the average blog lasts about two weeks I am fairly surprised by my ability to keep this up for so long. I may have originally considered blogging to be a way to waste time that I should have been spending on my dissertation, but my dissertation was completed long ago and 572 posts later the blog is still going.
Early on, a friend who encouraged me to start a blog (probably so that I would stop sharing my “wisdom” with her) asked me how many readers I would need to consider this venture worthwhile. I responded that five readers would probably be enough to keep me going. Luckily, while Memoirs of a SLACer is not among the most read sociology blogs, more than five people read it every day (sometimes as many as eight!) so I don’t think I’m wasting my time.
Although there have been lulls in my blogging productivity, I have also been relatively successful at sticking to my preferred posting schedule. If you were not aware that there is a preferred posting schedule it is probably because talking about how frequently or infrequently I will post is prohibited by the Memoirs of a SLACer founding principles. These principles, eloquently titled “blog rules” in the text file I saved them in five years ago, are printed here for the first time:
- No Comments unless I ask a question
- No family life unless it is related to sociology
- No mention of how frequently or infrequently I will post
- No talk of singing in the shower at 3 am
- No jumps
- Capitalize the first word of post titles with no punctuation at the end
A few comments on these principles, which I have done a fairly good job of upholding over the years: Although I think that allowing comments can help develop a community around a blog, my thoughts regarding comments were influenced by this. Later, I read this, which reinforced my views. If it weren’t for John Gruber, you might be able to comment on this post right now!
The words “I have been meaning to post more” mean that the writer you are reading will soon stop providing updates. My policy on this has always been that I will post things when I want to post things and I won’t post things when I don’t or, more likely, when I’m too busy.
Possibly the most important blog rule was inspired by this. I have always connected with writers who allow some of their personality to come across in their writing, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing…
Although I’ve made it five years, I will not promise this blog will be around for another five. I won’t even promise that there will be a post on Thursday at 6 pm Pacific time. To do so would be to break my third rule of blogging.
At any rate, thanks for giving me a reason to keep writing!