Happy Blog Anniversary and Happy New Year!

Today marks the second anniversary* of this blog. I started blogging two years ago with the following awkward paragraph:

While economists-cum-bloggers seem to be in excess supply, the shadow value of this blog need not be zero. As an economist interested in development economics and law and economics and whose focus is on agricultural development policy, I also hope to offer a unique contribution to the policy debate.

Since then, my writing has come a long way, and my interest in law and economics has been replaced by my interest in food policy. As a consequence of blogging and tweeting, I have also made several new friends and acquaintances, and my research has had an impact beyond the Ivory Tower.

Moreover, the mere act of writing for a general audience has forced me to think much more carefully about my research topics, which has in turn generated new research ideas. So it looks as though blogging need not be a substitute for research. Rather, it can actually be a complement to research.


In terms of the usual blog metrics, this second year of blogging has been good. In 2011, I had an average of 86 page views per day. In 2012, that number climbed to 207, or almost two and a half times the 2011 average. As of writing this post on December 30, this blog had had a total of 75,275 page views in 2012.

Of course, the above numbers don’t count those of you who are reading this on Google Reader and other aggregators. According to Feedburner, this blog went from having 145 subscribers at the end of 2011 to having 316 subscribers today.

My five most popular posts were:

  1. The Trading Game
  2. How to (Maximize the Likelihood You Will) Do Well in Your Econ Class
  3. Measuring Who Wins and Who Loses from High Food Prices
  4. Identifying Causal Relationships vs. Ruling Out All Other Possible Causes
  5. How Much Economics Should You Take in College?

It’s nice to see that those are a good mix of posts dedicated to research and teaching, which are the things that occupy most of my professional life. Beyond the usual suspects — Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — the top sources of traffic for this blog were:

  1. Greg Mankiw’s blog,
  2. Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture blog, and
  3. The Incidental Economist.

The most commonly used search terms leading to my blog were “why is downton abbey so popular,” “marc bellemare,” “consequences of famine,” “post hoc,” and “think different.” I find it interesting that my name is second to Downton Abbey!

I am grateful for every single reader I have, so I thank you very much for taking the time to visit marcfbellemare.com and read what I write. I am also very grateful for every referral, so thank you very much for linking to this blog. My best wishes of happiness and health to everyone for 2013!

*Sorry, but I could never bring myself to use that silly “blogiversary” portmanteau.

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