One year of Soft Machines

It’s just over a year since I became the proud owner of the domain and managed a basic WordPress installation. At the time I thought to myself “I’ll just get this working, and then make it pretty later”, but of course I never actually got around to much in the way of cosmetic improvement. Let me say to the various people who have emailed me with very sensible suggestions about how to make the site better, thank you for your input, and I still hope to get around to implementing some of them one day…

Looking back on the expectations I had starting out, it’s clear that things haven’t unfolded the way I planned. I’ve certainly spent much less time than I thought I would talking about my own research. I’ve certainly not filled the blog with details of my day-to-day life (maybe that’s a pity – one of my colleagues, when I announced last year that I was starting a blog, said rather caustically “Good – maybe now your graduate students might have some idea where you are when they try in vain to find you”). I’ve probably spent more time than I anticipated discussing MNT, and issues around public engagement and public acceptance seem to have loomed larger than I would have predicted. But I’m happy that the blog has developed a steadily growing readership of a very worthwhile size, and I am continually surprised at the number of people I meet who say they look at it.

Soft machines site statistics

I have some ideas about how the site might develop next year. One thing I hope to do is increase visual impact of the site by including more images; another long overdue task is to go over the archives and arrange some of the more durable entries in a more logical and accessible way. In terms of the balance of the subject matter (or anything else, for that matter), any suggestions are welcome. Ultimately, though, perhaps the best I can hope for is just to try to follow this fascinating and unpredictable subject in whichever direction the advancing science and unfolding debate takes it.