Happy New Year (and the year ahead)

Welcome to 2016! Over the holidays I have been thinking about the past year, planning new projects for 2016, including taking stock of this blog and where it’s going.

Last year was terrific year for this blog – I managed to publish 69 posts and over 240,000 visitors came to Arthropod ecology (thanks in a large part to xkcd linking to my ‘you are always within three feet of a spider‘ post). Spiderday was successful, and I remain so thankful to everyone who reads, shares and comments on my posts.


The time investment for blogging is not insignificant, and I do sometimes question whether it’s worth it. I enjoy writing, and posting, but I also sometimes feel conflicted, as time blogging takes away from time doing other things. It’s also notable that engagement has been less this year (if measured by comments on posts), and all my ‘top posts’ are things I wrote years ago. Although I am posting at least once per week, I don’t invest the same amount of time with each post that I used to do. This may be because I have less time than I used to, perhaps I have less to say, or I’ve run out of energy for it (FWIW, I think it’s mostly because of time constraints). I also don’t much like feeling the (self-imposed) pressure to publish regularly. Heck – it’s supposed to be FUN!

I’ve therefore decided to shift things a little for this coming year on Arthropod Ecology. Here’s my plan:

  • Spiderday will continue, but instead of trying to post 2-3 times per month, I will instead save up the Arachnology links for a whole month, and publish Spiderday once a month – perhaps on the last Saturday of each month.
  • I will continue to use the blog to post about publications from the lab, and about laboratory news. It’s a great way to promote the work from the lab, and share exciting news.
  • I will try to publish one longer-format science post about once a month – I have a whole lot of ideas written down about things I would like to write about, and if I invest more in quality instead of quantity, I might get to some of these ideas. I’d like to get back to more in-depth treatments of topics, whether it is about arachnid research, or thoughts about teaching and higher education.
  • I’m also toying around with the idea of trying to use the blog for occasional shorter-format notes, whether it’s curious observations about nature, or as a type of ‘research notebook’ to toss out ideas and see if they float. I think a blog can be a form of journaling, and although I’ve not used in this this way before, I may give it a try.

I hope you like what’s in store for Arthropod Ecology for 2016. Thanks again to everyone who follows along, and I wish you a wonderful year ahead.


9 thoughts on “Happy New Year (and the year ahead)

  1. Something else you might consider trying is hosting the occasional guest post written by a student or colleague who you think has something unique, insightful or challenging to share, but who doesn’t otherwise have an online platform. We did this on the LGBT political blog I used to write for and edit, and the “genre” was well received.

    Blogging is definitely a labor of love, so I hope you rethink yours into something that continues to give you satisfaction in addition to being a fun read for the rest of us. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! It’s a good idea you have! I do occasionally have guest posts, but I must admit that I have not pursued this too much, but I will think about this – thank you.

  2. It should be an enjoyable blog for you write, otherwise the readers will know! I love “Spiderday”, but would not love it any less if it only came once a month. Arthropod Ecology is your project, Chris; you make the rules. Thanks for all the great information…I always learn something new!

  3. Thanks for all your posts over the past year Chris – I really enjoy them and find them very useful. Your ideas for 2016 seem very sensible and look forward to seeing them in action. My self-imposed schedule for blogging is a post every 10-12 days which sometimes does put pressure on me but on balance I think that the discipline is good and will hopefully result in a couple of ‘popular’ science books to help fund my retirement 🙂 Keep up the good work and Happy New Year

    • Thanks Simon – indeed, your posting schedule seems very reasonable, and I suspect that is the frequency I will eventually settle on. So glad you enjoy the blog, and a most happy new year to you too!

  4. Pingback: Spiderday (#24) – January | Arthropod Ecology

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