Ten Years of Blog Comments

My blog turned ten years old this month so you’ll have to allow me a couple of indulgences.

First, I set myself up with a new blog theme. (If you’re reading this via email or an RSS reader, you’ll have to click through to check it out.)

Second, rather than reflect on ten years of my posts, I wanted to reflect on ten years of your comments. Over the last ten years, 4,600 people have written 20,000 comments on this blog, spanning two million words, the very first of which was written by Chris Lehmann.

My goal in blogging is to become curiouser and wiser with every post. Some of that happens in the post itself – through research, analysis, writing, etc – but so much of it happens in the comments.

To offer one current example, I posted Cathy Yenca’s method for teaching zero exponents last week. Forty comments later, my commenters offered two more methods for teaching them and helped me see how all three methods are related. I’m curiouser and wiser now than I was forty comments ago. That happened because of all of you and I wanted to thank a few you of you personally.

Most Comments

For example, here are the ten people who commented most often in every year that I’ve blogged.

YearNameComments
1Todd Seal84
2ken106
3Jason Dyer74
4Jason Dyer53
5Bowen Kerins50
6l hodge72
7Kevin Hall46
8Kevin Hall39
9Ken Tilton49
10Paul Hartzer42

Longest Investment in My Work

And these are the ten people whose comments have helped shape my work for the longest span of time – from their first comment to their last.

YearNameYears
1Karl Fisch9.2
2Tom Hoffman8.5
3Kate Nowak8.5
4Ian H.8.2
5Sam Shah8.2
6Chuck8.0
7John Pederson7.8
8Michael Paul Goldenberg7.8
9Nick7.7
10Michael Serra7.6

Most Featured Comments

In 2011, I started to understand the gift of an active comments section, and how that gift needed encouragement and tending. So I began to add particularly helpful comments to the body of the post itself in a “Featured Comments” section. I made sure my commenters knew they had been promoted, hoping the endorsement would encourage them to continue bringing that kind of value.

These are the twenty people whose comments have been featured two or more times since 2011.

NameFeatured Comments
Bowen Kerins6
Dan Anderson3
Dave3
Michael Pershan3
Barry Smith2
Bruce James2
William Carey2
Tom Woodward2
l hodge2
Larry Copes2
David Wees2
Steve2
Laura Hawkins2
Jason Dyer2
Jason Buell2
Kate Nowak2
Michael Serra2
Nathan Kraft2
Ryan Brown2
Scott Farrar2

I sent a personal note of thanks to everybody mentioned in this post. Each person has made a significant donation of time, words, and insight to the project of making me curiouser and wiser.

Whenever people ask me how I got wherever it is I am right now, I always tell them about you, about how my ideas and thinking developed twice as fast as they had any right to. And I attribute that difference entirely to your time, words, and insight.

Wherever it is I’m going, I intend to get there exactly the same way.

Featured Comment

Chuck:

Congrats and well done! I think I remember that day back in 2007. I got to work, threw in a Nelly CD, fired up my Netscape browser and made my comment. Incidentally I drove the same Toyota Camry that I still drive to work. Later on I think I went home and watched Lost and then read about #hashtags

About 

I’m Dan and this is my blog. I’m a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.

16 Comments

  1. Congrats and well done! I think I remember that day back in 2007. I got to work, threw in a Nelly CD, fired up my Netscape browser and made my comment. Incidentally I drove the same Toyota Camry that I still drive to work. Later on I think I went home and watched Lost and then read about #hashtags.

  2. Congratulations and thank you, Dan, on ten years of inviting us to think together with you about lots of interesting topics and encouraging us to look at the world of mathematics education through some new lenses.

  3. Good on you for keeping it up for so long, and for keeping the quality through that whole time. I always learn something from your posts, so I hope there’s another ten years at least!

  4. Thanks Dan for all the topics you do post! You have inspired many people to become better math educators, questioners, learners and have made us all more curiouser in our endeavors. You are doing a great thing in this math world. Keep up the good work!

  5. I think it’s awesome that you went out of your way to personally thank these individuals. I feel like sometimes when we get caught up in the hustle of teaching we forget the simple acts that make us human. Kudos to the past ten, and cheers to ten more great ones.

  6. Congratulations! I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, discovered your blog in the last 2, and consider it to be one of the best resources I’ve ever used. Thanks for sharing and promoting highly intentional insight and discussion.

  7. Dan, many thanks for hosting the world’s *premier* math ed blog. You are truly a game-changer, inventing and re-inventing the profession through your ambitious work. I am sure I speak for many in thanking you for bringing together the math ed community for the most vibrant conversation on the internet around our great discipline. Here’s to ten more great years!

  8. I think of where I was 10 years ago as a teacher, where I have been since then, and where I am now. This work, this group of educators sharing/talking/engaging in cognitive conflict/building understanding together… all of it – has been a huge part of my own teaching & learning journey!

  9. Congratulations on ten years of blogging. What an awesome way of honoring your readers and commenters. Are lives and minds are definitely enriched by those with whom we converse.

  10. Roberto Catanuto

    September 29, 2016 - 2:31 am -

    Congratulations to you and your awesome work. And also that of your wise commenters!
    You help shape the work of so many readers and teachers.
    Thank you.

  11. Interesting gender breakdown. There are certainly plenty of women math educators so do they tend not to read the blog, not to comment on the blog/not comment as frequently, or not to get featured as frequently?

  12. Thanks for the kind words, everybody.

    K:

    Interesting gender breakdown. There are certainly plenty of women math educators so do they tend not to read the blog, not to comment on the blog/not comment as frequently, or not to get featured as frequently?

    Yeah, great questions. The gender imbalance is in this post is pretty hard to miss. Here are my best guesses to your questions.

    Three quarters of US public school teachers are female. That drops to about half when you look at secondary math and science. (Source: Hechinger.)

    Math education bloggers are balanced pretty evenly between male and female teachers. (Source: my gut.) Looking back over my last few posts, my own blog is pulling in about 10% female comments. I have featured about 163 comments since 2011, of which 20% were female.

    I’d like to figure out how to boost that 10% figure. For reasons I wish were more apparent, a bunch of women don’t feel like they can / should comment here. Those of us who do comment are missing out.