Thursday, May 22, 2008

My, My Maryland

Today marked graduation ceremonies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I am a graduate student. Since the final finals were yesterday, campus was dead quiet this afternoon when I went in to pack up my office.

The eerie lack of students reminded me of my post-Tech experience. Campus is just not the same without the life it usually sees. While I love it here in Washington, and am confident in my decision to attend Maryland, I still miss Ma Tech.

It has been just over nine months since I moved to the DC Area and I am still learning the ins and outs of this city. In time, I am sure I will know it as well as a non-native can know it; but now I find that I still have a long way to go. These months have not yet turned into a year, but I have made many fond memories already.

This post, according to Blogger, is my 100th. Since August 2007, I have covered many issues, and I hope to cover many more. I think this post should mark an appropriate reflection of my intentions and my vision for Track Twenty-Nine.

When I started this blog, I had little idea of where it would go. My original intentions were mainly to keep my friends back home up to date and to organize my own thoughts. I doubted that I would write about major policy issues any time soon. At the time, I felt like I was too new to the area and too out-of-the-loop to be taken seriously. Yet over the past eight months, I have written about policy, I have written about transportation, and I have written about many other things. And I have met with your approval. People have commented; they have contributed to a discussion of which I am only a small part, and that is more validation than ever I could have hoped to receive. And I have many visitors each day. They come from all around and they come for many different reasons.

And that brings me to why I blog. I blog because I hope that I can help make a difference. Our region and our country face many difficult policy decisions and I hope that, in the least, I can make my fellow citizens better informed. That is really the vision I see for this site. I haven't the time or knowledge of the inner-workings of DC-Area politics to write any substantive commentary. Instead, I feel I can make a better use of my time (and yours) by introducing topics and providing links to places where more information can be obtained.

But, as I'm sure you've noticed, some of my objectives have already fallen by the wayside. This blog is now linked to from many sites, and I owe my success to these other blogs. But these sites link to me because I provide a discussion of issues related to planning, policy, and the DC region--not to hear my life's story. I have therefore refrained often from writing posts on my own happenings. Recently, I toyed with the idea of creating a separate blog in which to house my personal thoughts and reflections, keeping Track Twenty-Nine purely issue-focused. I haven't decided yet and I'd love to hear your input.

And to you, dear readers, where do you think I should go with this blog? Are you satisfied with the content? The discussion? The issues I cover? What would you like to see more of? Less of?

I welcome your comments. Thank you for reading and thank you for your input!


I especially want to thank a few blogs who have linked or referred readers to Track Twenty-Nine. Thanks for helping me get a good start. Without your help, I might not have made it to the 100-post milestone, at least not so soon. (Sorry for any I leave out. I watch for referring URLs, these are the most common or are people who have personally encouraged me.)

Greater Greater Washington
City Transit Aggregator
The Overhead Wire
Goodspeed Update
District Dirt
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

Thanks again!


Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Keep up the good work Matt. I initially started a blog back in Austin as a personal blog and it suffered the same fate, becoming issue focused once transit folks found it. Congrats on the 100 posts and just do what you wanna do!

Jenny said...

As you know, I'm not as much of a transit geek as you are. ;) As the posts have gotten more issue-focused, I've found myself skimming them for updates on your life in Maryland. If you're looking for a separate place for personal thoughts, you could always return to your old LJ or set up another Blogger blog (there's a handy way to link accounts, so you'd only need one login). That's just one reader's opinion though. Good luck deciding what to do!