Happy blog birthday!

Happy blog birthday!

Can you believe it, people? We have been running this blog for 2 years! What a milestone! Time to celebrate and look back at a year of great blogging.

Who are the champions?

We are the champions, my friends!

That’s right! We actually won a prize this year: we won best blog post of 2018 by public vote for a post by one of our editors, Luca Dal Zilio, about a conference he attended in Singapore. So we are now an award-winning blog. Hell yeah!
Technically this post was written during our first blog year, but hey, we only got the prize in January, so I think we’re totally within our rights to mention it now. Since we won by public vote, we would like to thank all of you – our readers – for your support! It really means a lot to us and strengthens the idea that some people actually read this blog!

And talking about our readers…

Who are you?

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually people who read this blog! Although I don’t have any data to back this up, I think most of our readers are actually scientists from the geodynamics, tectonics and structural geology, and seismology divisions of EGU. So much for trying to do outreach. If I’m wrong, please let me know!
I do have some data on how many people visit our blog. On average, we have 37 unique visitors per day (and that’s quite something if you remember that we only post on Wednesdays and now Fridays). Our 100 most viewed pages (and this includes the homepage, author profiles, tags, etc. as well as individual posts) each have seen 150 unique visitors on average with some posts having over 2000 unique visitors in the past year! These popular posts are usually commissioned and promoted on social media by our editor Grace Shephard. Little gems of blog posts with many views from her hand include The Rainbow Colour Map (repeatedly) considered harmful, Thirteen planets and counting, and How good were the old forecasts of sea level rise?

We have a global readership! Most of our readers are accessing the website from the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Spain. Interesting list of countries, right? Apart from that, we also have some geodynamicists in Turkmenistan, Rwanda, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Mozambique. Or maybe that is just a result of geodynamicists being on holiday in exotic places who are dying to read geodynamics news to distract themselves from their amazing holiday destination. Who knows?

Who are we?

We have a lovely blog team and it’s quite a big team as well! Currently, there are 7 regular editors, one mysterious, anonymous editor under the name of ‘The Sassy Scientist’ and one Editor-in-Chief (yours truly). Who would’ve ever thought there would be 9 people in the blog team? Last year, we were 5, so we have grown a lot. If you have already forgotten who we are, you can check out our recent introduction post.

But, these 9 amazing editors don’t have the time (or the expertise) to write all these blog posts themselves. Therefore, we heavily rely on the most amazing guest authors. During the past year, we had 20 guest authors who contributed one or more posts. So here is a big shout out to all the guest authors of the past year:

• Manar Alsaif
• Marie Bocher
• Daniel Bowden
• Kiran Chotalia
• Robert Citron
• Lorenzo Colli
• João Duarte
• Rene Gassmöller
• Lars Gebraad
• Antoniette Greta Grima
• Charitra Jain
• Kirster Karlsen
• Maria Koroni
• Laurent Montesi
• Andrea Piccolo
• Adina Pusok
• Nico Schliffke
• Paul Tackley
• Katy Willis
• Jonny Wu

Thank you so much. We couldn’t do it without you!

Behind the scenes

During our first 1.5 years of blogging we had a system in place where we had regular types of posts, such as Geodynamics 101, Remarkable Regions, Peculiar Planets, and Wit & Wisdom posts. Additional content that did not fit in any of these categories, would go into our News & Views or Conferences. This meant that all the editors were encouraged to find posts that fitted into a certain topic and then we hoped for the best. In practice, most of the responsibility lay with yours truly: the Editor-in-Chief. I was in charge of keeping an eye on the schedule and asking the editors to contribute. In the end, I wrote and commissioned most of the posts myself.

That was clearly unsustainable.

Whenever I had a lapse of vigilance, holes were more likely to appear in the schedule, because no one else in the blog team felt responsible for posting (and rightfully so). This lead to the infamous gaps in content around February (which seems to be a recurring yearly theme).

Again: clearly unsustainable.

So. This year, I got inspired at the EGU Blog Editor meeting a few days before the General Assembly and I thought of a complete new blog strategy during EGU. I know: I spent my time at EGU wisely…

We recruited a bunch of new editors and we have now successfully implemented a new schedule: all 7 regular editors are responsible for a blog post for 1 week in a 7 week cycle. They can commission blog posts, write them, give their slot to another editor who might have more blog posts lined up, or whatever they want to do, but they are – in the end – responsible for uploading a blog post on Wednesday. I still keep an eye on the schedule and fill gaps where necessary, but at least now I have someone to address whenever there seems to be an empty slot. We also added some extra repercussions to increase the responsibility of our regular editors: if they fail to upload a Wednesday blog post on time in their scheduled weeks twice within one year, they will automatically stop being editors. Of course, we want to keep everyone in the team, so everyone is encouraged to help each other out, if a gap in the schedule threatens to appear.
The Sassy Scientist is responsible for weekly Friday Q&As, which is a lot of work actually: 52 blog posts in a year is a lot. So for these posts, we are working with a backlog of at least 5 blog posts at all times to ensure that our Sassy Scientist can sometimes take a holiday. Currently, I am editing all the Sassy Scientist blog posts, but I’m hoping they can fly solo soon! One of the most difficult things is getting questions for the Sassy Scientist to answer. So far most of the questions have been asked by editors, although some wished to remain anonymous, so their names were changed. Therefore, we ask everyone to just e-mail the Sassy Scientist a question, leave a comment to one of the blog posts or on social media. You will remain anonymous, if you so desire, and we will make sure that your question gets answered soon (i.e., we will adapt the schedule accordingly).
The new system works well so far. Let’s see if we can keep it up!

