The week that wasn’t

Posted on | January 8, 2011 | 9 Comments

For those of you who missed the sign-off last Sunday, The week that was has gone the way of the TV show that inspired its name. Launched in June 2009, The week that was lasted nearly as long as the BBC comedy, with pay that would have been low by 1960s public television standards had there been pay. Producing a page that regularly featured both Wen Jiabao and Pat Mulroy was a labor of love, and of profound interest. The reward came in the kind of knowledge that can shut down a dinner party faster than putting Smithsonian Institute Blues on the stereo. When NPR broadcast a capable story about chlorine, chloramine and the way they interact with different plumbing media last week, TWTW had already roto-rootered that material in these pages every week since June 2009 and spent hours producing fiddly links for your clicking pleasure. An abiding interest developed in fracking, with this site becoming an unlikely but all the same core resource on the subject of a gas drilling technique that could very well lead to the contamination of groundwater in scary big swathes of the country. To be frank, part of the reason I am dropping the page is that while the readership was good, and occasionally excellent, the click-on rate wasn’t. To all of those determined to learn about water, I commend above all sources the search engine ProQuest, which is available to most Americans with a library card. For comprehensive daily coverage of California water, there is no better source than Aquafornia. WaterWired amounts to a free education and these websites are all tried and tested. For pure feist, check out On the public record. This site will churn on, with posts as time allows on my presiding passions: horticulture, water conservation in California and the future of the most beautiful place nobody ever heard of, the Great Basin. So, with deep thanks to all who read and supported The week that was, in a watered down variation of “Jeffrey Bernard is unwell,” Emily Green will be on assignment.


9 Responses to “The week that wasn’t”

  1. Matthew G Heberger
    January 9th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    Thanks for your incredible blog, Emily. I’ve enjoyed reading it since I discovered it about a year ago. What incredible breadth and depth for “free content”. Please, please continue to post occasionally. I really enjoy your passionate but level-headed tone, and all the information I’ve soaked up here!

  2. Rainbow Water Coalition
    January 9th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    TWTW truly was the *pot-o-gold* of the spectrum of water blogs. Don’t drink any goldwater while on assignment. Thanks.

  3. David Zetland
    January 9th, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

    I loved TWTW. High density summaries of great news.

    And, what? Click rate? What’s the revenue model here?

    $0 * 50 clicks = $0
    $0 * 25,000 clicks = $0

    Let’s try again on that logic — and hopefully on TWTW 🙂

  4. EmilyGreen
    January 9th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Thank you all for the nice comments. David, the point about clicks is hilarious; it wasn’t so much the readership, it was the feeling that taking so much time to search for the online versions of the ProQuest articles that were quoted, and then linking them, was a waste of time because so few people clicked out of TWTW onto the linked articles. Pulling quotes without links felt shoddy, as if they might not be true. And it defeated the purpose of offering a selection of weekly reads. Hope that’s clear. Happy New Year to one and all. Will be posting from LA and Nevada.

  5. George
    January 10th, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    I often marveled at how much work obviously went into producing those artistic TWTW posts when you have so many other writing assignments to deal with. I’m sorry to see it go, but I certainly understand.

    I’ve always considered Chance of Rain to be the most literary water blog out there and am sure it will continue to be, even without TWTW.

    Best wishes for success in your future endeavors.

  6. Michael Campana
    January 10th, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    You’ve done us all a real service, Emily. We are going to miss TWTW terribly, and I know I will suffer withdrawals.

  7. Eric Lindstrom
    January 10th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Sorry to see this happen, but certainly understand the logic. Thanks for all the dedication and hard work that it took. Your research integrity shined through all your posts and they’ve been a source of considerable inspiration for me as I’ve worked on my own. I’ll stay tuned to your other work, of course. Much to learn and lots to think about.

  8. Gayle
    January 10th, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I can live without the links but not the wicked wit…Please continue with the latter as much as you’re inclined, in any form! I hope you know that there are many who have loved the fruits of your labor, thanks!

  9. Ken
    January 13th, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    I will miss the links-they were a wonderful source of information. While it was labor intensive to assemble the links, it was one of the highlights of the website. I still remember when I clicked on the NASA link and discovered the updated CO2 parts per million on the NASA website. It would be great if a foundation could step in and offer financial assistance for a very valuable public service. Thank You Emily.

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