22 December 2015

And now we are eight


Today is TYWKIWDBI's eighth blogiversary.  The photo shows some celebratory "snowman" cookies designed to reflect the realities of this winter's climate in our part of the country.

I started this blog during Christmas week of 2007 as a way to save time ("if I put stuff in a blog, then I won't need to individually mail interesting things to Ted in Florida and to Skip up at the lake and to my cousins out west...").  It has of course morphed into the polar opposite - a beast capable of consuming vast numbers of precious hours (though to be quite honest the time expenditure comes from the attendant surfing of the web, not the creation of the posts).  I mused about that during my fifth blogiversary post:
I still struggle with motivation to keep blogging because of the seemingly unending distractions of real life.  But I do get a great deal of satisfaction from the depth and breadth of knowledge, the sophistication, and the almost always unfailing courtesy of readers who comment on the posts.  I learn things, I teach things, and every now and then I get help with my car or my computer for free.  Such a deal.
The numbers startle me when I stop to look at them:  13,400 posts, almost 19,000,000 pageviews.  I can never tell ahead of time what will tickle the fancy of the readership, because the most unexpected posts sometimes garner the most attention.  I put a lot of effort into dissecting hard science, but the fifth most popular post was this 2012 one about a waterfall braid (73,777 views) -


- which in turn was overshadowed by a text-only post in 2013 explaining how to break your wrist on purpose (91,400 pageviews, 121 comments !).

Not surprisingly, humor posts hold the top two spots: Watch out if your daddy likes physics (113,000 pageviews) and How to tease your dog (135,000 pageviews).

I don't know what the future holds for the blog.  I may make some changes to reflect the realities of my increasing age and the fact that the passage of time seems to be speeding up.  The recognition of love-hate relationships goes back at least as far as the Roman poet Catullus: “I hate and yet love. You may wonder how I manage it. I don't know, but feel it happen, and am in torment.”  I'm not in torment, but I am conflicted about the time I spend with my mouse and keyboard.

Now it's time for Christmas things.  Back to the blog next week.

Cookie photo cropped for composition from the one posted at imgur.

39 comments:

  1. happy bronze!!!

    I-)

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  2. Happy Anniversary!!

    I love your blog ~ I always learn something from it, or finding something that makes me laugh out loud...

    Thank you for all your time and hard work putting it together; you ARE appreciated!!

    Merry Winter Solstice!


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  3. I started reading this blog in 2009 while working in Europe, after a colleague there pointed it out to me as something that I might be interested in (he also noted that we were from the same part of the U.S.). I have been a dedicated reader ever since, and during your blogging breaks did as suggested and read every post from the very first one. Your work has brought me and my wife and others all over the world many many many hours of thoughtful enjoyment. Thank you.

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  4. Happy anniversary, MinnesotaStan! You consistently have some of the best content on these intertubes. Thanks for being there!

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  5. I have been tempted to thank you in the comments many times during the six years that I have frequented this blog on a weekly basis. You've served as an introduction to many interesting and appreciated bits and pieces over the years for a now 30-year old swedish male, and remarks on the demands this blog places on your time leaves a lurking reader unable to resist saying this; good curators on the 'net are valuable. Thank you for being one.

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  6. Happy blogiversary!

    I love reading your blog and learn something new or interesting every time I stop by to check out what's new=)

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  7. Happy blogiversary from Australia!

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  8. Happy Blogiversary and Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for all the time you have spent to bring us the most interesting stuff on the Internet. I sincerely hope you will continue bringing us bits of wisdom, science lessons, commentary, fun stuff, curiosities, etc. for many years to come. I've been reading your blog almost from the very beginning, and make it a must-see stop daily.

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  9. Thank you for all your hard work and your curious mind. You've enriched and enlightened my days. I know when I come to your blog, that there will be something interesting to read and respectful comments that add to the discussion. It's like the proverbial port in the storm of the maelstrom of the interwebs.

    Wishing you, your family and friends, and the readers of the blog a joyous and peaceful holiday season.

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  10. Happy Blogiversary. I totally understand the love/hate dichotomy, but I hope you know that for some of us, it's a breath of fresh air to have a place to find really valuable and interesting articles.

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  11. Congratulations from another reader whose days are enlivened by your lovely blog. Thank you!!

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  12. Happy Blogiversary, Happy Holidays, and thank you for all the education, entertainment, and interesting discussions your blog has provided over the years!

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  13. Been a regular reader/lurker for many years - your blog is always a treat to visit, and I consider it one of my favourite corners of the internet. Many thanks indeed for all of your postings, be they insightful, enlightening or just plain entertaining - we all enjoy them greatly.

    Happy anniversary, and all the best to you and the family for the holiday season!

