Blog blog blogging

Disclaimer: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s supervisor, employer, organisation, committee or any other group or individual.

By Laura Sharpe aka The Blog Master

We’ve been running our blog for just over a year now. It’s had its fair share of high performing blog posts, and quite a few that just don’t catch on. Sometimes I think one will do well and it doesn’t, and sometimes I think one will do well but then it far exceeds all previous records. I thought I’d share some fun stats about our blog and reflect on how it all came about. 


We first discussed starting a lab blog around April 2018, but the enthusiasm levels were not high enough and so nothing happened. Eventually I said that if I could get three blog posts lined up I would get it started and we would see how it goes. So in September 2018, we started with our first blog post. Around the same time, I set up a Lab twitter account which we’ve also embraced for sharing various happenings in our lab. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how our blog and Twitter account have achieved a reasonable following and that it is enjoyable to run them, rather than feeling like just an extra unnecessary “thing to do”. 


Now for some stats.


We have covered a large proportion of the world with our readership (60 countries):

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Though by far our biggest audience is Australia (followed by the US, Japan and India).


We’ve had 10 authors contribute, and three blog posts that were combined efforts by at least two people. 


By far our most prolific blogger is Jake – who is sadly leaving us soon, and we will all need to blog more to keep up our weekly posts. Of course, Jake will eventually return in our “Where are they now?” series (like Anika and Julian).


Our most reluctant blogger (whose name I won’t mention) will be pleased to know that their average views per blog post is higher than the overall average, and will hopefully see fit to write more for us in future.


The award for highest average views per blog post goes to Isabelle, with two of her blog posts (on The Hunger Games and the EMBL Australia PhD program) being in our top three. The highest number of views is for my own post on kids ruining my career.


One of the most common topics we’ve blogged about is what I refer to as “history” – people documenting what they have done in the past, for example, how they ended up in our lab working on cholesterol, which elicited contributions from four lab members. 


A topic that punches above its weight so to speak, is grants. We’ve had four posts about grants, including recent discussions about the NHMRC Ideas grants and Investigator grants, and these posts are generally well above average with their number of views. 


And finally, I’d like to give some previews into what you might (or might not) get to read about in future:

* Formatting tips for thesis writing 

* What to do while waiting for comments on your manuscript

* Publishing your first first author paper

* More “Where are they now?” follow ups

* [Insert your idea here! Suggestions are always welcome!]

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