Posts Tagged 'blogging'

A fifth anniversary tyrant

The next few days are likely to be very busy for me and this weekend I’m off on holiday, so I very much doubt I’ll be blogging on next Monday. This is a bit of a shame as those who occasionally glance at the bottom half of the sidebar on the Musings will realise that it pretty much marks the 5th anniversary of the blog. Of course very longtime readers will know I was going for some months on the old Dinobase site before cranking up this version on wordpress, but this has for most people always been the home of my pronouncements, even if there is also now Pterosaur.net, the Lost Worlds, and various bits on other parts of the web too.

So I’m naturally really rather pleased to have reached this mark, having also not too long past gone over 1.25 million hits and 1250 posts on here. It has, obviously, been a lot of work. While naturally there have been plenty of short posts (even one liners, and those of just a single image) and a fair number of guest pieces, I’ve obviously poured a huge amount of time and effort into this over the years, and I’d like to think it’s made a fair impression on a goodly number of people. Plenty of great dinosaur blogs by interesting and talented researchers seem to have fallen by the wayside, so if nothing else I can claim a fair bit of persistence.

Right, well to ‘celebrate’, here’s some pictures of a Tyrannosaurus mount from the Tyrrell that I was going to post anyway (so hardly the greatest party ever thrown really). Still, it’s hardly an inappropriate thing to include as I have done my share of tyrannosaur work and this is a neat mount. Oddly, I wasn’t too happy with the photos originally, you can’t see too many details, but I rather like the way this looms out of the murk with the animal trailing off into darkness.

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Although the skull looks great from either side, once you get a shot up the nose, it’s rather clear how distorted this is. There’s quite a bit of difference between the two sides and it’s obvious there’s been a fair amount of squishing to the bones to give this rather asymmetric appearance.
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Well, that’s it for now. Not sure if there will be another 5 years, but I’m not planning on stopping just yet and I’ll be annoyed at least if I don’t reach 1500 posts having gone this far, though with my other commitments, it may take a good long while yet.

Post no. 1000

Yep, it’s taken a while but I really have now hit 1000 posts on the WordPress edition of the Musings. This is, I have to admit, not much of a spectacular way to celebrate but I’m still proud. I’ve produced really quite a body of work on here, of course generously bolstered by numerous guest posts, art interviews and donations of time, photographs or even just permission for me to talk about certain subjects or show off fossils.

The site is, I hope (and the stats and comments suggest this is true) is not just about my Musings on palaeontology, science communication, my research and bits of news and oddities like the zoo reviews. Instead I hope that, as a whole, it has built up an archive of things that are and will for a long time, be useful to students and others trying to build their interest and knowledge in palaeontology and science in general.

When I first started blogging (more than 4 years ago now) I don’t think I came into it with much more motivation than having a few moments to spare and thinking I could actually contribute some of my knowledge, experience and perspective to the pool of information that is the web. I’m not sure that motivation has ever strayed far and while my back catalogue has grown, and I’ve had to diversify on occasion, the only core ‘ideal’ I’ve had (if you can call it that) was to simply talk science and palaeo and how it fits into the academic world and with the general public. The Musings would be about actual research and it’s interactions with the world and while there would be personality (I’m writing it) there would not be much ‘me’ there to see – aside from my digital voice, there’s not much of me on here.

Well that’s it for now. I genuinely have no idea how much longer this will keep going. I must confess that I’ve come very close to quitting a couple of times and while I’m certainly not going to bow out just yet, yet alone because I’ve reached an arbitrary milestone, I do wonder if I’ll be doing this some 4 further years down the line. For all the frustrations and difficulties I have, overall, enjoyed this a lot. I can only hope it’s brought a decent amount of pleasure and knowledge to the readers.

Half a million

Yep, the Musings has just hit half a million visitors on WordPress. I’m quite stunned.

If you’re interested, it’s also racked up just under 5000 comments (though admittedly a great many are mine or trackbacks on other articles).

There have been over 850 posts and I’ve written around 200 000 words! (and that is just by me, and doesn’t include all the text of the numerous guest posts and art interviews etc.) and there are nearly 1400 images on here (and of course there’s lots more posts and visitors racked up on Dinobase before I moved here).

I’m genuinely not sure if I should be proud of that or frightened as to just how much I have ploughed into this (and I have some 700 answers on AAB as well…). Errr, wow.

Trusting the literature

While I have complained (justifiably I think) about peer review on here before a few times and generally the occasional poor quality of some published papers (pointing no fingers, even the best of us write bad papers) peer review certainly acts as a barrier to truly dreadful things getting published and serving as a general quality filter on the nature of science reaching the printed pages of journals. To a degree I think this is very important, and I’ll expound on that a little in the context of the debates / random thoughts going on at SV-POW! right now (try, here, here and here for starters).

Continue reading ‘Trusting the literature’


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