Entering year four…
Three years ago the Grumpy Geophysicist made his debut, enticing 447 visitors over the remainder of 2014 into this odd collection of rants. That was about 4 visitors per post (yes, things are better now). As noted in the “About” page, though, this has never been about getting lots of likes, it is rather a combination of therapy and writing practice. Nevertheless, on occasion GG has accidentally stumbled into something others found interesting (well, a few, not like anything here has gone viral), and so was curious just what those interesting posts were. So without further ado, a few of the most viewed posts from the first three years of the Grumpy Geophysicist (giving many of you a chance to see what you missed…which, perhaps, will confirm why you weren’t looking here earlier). (Small posts don’t get counted so thoroughly).
In year 1, the highlighted post considered the role of dynamic topography in the western U.S., which garnered 73 whole views in that year and roughly the same number since. Woo hoo? Interestingly, this post popped up in popularity last month when it was viewed 11 times. Go figure. A second dynamic topo post came in with similar numbers. The Death of Isostasy got 52 views in that year but another 20 views in month 13. The most viewed science post overall from year 1? A diatribe about the CRUST databases, which continues to get visited and is nearing 250 views. GG likes it when diatribes have a long lifespan…
Things really changed early in 2015, when GG argued that peer reviews should be signed. That got much more attention (~500 views) and some pushback. Other comments on scientific publishing also got attention: a post with a clever title (“All the science that’s unfit for print“) took the title of most viewed year 1 post with 662 views. Unlike the science posts, though, these pieces get a burst of attention and then lay fallow.
Year two kicked off with a bang as GG groused about NSF proposal guidelines, a tirade collecting 688 views, all the more spectacular for being a tiny post (thanks, Retraction Watch!). That continued the trend of readers being attracted to posts dealing with scientific publishing more than science. Of the science posts, a semi-tutorial on gravity anomalies and dynamic topography has pulled in 127 views. One post with lots of comments asked if anybody benefited from peer review (overall the answer was “yes”).
Somehow there is something mildly satisfying that the most popular post overall came in year 3, as GG looked to add to the scientific lawbook in Crimes Against Science. And a bit surprising was the life a post about Wilderness got (GG was greeted by a colleague at a meeting with the news that that post had circulated in the local mountain biking community. Go figure).
It is a bit disappointing that posts on oil and gas activities and on the Sierra Nevada don’t get much attention (a year one post on induced seismicity has seen 89 visitors, while another year one post that almost amounts to an interim note on Sierran Eocene river gravels has about 78 views). Though having now pissed off a couple of colleagues (*sigh*) may mean anonymity is a better thing. A couple of posts on geoscience movies are far more popular.
So it seems that most of you who pass through are looking for pithy takes on the science biz, mainly how it is published. On the science side, it seems dynamic topography as a topic is more interesting to readers than other things. And if the goal was to please people and rack up hits, that would predict year 4.
But the Grumpy Geophysicist is not here to please you. Sorry about that. So we’ll see what gets under his skin enough to merit more entries. But even as he isn’t seeking to cater to your whims, he does appreciate some company along the way.
So thanks, and stay grumpy….