I opted out of doing a year-in-review-type post in January, deciding to celebrate my blog’s anniversary instead!
This third “instar” feels great.
I think I have finally found a comfortable niche in the big wide world of invertebrate blogs. I’m enjoying the new weekly”long-form” posts in which I explore different aspects of my life as grad student. I’m think I’m making good progress with my photography. I’ve reached out to G+, Twitter, Facebook, Research Blogging and a few other spaces in new ways and, as a result, have expanded my readership, as well as my own exposure to great new things to read and learn from. These three-year-old digs have a new name and a new focus, and gosh, it feels fine.
The cherry on top, of course, is you. Yes YOU. So many great people who I’ve come to know and appreciate. I’ve even met some of you in person, and look forward to expanding my IRL list even further at different events this year. You quiet ones, the ones who show up but don’t comment – I appreciate you too, and I hope you’ve been enjoying this space as much as I do.
Anyhoo, I should probably do at least a little re-cap of the past year’s stuff, eh? Shall we? I’ve decided to highlight the features that were most often viewed by you, the readers.
Most popular image of the year:
Acorn weevil taking off (Curculio sp.)
Hands down, “The Flying Weevil” has to be the winner. It’s been viewed on Flickr almost 800 times, it won me first prize in the Ontario Entomological Society Bug Eye photo contest, it was featured on Scientific American blogs not once but TWICE, and it recently showed up here too. And now I have it on t-shirts and mugs. Oh, also, it is my new header. I love this image, but I also hate it, because I’ll likely never get one this good again. *sigh*
Most-read posts of the year:
These received the most page hits of all the posts I wrote in the past year. I love these top three posts. They manage to span some of my own most important areas of personal interest (my research, my photography, and my online communication activities). In fact, I think they represent some of the highlights of my year.
#1: Why I Spend So Much Time on the Internet
I’m actually pretty tickled that this was the winner – no small feat, either, considering it only went up two months ago! Communicating about science is something I’m rather passionate about (duh) and I love the many ways that online social media facilitate this process! I am thrilled by all the recent buzz about this subject.
#2: BugShot 2011 = Awesome
The photography workshop headed by Alex, Thomas and John was AMAZING. I had way too much fun, took many pictures that I’m proud of, learned millions and met many awesome people. If you haven’t heard, BugShot 2012 is coming soon to a Florida research/conservation area near you. Since my student budget is not conducive to traveling to Florida, I am currently crowd-sourcing and selling buggy swag to raise funds to help me get there (I’m already 1/4 of the way to my goal, thanks to many awesome people!). I really hope to see some of you there!
#3: Mind-controlling beetle parasite
This post spread like wildfire and earned me an “Editor’s Selection” nod on Research Blogging. I should have known – people LOVE parasites! They’re so disgusting and so amazing all at the same time! This beautiful beetle (and its little friend) came from my trap collections from Iqaluit, Nunavut, and will play a role in my PhD research.
I’m looking forward to many more fun posts and great photos in the year to come!