This week marked 4,000 posts on this blog since it was launched on January 1, 2007. We've seen over 1.7 million page views since we started tracking that in mid-2009, but a surprisingly small 2,090 published comments.
What's been heartening is the impact this blog has had as a communication tool for the our geoscience community and beyond, including a number of news reporters who monitor it for story ideas.
The past three years has seen a drop in my blogging for a couple of reasons. The biggest is lack of time. As the Arizona Geological Survey transitioned from being mostly state-funded to now 90% soft money funded, I spend much more of my time writing grant proposals and managing the awards we receive. In particular, our data integration and management capabilities have made us a national and increasingly an international leader in this booming field. I am traveling a significant part of the time as our data network becomes global in scope. The funds from these projects help underwrite the Arizona projects and duties that the State has not been able to fund since the Great Recession began.
The other big change is the rapid growth of out social media presence, particularly with Facebook and Twitter. Mike Conway, Chief of the AZGS Geologic Extension Service, has put AZGS in the top 1-2% of Twitter sites in numbers of followers. Our Facebook regularly outdraws our main website in numbers of visitors. A lot of things that I used to blog about, albeit briefly, are now better presented on these other social media outlets.
In some ways, the blog is becoming so 20th century. Yet it's still a
good outlet for more extensive news and ideas, so I expect to continue
with it for the foreseeable future. The level of posting will likely
stay at the current rate.
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