Happy (belated) birthday to me!

So BRSM blog just celebrated his two year blog birthday (blog-iversary?) and he reminded me about my recent one year blog-iversary so I thought I would totally steal his idea. Sorry dude!

My blog started out as somewhere where I shared information about how we came about chemistry in everyday life but became a more whimsical place where I dispensed random ideas and thoughts with the world. I had planned to write a post at the end of May about what I have learnt about blogging over the past year blah blah blah but postdoc and real life got in the way. Instead, I have decided to cheat and take a leaf out of young BRSM’s book and share my top three posts of the OTC Year 1 (ish).

1) My top post from the past year was “The Girl with Zero Hangovers. Yes, I have still really never had a hangover. Thanks must go to the @NatureChemistry blogroll for putting this post and my blog on the map!

2) My personal favourite post comes in at number 2: “My Academic Family II“. The tree has since been updated  so do take a look. This was my favourite post because it started out as a small idea and turned in to something huge thanks mainly to Twitter. Just look how many names are now on there! Feel free to continue to send me names to add to the tree. If I had more time on my hands, the tree would be immense, but alas, no one pays me to make pretty pictures for my blog…

3) My third top post was “Identical Twins but not Identical Income” which I posted a few days after my blog-iversary (yes, I am cheating yet again). It has already had massive hits after only twelve days and is well on its way to being my most popular post to date. Thanks must go to CJ for highlighting this post on his own blog.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to my first year in the blogosphere. Thanks, especially, to all those bloggers who joined in with the #realtimechem week blog carnival. My highlight as a “firsty” was being asked to contribute to the Nature Chemistry blogroll, so heartfelt thanks to all the guys over there.

Here’s to many more years of The Organic Solution. Cheers!

When does one call oneself a blogger?

A more personal and ramble-y post from me today…I have umm’ed and ahh’ed about publishing this post but I have decided that it is worth putting out there.

Nature chemistry has recently done a wonderful editorial about Twitter (a twitorial) and I was very giddy and honoured when I noticed that my twitter handle got a mention. What I found particularly remarkable about this was that I was mentioned as a “blogger” and not just an overly obsessive chemistry tweep. My point here is that I have never considered myself a blogger, just a person that occasionally writes blog posts on random science. This has led me to ask myself the question: when will I call myself a blogger?

I don’t blog that regularly because “real life” gets in the way and because I occasionally lack inspiration. I started my blog because I was interested in finding out how every day products worked but it has morphed in to a blog about all aspects of chemistry. Lately, I have surprised myself by blogging more and more about my own experiences from my outreach projects to my life as a postdoc. If I posted more often, would I feel more like a blogger or would I feel like I was filling the internet with even more indiscriminate drivel? I am not sure.

A question I often ask is: does the success of the blog or the blogger depend on the number of visitors a day? I guess it does. There are blogs I visit regularly, regardless of whether they advertise their new posts on twitter, and I believe that this is one of the sure signs that you are a successful blogger.

My blog is nearly a year old. It may be that when it turns one, I will decide that I have been around long enough to officially join the club. I don’t believe, however, that the age of the blog has an effect on the impact of the blog and, therefore, the blogger(s). Look at the relatively new blog, Behind NMR Lines. Although it has only been around for a few months, it has already gained a huge following and its own very popular twitter hashtag, #chemclub.

Some might ask me if I am just ashamed of being a called blogger, which I am not, but it may be somewhat true that I am not yet ready for the potential sneers and sniggers from colleagues. It is sad to say that announcing to the world that you are a blogger can often have a negative connotation with people, especially those who aren’t au fait with the internet and, in particular, twitter. I hope that one day soon this is not the case and that everyone gives bloggers the respect they deserve.

On a final note, I think the main reason that I am yet to call myself a blogger is that I have a form of impostor syndrome, in other words, what right do I have to share my limited experience and knowledge with the world? I believe that this is something that I will get over as I learn more about how and what (and what not) to blog about.

So, the main point of this post is to ask the science bloggers out there…when did you start calling yourself a blogger?