Serendipity35 Three Years and Counting

Yesterday, I took a look at our stats from last month. It is a bit mindboggling to me that there are a million plus hits on this blog in a month.

Today marks the third anniversary of Serendipity35. My first entry was February 2. 2006. Tim & I started the blog only as an experiment to try out blogging software for a business seminar we were going to do the following month on podcasts, wikis & blogs - which were all pretty new ideas back then.

I looked back at the ten entries that I posted that first month. The first post was just to answer the obvious question of Why Serendipity35?  Well, the software was called Serendipity, and the university referred to the department that Tim & I worked for in those days as "division 35" for budget purposes.

I wasn't really thinking about the etymology (from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip) or the meaning,  but over the past 3 years it often does seem that "a phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for" is just as good a reason for the title as "a blog system implemented with PHP."

The blog had no "mission" and the first real post I did was very serendipitous. I had read a Wikipedia entry about the "Philadelphia Experiment" and come across an oddball possible reference to NJIT. The Philadelphia Experiment is an urban myth about a secret experiment conducted by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Yards in Pennsylvania back in 1943. So, I posted a piece on "The Philadelphia Experiment, Aliens and NJIT." That little experimental post has been read about 20,000 times.

It didn't take long for me to get into blogging and it seemed logical that the blog should be about instructional technology since my job at the time was as the manager of that at NJIT, and Tim was the IT person for the online learning group.

Three years is a long time in blog years and so it doesn't seem so surprising that that first month had a post about What is this thing called Web 2.0? Remember Web 2.0? How quaint.

Another term that was being used then was "social computing." We call it "social networking" these days. I wrote Social Computing Gets Some Bad Press about all those articles that were being published about the evils of MySpace and Facebook. It was a Business Week cover story and MySpace had 40 million members and was ranked No. 15 on U.S. Internet in terms of page hits. Also in the news were Facebook, Xanga, and a second tier of smaller sites, such as Buzz-Oven,, and Photobucket. Everyone was trying to figure out What's So Appealing to Millennials About Social Computing?

I was also wondering Is Folksonomy Taxonomy or Fauxonomy?  That folk + taxonomy collaborative but informal way in which information is being categorized on the web using tags on images and data was also new and is now widely accepted and used on many sites.

What will I be looking back at in 2012? If you believe in Maya math, EVERYthing will change then anyway, so...


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