Happy 3rd Birthday!

Today marks the third anniversary of PEA Soup’s burst (okay,
limp) onto the blogosphere. We’re
celebrating with a new look, about which we’ll say a bit more below. But first, right up front, we want to thank
all of you—our fellow contributors, commentators, and readers—for helping to
turn PEA Soup into "the ethics blog." 

We also wanted (without turning this post into a
self-congratulatory love fest) to take this opportunity to say a few things
about the blog, find out especially how folks have benefited from participating
here at PEA Soup, ask for some feedback on the new look, and share the
statistics for our three year run.

When we started PEA Soup, the four of us were all working in
Southern California, Dave and Doug at CSU Northridge, Josh and Dan at CSU
Bakersfield. At the time, there were few
multiple-contributor, topic-oriented blogs. Certain Doubts,
Experimental Philosophy,
The Garden of Forking Paths, Philosophy of Art, and Prosblogion were also just starting
up operations, and the few other multiple-contributor blogs that existed were
either not topic-oriented or the contributors were usually restricted in some
way, typically, to those in the same philosophy department or graduate program. We believed that so long as it remained an
ethics-oriented blog, and so long as it encouraged participation from folks in
any geographical area, PEA Soup would be able to provide a valuable service to
those around the world working in ethics. In these respects, it has been great to see PEA Soup’s healthy growth
over the last three years, and we hope to continue to open up the conversation,
both in terms of our contributors and our subject matter.

We would especially love to hear from all of you about the
benefits and successes (e.g. publications, insights) that have resulted from
participating in or reading PEA Soup. 

We would also like to hear from everyone about the new look
of the blog. Do you prefer this new
look, or would you rather we revert to the "traditional" look? This really is a decision that will be based
on consensus (assuming there is one), so please let us know what you think,
especially those of you who like the new look, since those in favor are usually
those who remain silent.

Here are PEA Soup’s three-year statistics as of this
morning: 

371 Posts

5194 Comments

326 Page views per day (lifetime)

560 Page views per day (2007)

Thanks again to all of you! 

37 Replies to “Happy 3rd Birthday!

  1. Congratualations PEA soup! And, a big thank you for all the work put into this great blog from you guys. I also think that the new look is very fresh.
    The main benefit for me from taking part in PEA soup has always been how much one learns from the discussions almost every day. I think this blog is pretty ideal for thinking and discussing through material in ethics that you wouldn’t otherwise have gone through. I started to take part in the discussions from Helsinki where there aren’t that many philosophers around with whom you could talk about stuff. PEA soup made a big difference.
    I guess the only thing worth thinking about in the future would be how to encourage more of the readers to take part in the discussions. I, for one, get quite a few emails about the posts I’ve written and many people come to talk to me about them too. They usually have very interesting things to say and I’m sure a lot of the other readers have too. It would be great if these thoughts would be shared in the comments for a wider audience too.

  2. The new look—keep it. Benefits—there have been three main ones, for me.
    The most important benefit for me has been the ability to discuss metaethical and normative ethical issues while in an area that is isolated geographically and philosophically. Bakersfield is in the middle of nowhere, and like most small philosophy departments, the philosophy faculty at CSUB is composed of a small number of “area specialists”—the continental specialist, the American philosophy specialist, the history specialist, the analytic specialist, the applied ethics specialist, etc. So, there were few opportunities to “walk down the hall” to ask a “quick question” about metaethics, normative ethics, or philosophy of language, especially after Josh left town after my first year there. Having a discussion outlet certainly helped me to feel as if I was still a part of the ongoing metaethical and normative ethical discussion within the larger profession.
    The second major benefit has been the ability to learn about some important material about which I knew little, and which likely would have taken me years to learn on my own. In particular, what I’ve been able to learn in the area of reasons for action has been especially valuable.
    The third benefit has been social—the opportunity to to get to know, whether in person or just on the blogosphere, many wonderful, smart people who I otherwise would never have gotten to know.
    I know of at least several contributors who have publications that started as posts or comments on PEA Soup. Anyone care to share??

  3. Happy birthday indeed. Three, as I recall, is a fine age.
    I have always been slightly intrigued by the name “Pea Soup”. Is it simply whimsical or has it some rationale?

  4. I hope Jimmy won’t mind if I swipe his “Please don’t everyone laugh at me” and add it at the end of every post I make from now on. For me, the sentiment really hits the nail on the head.
    Please don’t everyone laugh at me.

  5. Three is a very respectable age for a blog. Well done!
    And please don’t everyone roll their eyes at me.

  6. Yes — congratulations. PEA Soup rocks.
    Please don’t everyone laugh at me, but what “new look” are you talking about? The blog looks on my computer like it always has.
    In any case, I second Campbell’s suggestion: pea green would be cool, and fitting. (I’m serious.)

  7. Happy birthday Pea Soup! I’d echo Dan’s comments as someone who has shifted from larger to progressively smaller departments (I’m now effectively a department of one) Pea Soup and other blogs such as the Garden and Prosblogion have kept me connected and somewhat up to date with what is happening more broadly in the fields I am interested in.
    So thanks very much! It has been nice as well to meet up with the occasional PEA souper in a variety of places, even my native New Zealand.
    On a technical note, have you looked at the new format in several different browsers and at different resolutions? Having had a look at some old posts at my present (I believe fairly normal) screen size, the main text box is a bit thin, making long substantive posts harder to read. The issue I think is that the borders on either side are taking up too much screen real estate. Easiest fix would be to shrink them or to make them fluid although I believe that will only work for those of us using firefox.
    Cheers
    David

  8. Congratulations!
    Pea soup has been a fantastic resource for me as a philosophy undergraduate studying externally in regional Australia. Not only are there no philosophy departments within thousands of kilometers of where I live but no people willing or able to discuss philosophy either.
    If there were to be one criticism of the new layout it’d be that the text is too small. Other than that, keep up the great work PEA Soup.

