Lately I have had less time than I would like to make blog entries. I teach 12 credit hours a semester which means most of my time is devoted to preparing lessons, assessing student learning, and managing students in my courses. I'm full of ideas about campus sustainability but short on time to write.
This summer I read Getting Things Done by David Allen and I have been trying to implement his system. I'm caught between my old way of organization (a pile) and implementing the GTD system with an inbox, tickler file, and next actions list. I'm working on becoming proficient at this organization system but I'm not there yet. I hope to eventually feel organized enough to make a blog entry almost every day.
I've published material in various formats including books and peer-reviewed journals. These are often considered the currencies that measures your success as an academic. However I feel I am having a bigger impact by blogging than if I was devoting my time to research and publishing. My blog entries are generating conversations on our campus at Lasell College and on other college campuses. I rarely hear feedback about work I have published in a peer-reviewed journal. However I regularly engage with people on campus about things I have written in my blog. I am starting to realize there is a need for more college professors to engage in this type of grassroots activity to help organizations become greener places to live, work, and study.
Looking at the analytics for my blog helps reveal the impact a blogger can have. Since I started the blog I have had 1133 people visit my blog. I know this is small relative to many blogs but I find it encouraging. The blog is read by more than just students, faculty, and staff at Lasell College. I've had visitors from the U.S., Canada, U.K., India, and Australia. I've had a least one visitor from every state except Alaska, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia. I guess campus sustainability has not generated much steam in those states yet. Most of the visitors to the blog come from Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and California. I'm now getting over 125 visits per week. I am starting to consider my blog as my 5th class as I reach more people through the site than I do in my classes.
The blog entry about the Essex Farm CSA has had the most pageviews. The entry about dorm electricity use is the second most read page followed by the guest blog from my sister about nalgene bottles. My entry about my adventures on the Cessna has also had a lot of readers.
I'm looking forward to growing the blog. I haven't spent much time trying to promote hits to my blog outside of Lasell. From the beginning my goal has been to discuss campus sustainability with specific reference to Lasell College. Success to me would be to get every student at Lasell to spend time on the blog at least once. Information about the environment we live in prepares us to make sustainable choices.