Officially, I started this blog a year ago yesterday, with the first post about science coming the next day.
At times, I wonder what possessed me to assign myself a regular writing assignment. But, it's definitely been rewarding. I've learned from comments & emails, made a lot of new connections, and maintained an incentive to read a lot of papers that aren't directly connected to my current professional duties. I've also gotten to indulge my fondness for wordplay and pun-filled headlines.
I thought I knew what I'd write about, and in general I've stuck to it, though I've certainly strayed periodically a bit outside of biotech & bioinformatics (or figured out tenuous links to them). I've also covered some topics more than I ever would have guessed: I had no idea when I started I'd write so much about dogs!
What might I change for the next year? I really should be more active in blog carnivals -- I miss the deadlines far more than I hit them, and have probably shown up in as many from editors being kind as those I've submitted. I really should take some turns at editing a carnival edition. I also plan to try to join the Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research bandwagon, though with diligence to only claim that icon when I have actually fully read the article (which dings all the papers I have access to only the abstracts!).
Keeping posts on a regular schedule has been challenging, which makes me appreciate all the more folks like Derek Lowe who post intelligent writing like clockwork. Sometimes there are good excuses (internet-free vacations), but too often the writing gets put off until too late at night. I've also noticed a tendency to follow-up flurries of writing with droughts -- the week long marathon in February, for example, followed by a weak March. Need to work on that. 182 posts over a year's time -- averaging to one every other day. I thought I'd be higher than that, but maybe that really is the comfortable hobby level.
While the writing is a solo effort, getting readership has been helped by an army of others. GenomeWeb is nice enough to feature me regularly in their blog, and a number of individual bloggers have helped through blogrolls, carnival invites & cross-links. The DNA Network is now my primary blog read each day (plus Dr. Lowe).
I'm also surprised at the number of article ideas I've let sit on the shelf -- some dating back to near the beginning. Either post them or kill them!
Thanks to all for reading this. I hope I'll continue to earn your eyes for another year.