I originally started my website with the hope that I and other data-lovers would build a little data empire. I had far-fetched dreams that I could even host datasets and that somehow the website would morph into something self-sustaining financially as well as editorially.

After inputting more than 200 datasets, writing a few blog posts, and making a homepage to tie everything together, a couple of years later, it has become clear that this website aspires more to the ranks of a personal hobby website. The only comments my blog got were the 99.999% the spammy kind. My open wiki was vandalized every frickin’ day by bots posting links to online drug stores, mostly in Russia.

So I was forced to “lock” the wiki to save myself the draining effort of restoring it. I also re-evaluated my blog posting style. At first, I thought I’d make original contributions in addition to coming up with new takes on existing articles. Hence, the name “Research Pipeline”. But, working full-time while having a baby and a toddler limited the amount of time I could devote to the blog’s mission. And now that I have placed my website firmly in the hobbiest category, the name seems a bit pretentious!

However, I have been inspired by other example blogs. My favorite blog of all time has to be Freakonometrics, written by Arthur Charpentier in France (although most of the posts are in English). I was also recently inspired by The Guardian’s podcast coverage of science bloggers. So I’ve decided to resume data-related blogging, only on a more humble scale — writing about stuff I find fascinating.

That pretty much explains this blog and what it’s about. Now, should you, dear reader, wish to contribute a blogpost, I would be thrilled. And if you have a dataset location to contribute to the wiki please get in touch and I will set you up with an account. Other than that, non-spammy comments will be approved with gratitude.

Lyndie Chiou, January 25th, 2011

256 Appian Way, Union City, CA 94587