Since I started this blog a bit over six years ago, it's been more successful than I'd ever imagined. As far as I can recall or reconstruct, I originally meant it as an online diary, a sandpit to develop some of my philosophical ideas, and a sort of clubhouse on the internet where my little group of close friends could hang out. It never really became the third of those (the friends in question are like cats who can't be herded), but it's done a lot more than the first two in that it's garnered some wider popularity, attracted a bit of attention from larger sites, and made something of a reputation for itself. While by no means a high traffic site, it does attract quite a lot of views per day.
In any event, I've become fond of this place, and I expect it will continue as my personal blog into the indefinite future.
On the other hand, my life has changed since 2006. I'm now also blogging at Talking Philosophy (which I urge you to follow if you read this blog for the philosophical discussions), I've been writing a fair bit for the ABC Religion and Ethics Portal (where I often feel like I'm a dissenting voice, but that's not necessarily a bad thing ... and some kudos should go to Scott Stephens for publishing people like me with whom he is in fairly deep and pervasive disagreement), and I now have a regular (though not frequent) opinion column for Free Inquiry (the first contribution to my new column appears in the current issue, though I also had a recent article about human enhancement technology). All of these places reach larger audiences than this humble blog (and the ABC even pays some money!), so it makes sense to give them a certain priority when it comes to the kinds of writing that can logically go to them.
There's also the fact that I don't have unlimited time. In addition to all the above, I'm currently working on two books (both of which have deadlines and involve a lot of research), plus trying to get a third book off the ground, plus editing The Journal of Evolution and Technology. And I have a recently-published book to promote. Plus, I'm scrabbling around doing some research towards yet other books that I have in mind for down the track. I also spend time doing other things that I think I should, such as peer reviews of articles that are sent to me by refereed journals - unlike most academics, I actually say Yes to almost all such requests, partly because I do still have some time ... and partly because I think that supporting this process is very important.
The reason I still have some time is that I don't have a paying job - my position at the University of Newcastle is an honorary research-only one, which means I can get slightly involved in the department (or whatever it's called: hmmm, it's actually the discipline of Philosophy and Religious Studies within the School of Humanities and Social Science), but I don't have actual students to teach, lectures to prepare, administration to do, etc. I basically have some colleagues, a free staff parking permit, and a free library card. How I keep afloat financially is another matter as I'm not exactly writing best-sellers (any funding sources that turn up on my doorstep are always welcome) - the point is that I can find some time at a pinch.
On the gripping hand, I do have a life outside all this, including a family that I moved to Newcastle from Melbourne to be closer to (among other reasons).
So in the end, my time is actually pretty limited. (This is also why I have to decline most of the requests that I get from people to advise on their manuscripts, school projects, etc., etc.; I get quite a lot of these requests.)
Sooo, the question that's been on my mind is how much time I can really devote to blogging here. The answer, for the indefinite future is that this will, indeed, continue as my personal blog. However, there's already been a shift in its mix of posts, as the more concerted philosophical musings tend to find their way to other places. There's been a drift towards making this blog more like an online diary, a place for quick comment on events of interest, and a place to have a bit of fun (as with my brief reaction to seeing The Avengers the other day ... which is actually proving to be a very popular post, by my standards, for, I suppose, fairly obvious reasons).
I think I'll also have to cut down on the sheer number - it was nothing like this number in the first three years. It really started to take off after 2008, the year when Udo and I completed our work on 50 Voices of Disbelief and I also finished my Ph.D ... these happened about the same time (in fact, 2008 was a busy and difficult year for other reasons as well), and I found myself increasingly drawn into online debates about religion and related issues. In 2010 and 2011, I was writing here very frequently and often at considerable length.
The bottom line is that the mix of topics has gradually changed just lately, and, as per the previous para, the quantity of posts is going to have to scale back a bit as well.
However, this will still be the central place that records my doings (my actual website is fairly up to date at the moment, but it tends to lag well behind this place). You will still find commentary on Australian and world news, popular culture, and even philosophical issues. But I'm unlikely to have as many posts as was the case over the last three years or so, and they have already tended less to be long philosophical discussions - for those, Talking Philosophy is increasingly likely to be the place. (I did mention that Talking Philosophy gets more traffic ... not all that much more, though, and it deserves more, so I'm urging you folks to follow it and participate in the debates there.)
Okay, so that's now official. Please don't go away, dear audience, but also please understand why I can't now run this blog quite as I did through 2010 and 2011 in particular.