You ever meet someone who just, flat out, makes you think harder than you’re used to? Someone who challenges your assumptions even when agreeing with you? Someone who bustles along at their own pace while expecting you to keep up, because you can?
That happened to me a few months ago. Well, not the meeting part, because I’ve never technically met him. But hey, out here in the blogosphere, what are technicalities? Still, perhaps I should say I was introduced to him.
I’ve been hanging out at ScienceBlogs for a while, mostly in the Brain and Behavior section because, well, once upon a time at least I was interested enough in the topic to get a degree in it. One day, I wandered onto ScienceBlogs front page, where recent articles are listed, and discovered one of the best toys ever. You want to put an ever-changing array of information on a bunch of interesting topics at my fingertips? I’m all over that. So I surfed.
After a while, I noticed that I kept ending up in the same place. Not all the time, but more than even Greg’s insane number of blog posts would account for. Because, of course, the place I kept finding myself was Greg Laden’s Blog. So I decided to hang out for a while to see what else was going on.
I’m glad I stayed. I’ve been having great fun. I’ve been trying to perfect the art of smacking the trolls without feeding them (I’ll let you know if I ever get there). I’ve learned tons about evolution and ecosystems that I really need to know for the kind of science fiction I want to write and been entertained while doing it. I’ve been made to examine my own ideas by dealing with someone who’s come to similar conclusions for different reasons. I’ve had arguments that have sharpened my wits, my research skills, my ideas, and my writing. I’ve “met” wonderfully unusual people I’d have been unlikely to come across on my own. I’ve even guest blogged, which was a hoot, despite a niggling feeling that the opportunity should have gone to a student.
And I have, for the first time, really talked with another blogger about blogging–about purpose and strategy, about etiquette and ethics, about voice and content. That means I’ve had to think about those things, because I hadn’t before. So for those of you who hate my blog in it’s current incarnation (which is really the same as the old one, just more so), you can lay part of the blame at Greg’s feet. Of course, if you’re reading this at all, there’s a good chance it’s because of the link love Greg’s thrown my way–in which case, the blame is all his.
So for all that, Greg, and for saying things like, “things are more complex than that,” on a regular basis, thank you. And may you have a very happy birthday, today and for years to come.