A Musings milestone

This post, rather unspectacular on its own represents the 750th post on the WordPress version of the Musings (plus of course some 80+ on Dinobase before then).  Those posts total over 150 000 words (that’s a big sized paperback novel give or take) and there’s more than 1000 images of various kinds on there too.

While it’s normal to want more success for your blogging efforts, the Musings has racked up just a shade under 400 000 readers going back to June 2008, so this also represents a kind of 2.5 year anniversary on this platform as well. It’s also seen more than 4000 comments appear, though a great many of them are internal trackbacks and my own replies, which means I’m actually only getting about 1 comment per 200 readers which seems to me rather low.

All in all I’m rather happy with what I have done. While there are blogs and bloggers out there that leave me in the shade, I feel I’ve built up a pretty good collection of material over the years and generally managed to hit my target audience of ‘intermediates’ between the real experts and real basics. I hope this is proving fun and enjoyable for those reading, that’s really why I do it, and I hope to keep going, though again I’m running a bit short of both inspiration and images again. Encouragement, jpegs and ideas are all welcome.

17 Responses to “A Musings milestone”

  1. 1 Morgan O'Brien 10/01/2011 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats Dave! Keep up the great work! I love the blog. As an amateur enthusiast it’s a great portal to read and learn new things everyday!

  2. 2 dmaas 10/01/2011 at 12:43 pm

    I’ll try to add to your pool of imagery soon!

  3. 3 Kilian Hekhuis 10/01/2011 at 1:29 pm

    I’ve been enjoying reading this blog from almost the beginning, and I hope you can find the inspiration needed. Congrats on this anniversary, and I hope there’s many more to come.

  4. 4 Mark Wildman 10/01/2011 at 2:36 pm

    Dave, if I manage anywhere near the quantity and quality of your contributions to the palaeo-blogosphere, I’ll be a happy man. Congratulations and please keep it coming, even if it is on a reduced scale, it would still be worth it.

  5. 5 Traumador the Tyrannosaur 10/01/2011 at 4:57 pm

    here’s to more such milestones in the future!

    thought i’d comment as per your observation of low comment returns. i think this is the way of the net and blogging, sadly. a bit more feedback/active acknowledgement would probably be nice to encourage ones activities (especially given most of us palaeo bloggers do it for free).

    i try to comment when i’m left with a question about something you’ve posted. however to be fair i don’t comment as much as i should. time i think is the ultimate factor in why people don’t do this as much as they should.

  6. 6 Mark Wildman 10/01/2011 at 8:41 pm

    Although Traumador may have a point regarding the time issue, I believe that the single most important consideration to people, who want to comment, is that they are afraid of making themselves look foolish. They want to but they are just not sure if they should.

    And can I just say that I’m not afraid to say that this has happened to me on occasion. You want to comment, work out what you want to say, and then decide not to and that it’s probably best just to keep reading and learn some more. Strange but true……

    • 7 Albertonykus 11/01/2011 at 1:31 am

      I can say that I’ve gotten that feeling multiple times, too.

      • 8 mattvr 11/01/2011 at 2:15 am

        To me it’s almost a courtesy to reply to the efforts of bloggers when I can, though I generaly want something vaguely intelligent to say when I do.

      • 9 David Hone 11/01/2011 at 10:39 pm

        Well that is a shame. You should never feel afriad to look stupid (not that it is always fun!). And I hope I tend to give an air of polite respectability to any questions that aren’t prefixed with “You are wrong because….” which is rarely a good start.

        I also think there can be an undercurrent of “I generally agree with this post, but have noting to add so won’t post” when a 0.1% disagreement can open up the vitriol, so you can get a skewed sense of your audience’s reactions when you only see the negative.

  7. 10 Holly 10/01/2011 at 8:49 pm

    As a sixteen-year-old who is only self educated on paleo matters, I can happily confirm that you have made your blog understandable to non-exerts without dumbing it down (I have to look some terms up, but that’s ok, I need to know them anyway). This blog has been a wonderful resource for me, and I hope you do continue to write even if you don’t write as often.

    I have been reading for several months, but haven’t commented because everyone in the comments seems to be people who know stuff. I am very much outclassed. However, if you don’t mind rookie questions, I will be happy to comment in the future and perhaps help bring your numbers up a bit.

    Thanks again for making your posts informative and rookie-friendly!

  8. 11 Tarchia 10/01/2011 at 9:59 pm


    Although I don’t comment much, I’ve enjoyed Archosaur Musings for several years now and I hope you keep it going for many more yet!

  9. 12 Lauren 10/01/2011 at 10:16 pm

    Well, at least you can be grateful you don’t have a plague of “First!” commenters!

    I find content of your posts to be fascinating and just enough above my knowledge level to force me to learn. Thanks a bundle, and congratulations on the milestone.

  10. 13 EnglishWitch 10/01/2011 at 10:27 pm

    I don’t often comment, but your blog is essential daily reading. Thank you for all the Pterosaurs, the palaeoartists, and for keeping us enthusiastic amateurs up to date with current palaeontology. Darren Tanke’s Gorgosaurus preparation has been fascinating to follow!

  11. 14 Mark Robinson 11/01/2011 at 6:29 am

    Yeehah! Congrats on another milestone, Dave.

    From the fairly small data set that I have, I think a 0.5% comment to visit ratio is pretty standard. Obviously, you feel like you’d want a bit more but I wouldn’t worry about it.

    I don’t usually comment on a blog until I’ve been following it for a good many months. I think that’s similar to not jumping straight into a conversation a soon as I enter a room of strangers. Plus, as a couple of other commenters have said, not wanting to look like a numpty for asking a silly question (it’s irrational, as I’ve never actually experienced that, but you feel it just the same).

    I also wonder about commenting a bit more but I’m loathe to spam you with simply “Great post!”, and tend to wait until I have something a little more constructive to add, or a question to ask.

    I certainly hope that you can continue to find the inspiration to continue blogging.

  12. 15 David Hone 11/01/2011 at 9:02 am

    Many thanks for all the kind words. If nothing else it’s nice to see new commenters coming out of the woodwork, if only to say they don’t normally comment!

    Glad you all enjoy it and that I’m hitting my targets. Enjoy the rest.

  13. 16 kattato Garu 11/01/2011 at 12:32 pm

    I read this regularly and it’s on my favourite list of blogs even though I’ve never commented (I think) – you write really interesting stuff: don’t stop!!! If you’re running out of steam or too busy, you can always do more of the guest spots… I particularly liked the recent series of interviews with paleoartists and the gorgosaurus posts!

  14. 17 Mike Walley 12/01/2011 at 8:11 pm

    We know what it is like, as we run our own blog site. It can be a very time consuming activity, but keep up the good work and don’t worry too much about the lack of comments. Most blogs have the same issues, unless of course they are extremely controversial. As an example for you, from our perspective, very few primary school teachers who read our dinosaur themed blog actually comment online, but we know having had the opportunity to talk to many teachers and teaching assistants on our travels that quite a few find our blog site and sites like yours and take inspiration from them when writing lesson plans and schemes of work.

    With the introduction of the “creative curriculum” within the UK there are greater opportunities for teachers to incorporate topical items related to the Earth sciences into their teaching plans. You might actually be an important teaching resource, without actually knowing it.

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