Where Are My Readers Based?

Over the past 4½ years I’ve made a habit of calling out on my blog whenever I’ve planned trips abroad, in the hope of meeting up with readers. As far as I can remember, the only times when this has actually led to any meetings were two years ago when I went to a) a science blogging conference, b) a skeptics’ conference. Those encounters would have taken place regardless of whether I’d shouted about my trips here beforehand or not.

So now I’m taking the opposite approach. Instead of first deciding to go somewhere for a non-blog-related reason and then hoping to meet readers there, I’ve used Google’s traffic stats engine to check where my readers are, and then I’m going to try to find a way to travel there and meet you people. Below are the Top-20 regions for Aard readership outside of Sweden (absolute, not relative to population) over the past year.

But not all readers are of course the same. I’m mainly interested in the regulars, not in people who end up here once only when they’re surfing for porn or wondering about the etymology of the expression “batshit insane”. Therefore, I have weeded out regions where the medium time spent on an Aard page is in the first quartile. Here’s the resulting list.

  1. California

  2. England, UK
  3. Maine
  4. Oulu county, Finland
  5. New York
  6. Maryland
  7. Ontario
  8. Texas
  9. Minnesota
  10. Washington
  11. Illinois
  12. Ohio
  13. Oregon
  14. Western Australia, Australia
  15. Indiana
  16. Florida
  17. Michigan
  18. North Carolina
  19. Virginia
  20. Missouri

So, it’s the US, England, Finland or Australia then! Could any regular who reads this from a region on the list please speak up? Who wants go give me a speaking gig?

Comments

  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    July 19, 2010

    Before you travel to a place for a speaking gig, make a deal with someone there to provide a C/O address for any good seccond-hand books you have found at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
    Then pick them up on your way and save postage (which can be more than 50% of the total cost).
    I assume there are lots of books you recall fondly that simply cannot be found anymore in Sweden!
    Suggestions: “The Proterozoic Bisophere”, “On Stonehenge” by Fred Hoyle, “Big Cats and their Fossil Relatives”.

  2. #2 HP
    July 19, 2010

    I’m one of your Ohio readers (in Cincinnati), but as a non-academic schlub I’m not in a position to offer you a speaking engagement. In any case, I’m not so sure I’d recommend the area as a traveling destination, if you’re looking to combine business and pleasure. (There’s precious little of the latter.) There are several nearby Hopewell, Adena, and Fort Ancient sites you might find interesting, but they’re pretty well picked over (or plowed under) now. And of course, we have the Creation Museum. :)

    I have a friend in the Geology Department at Northern Kentucky University, so if you have your heart set on visiting the Creation Museum, I can try to pull some strings. But if I were you, I’d hold out for something better.

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    July 19, 2010

    How about going to the solo10 meeting in London at the start of Sept. Grrlscientist and I’ll be there too, along with a bunch of other people known to blog occasionally.

  4. #4 A.P. Ferguson
    July 19, 2010

    I’m in Ohio (Cleveland). It would be completely awesome to have you come and speak, but about the only body I could possibly have any influence over at all is a department of physics. I’m not sure how we’d work in an archaeologist (although we did once hosted a historian).

  5. #5 cicely
    July 19, 2010

    I’m in Missouri, but have no influence or authority to offer you a gig. However, FWIW, Skepticon 3 is going down, right here in Springfield, in November….

    http://skepticon.org/

  6. #6 RyanR
    July 19, 2010

    Austin, TX here. If you spoke at the University I’d certainly make a good effort to attend. Unfortunately, I don’t have any input on potential speaking gigs.

  7. #7 Raymond Ho
    July 19, 2010

    I’m in NYC. It depends what a speaking gig entails (eg. fees and such) but I can speak to the folks at my old college. I was the president of the Anthro club so I’ve invited ppl to speak before. As long as it is not too expensive to bring you in, I’m sure the Anthro department ad club would be delighted to have you. Of course the club can’t fly you here or pay for a hotel for you since the club’s budget a bit limited.

  8. #8 Sara
    July 19, 2010

    I’m an Anthro student at Penn State University-main campus. You should come visit!

  9. #9 ArchAsa
    July 19, 2010

    Oulu is no 4 and no other part of Scandinavia even makes an appearance on the top 20!? Are you sure this is accurate? And what the heck did you do to attract the ouloans…?

