Posts Tagged 'MetaBlogging'

Bloggers Pseudonymous

As a semi-pseudonymous blogger, I appreciated the post on the difference between anonymity and pseudonymity at Uncertain Principles, in response to the vindictive outing of Publius, a formerly pseudonymous blogger:

Someone like Publius, or FSP [Female Science Professor], or Mark Twain writes under a different name than their given name. This does not mean that they are without identity, though– quite the contrary. They write consistently under a single name, and this body of work establishes an identity for them that is every bit as solid as the identity that “Chad Orzel” establishes for me.

I haven’t tried to figure out who FSP is, because it doesn’t matter. The alias is enough to establish an identity, as revealed through years worth of blog posts. And that’s really the thing that matters in blogdom, or even in literature.

Pseudonymity has a long and honorable tradition in literature, and Publius and Female Science Professor fit in that. Anonymity, not so much. It’s a distinction that matters.

There are plenty of good reasons to use a pseudonym, some of which I’ve talked about before, and which you can find in other discussions about the perils of blogging.  But I have a different reason at this point in my blogging career that has become more clear to me recently:

I don’t like to have a reputation that precedes me.

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Year-End Recap

This blog only came into existence in mid July of 2008, but the end of the year is a good time to take stock of what’s gone on here so far.

If you’ve been following along, or if you take a look through the archives, you’ll notice that my posting frequency fluctuates wildly.  When I set out on this venture, I had hoped my posting would be a little more regular, but the effects of grad school take their toll on how much time I can devote to the blog during certain stretches.  I am trying to fight the perfectionist tendencies that tend to slow my writing, so I may get better at churning out quick posts about things that are on my mind, but the posting frequency will certainly continue to ebb and flow a little bit.

With that said, might I recommend that, if you’ve enjoyed some of what I’ve written, following this blog via an RSS feed like Google Reader?  I know many of you already do this, but it’s a great way to keep up with sites that update irregularly without the frustration of checking sites repeatedly only to find the cupboard bare.

Below the fold are some stats about the popularity of my blog over its first few months of infancy:

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Back to the Blog

Well, it’s been awhile since my last post, since I’ve been busy with the move to my new city to begin grad school.  I’ve spent the past week getting settled and acclimated, and today I began orientation run by the physics department.

As I was looking at my Google Reader feed at my lunch break, I saw that Sean at Cosmic Variance has updated his blog roll.  Scrolling down, I was surprised to find the name of my blog linked on CV!  Of course, this link caused a huge spike in the number of visits to my blog today.  So welcome to the new visitors!

With grad school starting now, and with a few posts under my belt, my blog should really start rounding into shape now.  This blog is intended to show a peek into the mind of a physics grad student as I journey through the “first excited state” of being a physicist: grad school.

However, there is one question that I have not answered for myself during this feeling-out stage, so I turn the question to my blog readers.

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Coming Attractions

Here’s a list of some topics that I have in mind for future blogging:

Coming Soon:

  • Background info about me
  • My take on the purpose of an undergrad physics education
  • Studying physics at a liberal arts college for undergrad
  • Graduate Junction, the new networking website for grad students

Coming Later:

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Welcome to The First Excited State

Welcome to my new blog!  Before I go any further, I’ll first explain the title of my blog, which I happen to think is pretty clever:  If you consider being an undergrad physics student to be the ground floor or “ground state” of the career path of a physicist, then grad school must be the first excited state of the physicist-university system.  Get it?  I know, I know it’s pretty corny, but I am pretty excited to be moving to a new state to start grad school next month.  Okay, I’ll stop with the silly puns for now.

I’ve only gotten acquainted with the blogosphere during the past year.  I started out with the basketball blog linked to from ESPN’s website, then later found a whole new world of blogs about physics and life as a physicist.  (I’ll add my favorites to my blogroll when I add it.)  I enjoyed reading these blogs, and the more I read, the more I felt that I could add something worthwhile to the conversation on the blogosphere.

Now, I realize that there are millions of blogs out there on the internet, and I’ll be lucky if my blog can make even a small ripple in this vast ocean.  There are certainly blogs with a similar thrust to mine, but I like to think that I have a unique voice and that I might be able to add something of interest to the conversation.  I hope someone out there finds my writing entertaining or informative, but I think that my blog will have value as a way to focus my thoughts by writing them down, if nothing else.

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