  9. It’s been one of the great honors in my career to have been involved in PEA Soup, so a shout out to Josh Glasgow for inviting me. And I have to say that we have assembled an absolutely killer group of contributors (and a stellar group of regular commenters as well.)
    Dan – indeed, our posts do result in publications. In my case, these: Kant on lying to murderers, the competency requirement for execution, and moral expertise. See my recent ‘Blogging and the future of scholarship’ post for the backlinks.

  10. Hi everyone. We’ve been able to change the font size to 10.5 pt. (This seems like a proper size, but let us know if it should be even larger.) We’ll continue to work on the margins, but none of the four of us are experts in CSS code. If anyone out there knows CSS code and would be willing to walk us through the proper commands, can you please email me?? Thanks.

  11. I like the new look, except for the narrowness of the text box, which David Hunter mentioned. Would reducing the outside margins help that? Speaking of the outside margins, perhaps that would be the place for pea-green? On my screen they are now a kind of “flesh” color (at least, that’s what the color was called in my pencil crayon box).
    – Valerie
    p.s. Jimmy, we are laughing *with* you.

  12. Font size is now fine, and in any case this can be adjusted (At least in firefox) by holding down ctrl and pressing the + key)
    I suspect that the post size issue maybe to do with the size that the body is set up for. So there should be somewhere something in your style sheet (probably at the top) that says something like div=body or class=body and has a number next to it. I’d suggest setting up a test blog if you haven’t got one already bump the number up and see what happens… But I should say this advice comes from a non-expert who uses blogger not typepad. (I did a fair amount of tweaking to my own site including figuring out how to add tabs which I am inordinately proud of, but basically just by reading around on the web and experimenting)
    If you email me your style sheet I might be able to have a better guess, but it would still be a guess.

  13. I’ve had a couple published papers — “Terrorism, War & the Innocent Victim” and “Morally Admirable Immorality” — that started as PEA Soup posts.
    As for the new look, I like it, but here’s a weird thing: I can only see it on one of my computers. On my laptop, the site looks just the same as before (and I’ve tried refreshing, as you suggested to Chris.)
    I guess this must be what Black and White Mary feels like.

  14. Troy are you using Firefox or Internet Explorer? (And is it the same browser on the different machines?)
    It could be a picture cache issue, Firefox sometimes mucks that up. To test this go to tools and click clear private data then select cache (untick anything else unless you want to clear that data)
    Then shut down the fox, reload and come back to Pea Soup then hit refresh.
    Hope that helps

  15. Congratulations, PEA Soup! I’m thrilled to be involved and look forward to becoming more active once my move to Canada is complete this summer and I can focus more of my time on philosophy again. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, I preferred the old format to the new — I think it looked cleaner and more sophisticated. And I’m also just partial to blue as a color, although I do like the green idea.

  16. I love Pea Soup. I’ve learned a lot from my co-bloggers and our great commenters. Pea Soup is both educational and delicious.
    I do vote for a return to the old colors, with a bit more green.

  17. I wrote this on another thread, but I suppose I should say it here. The column width issue is especially hard to deal with in the “post a comment” box since I like to see the context of what I’m writing when I write. I also did like the blue format better and prefer somewhat wider margins and larger typeface in general.
    Oh yeah, I’ve really enjoyed much of the content posted here. Keep that up.

  18. As an administrator I hate it when I try something new and then people don’t like it (“but we’ve always done it that way”) but you did ask for feedback. I prefer the old version. I think it looked more professional, cleaner, and was easier on the eyes. But I also like the idea of green though. Cheers, and happy birthday, Sam

  19. Hi everyone. Thank you all so much for the feedback on the new look. The feedback was just what we wanted, and, amazingly, there was some consensus: make it easier to read posts and write comments, get back to something like the traditional design, but perhaps with a bit of green. So, we hope this does the trick.
    If you can’t see the latest design, try refreshing your browser.

  20. I love this new new look.
    And PEA soup helped me procrastinate my way to a dissertation by keeping me thinking while on breaks; thanks!

  21. Oh, now that’s PEA Soup.
    Now that we’re three, maybe we should get our parents to call Certain Doubts’ parents and set up a play date.

  22. I like the new pea-green look. And PEA Soup has been a blast to be a part of, and very educational too. As several others said, it’s a great way to keep your edge sharp when you don’t have colleagues in the relevant disciplines down the hall. Like going to a conference every time you log on.

  23. The Fab Four who created and maintain this page are to be congratulated for dreaming up this great idea and for having the energy to make it happen. Perhaps they are to be mocked a bit for being willing to spend their time pandering to our whimsical sense of what would be a mildly funny color to have the edges of the web page be. But well pandered. I dig the new look. And I love the venue for learning about ethics ‘n stuff.

  24. I get dibs on being John, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’m Ringo.
    Thanks to everyone for your very helpful input. Democracy actually worked in this instance!

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