this blog is not dead, it’s pining for the fjords

A few years ago, I honestly thought orgtheory was dead. Most of our writers have moved on to other activities, comments declined in number, and, most importantly, there is now direct competition from social media and anonymous rumor boards. Still, I persisted. As I wrote before, blogs still have a number of very desirable features. I continued to blog but expected the audience to continue shrinking to zero.

That did not happen. For the first time in years, I checked the daily usage stats of the blog. I found that yes, ortheory, did experience a massive decline in audience but it also stabilized around 2016. We had a peak year of almost 950,000 yearly views. Now, we are at about 375,000 yearly views. This number was stable in 2016 and 2017. And if the rest of the year is like January-May, we’ll easily hit that number.

The message is clear – there is a core, stable audience for orgtheory. Not only do the stats make that clear, but people still email me about stuff they read on the blog.* Orgtheory posts are republished, such as a discussion of student evaluations that appeared at the James G. Martin website. And of course, occasionally a blog post will spark a debate, like my post about job talks.

So what explains the survival of this dinosaur? A few ideas: There was always a core of people seriously committed to debate and dialogue, but the numbers were inflated. Before social media, people stuck with blogs as the only place where they could easily vent and be snarky. Now that we have social media, those people have left but the core remains. Another possibility is that people simply enjoy long form writing and they want some level of accountability. You may hate me and this blog, but I stand by what I say and I’m willing to put a voice out there and you really appreciate that. That simply isn’t what social media and rumor cesspools do.

So I thank you for being a new or old reader of this blog. I’ve met so many of you over the years and it’s made my life better. I hope we can continue the conversation!

*Yes, that includes bizarre book review related hate mail. And yes, I’m talking about you, Professor Zorro.


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Written by fabiorojas

May 24, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in blogs, fabio, uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Interesting. Our numbers have bounced around a bit – 190k in 2015, down to 140k in 2016, but then back up to 230k in 2017. Maybe if I recruit another blogger or two, we can catch you…

    Liked by 1 person

    Dan Hirschman

    May 24, 2018 at 6:26 pm

  2. Doing stable weekly updates helps Scatter a lot. That is why I try to be constant.

    Liked by 1 person


    May 24, 2018 at 6:30 pm

  3. No hate Fabio, just a bunch of stressed out assistants (blush) in a world that seems to be getting weirder.

    I’m a Median/Peircian, so any dialogue is essential to the communitarrian endeavor of science



    May 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm

  4. Dan: your consistency is appreciated. I’ve got a couple of Scatter plot posts in the works, but consistent I am not.



    May 25, 2018 at 6:25 pm

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