by Judith Curry
September 2 marks the 2nd anniversary of Climate Etc. Time for some reflection, on where we’ve been and where we might be going.
I had a similar post last year on our first anniversary, interesting to look back at everyone’s reflections a year ago (including mine).
What’s new this year? Well, the climate dittohead blogs now pretty much completely ignore me (which is a blessing, after trying to discredit me as stupid, etc.) They did get excited over a comment at CE from Rich Matarese that they perceived as a ‘threat’ against climate scientists, but that fizzled.
To those that have predicted that this blog will be the ‘death’ of my academic career, I am happy to report that my ‘stock’ is rising in terms of the number invites to give lectures and other presentations that I have received from prestigious venues and also invited journal articles.
Climate Etc. is reaching a broader audience. While the largest number of ‘hits’ continues to come from WUWT, ClimateAudit and BishopHill, CE is getting an increasing number of hits from slashdot and Reddit, energy blogs and pjmedia.
External hits average about 15% of total hits. Unless there is some sort of ‘big story’ that generates alot of external hits, most likely a ‘scandal’ that I comment on (a sad statement on what people care about in the climate debate). It seems that CE is mostly a destination blog for regulars.
The large majority of readers are ‘silent’ and don’t comment. There is no way for me to know who these readers are, but I continue to be surprised by the climate scientists (and scientists from other fields) who I run into that tell me they read CE, and who send me an email commenting about something. The community continues to shy away from engaging in the blogosphere. Unfortunate, but I can’t say that I blame them given the generally vitriolic nature of the blogosphere.
CE averages about 500 comments per day. WordPress has a new feature that allows tracking of the most prolific commenters per past 1000 comments. On a typical day, the top 7 commenters account for about 25% of the comments.
I fully understand that keeping the CE community engaged and vibrant requires frequent, regular posts. I shoot for 5 posts per week; sometime I can’t manage this owing to travel or an overly full schedule, or a big deadline. I try to avoid gaps in posting of more than 3 days, but sometimes longer gaps are unavoidable.
In terms of topics, the rapid fire demands of trying to post frequently preclude much strategic thinking in terms of topics (and also my responding to many of the comments). I mostly react to current news or current papers, although these may languish in my draft file for awhile and end up getting posted well after their ‘timeliness’ date.
In case you’ve noticed my blog roll, it evolves a lot, reflecting the blogs I’m currently following. Not many people link from my blogroll; many of these blogs are almost certainly not of general interest to the CE community.
One of the most important sources of posts is email suggestions and links to other blog posts and recently published papers. I am very grateful to those of you that send me material.
One of the most rewarding aspects of running this blog is being exposed to a broader range of ideas and papers that I otherwise would have encountered, and meeting new people. This past week, I invited David Rutledge to give a seminar at Georgia Tech, as a result of his guest post at CE that originated from an email that he sent me after reading the blog (Dave packed the house and gave a terrific seminar, I hope he will have time for future blog posts). CE has been invaluable in developing a network with really interesting and knowledgable people from a broad range of technical and professional fields.
So . . . I look forward to your comments and suggestions about what has been accomplished here, and what we might try to do collectively in the coming year. Your suggestions on topics, blog format, moderation etc. are appreciated.