I've now been blogging for three years.
While there's a lot to like about blogging, one of the benefits I've been noticing more and more is that it gives me a reason to practice writing. I still don't write as well as I should, but thanks to three years of nearly daily posting, I'm a lot more comfortable in front of the keyboard (and make fewer mistakes when I'm there). Now my students no longer have to suffer through (quite as) horridly worded handouts.
I still find it hard to believe the amount of traffic I get: over the last three years I've gotten more than 176,000 visits and 244,000 page views. Sure, I'm no BoingBoing, PZ, or Orac (they all probably get more hits in a week than I get in a year), but I rather like where I am (as, for example, my blog is completely lacking in pesky trolls). In keeping with the tradition of posting the last year's worth of traffic, here are the data on unique visits for the past year:
The peak in June is thanks to my Ubuntu vs. Windows installation post getting dugg (which generated more than 13,000 hits in a single day).
Given that I've now been pseudonymous for three years, this seems as good a point as any to mention that I'm currently pondering whether I should maintain my strict pseudonymity. While I do like that I'm pseudonymous (I've written about my reasons for this earlier), it is starting to hinder what I'm able to do both here on the blog and professionally. For example, I've built up a decent number of posts on teaching techniques, and it's frustrating not to be able to share that material with my colleagues (especially when I'm asked to lead workshops on topics I've written about here).
Additionally, in the coming year I'll be working on creating content for my online biology class. This will entail writing short summaries of a wide range of biological topics, and I'd love to share those here. The problem, of course, is that I can't do that if I'm pseudonymous. So, for the first time in a long time, I'm actually seriously pondering the utility of my pseudonymous state.
But that's enough navel gazing for now. It's time to break out some cake (we actually did just bake a cake, but not for the blog) and celebrate. As with prior years, many thanks to everyone who reads, comments, and otherwise interacts with me thanks to this blog. It's been a great three years, and I'm looking forward to more.