I haven’t been blogging as much as I intended to, simply because I have been swamped with work. There is the usual stuff such as writing papers, reviewing papers, writing grants, reviewing grants, attending meetings (eg the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) meeting in Copenhagen that I did not have time to blog about), going on lab visits and internships, following various training courses, ordering equipment and consumables, fixing IT problems, supervising students, going out sampling and starting up various collaborations.
Then there is the stuff associated with my particular position, which involves engaging with Cornish businesses, starting up in five different locations and being in a school that is part of two universities (with two ordering systems and two IT desks, yesss) and now in the process of splitting up (with us moving into the Exeter Medical School). And finally some personal highlights (of my own making), that have been keeping me occupied as well.
If this seems like a long list of excuses to you, you are
wrong, I am indeed facing tasks no superhuman could possibly achieve completely right. Blogging is fun and a good way to let collaborators/colleagues/fellow scientists/friends and the general public (i.e. random internet surfers) know what I am up to. The initial idea was to make this blog more of a group effort. This has not really worked out in practice, but that is OK. I do not know of many blogs maintained by multiple people anyway, perhaps that is just the way it goes. (btw, for an exhaustive list of microbiology blogs see here).
Infrequent posting aside, to my own (admittedly low) standards, this blog has actually been reasonably successful so far. WordPress.com is great in many ways, one of which is that it allows you to see how many people looked at the site per day/week/month:
OK, certainly not Eisen stuff, but given the fact that I haven’t really advertised it and only post once or twice a month it is not too bad. Most people come to the site via Google (with most searches relating to posts on the clinical microbiology internship I did, with search terms as ‘e coli on xld agar’ etc) and only a few get directed here through other sites. What’s very cool is that visitor geography is given as well (n views since February 25th):
Unsurprisingly, most visitors come from 1) the country I work in, 2) the country harbouring most scientists and 3) the country I originate from. Very cool to see people from all corners of the world finding their way to the blog (Gabon, Fiji, Mauritius…); almost reached 100 different countries. Quite amazing though that there haven’t been any views from China!
Anyway, what’s next? I realize that I need to blog more and probably will force myself to post once every week. What do I want to blog about? I have not attempted to present detailed accounts of interesting papers, or of my own thoughts for that matter. This is what many blogs do and what I (occasionally) read them for myself. However, I am under pressure to start producing data, papers, grants and jobs and I have enough writing to do as it is. For now I will keep my goals modest, and produce relatively short updates on life in the lab, writing longer pieces on stuff that is just (about to be) published. This I hope will be of interest to those who know (of) me and, who knows, might even fool people to come work with me. Any comments of what you would like to see featured on the blog are of course very welcome!