Sunday, December 21, 2008

A year gone by

Howdy, howdy. It's the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year. It is also the one-year "blogiversary" of your humble NOVA Geoblog. Our first day on the job, we put up three separate posts of the "short and sweet" variety. Since that time, we've put up posts at an average rate of 1.24 per day (454 posts over 365 days). ("We've" also started referring to "ourselves" in the third-person plural, a disturbing development indeed.)

Some of these posts I feel pretty proud of, in terms of the detail they express, the big ideas they examine, or the language I used to write them. Others have just been meeting announcements, job opportunities, or brief mentions of newsworthy items hosted at other sources. Here's a list of 15 of my favorites:
I think there are some trends here: field trip experiences and analogies are my favorites.

It's been a good year. Since I started this blog, I've travelled to Northern Ireland, Buffalo and Niagara Falls in New York, Montana, Kentucky, Wyoming, the Grand Canyon, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Hawai'i, and as of next week I'm off to Ecuador and (knock on wood) the Galapagos. In that year, I've taught hundreds of students in courses ranging from one-credit field studies to four-credit Honors courses. I also took 14 credits of graduate coursework from Montana State, via the computer and in the field in the northern Rockies. At NOVA, I've gotten involved in some good activities, from greening the College to leading caving trips. I've published some articles and some cartoons, and been contracted to do art ranging from squirrel woodcuts to diagrams of coastal processes in the Gulf states. I got promoted; I got some grants; I expanded and maintained my network of geological contacts throughout the mid-Atlantic region and across cyberspace. I volunteered leading geology walks along the Billy Goat Trail and through Washington, DC, and served in various official roles for the Geological Society of Washington.

...All told, it's been a full year.

The blog has been successful. I've been delighted to get so much positive feedback from readers, and glad that the blog could serve as a case study in articles in Geotimes and EARTH. I'm also grateful for the corrections when I screw something up: I appreciate the critique and feedback. The counter I added in mid-spring (I forget exactly when) has tracked almost 50,000 hits. I put Sitemeter on in mid-August, and it's tallied up ~28,000 visits in those four months, with ~42,000 page views. That is kind of a lot, I think.

I'm very pleased to see that I have not been alone in this endeavor. The geoblogosphere has exploded in diversity and population over this same time, and I'm pleased to have been able to document that with the "Rise of the Geoblogosphere" talk at the Geological Society of Washington (and ensuing post) in September. Thanks very much to everyone who participated in the survey.

My hats off to Maria, Ron, and Andrew for paving the way for the rest of us, and to Chuck, Kim, Brian, and Chris for providing such compelling examples to emulate. I've been delighted to explore the world of blogging in a cadre of 'yearlings' that includes luminaries like Dave, Garry, Bryan, ReBecca, Ralph, Jessica, Silver Fox, Dave, Lee, and Julian, among so many others that I wouldn't be able to list them all. (I leave that to Lutz.) I am delighted to see relative newcomers like Ed, Chris, Chuck, Jesse, Michael, David, and (my former/future student) Jay on the scene; I also hope for the new year to bring the resurrection of some old favorites, like Mel, Chris, Jeannette, and Jim. My sincere apologies if I've left your worthy blog off this incomplete list.

Happy solstice, everyone! Here's to another year of discussion and sharing!

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Blogger Kim said...

Happy blogiversary, Callan! And thanks for doing so much to bring blogs to the attention of other geoscientists.

December 21, 2008 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And thanks for doing so much to bring blogs to the attention of other geoscientists.

... and others.

December 23, 2008 2:14 AM  
Blogger CJR said...

A year already? Wow. Here's to many more - and looking forward to meeting you in the New Year!

December 23, 2008 5:58 AM  
Anonymous A reader (Jules) said...

I am enjoying your blog very much and especially the field trips from this site and other NOVA blog. The generous photos and other illustrations you use clearly help the layman like myself understand many concepts of geology,plate tectonics and rock identification.

Here is a article from SCIENCE DAILY on research of the basalt columns that you have written about in other posts.

Thanks again Mr Bentley for this educational and informative site.

Happy New Year

December 25, 2008 2:36 PM  

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