Field of Science

Land mark 1000th blog!

This is the Phytophactor's 1000th blog! The Phytophactor began blogging in the botanical doldrums, the dead of winter, February 12, 2008, for his general amusement during the non-gardening, non-field season in an obscurity so magnificently total that Google could not find my blog. That was 1354 days ago, and to figure that out a new undocumented Excel function was discovered, DATEDIF. My 7th blog, Artichoke - fruit or vegetable? with all its longevity has generated 10 times as many page views (5000+) as the next most read page. Who knew so many people cared? Unfortunately my stats don't go back beyond June 2009 by which time the Phytophactor was getting about 2000 page views/month. By early 2011 readership had more than doubled to over 5000 page views/month. Rather than a steady trend, increases have come rather quickly, followed by a plateau. Not bad for a totally stand alone blog. The Phytophactor joined the Nature Blogs Network quite early on and now ranks 136th in traffic out of the 1748 nature blogs they track placing this blog in the top 8%. Joining the Field of Science blog collective two months ago provided another boost to readership pushing monthly page views to over 12,000, more than doubling the average of the prior 6 months. Around 85% of the blogs are botanical in one way or another, with the rest divided between blowing off steam about academic life, politics, and other aggravations in life. By its fourth anniversary the Phytophactor will have easily passed the 100,000 page view, in fact it may have already passed uncounted not knowing how many pages were read in 16 data less months. So far this is a vastly amusing enterprise. It has flummoxed my colleagues, which is always a good thing, because they have no idea how to evaluate their most widely read colleague's out reach efforts; it is one of our duties you know. My chair said who knows what blogging is worth, and the Phactor suggested he compare my readership to that of his last publication. And he said he would if he were sure of the Phytophactor's true identity, after all, maybe Shakespeare didn't write all those plays either. Touche. So to all you readers, both regular, and irregular, in which case you probably need more fiber, so some will be provided, the Phytophactor says, "Thanks". Like Lone Waite, the Phactor shall endeavor to persevere.

5 comments:

PlantPostings said...

Congratulations! I know I've learned a lot in my visits to your blog. Here's to 1,000 more posts!

Carol Steel 5050 said...

Congratulations! I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and have been fascinated by it since then. I learn from it, laugh with it and really love your sense of self, and humor and wisdom...and really, really appreciate the good science! Thank you.

Eric said...

Add my congratulations to the list. Your botanized harrumphing commentary--or harrumphial botanizing commentary--has salved and brightened many a day around here. I look forward to many more.

Phil said...

Congratulations! I've been a reader of your blog for a couple of years and look forward to every new posting. What you say about the value that academia places on blogging is interesting. My institution here in the UK is currently preparing for a periodic national Research Excellence evaluation exercise and this time one of the criteria is outreach impact - which has to provide some form of verifiable, quantifiable evidence of the scale of the audience reached. I suspect that some of the more far-sighted institutions here will quickly realise that being able to cite staff blogs which have a quantifiable international audience and provide a source of quotable feedback comments from readers is an invaluable asset,although some of the more staid, traditional, so-called elite universities will continue to bury their heads in the sand. It's hard to convince academic colleagues who view any kind of social networking and non-peer refereed publication as frivolous that blogging has real value to academic institutions, but I suspect that this is about to change.
Anyway, thanks for all your posts - I often direct my students to them.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that's quite a landmark. As for Shakespeare, I believe in him so I guess I can credit you. Once I found you I sent the word out and maybe added to the reader tally. First thing I catch every morning!

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