It’s been one year since the first post went up here at Sweet Talk. For all the esoteric terrain that we’ve covered here, we’ve done amazingly well in this first year. In terms of traffic, we’re certainly doing better than my expectations, which I had thought were fairly optimistic.
But more importantly, I’ve had the privilege of blogging alongside 14 extremely smart, well read, and creative writers. All told, we’ve put in 350 posts on
- ancient philosophers and ancient myths
- the evolution of the state
- political theology
- separating equilibria
- getting your hands dirty
- variation itself
- net neutrality
- permissionless innovation
- the capabilities approach and libertarianism
- Catholic social doctrine
- the rise of cities in the ancient world
- an ongoing alternate history story tens of thousands of words in the making
Oh, and maybe a post or two about rhetoric or virtue ethics—here and there!
If I may say so, the growth of Sweet Talk is a testament to what makes us Jews so successful in general. I’m talking, of course, about guilt. My mother, though Jewish, is not a stereotypical Jewish mother, but I tapped into my roots in order to “encourage” people to post. Whenever a Sweet Talker hinted that they were relaxing and enjoying their free time, I did whatever I could to make them feel bad for not posting. The secret is to make getting invited seem like a privilege, and then to hint that I was very disappointed when the posts didn’t start coming shortly after invitation.
I think the results speak for themselves.
More seriously, the greatest accomplishment of Sweet Talk has been to bring together a group of truly incredible people. More than creating a joint outlet for us all to write on—we’ve all had blogs and other places to write here and there—connecting with one another has been very rewarding. For all of us—I hope! Outside of the virtual walls of Sweet Talk we discuss everything and anything, trading jokes and barbs. I know that if Sweet Talk becomes something that lasts—as I intend for it to be—people will come and go within this group, and individuals’ contributions will go up and down. But I’m grateful for every one of the bonds that was strengthened through the joint effort of getting this off the ground, regardless of what the future holds for anyone’s part in it. The bonds will last, either way.
I hope to bring on many more contributors this year. Many have already accepted invitations but have demonstrated a remarkable resilience against my guilting. This has also kept Sweet Talk a bit of a sausage fest, as the women who have shown an interest in writing here have shown greater prudence in prioritizing their lives over posts for which the compensation is guilting about doing yet more posts. Funny how that works.
Our hope when we set out a year ago was the create a conversational blog, where a high percentage of the posts were responding to one another. It’s hard for me to quantify it, but my gut says that perhaps as much as a third have ended up being direct or indirect responses (or reactions) to one another. And that’s pretty damn good, if I may say so. I hope we can keep it up. On a couple of fun occasions, one or two Sweet Talkers were on a tear in terms of putting out posts, and it fired up a few of the rest of us. That sense that we’re all contributing to something together, but having fun toying with different ideas in an environment where we won’t be attacked for it, is what we all wanted going on. So far, that’s what we’ve had, and I intend to do whatever I can to maintain that.
If that sounds good to you, please feel free to email me and we can talk about making you a Sweet Talker yourself! We’re always looking for more people to join in our conversation.