360 Days of 360


[Margin of error for this post: ±2%]

One year ago today, Ξ and I created this blog as an attempt to create even more work for ourselves. It began as an idle, I-don’t-want-to-work-right-now conversation while working (and not finishing) our newsletter, something along the lines of:

“It sure is a good thing we don’t have a blog, too, ’cause then we’d never get anything done.”

“Yeah…but if we did have one, what do you think we would call it?”

The rest, as they say, is history.

I started (blog) life as ‘360’, our blog admin, and posted a few times before creating my own identity: Batman. [You can ask my students where the name came from: them. One Calculus III student, to be specific. When introducing partial derivatives, I pointed out that the symbol ∂ doesn’t really have a name (\partial in LaTeX), so they could call it whatever they wanted. One of my quietest students said, “Batman,” the class went bananas, and I’ve used it ever since.] Now I post occasionally, rarely seriously, and lean heavily on Ξ to keep this blog afloat.

One thing I do less frequently now because I don’t have to: comment. If you were to look at our early comment log, you’d see a lot of Ξ, TwoPi, and Batman. Now, we have a (fairly) steady readership (thank you!), and other people are commenting for us! We had 951 hits in November of 2007. We average about that many hits every two days, now. I am incredibly pleased by this.

Things change over the course of a year, and some of my first posts were ambitious enough to claim that I would post regularly (Friday Software Reviews, anyone?). Right. My favorite post, though, has to be the jokes. It remains our most commented post of all time, and I certainly picked up a few new groaners to inflict upon my students.

One of the more surprising things I’ve found about us is that the most popular search term that leads you to 360 is [drumroll please]:


Yes, that’s correct: basketball. I wrote a post about March Madness back in…you know, and it contained this image:

We now get about 120-150 hits every weekday because of that. We like to think there’s one person responsible for this, whom we have affectionately named Basketball Guy. So here’s to you, Basketball Guy, a Real Man of Genius, and our most loyal reader. And here’s to all of you out there who make this blog worth writing. We couldn’t have succeeded without readers, and as long as people keep showing up to the party, we’ll keep playing the music.

5 Responses to “360 Days of 360”

  1. David Petersen Says:

    In re: your nickname:

    I am not only a calculus teacher and reader of this blog, but also somewhat of a Lewis Carroll nut. Anyhow, I thought you were going to say your name came from him. Apparently (according the Annotated Alice), his students called him The Bat because his lessons flew over their heads when they went home to work problems at night. That was the origin of the doormouse’s poem “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat.”

  2. Batman Says:

    That would have been a lot cooler. If I could go back and pick my name for a different reason, that’d be it.

  3. Lambchop Says:

    Wow! Happy Anniversary! I’ve been watching a video of Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” where he has concluded that life now is the way it is supposed to be. (Of course he said this in about 1987–but he meant ongoing life: today, even.) All you have to do is really participate in it. So doing a humorous math blog (or reading one), and thereby not cleaning or not grading and not tying up loose ends, is a good end in itself. It is life, mess and all. And that’s good. Happy Anniversary!

  4. Batman Says:

    Thanks, Lambchop! I will remember that when I’m grading later this evening 🙂

  5. WordPress does the math right « 360 Says:

    […] see which posts were the most popular over time (Scoring March Madness by a landslide, thanks to Basketball Guy).  There’s also a column for the % change each week, so if 2 let’s say 200 people look […]

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