Six months ago, I wrote an innocuous post about, well, not much. I mistook Dynamic Ecology for a one-man show (sorry Meg & Brian!), and wanted the chance to share thoughts that wouldn’t necessarily make a manuscript or book chapter.
Now that The Lab and Field is 6 months old, I thought it would be nice to look back at some stats.
There have been 7,907 unique visitors from:
- Canada (3177)
- United States (2722)
- United Kingdom (373)
- Sweden (208)
- Australia (202)
- And 75 other countries (excuse the Mercator projection, I don’t mean to seem imperialistic)
Aside from the homepage, the most popular posts were:
- Lamenting the lack of options for postdocs in Canada (1038)
- Breaking down the cost of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program (with Sarah at Watershed Moments) (708)
- Explaining the differences between straight and gay academics in Canada (493)
- Extolling natural history museums (384)
- Questioning why ecology has so few retractions (164)
There are 59 folks following the blog, and another 207 on Twitter.
While not all that impressive, it’s more people than would have heard what I had to say otherwise, so thank you!
But all that is secondary to my main point – why do I blog and use Twitter? Part of the reason is selfish, and part is perhaps narcissistic, but both are useful.
Twitter is my “lab group”
My actual lab group is on the small size right now (1, soon to be 2), and I’m off campus away from many potential collaborators, grad students, and faculty. This isn’t a complaint, but it’s the reality. So when I have something that I think others will find interesting, I post it on Twitter, or write a post about it. I’ve had great interactions with scientists, students, bloggers, and many others that have been intellectually stimulating, prodded me to pursue some matters further, and in one case, may end up resulting in a manuscript collaboration.
It’s also a chance to talk about topics that aren’t related to my research. What I actually work on has been the subject of very few posts or tweets. Most have been about the culture of research in academia and government, field and/or lab methods, teaching, and science policy. I didn’t think I would write that much about my own research when I started, so this falls in line with my expectations.
Some of the things I say will be of interest to others
This is the narcissistic bit. I’m not so vain as to think that there’s someone waiting on baited breath for my next blog post (though if there is, you can exhale now, and thanks). But I’ve had great feedback in post comments, and on Twitter about many of the topics I write about, or links/questions I tweet. And I just plain like sharing things. I’m the guy that e-mails new papers to folks that I think will like them or find them interesting, and who sends news articles to other folks I work with for the same reason.
What can you expect in the next 6 months?
Well, I’ve had no issues with anything I’ve written, to it’s full steam ahead. There are a couple of neat posts in the queue. Some will be short, some will be long. I’m away much of August and September, so posting will be less frequent, but should pick up in the fall as the traditional prairie weather confines me to warm heated environs.
I’ve “met” and interacted with folks all over Canada, the US, Australia, and elsewhere, and have enjoyed it immensely. Whether it’s been talking about the lack of funding, stats textbooks, or sharing science-y humour, I’ve had a lot of fun. Which is pretty good for a guy in a lab group of 1.
So thanks again, and if you’ve got any suggestions, fun/interesting links, or just want to say hi, check me out on the Twitterbox.