Dec 30 2009


This week marks my the end of my third year as a blogger. This is my 687th blog post on Neurologica, plus additional posts on SkepticBlog, Science-Based Medicine (I have a new post on SBM today about Gingko biloba), and the Rogues Gallery. NeuroLogica now has 14,303 comments.

According to Technorati, by mid 2008 184 million people had started blogs. Estimates vary, and this is a moving target, but there is something like 3-5 million active blogs in the US alone. Most new bloggers last about a month, and most blogs are left fallow.

So surviving for three years is something of an accomplishment, and I get a decent amount of traffic and links to my humble blog. All things considered, I think it has been worth the effort.

I actually started podcasting before I started blogging – with the SGU. I think podcasting is a powerful medium, but it is not the same as writing, and so I felt I needed to start a blog to complement my skeptical podcasting, and it has worked out exactly as I had hoped.

In writing I can delve into topics more deeply than on the SGU, with more specific details and references. I can also compose what I want to say more carefully and precisely. I have therefore used the blog to extend the discussion on the SGU, but also to prep for the podcast. I often blog about a topic and incorporate the excellent feedback I get from readers to give a more tight and accurate presentation of the topic on the SGU. The two play off of each other very nicely.

I am often asked how I find the time for regular blogging. It is a challenge, but it is also a simple matter of time management. If you build blogging time into your regular schedule, it just becomes part of your routine – like showering, exercising, or work.

I think many people blog as an experiment, and then probably give up because they don’t perceive what they are getting out of it. I had a specific goal in mind when I started blogging. Perhaps that is part of the key to longevity in blogging (if three years can be considered longevity) – know what your goals are. What do you want to accomplish with your blog? That also helps keep you going when you are having one of those “time to make the donuts” moments.

Finally I would like to thank all of my regular readers and especially commenters  – the conversation adds a tremendous amount of value to the whole blogging experience. I’m looking forward to more blogging in 2010.

23 responses so far

23 thoughts on “Blogoversary”

  1. CrookedTimber says:

    Definitely one of the most informative blogs around. I’ll try to do my part to introduce this blog to a wider audience. Keep up the good fight.

  2. nowoo says:

    Thanks for doing this blog and, of course, the podcast. They are both among my most favorite in their respective medium. This is the first blog I read every day, and I always get something out of it. Best wishes for the future.

  3. My Favorite Teacher says:

    Your next blog should be on your secrets of time management. Best wishes and keep up the good work.

  4. alcareru says:

    Thanks for the great work and keep it coming. All the best for 2010.

    John M.

  5. Congrats on 3 years.

    It’s interesting how much the internet has changed in 3 years.

    Today, most of my internet time is spent reading blogs like yours and Orac’s (and, of course, SBM), whereas I don’t remember if I followed any blogs three years ago.

  6. CW says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do the blogging and podcast (as well as other skeptic-related activities).

    For me, having a singular voice that I was comfortable with (yours), was integral to my slow immersion into skepticsm. I now read a host of other science/skeptic blogs, and listen to a few other science/skeptic podcasts. But I found that your style was most conducive to my early comprehension.

    Congrats on 3 Years!

  7. LinzeeBinzee says:

    Congrats on your Blogoversary! I started a blog this year and I have a lot of respect for how regularly you update and for your quality posts. Keep up the good work & thanks for your continued blog posts and podcasts, I don’t know how you do it!

  8. Eternally Learning says:


    I can only speak for myself of course, but what has drawn me so much to your blog and podcast is the way in which you relay information and opinions. Everything you say is measured, referenced, and precise. You truly approach everything in a truly skeptical manner while still keeping an open mind about all possibilities and counter-arguments. When you take on people’s assertions and points-of-view, you always take the time to explain why you think they are wrong and why you may express yourself as strongly as you often do. This makes you one of the people I look up to the most in the skeptical community and the person I am most comfortable linking true-believers to. Thanks for everything you do, may you keep doing it for a long time, and congratulations on three years!

  9. Joe says:

    I am glad you are blogging because I don’t have the patience to listen to a podcast. Podcasts are also difficult to cite since, for example, a point made 40 minutes in requires a person to wait till that much has downloaded before it can be heard.

  10. Cz-David says:

    Congratulations, you are doing a great work. And it is appreciated.

  11. sirreal says:

    Steve: Congratulations and thank you for contributing more than any other individual to my education as a rational, scientific skeptic. I have listened to every episode of Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and I always follow your blogs here and at Science-Based Medicine. The other bloggers over there are first-rate, as well.

    Thanks to all I have learned in the past three to four years, I am emboldened to start my own blog, where I will apply my sharpened critical thinking skills to a range of cultural phenomena, with occasional forays into politics.

    You have given this 70-year-old a much-appreciated intellectual boost. I hope your blogging and skeptical activism continue to reach an expanding audience. I try to promote your work at every opportunity.

