Happy blog birthday!

Happy blog birthday!

Listen up, everyone! The blog turns 4 year old this week! 4 years. We’ve been blogging for 4 years. Holy moly. You can finish a PhD in that time (I mean, I didn’t, but – you know – you could). We’ve had another cracking year, so let’s reflect a bit on the past year – undoubtedly one of the weirdest years in (blog) history.  

What did we do?

A lot. That’s the short answer. In fact, this has been our most successful year so far. We managed to consistently upload general geodynamic and academic life posts every Wednesday and Sassy Scientist columns every Friday (apart from the odd break for Christmas for example). So, in total we posted 106 blog posts in the past year! Whoohoo! Round of applause for us!

Apart from our regular Wednesday and Friday posts, we have also introduced a new series on the first Monday of each month at the start of 2021: the PhD Chronicles, where PhD students can share the successes and failures of their PhD journeys.

I would also like to give an update on our most popular blog post ever (published just before the 3rd birthday of the blog). The merchandise sale of the #Black In Geoscience logo created by editor Lucía Pérez-Díaz has now raised over €15.000,- for charities fighting against racism. I am immensely proud that our little blog has managed to contribute to this. The merchandise is still available, so check it out if you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet!

Who are we?

With a record amount of blog posts also comes a record amount of guest authors. What? Did you really think we have time to write all these blog posts ourselves? Of course, I won’t deny the blog team this year has been absolutely fantastic (especially considering they all worked on the blog despite this bloody pandemic we are finding ourselves in), but even the best of the best don’t have time to do everything. And so my lovely blog editors enlisted the help of many guest authors so that they could take the odd minute off from their blog duties to write their paper / tuck in their kid / read a book / dress up for youtube.

And so we find that the blog year 2020-2021 was elevated by 53 guest authors who passionately wrote about their research and (academic) life:

• Brad Aagaard
• Hendratta Ali
• Ruth Amey
• Rebecca Ebe Ohemeng Appiah
• Estella Atekwana
• Diana Avadanii
• Ayodeji Babalola
• Harry Ballantyne
• Wolfgang Bangerth
• Ömer F. Bodur
• Louisa Brotherson
• Fabio Capitanio
• Kar Wai Cheng
• Chris Davies
• Roby Douilly
• Jac van Driel
• Attreyee Ghosh
• Dip Ghosh
• Thyagarajulu Gollapalli
• Moh Gouiza
• Alex Hughes
• Jeroen van Hunen
• Chris Jackson
• Matthew Kemp
• Elodie Kendall
• Anjana Khatwa
• Folarin Kolawole
• Oliver Kreylos
• Stefano Maffei
• Debarshi Majumder
• Bob Myhill
• Derek Neuharth
• Graeme Nicoll
• Ana-Catalina Plesa
• Kieran Prince
• Adina Pusok
• Maeve Murphy Quinlan
• Fred Richards
• Boris Robert
• Arushi Saxena
• Srishti Singh
• Dan Spencer
• Oliver Strimpel
• Cedric Thieulot
• Nicola Tosi
• Eoghan Totten
• Anthony Osei Tutu
• Jamie Ward
• Leiaka Welcome
• Lori Willhite
• Alexis Wilson
• Jean-Christophe Wrobel-Daveau
• Masaki Yoshida

Thank you for your contributions! We would not be able to run this blog without you! I’m serious. I wish I was joking. So, if you (the person reading this. Yes: YOU) would like to write a post, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Coming back to our amazing blog team, I would also like to point out that I am very happy to see quite a diverse team. We have a nice gender balance, we manage to inject some colour in the otherwise stereotypically white ivory tower of academia, and we have varying roles within the team from science-focused editors to art-focused illustrators. Both equally brilliant and equally creative. However, in many other respects our team is not that diverse after all. Since I (hello!) am the editor-in-chief and (try to) do the recruiting, the people in the blog team are mainly people I know from within my own circle of friends and colleagues and acquaintances associated with them. This means there is an heavy bias towards people from ETH, Utrecht University, and the aspect community. Honestly: look at all the editors throughout the years and I assure you it’s peanuts to relate them to these three things (and hence my own – limited? – network). It’s hard to reach people from outside of your own circle (god knows I’m trying with my slowly increasing subscriber count on youtube), simply because you don’t know who they might be – so how can you reach them? So, this is something I would like to work on and I really, really, really welcome any interest from people outside my own academic bubble to help strengthen the blog team, so e-mail me if you’re interested, please!
In light of this, I would like to give a special shoutout to one of our editors: Jyotirmoy Paul, who has consistently commissioned blog posts from guest authors outside of this bubble and undoubtedly will continue to do so this year – clearly he knows / approaches a lot of interesting people, so thank you, Jyo!

How did it go?

Thanks to the sheer volume of blog posts, the amount of unique pageviews has gone up to over 36,000 views during this blog year! That’s a lot! Thank you all for reading and engaging with the EGU Geodynamics blog – it really is much appreciated by the blog team. Sometimes, just sometimes, it can feel a bit pointless to churn out all this content, as it is hard to gauge if the posts are read or not. The Sassy Scientist specifically is on my back a lot moaning about whether or not people read their columns. People do! So, that’s why I like looking at the statistics once a year and comparing it to the previous year and lo and behold: all the clicks and views and whatnot have gone up (albeit steadily, so it’s usually not immediately noticeable per post). Have a look at our monthly unique pageviews for example (barring some ‘viral’ posts in 2020 such as the #Black In Geoscience post):

And now what?

Well, we will keep on blogging for another year, I think. Another year of exciting blog content, new creative avenues, and lots of insights on all things geodynamics, research, and academia. Another year to continue building the geodynamics community. But first, I think I will go to bed now, because I am curating this blog post way too late on a Monday evening. See you in the next one!

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Iris is a postdoc at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin, Germany. Her current research revolves around modelling Venus. Previous projects concerned subduction dynamics and the associated seismic and tsunami hazards. Iris is the former Editor-in-chief of the GD blog team and now sometimes just blogs for fun. You can reach Iris via email. For more details, please visit Iris' personal webpage or check out her youtube channel:

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