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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

Exponential Decay by Paul B. '11

This entry probably isn't about what you think it is.

Amazingly, I’ve been an admissions blogger for a bit over twelve months now. One thing I’ve noticed about this site in the past year is that most individual entries have a relatively short half-life – that is, the readership of each entry decays pretty rapidly. The ten most recent posts have rather high visibility when they remain on the front page – but that only lasts for a week. What happens after that?

Well, once an entry leaves the main page, you can find it two places: the personal archive of the blogger who wrote it, or the general information pages accessible by the colorful navigation bar at the top of this page. That’s one of the great features of the Admissions website as a whole, because it shows how the blogs are fully integrated with the core content of the site. When you read about MIT – whether you’re exploring MIT’s Majors & Minors or The Match – you don’t just get the Admissions Office’s view of things…you get a student’s perspective as well.

Nonetheless, there are currently upwards of 2750 entries (written over a little more than four years!), which translates to a lot of verbiage. And while there’s nothing wrong with new posts, every now and then I get kind of nostalgic for old posts. Some things have changed about MIT in the past four years – but many things haven’t, and I think it’s important to recognize this.

There are some truly beautiful entries here.

So that’s the motivation behind this entry: to repost some of the “oldies but goodies” from blogger days of yore – to reverse the exponential decay of the MITblogs, as it were. I’ve gone through and picked out one favorite or representative entry from (almost) all the bloggers and blogger alums. (Apologies to the new bloggers…)

Matt ’00: The Years of the Rat

Daniel: LiveBlogging Ben’s Info Session

Mollie ’06: Round here we stay up very, very late

Bryan ’07: Unfold

Jessie ’07: Mind and hand

Mitra ’07: Grind Time

Sam ’07: Slow down, fast train.

Melis ’08: 10 things I love about MIT

Derrick ’08: At What Cost

Anthony ’09: Making Tracks

Lulu ’09: Desired things

Laura ’09: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Balloons

Evan ’10: Go Sox!

Jess ’10: e) Other

Keri ’10: Well at least you didn’t fail, right?

Chris ’11: Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Karen ’11: Bread at Desk

Paul ’11: What Though the Odds

Snively ’11: Tour/Hack/Math

Nance: I’ve Got 99 Problems… Admissions Is Not One

Ben Jones: It’s More Than A Job

If I didn’t post one of your favorite entries, post the link in the comments!

12 responses to “Exponential Decay”

  1. Keri says:

    I will never stop loving Nance’s post. (I used profanity in my essay. He and MacGreggor yelled at me for it later.)

  2. Vytautas says:

    Great list Paul. Got me to into the mood of my last year application. smile

  3. Banerjee says:

    THIRD!!!! (3rd time lucky.)

    Nice post.

  4. navdeep says:

    i think that u forgot “50 things” by ben jones .
    it’s one of my favorites and one of th best ever posted …
    you could read it here

  5. Rebeca says:

    I wouldn’t think I’m the only one, but I love going back through the old blogs. I’ve read almost all of some of the current bloggers’ blogs (mostly Snively’s, yours, Jess K’s and Yan Z’s) but recently I started on the alum bloggers. My point here is: thanks for this entry =) It’s nice knowing what you think are the most significant blog entries.

  6. Ptt says:

    Your entry about entries is entry-stingly great.
    Thanks for this helpful information!

  7. Droan Rishi says:

    Nance’s post is the best… and I really enjoyed Snively’s too..

  8. Hiral says:

    i liked matt’s !

  9. Droan Rishi says:

    Snively is to blogging is what Sir Don Bradman was to Cricket! go snively!

  10. Person says:

    Sam’s made me cry

  11. Barbara says:

    I don’t remember who mentioned it before, but one of the bloggers did acknowledge there are some really devoted readers of these blogs who have read (or try to read) every blog from the MIT admissions site… although it gets harder with every new person who joins the team!
    Even though I ended up going to college other than MIT, this space remains one of my favorite corners of the web smile