17 Sep 2008

Freakonomics Debrief

I really enjoyed guest-blogging at Freakonomics last week. I got interesting* emails, good comments and lots of positive feedback from people I do and don't know.

I am wondering if blogging at such a high-profile place has any permanent effects. You can see that traffic to my site rose to about 400% of its normal volume (800 instead of 200 unique visitors) before returning to "normal."

OTOH, my "brand" is growing stronger among regular readers and other bloggers, so perhaps this is the way reputation is made: Some people deal with you all the time, some can remember your name, and some vaguely remember a name like yours connected with... what was it?

The good news is that I realized how pleased I am to be working on water issues. Water is not just relevant (life!) but also interesting, and I find my understanding of people increasing with my understanding of water. We are, after all, 60 percent water. :)

In the coming year, I will be thinking of where I am going with my life and career. The most obvious question is whether I will stay on an academic path (i.e., assistant professor at a research university) or go elsewhere (industry, liberal arts school, NGO, consulting, etc.). I'm not sure now, but I do enjoy communicating economics to people who care about and are likely to affect how water is managed.

Bottom Line: Life is complicated. Try many things in the quest for success.

* The weirdest request came from a website that offered to pay me for a "review" of their "medicine" for urinary tract infections -- presumably to build traffic. No thanks.