A classic poser that first arose in debates over creation vs evolution is the notion of ‘apparent age’. The idea is that, if God created the earth, He would necessarily have done so in a way that gave it an apparent natural history. For example, even though Adam had never been born, he would, on this account have been given a navel. As (I think) Bertrand Russell observed, once we start on this, there’s no way we can stop. Perhaps the universe was created 10 minutes ago, containing us, our memories and an apparent history going back to the Big Bang.
Anyway, a couple of commentators on my first anniversary post noted that they imagined I’d been blogging for years. I had exactly the same perception when I started, with respect to people who’d only been going for a few months or even weeks. Obviously if there are any cues that distinguish newbies from old hands, they are too subtle to be picked by someone who is, by definition, a newbie themselves. More generally, the social conventions of the blogosphere are such that newcomers are absorbed very rapidly, cross-linked, added to blogrolls, and, before you know it, seem like part of the furniture.
Perhaps this will change. Blogging in the US seems much more dominated by ‘first movers’, though there’s still room at the top for high-quality entrants like Kieran Healy and Kevin Drum at Calpundit .