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  14. TYWK is part of my daily bookmarks. You sent me milkweeds seeds that I grew in Arkansas. I now live in South Carolina where I have seen more Monarchs than anywhere I've ever lived. I regret never getting pictures of the CCC work in AR to share with you. Like everyone above, you have made a positive impact on my brain. Thank you.

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  15. Congratulations on this milestone - really have enjoyed your work and the internet would be a poorer place without you - Cheers and Happy Holidays! - Johan

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  16. I'm so glad that I stumbled upon your blog. It's a true gem, and I thank you for all of the effort it takes to keep it going!

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  17. I have about 5 or 6 pages i check on a daily or every second day basis, yours has been one for years, from computer to computer, it always a pleasure to see what you have found for us! Thanks for your time and energy, we gain knowledge from it. It is a valuble thing!

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  18. Happy blogaversary! I'm always interested in what your blog has to show me. I for one hope you stick with it!

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  19. I only found you a few years ago and am amazed by your quantity and quality. Happy blogaversary! I'm not so prolific.

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  20. As someone who has not quite put in the amount of time and energy, nor garnered your well deserved acclaim, I can most certainly attest to the effort involved. Continued success (if that's what you decide), but most of all- Thank you...

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  21. I understand about how much time goes into it. For everything i post there isa couple hours worth of stuff I DONT post. Haha.
    That's why I come by here every day. Its almost like cheating. One of my regularly recurring FB themes is "Another reason to read TYWKIEWDBI".
    Happy Versary, and Merry Christmas!

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  22. I found your blog years ago while searching for information about the crooked forest in Poland. From then on I was hooked! I even keep it secret from my husband just so I can have things to show him that he hasn't seen before.

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  23. Thanks, from the mountains of North Carolina. Love this blog.

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  24. Hats off from Ireland for the monstrous amount of distillation you put into TYWK. I know a LOT more about butterflies now. I've been known to use your posts as an inspirational springboard; so thanks for that too.

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  25. Guess I'd better post this before this interwebs-thingy fad fades away ... ;-)
    Congrats on the anniversary. Thanks so much for your effort; I find this to be the most consistently interesting blog that I check. Happy holidays, and may the new year bring you to many new gems of knowledge/experience!

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  26. Happy Blogiversary, and happy holidays too! Your blog is just a delight. Thanks!!!

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  27. Happy birthday! The other posters have said what I wanted to say, so let me just add Thanks for many entertaining and enlightening hours.

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  28. Happy blog anniversary!

    Your blog has been a source of joy and fascination for me! A while back, you posted about milkweeds and monarchs and made me aware of a problem I'd had no idea existed. I now have a small milkweed garden that I hope will house some caterpillars soon.

    You had a few posts about wildflowers in your area. Those posts fascinated me as well and inspired me to explore the nature preserves in my area.

    Just trying to say that while the humorous posts have gained some attention, it's your thoughtful, science- and nature-oriented posts that made the greatest impact on me (and probably on many others as well).

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  29. Congratulations on the milestone! I am impressed. I've put up ten times the number of posts, with half as many total views on my personal blog. I hope you retain the interest and energy to give it another eight years!

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  30. Happy blogiversary! :) I don't remember how I found my way here, but I love your blog. The list of sites I follow get mercilessly (sometimes) pared as life demands, but I'll always keep this site :) Hope your Christmas was a delight!!

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  31. Happy blogiversary, I don't often comment, but I love this blog.
    I am impressed by the range of items and always learn something new.

    Thank you very much for the time you take to share the interesting things that you find.

    I hope that your Christmas was joyous, and your New Year is full of interesting things.

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  32. Thanks for keeping it going so long, and keeping it interesting all that time. I write a baseball card (and some other stuff) blog which will be hitting 8 years in February so I know how hard it is. Now, if only I had your hit count. I get 50-100 hits per post and like you, I have no idea which some posts get more hits than others.

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  33. I love this blog. It gives me so much pleasure to read and discover. The best thing I've found out about recently is the No Such Thing as a Fish Podcast. I'm glad someone is collecting the most interesting parts of history and the internet somewhere.

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  34. Happy anniversary!

    I've been reading for many years now and it's always interesting and informative.

    "I put a lot of effort into dissecting hard science, but the fifth most popular post was this 2012 one about a waterfall braid..." Yeah, there are a lot of smart folk online but I think they're outnumbered by the oo! Shiny! people. :)

    Thank you for your excellent site!

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  35. I still love this blog, even if I'm mostly a lurker. Your stuff turns into hours reading Wikipedia and like that. Thanks for the edumakation!!

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    Replies
    1. And thank you for the kind words, R.M.

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