The title of this post is Six weeks left. Until… what? Christmas? New Year? 2011? Not entirely. Hold onto your cups of tea or coffee dear readers because this is a special announcement…
Six weeks left until the Six Things blog project finishes.
Gasp! Shock! Horror! Yes, you did read correctly, I will be stopping this blog at the end of the year so I thought I’d better give you all a bit of a warning. I fully realise some explanation is in order so here are six things to know about my decision to close up shop.
1 I never intended this to last forever. I guess that’s why I called it a project. I never wanted this to be an endless project. I hadn’t thought about how long really it was to last (six months was too short, six hundred posts felt too long, six years way too long). I’ve been blogging now for two years and I think it’s had a very good run. Time to move on.
2. The blogosphere has grown. When I started blogging it felt a lot emptier out here in cyberspace. I took a look at a few “big” blogs (ones like Kalinago English and TEFLtastic) and started to follow a couple of others. A year later I had to install Google reader to keep track of the thirty plus blogs I subscribe to. It’s getting hard to keep up meaningfully with everyone else while delivering my own posts.
3. I’m tired. During the past two years I’ve been keeping up with this blog while writing almost three levels of Global (and the teacher’s books), co-writing a book for teachers (Teaching Online), being a series editor for Delta Publishing, going to lots of conferences, keeping up a blog of my travels, teaching online courses, teaching twice a week when I got the chance and trying to be a husband and father. Something has got to give!
4. Better to burn out than fade away. I love the format of my blog, I’ve become really comfortable with it. People refer to me as Six things guy, or Global guy. Maybe that’s a good reason to move on. I’ve had guest posts from many great people in ELT, legends and newcomers. The stats on the blog (number of visits, hits, unique visitors, time on site) have steadily gone up and up. I passed 210,000 views a little while back, have around 145 posts and over 2000 comments. A far cry from the likes of some of my colleagues (like English Raven and Kalinago English who routinely top the Onestopblogs list and probably leave this one in the dust) but it feels like a lot to me. I’d prefer to stop now than hear one day someone say “What, Six Things? That old blog is still going?!?”
5. I feel like I’ve joined a community. I’ve given talks to teachers in more than five countries encouraging them to read lots of the blogs you can see on my blogroll. I’ve participated in many of the “challenges” (vale la pena, whiteboard challenge etc) I’ve met people via this blog who I then had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face. I’ve had a great laugh at some of the discussions that happened here. I had a lot of help at the beginning from people like Karenne Sylvester and Alex Case and was happy to help others (like Carol Read and Scott Thornbury) when they started their blogs. This has made my own work much more meaningful to me, and really given me a new lease on my writing and teaching career. Thank you!
6. I’m closing the blog, not my internet connection. While this blog project will be stopping (as well as Dispatches, the Global blog), I will still be out there reading and commenting on other blogs and sending out tweets of all sorts. I aim to stay connected to the community. I’m going to take a bit of an extended break, but I already have some pretty exciting ideas of what I want to do next in terms of blogging and other online stuff. And who knows, in a few years time I might start all over again with a blog called Six More Things!
So, there you have it. We’re into the final stretch here. I’ve got a couple of guest posts still up my sleeve, and will also be sharing (giving away) some of the favourite activities and lesson ideas I’ve written in other places. From 2011 onwards this site will remain online for people to wander through (like a museum) but will not be regularly updated. Enjoy what’s left while you can! 🙂