Last December I took the opportunity to review my Howard County-related blogging in 2010, and I thought it would be fun to repeat that for 2011, including presenting some site statistics and links to posts I think are worthy of note.
My biggest project of 2011 was my finishing my blog series on Howard County Council redistricting and publishing it as an ebook, Dividing Howard. My main goal in doing this was to learn how to create and self-publish an ebook, and having the material mostly already written made it relatively easy to do this; the goal of creating the book also motivated me to finish the series of posts. Given the specialized topic I expected that I’d be able to count the number of copies sold on the fingers of one or two hands, and that expectation has been met: As of today I’ve sold ten copies to people other than myself. Adding to that the three copies I bought myself in order to test the buying process, my total royalties thus far are $26.54; I’ve rounded up and donated $30 to Voices for Children.
As for regular old blogging, in 2011 I did a total of 42 Howard County blog posts (not counting this one), down from 57 in the latter part of 2010 after I started doing Howard County posts. That amounted to one post related to Howard County (even peripherally) every eight or nine days, considerably off last year’s pace of one every four days. My blog traffic was also down from 2010; the average number of views was about 56 views per day, compared to 70 per day in 2010, a 20% decrease. If this trend continues my blog will be attracting only one view a day in 2029.
Here’s a (somewhat selective) list of posts (or groups of posts) I published this year, with additional commentary as appropriate:
- Somewhat ironically for someone who’s not actually a libertarian, I did a number of posts on themes related to libertarianism and the free market, including a rant about Maryland’s discouraging the emerging industry of personal genetic testing, a look at free-market approaches to growing Maryland jobs, and some unsolicited advice to Ken Ulman as he (apparently) prepares to run for governor of Maryland. Widening my scope a bit I also looked at the so-called “bleeding heart libertarians” and the history of liberty.
- Closer to home, I published my somewhat fanciful ideas on reimagining Columbia’s village centers, reported on Chris Leinberger’s talk on walkable urbanism, discussed the old Rouse building as a symbol of Columbia, and pondered the question of whether I should donate to local charities.
- After finishing my history of Howard County Council redistricting I published some further thoughts on the general subject: I wondered what type of government Howard County would have had without Columbia, opined that the Howard County GOP outsmarted itself on council districts, explored why electing council members by one-party-dominated districts can hinder good governing, speculated whether redistricting can be done in a non-partisan way, and discussed whether we should revert to at-large council elections. I also contemplated the curious coincidences between the local elections of 1986 and 2010, and revisited one of my 2010 election predictions.
- Finally, in more personal blogging I bet that I could lose weight using the threat of a Newt Gingrich presidency as a goad (and subsequently lost that bet), plugged my math blog, and re-branded my main blog.
If you have an interest in continuing to read this blog in 2012, remember that you can see new posts as soon as they’re published by using Google Reader (or another RSS reader) to subscribe to the blog’s Howard County-specific RSS feed (
http://frankhecker.com/category/howardcounty/feed/). You can also follow my tumblr if you have an interest in what I’m reading and bookmarking.
In my next post I’ll look forward to 2012 and what blogging-related projects I might undertake in the new year.