It’s the arbitrarily-set date for the transition to another arbitrarily-set time period, and it’s popular to do summaries at the time of this feast of arbitrarity. In terms of blogging, this year’s had its ups and downs: some weeks had new posts published every day, while some months went by without a single post. Despite all this, individual page views have gone up by 746.8%! On average, every month receives 2230% more visitors than last year, and the daily average number of visitors has gone up by 2030%.
Of course, those numbers reflect the pathetic non-popularity the blog had last year shortly after its inception, but I’m still happy of the enormous progress this year has seen. These numbers will not be duplicated next year, but I’ll set myself a goal of getting at least 50% growth (so those same numbers up there will read 150% at least).
Here is the list of the 20 most popular posts visited this year. Of course, I normalised the visitor stats to compensate for the difference in publication date. In reverse order, like any real countdown. Also includes my comments.
19. Ants, Pheromones, and Temperatures. This might be so high up because of how I’m normalising the stats, but it was still astoundingly popular. Just a note: the paper I plagiarised part of this from is close to being accepted, so hooray.
18. Life in the Deep Sea. A classic, this one will probably stay on this list every year since everyone loves extremophiles.
17. Flies: Morphology. I didn’t even know this would be popular, but who am I to judge the whims of the internets?
16. Big Posts. Good, people are bothering to look through the sorted archives. Good to see my hard work pay off. And by “hard work”, I mean spending 1 minute updating the page after a new worthy post.
14. The Deep Sea as a Biome. Another classic, the first of the deep sea series.
13. The Origin of Modern Biodiversity: Coevolution of Flowers and Insects. Also takes the award for longest post title.
12. Mantis Shrimp (Crustacea: Stomatopoda). I remember when this was first posted, it was tweeted by quite a few people. First time that happened to my posts, and probably why it got so popular. And anyway, it is one of my most thorough posts. See also its addendum.
11. Vertebrate Heads: Development. I was hesitant about this post gaining popularity, but when it did, I realised that I had carved myself a niche that’s above a basic biology blog and aimed at university students.
10. Australopithecus. I hate this post, and I hate this subject. But hey, if it gets more visitors, that strokes my ego, and that’s always positive.
9. What is a Mass Extinction? A surprise entry here, because the post is so short and succinct. Ah well.
8. Photoreception in Animals. I wonder how many of these visitors are Idiots and creationists looking for information to debunk the evilutionist materialist reductionist explanation for the eye’s existence. Idle thoughts.
6. Stem Cell Research. This one won’t ever leave this top list, even if the post needs some reformatting to fix the pictures (it was written back when the blog had another design).
5. Vertebrate Heads: Phylogenetic Intro. No comment. I don’t know why this is so popular. Vertebrate weirdoes.
4. Insect Brains and Animal Intelligence. Another classic, and a post I’m very proud of, marred only by the lack of citations (I only started adding citations from the beginning of 2011).
2. Parasites Affecting Insect Behaviour. Everyobody loves this stuff. The stats show this post being linked on diverse forums. It’s the most popular post by far in this place.
1. Home Page. Sorry for the anticlimax.
Anyway, thanks for all the loyal readers for sticking through even in the times of drought. Okay, it’s easier to ignore and forget than to delete an RSS feed. Meh. I wish you all an educational new year in 2012. Happy, sad, depressed, maniacal can also be included if you wish, I don’t care as long as you continue to learn stuff. It’s not so much a wish as it is an order.
And for those who celebrate this arbitrary day, have fun. I will be spending it in the same way I’ve spent it almost every year since I was 12, hanging out in my regular IRC channels, and trolling people.
Footnote: I was too shortsighted at the start of this year to keep notes of the awesomest discoveries of 2011. This will be a feature next year, in case I’m still alive to blog.