  12. tmac57 says:

    Steve, you have become a major player in the Skeptical movement not only due to your hard work and expertise, but also because of the care that you take in stating your opinions and making your arguments. No shooting from the hip here. And on the rare occasion where you do err, you are quick to admit and correct an error. SGU , Neurologica , SBM, and Skepticblog are among my favorites, not just because of the good information, but because they are also very entertaining.
    Just know that there are thousands of fans out there that look forward to your contributions every day, and we greatly appreciate your hard work. Thank you.

  13. dp says:

    I never comment on here, but this seems an appropriate time for kudos. I enjoy the majority of your blog postings on here and on the other blogs you are involved in. Often the topics and concepts you post about on-line end up being a topic of conversation with friends and family. I’m sure many people think that a blog’s reach only extends as far as the computer screen on the other side; but it goes much farther than that. Even though it may not appear so from your perspective, we are out there. Thank you, I sincerely appreciate the time and effort you put forth.

  14. eiskrystal says:

    Happy blogoverserey.

    Don’t forget all the nemeses you have made 😉

    Though they don’t make nemeses like they used to.

  15. Doctor Evidence says:

    your thinking process beams with crystalline clarity. a dazzling diamond in this cloudy world. a welcome prototype.

  16. jim says:

    Congratulations on 3 years, I imagine I have read everyone of the neurologica posts.
    I read your blog through google reader so I may not show up on your usage statistics, but I certainly appreciate all your efforts.

  17. jtpiatt says:

    Thanks for a lot of invaluable information. I’ve been following a the skeptical movement for a few years now and working very hard on improving my own standards of thinking and logic in both my personal and professional life, and it is largely thanks to the tireless efforts of individuals like you and other skeptics that I am able to do so.

    Keep up the great work!

  18. slidebite says:

    Happy anniversary Mr. Novella. I’ve only begun to read your blog but I’ve been a long time fan of SGU. I look forward to catching up on your past blogs, but even more so anticipate the new ones.

    Great post and a lot of truth to it.

    Also, good interview on the Canadian Corus Radio network this morning. I heard it and enjoyed it. I was particularly impressed that the host (on an unremitting right-leaning station) was rational and completely skeptical of “alternative” medicines.

  19. studio34 says:

    Keep up the great work Steve! I always pop in here as part of my daily routine to see what’s happening. You and the SGU, and now Orac, have made a massive impact on my thinking over the past 16 months. Let’s just say you allowed me to “empty the trash” that was still lurking in my head, things I had not really assessed critically like I should have. I actually once thought that homeopathy must have had something going for it. Hard to believe now that I could even think that but there you go.

    Your attack and logical assessment on all things woo has helped me to keep things in order on my forum where I help people with migraine associated vertigo. Illnesses like migraine attract a lot of crap-based medicine because there is no cure for migraine and because it can mimic so many other diseases. You can just imagine how the “natural” approach to solving such maladies always pops up with the odd bit of “medicine is evil” creeping in occasionally.

    All the best for 2010 and look forward to seeing you in Sydney soon.

  20. Shockstrut says:

    I keep thinking I should start a blog – but the vast majority of times I see that what I want to say has already been expressed with far more insight by folks such as yourself, Steve. All the best for 2010.

  21. daniel.oliveira says:

    Dearest Steve,

    Congratulations for another Blogoversary! Neurologica rocks!

    I’ve been following you up since the early days of SGU and the beginning of Neurologica. Just a few posts after and I was already addicted to it. Not to mention Neurologica looks like it’s only improving with time. It’s indeed a daily fix of skepticism and critical thinking and certainly one of my favorite blogs!
    Even though Neuroscience itself is not my field, I have learned a lot about it during these three years mostly because of you — and it’s a fascinating subject. I would like to express my gratitude for endless hours of information and fun.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Best regards from a friend and big fan in Brazil,


  22. tai_fung says:

    I’ve been following the SGU since I stumbled upon the Ness section for podcasts (coincidentally, it was podcast #1). I’ve very much enjoyed seeing the development of the Ness into the far-reaching entity that is the SGU and its “spinoffs.”

    I had a personal blog for quite a few years, but I discovered, upon changing jobs to a more “public” type position, that my name could easily be Googled, and some pretty in-depth personal feelings/insights could be read about. So I regrettably took down my blog, and have always planned to move it to another host. However, social media networks like Facebook have made it largely unnecessary, since I can spout off about points via that site. I do miss blogging however.

    All of this is to say congratulations on the anniversary, and I feel like I know all too well the incredible time commitment that is required. It must be a tremendous strain at times, and no easy task any day of the week. Best of luck for many years of more excellent content. Thank you for all you’ve done, not only for public health, but for teaching those of us that felt like we were a little more alone in our worldview, that there is a whole world of Skepticism out there, waiting to interface (ugh, didn’t mean for it to sound like THAT).

  23. Yossarian says:

    Steve, you are a class act, both here and on the SGU. You have actually changed the way I think about the world and my place in it – seriously!

    (I previously had skeptical leanings on a number of issues but you, with the Rogues and a few others, have taught me to think much more rigorously and clearly. That is really exciting.)

    Well done on your achievements. All accolades are well deserved.

    Looking forward to more in 2010.

    Andrew MW
    Auckland, NZ

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