One Whole Year of Assessment

2015-03-14_OhNoLogo22-mark3The blog turned one year old last week. Our first post went out on April Fools Day. I spent a week convincing my friends that I really was co-starting a blog. No really. It was not a joke. Yes, we probably could have come up with a better launch date, but who doesn’t love April Fools Day? Should I be capitalizing April Fools Day? Who knows. Wait. Yes, it’s a proper noun. Nevermind that last question.

Some people say having a dog is like having a baby. I think having a blog is like having a baby. Perhaps you didn’t come up with the idea, but once the wheels were in motion, it was hard to turn around. After a while, all my friends knew I had a blog. Most of them probably didn’t want me to remind them weekly with a facebook post, but heck, those posts are not going to read themselves. I think that’s where the metaphor ends.

When we started this thing, we had no idea what it would turn into. I didn’t even know what I wanted it to turn into. Of course, I wanted it to be read. To get other people thinking about assessment. To start a conversation about assessment. Deep down, part of me just wanted it to exist as a place I could go to write things out. Much like a journal (but, at times, significantly less interesting), the typing helps me organize the cluster of assessment thoughts passing through my mind.

<<<TIMEOUT: This is starting to feel like a blog-ending post. It is not. I repeat, not, the last post. This is merely a “one year in thoughts” post. Proceed. >>>

Generating content is tough. We went from 3 posts per week, to a short summer break, to 2 posts per week, and I think we’ve now settled in a sturdy (yet approximate) 1 post per week. It was easy to come up with ideas at first, but as we’ve worked through them, I find myself starting with single sentence assessment-related statements, and wondering “can that be stretched into a post?”

Marketing a blog is equally as difficult. Why have a blog if I don’t want people to read it? If I don’t try to publicize the blog, it feels like I’m not even trying. So, onward we go, collecting a few followers at a time. On the upside, wordpress gives us site statistics, and it seems folks are in fact reading this — enough folks, in fact, that they cannot all be family members.

Assessment, man/woman/you. Sometimes I wonder if assessment is inherently boring. While I’m always getting better at it, and I’m often interested in the results, discussing assessment in a universal way is difficult. I find myself often thinking “will anyone care to read this?” But here you are, paragraph 6 and still reading.

Onward we go. I will continue to generate content as long as I feel it ads value (to myself or others). I will continue to spend time staring at a blinking cursor trying to get started. I will try to make assessment sexy. I will not continue putting off blog entries. How do I know this? I’m almost out of new Mad Men episodes to watch.

Keep on assessin’!