quit while we’re ahead?

Things have been slow going here for a while. Perhaps we should shutter this blog? I’ve been thinking of going into retirement for some time now… So maybe it’s just me.

21 thoughts on “quit while we’re ahead?”

  1. I’ve written a variety of half-finished blogs. I confess I’m distracted. Maybe we need to caucus about what kind of things we are trying to write.

    FYI I’m in Oregon for the funeral of my father-in-law. One of my not-finished posts is about the work-family pulls when families are scattered all around and we have the kind of jobs that are hard to just abandon on short notice.


  2. I see no crisis of blog here, and no reason for anyone to feel guilty for posting less often or on any sort of topic. Blogs ebb and flow, and rss feeders will let our readers know when we have something to say.


  3. “Shut it, shut it down!”???

    No! Must defeat OrgTheory. Either that, or must move Drek’s Left Behind series commentary over here, where it will have been, er, left behind.


  4. I don’t see any reason that you should make a decision one way or another. However, I think the blog works best when it is somewhat substantive or at least is about the discipline. It’s least interesting when it’s purely personal blogging, especially when that personal blogging is very partisan. We all have our political blogs of choice where we go for that kind of thing; it’s less interesting when it’s here.


  5. probably worth checking in to see general trends with regards to post count going back (how long have you guys been around for?).

    The last two weeks of November and December would reasonably be a slow time of the year, particularly for academics (finishing up courses where workload gets heavier, taking a break or dedicating more time to their own academic publishing). Maybe there’s an overall uptick in blog posts in January due to resolutions? I have no idea.

    In any case, while acknowledging that it’s not my labor that keeps this place humming, I’d certainly vote to not shut it down for a few reasons:

    1) As more people rely on RSS feeds the whole “keep them coming back” logic of spamming with posts is less relevant unless your operating on a for-profit ad revenue model (which scatterplot isn’t).

    2) You’ve got a great and impressively diverse array of folks who contribute here, both with regards to age and interests. It would be a shame to see that go. Not to take away from the Contexts suite of blogs, but scatterplot caters to general interest sociology in a single location. That’s important. The general spirit here is also laid back while still being relatively productive, it’s a nice respite, from the seriousness most of our days.

    3) I don’t want you to shutdown, and I’m willing to beg. Don’t make me beg.

    @5 – I disagree, although I’m not entirely sure what you’re referencing. Maybe something I missed or just a subjective difference in opinion.


  6. Addendum:

    Wow, lots of typos there. Eek.

    Just wanted to add that I’m not trying to take anything away from all the other awesome soc blogs out there. I just think this place is kind of unique and it would be a shame to see it go.


  7. As a longtime lurker, I check this blog about once a week, and I hope it continues. That said, I do find personal blogging very uninteresting. I would enjoy more commentary on:

    1) the practice of sociology (i.e., demystifying the process of how papers and books are conceived, framed, reviewed and received).

    2) the way the discipline is socially organized (i.e., the social map of the field–who studied under whom, competing schools of thought, rivalries and feuds, etc.).

    3) what progress we’ve made and where you think we are or should be headed.


  8. We’ve been around 2 years… and we’re nearing our 1 millionth visit (a few more months!). I’d just felt a lack of energy on here. But now I’m thinking it’s a lack of energy on my end.

    As for not being a personal blog. We’re not a “serious” blog by design. So I suspect as long as scatterplot lives, it will have personal stuff on it. And as long as I’m around there will be political things on here as well.


    1. Please note that I did not say anything about “serious” or “political.” I know basically what the blog’s “mission” is and I know that it’s not the same as orgtheory’s. I was voicing my opinion about where it has been and where it may be going; obviously, it is your blog to post what you please, partisan or not. I agree with the general tenor of #9 & #11, though.

      Perhaps it would be of interest to look and see what kinds of posts have historically generated the most discussion, though that presumes that discussion is a desirable goal. If you simply want an avenue for airing personal/partisan views, then continue to do that, though my view (granted, not supported by any systematic inquiry) is that posts of that nature are often the least discussed.

      Either way, I suppose the solution depends on what you mean by “lack of energy.”


  9. @9

    Agreed on #1. Speaking from experience Scatterplot is pretty valuable for the grad student set with the posts pertain to professionalization. I’m not sure if this was a stated goal in creating the blog, but it’s certainly used that way to some degree.

    Five easy substantive posts would be to do a Q&A with each of the contributors. Maybe open a thread for a contributor, let readers and other contributors put questions in the comments (career, current work, questions about their subfield, etc.) and that person could respond in a later post. For the bloggers here I’d guess that there would be worse things in the world than writing about yourselves, and it might engender a richer connection between the readers and scatterplot? If the interest isn’t there the cost is really low (a post of a few sentences that sinks).

    Just a thought.


  10. Honestly, I think Andrew put it best at the very start. I’ve been having a darn near impossible time keeping my update schedule at my usual digs, much less marshall the additional capacity it takes to contribute here. I think the posting frequency will change from ebb to flow after the holidays.

    As for the content… well… honestly I think if bloggers aren’t blogging primarily for their own enjoyment in writing it isn’t worth it. I enjoy feedback from readers but can’t say that it influences what I write that much. The audience will be those people who are interested (for whatever inscrutable reason) in what I have to say. All that given, I will concede that I save my best stuff for Scatterplot… which probably scares some of you.


  11. I’ll echo what others have said — with RSS readers, it’s easy to see when a new post is up. I especially agree with everything @nicemarmot said — Scatterplot is most interesting and useful to me when it’s about the discipline. The “ask a Scatterplot” series is especially good for those of us who are relatively new professors and, speaking for myself, not enmeshed in any high-profile networks.

    Twitter has clearly affected blogging. I’ve gone from blogging daily to blogging about once a month, mainly because I now Twitter many of the same thoughts and articles. But I keep Radio Free Newport open for when I want to do something more expansive.

    Thanks for the good work, I hope you all stay around.


  12. As another lurker, I would definitely encourage you to keep going. As far as types of posts, I think a good mix is best. As someone who is very early on in my career, I do appreciate the “professionalization” posts. I’ve learned a lot from them. But I’ve enjoyed more personal posts as well.


  13. allow me to amend my comments on personal posts: they generally do not interest me, *unless they are funny.* Thankfully, yours are, Drek.


  14. I certainly hope you continue… and post more often! But don’t do it for me, only do it if its right for you. Consider adding guest or new permanent bloggers.


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