For those of you who don't keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, it is helpful to get a reminder. Over the weekend, Jill Engel-Cox (who created this blog) pointed out that we are nine years old this week. Well over 50 Million hits later, it is nice to know that people still value our effort.
I have been asked about this blog many times.
"Who pays for it?" Actually UMBC pays for it as it is not a deliverable on any grant that we have. We created it as a student training tool and the bloggers are largely graduate students at UMBC who hone up their understanding of air quality by doing rather than reading.
"Can I buy advertising on the blog?" At this time, no. We are maintaining some distance from commercial vendors in order not to favor any one supplier of air quality information over another, and we use primarily Federally funded or university information sources.
"Can anyone comment on the blog?" The blog is moderated. You would not believe the spam advertising that hits the comment section of any blog. I actually post "Spam O' The Day" posts on my Facebook page to amuse my friends (at least the ones who don't get annoyed by visions of male-enhancing creams). So to post on the blog you need to be able to do some simple math to get by our spam filter. Surprisingly, many do and we moderate heavily. There is judgement needed to determine whether the comment is a real question (see the most recent comment for an example) or someone who wishes to get their URL on a page which has 50M hits (the value of that in Google Search is enormous).
"Can I post a feature on the blog" At this time, no, but we welcome contributed articles if they are current. They will be posted as a special feature. To that end, we got a birthday present this week with this reference to the Smog Blog from NASA's Earth Observatory (thanks to Jill for catching this):
A final question was "Can I buy the Blog?" Wow, that is flattering. But it does bring up the question of continuity. Since we are not externally funded at this time, the future of the Smog Blog is being looked at carefully at this point. If you have any comments on whether the Smog Blog needs to be continued, testimonials would be welcome to my email address (on the bottom right sidebar). -- Ray HoffPosted by Ray Hoff at September 24, 2012 9:52 AM