I started this blog one year ago today. I intended to post nearly everyday, but I only managed 43 posts. One day the blog got 117 hits, but the average is around 5 or 6 a day. The most popular post in terms of hits is the one about the “Roland-Ready Stratocaster,” which makes sense in a way because this guitar is very interesting to a very small segment of the huge population of people interested in more traditional Stratocasters, and there isn’t a lot of information on the web about it. In general, guitar-related posts got more traffic than rhetoric or teaching-related posts. I did get into one interesting dialogue with a scholar about what Walter Ong meant by “secondary orality.” This individual had edited Ong’s papers, so I lost that argument. Otherwise, most of the comments, 56 of them, were about electric guitars, amplifiers, and stomp boxes.
I started this blog mostly to learn about the rhetoric of blogs. I suppose I have learned quite a bit, but it was little by little. Some blogs are full of personal ruminations and observations on all and sundry, and are either a sort of gonzo journalism sent out hopefully to an imagined large audience or are designed largely for an audience of friends and family. Others are tightly focused on a narrow range of topics and issues and are intended to serve some journalistic or scholarly purpose. My blog here has been a little of both. I haven’t talked much about my day to day experiences, life events, and such, except in the context of another topic. I have offered information about musical equipment, teaching techniques, bicycles, travel, and other things. Looking back, I think that this blog is about too many things to attract any sort of steady readership. Instead, the hits I get come from people using search engines to find specific information. That’s cool, I guess, but I may have to rethink my plan. I could split the blog into multiple blogs, but since I managed only 43 posts in a year, that may be another path to non-success.
The year 2009 was not a very good year, for me, and for many others. When I told my wife, who was struggling with cancer, that I had started a blog, she was afraid that it would be one of those very personal ongoing accounts of dealing with cancer, full of emotion and struggling toward wisdom. She read it a couple of times to make sure that it was not that kind of blog. If I had been writing about that, and I certainly understand the temptation, she would have asked me to stop. After a four-year struggle, my wife passed away at home on March 16, 2009. I am still trying to deal with that loss.
As I think I have posted before, I have stepped down from my quasi-administrative position and will now teach full time. On Monday I will teach Science Fiction, Freshman Composition, and Literary Theory. I am looking forward to my new role. I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and may this year be a better one than 2009.