The Musings has rather obviously been slowing down over recent months. This is in small part owing to my current circumstances, but for quite some time I’ve felt that I was slowly coming to the end of what I could do with the blog in terms of how it has run to date. The Musings has been going for just a shade under 5 years now and for the last 3 of that, (fieldwork aside) I’ve averaged right around a post every day. Now sure they vary from a few lines to a few thousand words, but still that has been a pretty significant and consistent output and one that I’m proud of.
However, it’s also getting harder and harder to write. When I started I always intended for this to be purely scientific in nature and stick to the archosaurs, science communication and related issues. More specifically though, I didn’t want to cover real basic stuff for non-experts or just cover new papers as there were lots of sites that already did that. But nor did I want to get into the super-detail and referenced reviews of some colleagues, it just didn’t appeal and I felt was often better covered by the papers themselves. Instead I stuck to a middle ground (or tried to) of beyond basic knowledge but not get right into the details – my rule of thumb has always been that it was for an audience who knew what a femur was, but not a 4th trochanter. Anyway, I really am running short of topics that I can write about quickly and easily that I’ve not covered before. I don’t want to have to start researching areas I’m not familiar with just to blog about them, but I also seem to have exhausted much of what I can say about dinosaurs and pterosaurs that’s not very basic or very complex.
As you might guess therefore, I’m building up to the idea that the Musings is going to be slowing down still further after this post. I am absolutely not stopping it – there’s too much that it’s still useful for – guest posts, art interviews, museum and zoo reviews, coverage of my own papers, bringing links forwards and the like that are best suited to this platform and audience and not others. So while I do expect that from now there’s not likely to be much more than one or two posts a week on here, this is far from the end.
Indeed, I mention other audiences since as the Musings slows, I’m starting afresh as a science blogger over on The Guardian. Back in January the call went out for new bloggers for their site, I pitched, and was offered one of the new places. This is in some ways little different to moving the site from one platform to another, and there enough bloggers who have moved to pastures new. However, I should warn regular Musings readers that I am intending to use this new platform to reach a new and broader audience.
While I’ll only be on the electronic side of The Guardian, it is a UK national daily newspaper and as such it going to have a much more eclectic audience and with far fewer dedicated dinosaur enthusiasts. But given that I was already looking to take a new angle with my online writing, this is an excellent fit. I can continue to be productive and not have to repeat myself, but start on a simpler footing and broaden my coverage (I might even include, shock, mammals). So while my output on here is going to be slowing further, if you want to keep reading lots of Dave-generate palaeo thoughts, then head over to The Guardian, but rest assured that the Musings is not shutting down, merely dozing a bit more often.