The Intersection

Our New Traffic Record

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We’ve been talking a lot about hurricane records lately. But that’s not the only kind of record germane to this blog at the moment.

As some of you no doubt noticed, things have been up-and-down here at the Intersection over the past year. Particularly when I had a pressing book deadline, posting frequency went way, way down. And so, understandably, did our traffic.

In May, however, I invited Sheril to join the blog, and boy do I not regret it. Since May our traffic here has almost doubled, reaching a peak of nearly 60,000 pageviews in August as judged by Sitemeter. We’ve never had this much traffic, or this many comments, at least as far back as I can remember. A large part of it has to be attributed to my new co-blogger, and the new tone and range of bloggable topics that she brings to the table.

To be sure, we are not the most highly-read blog on ScienceBlogs (though we’re on the higher traffic end of the distribution). But we are one of the oldest and best known, and I think it’s clear that we’ve recently had a new beginning and a new infusion of life. Not only has Sheril’s blogging been great–she has inspired me to blog more as well. And we’ve been having a lot of fun, too. We compared PZ to God. In fact, we quoted God.

We also sang Bob Dylan, and weren’t afraid to show you the video.

And we have much more planned. For one, as soon as we figure out how to do so technologically, we are going to cease moderating comments. When you post, it will appear instantly. This should further increase the volume of comments to the site, and perhaps also increase site readership. (We do hope that with these new privileges everyone will keep the level of decorum high, and we will still reserve the right to delete malicious or inappropriate comments.)

And there are other surprises to come. In the meantime, though, here’s what we need most from you: A new banner to celebrate our rebirth. We’ve already announced our banner contest, and there are just two weeks til the deadline. We need your art. Details here.

Finally, please feel free to use the comments section to post any remarks on the general direction the Intersection has been heading, and your views on that trajectory. We’re very interested in your feedback. And thanks to you all for reading.

Comments

  1. #1 Craig B
    September 4, 2007

    Chris, I am not surprised to hear about the increased readership. I’ve only commented here occasionally but read regularly, so let me share my two cents.

    I read because of a long-standing interest in science and the “intersection” between science and society. As a teacher in the Humanities, my professional focus has long been on social and cultural issues, and I think those issues (evolution, climate change in particular) have become more and more important to our society, as has general science literacy.

    You talk well about those issues; I have been reading since the beginning. But your stature – not just your “fame” – has increased in the last year or so, and I think Storm World has boosted that stature even more. I think you are seen as having more gravitas than perhaps a year ago.

    I also like your ability to respond thoughtfully to several issues, even when you disagree or are disagreed with. For instance, I disagree to a large extent with your view on framing (I think problems have much more to do with lousy education and the activism of christian nationalism), but I like how you respond to disagreements, most of the time.

    I also agree that Sheril must get some of the credit. As someone a generation older than you both, Sheril reminds me of my own idealism and commitment when I was young. (I still have those commitments and still fight the good fight, but my expectations tend to be more cynical and my fighting revealed in different ways than in my 20s.) Her intelligence combined with her idealism and energy are a delight to read and something I hope my own daughter can emulate as she grows up. To put it another way, while Sheril has the intellectual chops, she also has a charisma and vitality that is inspiring, charming, and all too rare in public discourse of any type. So, yeah, that adds to my interest in the blog quite a bit.

  2. #2 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    September 4, 2007

    Well Chris… I expect our record numbers also have something to do with a little book I really enjoyed called Storm World. And then there’s a whirlwind book tour and daily thought-provoking and insightful posts on all sorts of topics. ;)

    Of course, I’m sure glad and appreciative that some readers may be interested in my musings as well. And hey, I get to learn as I go alongside the very best! I’m having a lot of fun here and blogging definitely helps me make sense of the myriad of thoughts spinning around in my head.

    And Craig B, thanks for your kind words. We are so glad you read our blog! As Chris hints, there are some exciting surprises to come…

  3. #3 Aaron Adams
    September 4, 2007

    Sheril is teh hotness. /;^)

  4. #4 Linda
    September 4, 2007

    I agree with, and second, Craig B.’s sentiments.

  5. #5 Wes Rolley
    September 4, 2007

    Well, I have a current blog going here, and ran a political blog once called PomboWatch where I occasionally cited Chris’s Republican War on Science. As such, I found that readership goes up and down. However, posting frequently helps. If I miss a period of posting at California Greening, readership drops by 50% and it takes time to build it back. So, having Sheril posting when Chris is on the road, etc. keeps the frequent reader, like me, coming back daily.

    The other thing I would note is that the topics Chris and Sheril choose will not pull in the political blog reader. Example, with “W” in Australia now, the political bloggers at dailyKos can only spew their venom, and no one picks up on the fact that Global Warming in on the APEC agenda. Wonder what actions will be avoided.

  6. #6 Russell Lewis
    September 5, 2007

    I enjoy reading your books, blog, and following your research and media appearances. Perhaps a new science scandal you might take a look at involves possible skewed results for the ScienceBlogs 500,000th Comment Contest. Who’s to say that voters in the poll for the greatest science city won’t vote for the city they’d most like to visit, should they win the contest, rather than the city they most accurately feel is truly the greatest science city, thus skewing the results of the (admittedly already not scientific…) poll. Not as crucial to the reputation of science as the evolution debates, or the current administration’s attempts to suppress study results they don’t like, but there might be a “there” there, no?