Not unlike a 20th century museum, this blog is beholden to no one. I post what I want to post, and I alone decide what readers ought to find interesting. And yet, even the most visitor-centric modern museums with the most thorough evaluation procedures would no doubt do anything to get the fine-grained audience statistics that WordPress provides freely to bloggers. With that in mind, it’s time to jump squarely onto the bandwagon and share some of the highlights of the past year’s metrics.
With just shy of 10,000 viewers, 2013 was my best year by far in terms of visitation since I started blogging three years ago. The overwhelming majority of visitors hailed from the US, but there were plenty of visitors from Canada and the UK as well. More than half of visitors came via search engine, but there was also a significant number of visitors coming through social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. The good folks at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs added me to their blog roll earlier this year, so that has been big driver of traffic as well.
The most popular post was the Murals and Dioramas entry in my Extinct Monsters series. My post on Henry Osborn’s notorious bigotry and how he continues to influence museums today was a close second, and my review of medullary bone in dinosaurs from last year was third. I’m glad the Osborn post found an audience, because I definitely consider it one of the more “important” posts I’ve done. Expect more about Osborn’s legacy in the coming year. The Murals and Dioramas post was made possible by a lovely chat I had with Norman Deaton earlier this year when I was working on my master’s thesis. I’m happy to see that his gorgeous and historically important dioramas are of interest to others. Be aware, the NMNH paleontology halls are closing for renovation this Spring, and the dioramas will not be included when the exhibit reopens in five years. The dioramas will definitely be preserved, but this is the last opportunity to see them in their intended context.
Beyond the blog, my big accomplishments this year were finishing my MA and scoring a job that lets me do precisely what I love: sharing information about paleontology with enthusiastic people. Meanwhile, my attempt to turn my thesis into something publishable has expanded into a monster with an absurd page count and no end in sight. Perhaps there will be news on that front in the coming year, but in the meantime thanks to all who have made this possible. And of course, thanks to all the readers who have dropped by (even all of you who only wanted that stolen horse evolution image that I only posted as a bad example), everyone who took the time to comment, and especially everyone who permitted me to tell the stories of their fascinating work.