Slow Traffic Ahead

Yes, traffic to Serendipity35 certainly slows down during the summer. Only 97,793 visitors in July. Second lowest month of the year. Bloggers slow down accordingly. Some will even post a cartoon in place of a text post.

Is blogging dead?

Cartoon created at

In Memoriam


In memory of the 32 students and faculty members who were lost on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech. They ranged in age from 18 to 76 and represented a variety of academic areas, along with nearly every major faith and ethnic group.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see;
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

"In Memoriam"  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Spring Break

film still

This week my college has its Spring Break. Well, the students are off. My office is still open Monday - Wednesday, but I took vacation days and I'm planning to vacation from blogging for the week too.

So, Serendipity35 will rely on its long-tail archive to maintain page hits. (Unless Brother Tim has some new posts in the queue).

By the way, that old chestnut of a spring break film, Where the Boys Are, (pictured above) is 50 years old. Connie Francis was a local girl in my part of New Jersey back then, and I'm sure I watched that movie on a TV more than a few times in my youth.

I never did the getaway spring break in college - worked every break and summer to pay for the next semester's tuition - so I am still owed one.

Blog Milestones


I overlooked a Serendipity35 birthday this month. I realized it when I saw that Karine Joly posted her blog's fifth birthday, which reminded me that I started blogging here the following year. So, Serendipity35 celebrated being four years old on February 2nd.

I know that on television the hundredth episode is a big deal (because you can be syndicated in reruns), but I don't what is the blog equivalent.

Well, this is Serendipity35's blog post #1000. That seems like a milestone to me.

That first post was called "Why Serendipity35?". It just explained why I chose the name for the blog. At that point, the blog was just an experiment in using some open source blogging software as a demo for a workshop that Tim and I were doing presentation for at NJIT. I didn't expect the blogging to continue much past the demo - but I enjoyed it. That little post has been read (we say "considered" here in Serendipity-land) 23,697 times.

That was then, this is now. I was working at NJIT back then (I left at the end of 2007). The blog was hosted on NJIT's servers - now it's hosted on one of Tim's servers. But the intent - to write about the educational use of technology - is still the same.

The most visited posts are, quite logically, older posts that have gained a long tail:
Personal Video Online: YouTube and Beyond with 63,562 visits
Public iTunes U Sites V4 56,970 visits
Online Socializing: How Are Schools Reacting? 46,032 visits
This conference is only online (HigherEd BlogCon 2006) 44,895 visits
Back to the Future 43,917 visits

One thing that has changed over the years is that we get more spam comments than ever before. All I have to do is post something about fighting plagiarism or writing and I can be sure to find a bunch of phony comments that include links to paper mills selling essays and term papers. (This paragraph will probably generate via search engines some of that spam!) Since I get an email for every comment made to one of my posts, I do read all of them - and with a click, I can delete them.

It is also interesting how many people will comment on a post that was written 4 years ago to tell us that the information is outdated.

We have consistently made no money by doing the blog. We did try in a small way by adding some Google and Amazon ads. Apparently, Serendipity35 readers are not big ad clickers because both accounts haven't been able to meet the minimum threshold for a payment. To add economic insult to injury, Google killed our AdSense account for some unexplained violation. There's a Google-Is-Evil and lack-of-transparency post brewing inside of me about all that.

But, overall, blogging here on weekdays has been enjoyable and I suppose (despite my wife shaking her head in disgust) I will continue to spend a bunch of hours each week typing in the Serendipity35 text boxes. I hope you'll keep reading.