  10. #10 Dr M
    July 19, 2010

    Currently in Cambridge, UK, but relocating to Southampton soon. While I am in academia, I’m not in the history/anthro/archaeology sector, and I am not currently involved with any appropriate sceptics/science communications organisations, so I’m afraid I can’t promise you any gigs. However, should any opportunity arise, I’ll keep you in mind and keep you posted if appropriate.

  11. #11 Ahcuah
    July 19, 2010

    Here’s another Ohioan, though I am in the Columbus area.

    Don’t sell short the mounds. There is a bunch of interesting stuff related to them. Last fall I participated in a Walk with the Ancients from the mounds at Chillicothe to the Octagon in Newark. The Newark Octagon is aligned with the lunar cycle.

    There are also a lot of artifacts, and they have recently done DNA testing on some of the burials to try to determine which tribes they came from. The whole Hopewell culture is quite interesting. You can see more at the Ohio Archeology blog, or the blog at the Ohio Historical Center.

  12. #12 mk
    July 19, 2010

    One of your Maryland readers here! Can’t do anything for you regarding speaking engagements, but if you find yourself in the DC area in the future, I’d happily make a portrait of you, gratis. (I’m a photographer).

    Cheers!

  13. #13 Joe
    July 19, 2010

    I’m a reader from South Dakota, but attending school at Beloit College in Beloit Wisconsin.

    I’m an Anthropology major so there’s a decent chance I could speak to some of my professors to see if we could work something out!

    Also, my college has one of the largest Anthropology/Archaeology museum collections in the country.
    http://www.beloit.edu/logan/index.php

  14. #14 cfeagans
    July 20, 2010

    I’m in the Dallas / Fort Worth region of Texas. I could get you an hour with a bunch of anthro students at the Uni of Texas at Arlington, but I doubt there would be any compensation beyond lunch :-) I doubt the Anthro Club has a very large treasury.

    But if you find yourself in Dallas, I’d be happy to meet up and have a beer or treat you to some TexMex.

  15. #15 Birger Johansson
    July 20, 2010

    Typo @ 1, sorry :-(

  16. #16 Sandgroper
    July 20, 2010

    Martin, you know where I am. I am hoping to shift home base to somewhere else within the next 6 months, but expect to be shuttling back and forth quite a bit.

    When I went to the Pompeii exhibition at the WA Museum a few weeks ago, I discovered that it was supported by a Roman Archaeology Group at the University of Western Australia, which I didn’t know existed. (This struck me as pretty weird, given how little it has to do with anything here, but then in reality, despite all the political rhetoric about how we are part of Asia, in reality Australia still sees itself as a European outpost in Asia.)

    This group seems reasonably active. I don’t know any of the people, but I assume they should be interested in meeting you and giving you some kind of speaking engagement.

    http://www.romarchgroup.humanities.uwa.edu.au/

    It’s a long way from Stockholm, but if it would be of any interest, I would be happy to try to contact them to ask about it. The universities here always have their hands out for money, so I doubt they would stump up much by way of remuneration. But I don’t actually know.

    I can’t say that I think you would find much else of interest here, apart from me taking you to my favourite restaurants, and maybe some reasonable snorkling spots. Aboriginal stuff is a long way from your professional interest, and apart from one reasonable personal collection which has been donated to the Anthrop department at UWA, there are not even any really very good exhibits on Aboriginal culture. Which is, frankly, pathetic and depressing. What good stuff was on display seems to have been messed around out of some sort of political correctness. The nearest rock art is a long way away.

  17. #17 Geoff Carter
    July 20, 2010

    I’m in Northern England, just the other side of the North Sea Province.

  18. #18 utari
    July 20, 2010

    hai..i’m your reader..nice to read ur blog so much

  19. #19 Jonathan Jarrett
    July 20, 2010

    Martin, you know where I am (and I don’t think we would have met had you not blogged your upcoming travel) but you don’t yet know that I’m about to relocate to Oxford, because I’m still waiting for a piece of paper that means this is safe to announce more fully. Once there, rest assured that I shall do my damndest to meet some more archæologists and mention my Vendel-period Scandi friend to them as an Anglophone potential speaker…

  20. #20 Kristjan Wager
    July 20, 2010

    Shouldn’t you consider visiting your neighboring countries? Copenhagen is not that far away (can’t offer a speaking gig though)

  21. #21 kevin
    July 20, 2010

    Hey Martin I’m in Washington but I’m just a regular schmuck who reads your blog for fun.

  22. #22 Martin R
    July 20, 2010

    Birger, good idea about the books, thanks!

