Saturday, June 26, 2010

The End of an Era: a favorite blog goes dark

I found the Rate Your Students blog through an old Internet friend of mine, known online as Hedwig the Owl. She is a scientist and teacher and had it linked to her own page, her science blog over at Seed. Hedwig and I fell out of touch after a while, but I continued checking the blog pretty much every day.

I'm not a professor or a teacher. After reading this, I honestly don't know how the fuck people do it, or why they do it. The blog was alternately entertaining and alarming. I enjoyed hearing the tales of awful students, but there were a lot of positives on the page too.

Now the blog has gone dark. It was a very old-fashioned sort of blog. There were no comments. They were not on Facebook or Twitter. If you had something you wanted to say, you emailed them and a group of people sorted through and found things to post.

And those people were constantly burning out. They saw the worst of it. The people who did nothing but whine about the site. The tales of young people with PhDs and $100K in student loans who were forced to become "highway fliers," adjuncting at the three or four different colleges within a 50-mile radius of their parents' home, teaching seven or eight classes a semester at $2000 a pop and using their Christmas breaks to attend conferences for networking and job interviews rather than spending them with their families.

Now the final moderator has burned out. I guess the staff was down to one, and that final person could find no one to help, nad no viable option to keep the site going. So the blog has gone dark. And my own personal internet experience will be a bit poorer for it. The only site I have left that really requires a lot of brainpower, and updates regularly, is Free Range Kids.

Other than that, I mostly like semi-mindless humor sites. Lamebook, Regretsy, and the ones linked on the sidebar are favorites. But I need a replacement for RYS. Suggestions, anyone?