Not much has caught my interest in terms of climate happenings this week (perhaps this is a symptom associated with the head spinning).
There have been some interesting discussions on framing and narratives, including here, and at collide-a-scape,collide-a-scape, dotearth. The zeitgeist of the week seems to be “so what do we do now, surely we should be doing something about energy policy and reducing our vulnerability to weather disasters.” A welcome change, something more meaningful to be talking about (rather than climategate, plagiarism, etc).
Later this weekend I will post some comments on the “control knob” paper from the GISS group and Anastassia Makarieva’s new paper.
If nothing else “catches” this weekend, perhaps we can discuss the the state of the blog. Climate Etc. was launched a little over a month ago. Climate Etc. has attracted a very interesting community of commenters, and I am learning a lot (which is an important hook for me in doing this).
Since I’m a data driven person, here are some blog stats. While I refuse to get caught up in blog muscle wars, some of the stats provided by wordpress.com are quite interesting in terms of understanding blog dynamics. Blog traffic has been pretty much optimal: sufficient to be rewarding (passed the 100,000 hit mark and approaching 5,000 comments) but not overwhelming. Moderation has not been an issue after the first weekend.
The list of referring web sites is interesting. WUWT and Climateaudit top the list, with BishopHill and Air Vent also with a substantial number of referrals. Other sites with more than 100 referrals are Deltoid, Pielke Sr., Only In It For the Gold, Blackboard, Climate Depot, Collide-a-Scape, Tom Nelson, Deep Climate, Stoat, and then others with more than 50 referrals are Thingsbreak, Rabbett Run, Moyhu, Junkscience. Some of the referrals come from the blogrolls, others come from a link in a post or a comment. Clicks from Climate Etc. to other blogs (in order of frequency with > 100 clicks) are BishopHill, WUWT, ClimateAudit, Air Vent, Roy Spencer, Pielke Jr., RealClimate, NoFrakkingConsensus, Tamino, Blackboard, Collide-a-Scape, Pielke Sr., Climate Abyss, Klimazwiebel, Bart Verheggen, ClimateProgress.
Climate Etc. posts with the largest number of hits are Welcome, Doubt, No Consensus, What can we learn from climate models, Recent challenges to the credibility of climate science, Open threads 10/7, 10/14. Most of the threads have “staying power” in terms of continuing to get hits; the posts with the least staying power were hurricanes and Pakistan. Seems like people are interested in the big picture issues, prefer the posts that aren’t too technical, and have an insatiable appetite for dishing about climategate and the hockey wars.
Well what does all that mean? Not much, really. The important issues are whether people are learning something, checking out new sources of information, changing their mind or at least becoming less certain about previous held positions, and of course having fun.
From my perspective, there are MAJOR advantages to having my own blog, versus doing Q&A’s or drive by’s at other blogs. Since the inception of Climate Etc., I have not been mentioned at either Climate Progress or Climate Depot, which is a victory in itself. Some of my posts have engendered discussions at other blogs. The “mainstream” climate blogs are mostly ignoring me, although I guess Eli Rabett didn’t get the memo since he persists in the “Curry is an idiot” meme. All that blogospheric silliness that I managed to get caught up in is bypassed by making the arguments I want to make on my own blog.
What has really exceeded my expectations is the quality of the comments. Climate Etc. has attracted some really interesting and knowledgeable people from diverse fields and and with diverse backgrounds and interests. The comments have been surprisingly well written, especially for the blogosphere. I really expected more of a “sparring” atmosphere; many of the people that I have jousted with elsewhere in the blogosphere haven’t showed up here (which is on balance a good thing). Climate Etc. has definitely attracted the “thinking” part of the climate blogosphere.
From my personal perspective, creating the posts takes A LOT of time, it remains to be seen whether I can keep up this pace. I find that it takes 2000 words to make an argument and provide the relevant background. I know my posts tend to be long by blogospheric standards, I am trying to carve them up into smaller pieces. I expected to spend more time interacting with other commenters. Mostly I respond to whatever recent posts show up on my dashboard at the time, so my apologies if you ask me a specific question and it doesn’t get answered. There is a trade off in terms of time I spend preparing posts vs time spent on the comments.
I’ve proffered about a half dozen invites to other scientists to lead threads or be interviewed, I need to follow up and get some of these nailed down. My original idea was to have frequent posts from other people, but that hasn’t materialized yet.
Michael Larkin states at Collide-a-Scape: “There is only one place I can think of that is consciously trying to provide an environment for dialogue to occur, and that’s Judith Curry’s new blog. I’m not yet sure whether it will achieve what it sets out to, or in the end, turn out to be a naïve hope. The jury’s still out, I guess.”
Yes, the jury is still out. I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions that you have on the blog, related to format, posts, blogroll, future topics etc.
And finally let me take this opportunity to thank each of you for your contributions to the blog.