Today marks the end of my first year of blogging. Although I didn’t note it at the time, I started on the winter solstice, which in Canberra means something. The year has seen a lot of changes for me, most of them positive. I’ve moved from Canberra, where I lived most of my life from 1970 onwards, to Brisbane, and, correspondingly from ANU, my alma mater, to the University of Queensland. I’ve finished up an ARC Research Fellowship and managed to land the best job available in Australian academia, a Federation Fellowship. I’ve become a father-in-law, and am looking forward, in due course, to becoming a grandfather. All of these transitions have involved some breaking of old and familiar ties and the beginning of new adventures
In blogging terms, a year is still long enough to go from newbie to old hand. I’ve moved from the training wheels of Blogger to the Mac-like elegance of Movable Type, and have established myself in a fairly satisfactory corner of Ozplogistan (this term based on ‘plog’ for ‘political weblog’, was coined by Bright Cold Matt in a comments thread, and popularised by Ken Parish. Matt gives more etymological details in the comments thread for this post). I was going to list the people who play a central role in this virtual universe, but I realised I was sure to omit someone, and you all know who you are anyway.
I was also going to do a “state of Ozplogistan” assessment, but I see my blogtwin, Tim Dunlop, has already written one. I’ll just make two observations. The first is that, after a period of explosive growth, blogging seems to have entered what economists call the “mature phase” (this refers to industry structure, not to the content of posts!), with roughly equal numbers of entries and exits. Among those most missed, I’ll nominate Don Arthur, whom I keep on the blogroll in the forlorn hope that he’ll finish his thesis and resume blogging. My other observation is that the political makeup of Ozplogistan now resembles that of Oz, whereas, when I started, the echo effect of American-inspired warblogging was still a dominant factor.
My big problem, coincidentally mentioned by Homer Paxton in one of today’s comments is “How in heaven’s name do you combine Uni work, blogging, family time, reading etal.” I’m still trying to figure that one out. If I find the answer I’ll tell you. If I join the legion of departed bloggers, you’ll know I haven’t managed to crack it.
Finally, thanks to all who have linked to my posts, commented in my comment boxes, or just read and enjoyed the blog. A particular thankyou to Rob Corr, who provided hosting for the new site.