So now what?

Well, onwards and upwards, don’t you think? We will try to keep providing you with geodynamics news on Wednesdays and Sassy Scientist Q&As on Fridays for another year. That’s twice as much content as in our first year! Theoretically. We have lots of great posts lined up as well as some very impressive, new guest authors who are dying to pen down their thoughts. If you would like to contribute to the blog, don’t hesitate to contact us by sending us an e-mail. Until then: enjoy the read!

Happy blog birthday!

Happy blog birthday!

If the title and image didn’t tip you off: the EGU Geodynamics blog is celebrating its first anniversary! Almost exactly 1 year ago (okay, so it’s one year and one day, because I wanted to stick to the Wednesday upload schedule), the EGU GD blog was launched! Yay! Applause! Good thing we’re not insanely vain about or proud of this and going to milk this event with a blog post. Oh wait…
Prepare for a lovely blog post where we will be celebrating ourselves (mainly), our guest authors (we’d be lost without them), and our faithful readers (you! unless it’s your first time here… in which case: welcome!).

Since the start of our blog, we have been trying to provide you with a weekly dosis of geodynamics or general-academic-life posts every Wednesday. This didn’t always go according to plan, as we had a few hiccups – most notably in February 2018, when we had an all time low of zero posts. Oops. I will use the fact that I was organising and attending a conference as an excuse. Other – less serious – hiccups occurred at other times when we very sneakily uploaded on a Thursday or a Friday instead of the promised Wednesday. Notwithstanding these hiccups, we still managed to write 58 (!!, excluding this one) posts! That’s even more than one post a week on average!
*pats herself and her team on the back*

What did we write about?

Most of our blog posts were part of our regular features, such as our popular Geodynamics 101 series, which has since been adapted into a successful EGU short course in collaboration with the EGU ECS Geodynamics team. We have also discussed several Remarkable Regions and Peculiar Planets. Several new, exciting papers have been discussed in our News & Views posts and we have reported about several Conferences, such as Nethermod and the EGU GA. Other travel adventures – often with a more geological focus – have been described in our Travel Log. To make you laugh; discuss about the current academic environment; and give you tips on how to make posters, figures, and presentations, we have the popular Wit & Wisdom posts. So, just to summarise: there is a blog post for everyone.

Who (and how many) are you (= our readers)?

We have quite a large amount of readers (hoorah! it would be very sad if no one read these posts. Which might ironically end up to be the case for this post…), with on average a minimum of 100 unique visitors per blog post, but recently nearing 200 or more unique views per blog post (and that is not counting the people that just stay on the homepage of our blog and don’t actually click on the post). Our most popular blog posts include The Rainbow Colour Map (repeatedly) considered harmful with almost 2000(!) unique views, How good were the old forecasts of sea level rise? with more than 500 unique views, and Going with the toroidal mantle flow with almost 400 unique views. Our unique readers come from all corners of the world (see figure below).

Amount of users of our EGU GD blog website per country for the last year

Who are we?

We have a very enthusiastic blog team that has been working round the clock the past year to provide you with all this content! If you still don’t know who we are by now, you can check out our introduction post here. We also recently had a new addition to the blog team, who has already written his first blog post. Together, the five of us hope to keep this blog running for at least another year! However, we wouldn’t be able to provide so many regular geodynamics posts if it weren’t for the outstanding contributions by our many guest authors. They have really proved to be the backbone of this blog, so they deserve a proper shout out! While hunting for all the names of our guest authors in our blog record, I found the following 27 wonderful people who contributed one or more blog posts (because yes, these amazing guest authors sometimes came back for more and insisted on writing multiple posts!):

• Alice Adenis
• Manar Alsaif
• Suzanne Atkins
• Marie Bocher
• Clint Conrad
• Fabio Crameri
• Juliane Dannberg
• Maximilian Döhmann
• Richard Ghail
• Saskia Goes
• Kirstie Haynie
• Matthew Herman
• Charitra Jain
• Agí Királi
• Kristina Kislyakova
• Maurits Metman
• Luke Mondy
• Elvira Mulyukova
• Jessica Munch
• Lena Noack
• Vojtech Patočka
• Jyotirmoy Paul
• Adina Pusok
• Cedric Thieulot
• Anthony Osei Tutu
• Sabin Zahirovic
• Yue Zhao

And now what?

Speaking for the entire blog team, we have had a blast this year and we are very much looking forward to continue with this blog and to bridge outreach, geodynamics, and general academic life. We hope that we can more firmly establish ourselves in the geodynamics community in the coming year and hopefully we will meet and collaborate with many more (recurring) guest authors to continue making this blog a success. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the blog in any way by either writing or reading it. Cheers to another successful year!