A couple months back, I ran into a UNC employee who asked me if I had been sick the previous week.
I had, and I asked him what made him suspect as much.
Well," he said, "There wasn't as much stuff on the blog last week as there usually is."
This was encouraging news, since it meant that Campus Notes was gaining some sort of foothold. It was flattering that at least one person followed it regularly enough to notice an occasional gap in service.
I've tried to use this blog to bolster my higher education reporting for the News & Observer in print and online. The blog and its twitter feed, @campus_notes, have helped me reach new audiences. They've also taught me what's popular on the web. For example, people seem to like videos of silly college kids engaging in what I like to call "planned spontaneity" in the campus library.
And blog posts about controversial Muslim leaders headed to town are popular too. And of course, the Granddaddy of all Twitter Trash Talk, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp's Krzyzewskiville blast. That was an amusing day.
I'm really going to miss it all.
It's bittersweet for me to report that I'm leaving the News & Observer, my third newspaper in a 15-year journalism career, for a new job with the news office at Duke University.
My last day is Friday.
These are tough times for newspapers, which struggle to make money. (You're probably reading this on your computer. For free.) But the News & Observer is committed to its coverage of higher education here in the Triangle, one of the nation's most complex and dynamic higher education markets.
And the blog will remain as well, with contributions from a number of reporters and editors.
I've spent most of the last dozen years writing about universities here in the Triangle. I've learned a lot and I hope my reporting has been useful. I'm leaving this beat just as it's getting interesting, with sweeping changes to public universities beckoning on the horizon.
I'll follow all the twists and turns in the newspaper. I hope you will too.
Thanks for reading.