    HP, I’d like to go to Kentucky as well. I mean why not!?

    Bob, I hadn’t heard of the Solo10 meeting before. Sounds interesting, though I don’t believe there’s a humanities / anthro track? I’m going to the Randi meeting in London in October though.

    Cicely, are you on the Skepticon organising committee?

    Raymond, air fare and accommodation do tend to form a stumbling block.

    Åsa, it’s true, hardly anybody in Norway or Denmark reads my stuff. But the data I’ve got isn’t very detailed, I have a feeling that the high figure for Western Australia may be due largely to my buddy John who lives there and comments almost daily here. As for Aard’s popularity in Oulu, I’m happily surprised!

    MK, thanks, I’ve long wanted a pro to photograph me.

    Joe, talk to your profs and maybe we can work something out!

    Sandgroper, I can’t say much about Roman archaeology per se, but I can speak for hours about Scandyland during that era, which connects up since Scandies served as auxiliary troops in the Empire.

    Jon, great news about Oxford, congratulations! I’d love to come over to your new place. As for our London meetup, you’re right, that’s actually one that materialised!

    Kristjan, I love Denmark but Denmark doesn’t appear to love Aard much.

  23. #23 Mantelli
    July 20, 2010

    I’m from Missouri, too, and I definitely read your blog for fun.

  24. #24 Lena
    July 20, 2010

    If you’re ever in Oxford, I can show you around. I’ll probably be there for the next few years, unless a good job opportunity in Scandinavia comes up.

  25. #25 Kristjan Wager
    July 20, 2010

    Kristjan, I love Denmark but Denmark doesn’t appear to love Aard much.

    Well, there are a lot more people in the UK and the US.

  26. #26 Martin R
    July 20, 2010

    I guess a city’s ability and willingness to give me a speaking gig would be dependent more on the absolute number of Aard readers there than on the relative number.

  27. #27 DuWayne
    July 20, 2010

    Hmmm…Having been rather busy with classes, I haven’t been around much for a while. I am rather curious who else in Michigan (or for that matter, Oregon) reads your blog.

    I would love to see you speak (and meet you), but alas, I have no real power for bringing speakers about. About the only involvement I have with a group that brings in speakers at all, is with CFI and said involvement is relegated to overseeing events in the town where I live.

    I hope you at least make it over to the States and not too far away. I would totally travel a reasonable distance to see you speak. Illinois, Ohio, Indiana or Minnesota – or of course Michigan and I am totally there.

  28. #28 cicely
    July 20, 2010

    Cicely, are you on the Skepticon organising committee?

    No; as I said, I have no connections. I only wanted to point out, in a wistful, “wouldn’t it be nice” kinda way….

  29. #29 Rowan
    July 20, 2010

    I am on the Oregon/Washington border. Sadly with no connections to arrange for a speaking engagement that would pay. I associate with a very large number of Norse enthusiasts who re-enact the culture to the best of their ability. Many make the trip to Scandi for their fixes of all things cultural.

  30. #30 B
    July 21, 2010

    I’m at Sydney, Australia- and I’m a member of the Centre for Medieval Studies. I would love for you to come lecture at us! I’m sure that the head of the Centre, Associate Professor John Pryor, would be pretty keen. Or the former head, Professor Margaret Clunies-Ross.

    We have a lot of young Norselings here with whom you could share your vast, vast, vast wisdom. Vast.

  31. #31 Martin R
    July 21, 2010

    B, Sydney would be great! Feel free to float the idea at the department.

  32. #32 Sandgroper
    July 21, 2010

    #22 Further discussion sent by email.

    Sydney is sounding like a much better bet than Perth. But if you are flying through…

    Good one, B.

  33. #33 Gingerspark
    July 21, 2010

    Greeting from a regular reader/highly infrequent commenter

    I’m in the Niagara Region of Ontario Canada (near Niagara Falls)

  34. #34 eleanora.
    July 21, 2010

    I’m in Victoria, Aus. If you are going to Sydney, I would hope to get there and take a number of SCA friends, but WA is probably too far to manage. I would love to hear you speak, but have no contacts to organize anything.

  35. #35 B
    July 23, 2010

    Awesome. I have a meeting with the head of the Department on unrelated matters on Monday; I’ll float the idea by him, see what he says.

  36. #36 Sandgroper
    July 23, 2010

    B – if he goes for it, then we have a plan. Martin would probably fly to Sydney through Perth, so I would put it to the group at UWA that he stops over here and they give him a speaking engagement here too.

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