I was reading one of the bigger ecology blogs that I find myself returning to fairly regularly and they posted a review of their blog year, mostly for themselves to reference. I found it interesting so went to have a look at our own blog and social media stats. I thought I’d post a fish thinkers summary mainly as a record for myself but also on the odd chance anyone else is vaguely interested (its also a sneaky way to kick off a year in which I plan to post on here more regularly).
Fish Thinkers Blog
Clearly we are minnows in the whole blog biosphere and both Matt and I have been particularly busy lately which makes it hard to post as often as we want to. We are both getting close to the end of our respective PhDs, juggling work on the side and for me, chasing a toddler! All things considered it was a bit surprising to see we somehow had increased our blog views by more than a third (to 4300+) this year compared to last though we only posted once a month. Unexpectedly giant water rats are popular; The tale of the much maligned giant Australian water rat took out the most read post this year, followed closely and not so unexpectedly by our old post on how to get cash as a poor student; That honours and post grad funding post should get an update soon.
We had views from 85 countries in all this year, which is one of the stats that I find interesting. Most visitors came from Australia. The United States & United Kingdom were not far behind. Scandinavia was well represented which isn’t that surprising given I have a lot of connections there. More surprising is that we seem to get a lot of views from places that I wouldn’t expect, like Saudi Arabia but also quite a few from various other middle eastern countries.Views by country for 2015 are shown in the figure below and you can see there is a few holes. Might be time to write a blog post about Greenland!
Fish Thinkers Social Media
Science communication seems to be flavour of the month so ill include the social media side of fish thinkers as well. We do a lot of our ‘science communication’ on instagram so its not so surprising that we get most of our interactions there. For example amongst other things we like talking to recreational and commercial fishers about sustainable fishing and instagram seems to work well for that. It definitely seems to be the place to converse with fishers, conservationists and the general public, as opposed to twitter which seems to be the place (for us anyway) to talk straight science. For me Twitter is where you go to try scicomm to other scientists and instagram to the public. Facebook almost seems like a waste of time unless you are prepared to pay to boost your posts. Having said that we haven’t put a huge amount of effort into facebook or twitter and perhaps should change that (edit: either way the number instagram users has overtaken twitter so it can’t hurt to be on instagram as well as twitter). Sawfish and pyrosomes got quite a bit of attention on twitter and facebook (15.5k reach) while on instagram it was photos with unusual subject matter or good fishing shots.
and that is us on social media for 2015. Probably the main thing you don’t see in these stats, is all the amazing contacts we made, people we met and groups we collaborated with through fish thinkers this year. That really is the best part!
Thanks for all the support to everyone who got involved this year, particularly those that wrote guest posts and collaborated on various projects with us. If anyone thinks they have a good idea for a guest post or wants to collaborate on an interesting idea then get in contact! This year we definitely want to continue having guest posts on the blog and we already have some really exciting ones lined up, so keep your eyes out for those.