For the last 4 weeks, I have been on a “vacation” from posting (but not commenting on others’ posts) at EphBlog. Thoughts on the experience below.

1) Basic idea (thanks for several suggestions from EphBlog regulars) was that it would be a useful experiment for me to stop posting on the main page. First, this would free up my hobby time for other projects, like Wikipedia. Second, it would allow other voices to come to the front of EphBlog. (Of course, other authors can post whenever they want but perhaps I “drown out” some of the useful conversations that we might otherwise be having.) If EphBlog is a party, then it is useful for me to put down the main microphone, at least on occasion.

2) Experiment worked! In the last 4 weeks, we have had over 100 posts, averaging almost 4 per day. We have never gone a day without a post and, unlike my past vacation, we did not need to explicitly arrange for daily coverage. If I can take two month-long vacations in 2009 and have a casual reader not even notice my absence, then EphBlog has grown strong/popular enough that it no longer needs me, or any one individual. Cool! The real measure of the quality of an institution is how long/well it survives the departure of its founder. I am not leaving anytime soon, but it is nice to know that EphBlog no longer needs me, to the extent that it ever did.

3) I did post twice (hawking my Winter Study class and working on some technical issues). One of the reasons that I did not make a big deal (publicly) about my vacation was that I knew last month that there might be at least a couple of posts that I felt, rightly or wrongly, that I “had” to do.

4) I have been talking with EphBlog President Dick Swart ’56 off-blog about the best way to use my particular “talents” going forward. It seems like it might be better for me to write one good screed, with more supporting links and detailed argument, then 3 poorly constructed screeds. So, going forward, expect to see more such efforts. In order to separate these out from the main run of the blog, these essays will probably have their own category (“Uncomfortable Learning”) and may appear at regular scheduled times. More to come.

5) The main thing that I would like community feedback on is the placement of my non-screeds. Historically, I have done hundreds of posts that I would consider “non-political,” posts in which I am just passing along an event or link, generally with very little or any controversial comments (although maybe a bit of snark). For the last month, I have posted such items on Speak Up. (Typical examples here, here and here.) Would folks prefer that such items stay on Speak Up or go to the main page?

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