This blog is antediluvian, having been going over seventeen years. Blogging isn’t the cool thing any more; but some of us persist. I noticed a post from Brian Leiter yesterday saying it was the twentieth birthday of his often-provoking but still readable philosophy blog. Congratulations!
Leiter remarks that he gets over three million page views a year, which struck me as a staggering number. I couldn’t help but wonder what Logic Matters gets: according to my host’s stats system, over a million (though since I’m not using the same stats counter as Leiter, I could very well not be comparing like with like). But even if my stats exaggerate by a factor of four, say, it would still be a pretty surprising number. At least, encouragement to keep going!
Leiter monetizes his blog and sells advertising space at rather amazing prices. I wouldn’t want to emulate that. True, it costs me quite a bit to keep Logic Matters going, because the necessary bandwidth is high. But so long as I average about 20p royalty for each printed Big Red Logic Book (yes, folks, I’m an extortionist) I cover those costs, and that’s more than good enough. I’m having an amount of fun and spreading the logical word for free: what’s not to like?
Talking of spreading the logical word, I’ve found myself spending a bit more time just recently on math.stackexchange answering the occasional question. Well, it beats wasting time/getting angry on that site just rebranded with the sans-serif swastika. More stats: math.stackexchange keeps a tally of people reached — this is the “estimated number of times people viewed your helpful posts (based on page views of your questions and questions where you wrote highly-ranked answers)”. My tally, after ten or so years of sporadically answering questions there, is supposedly another staggering number: two million. So it says. (I find that rather difficult to believe …)
Answering questions on sites like math.stackexchange gets you precisely zero official academic brownie points (unless things have significantly changed since I was in the game). But, whatever the real stats, as far as ”impact” goes this sort of activity is surely one of the more useful things you can do. And again, it’s fun for free — apart from giving something back for those times you’ve learnt from other’s answers.
Not your idea of fun? Fair enough. OK, let me recommend The Great if you aren’t already a fan. Series 3 has started, but we can’t speak for that — because we thought, why not go back and rewatch from the beginning of Series 1? So that’s what we are doing, and enjoying it even more than the first time around. Surely that is great fun in anyone’s book. Huzzah!