Voice

A decade of blogging

I started blogging ten years ago today.  To celebrate, Foreign Policy asked me to write a little reflections essay about the changing state of the blogosphere, as well as my top ten favorite posts from the last ten years.  Go check them out. 

Trying to come up with the Top Ten list was tricky and just a little disorienting -- at times I was reading stuff I'd written but had no memory of writing.  Still as I think about it,  the best work I've done on the blog isn't encapsulated in a "greatest hits" package per se.  The blog has run best when I sink my teeth into a question du jour -- be it offshore outsourcing, the relative generosity of American foreign aid, the Sino-American relationship, or the current state of public intellectuals.  And, of course, Salma Hayek.  Most of those ongoing riffs have led to larger research projects, which highlights for me the ways in which the blog has complemented rather than substituted for my academic research. 

When I started this, I honestly thought I'd blog for a year and then write up the experience as a pedagogical exercise for International Studies Perspectives.  The reason it lasted longer than that, is, well, all of you.  Most blogs aren't read by anybody and fade away into oblivion.  I'm still not entirely sure how I avoided that fate, but I am extremely grateful to all the readers that decided to stick around. 

There have been occasional moments over the years when I have thought about when I'd stop blogging.  There  were even briefer moments when I thought ten years was the perfect length of time.  The move to Foreign Policy recharged my batteries more than I realized, however. So, in conclusion, ten years on, I should be doing this, and I most certainly do have tenure.  Onward!

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