2017: TIR’s year in review

Dear readers,

2017 marked TIR’s second year of operation, and we wanted to use this final posting of the year to give you a kind of progress report on where we’re at and where we’re going.

First off, a huge, huge “thank you” to all of you wherever you are for reading our posts, sharing them, commenting on them, and generally helping to build the whole TIR project further. We produce this blog because it’s fun and because we care about the state of science today, but it means a lot to know that those interests, concerns, and silly asides are something you share too. We’ll do our best to keep your attention!

It’s been a year of sustained growth for us, with page views and visitor numbers up by 380% and 420% respectively, and every single month reporting increased traffic relative to the same period in 2016. Again, a big thanks to all for stopping by.

A lot of this increased traffic is due to a single posting, “The cell biologist’s guide to fine dining“, which is now close to amassing 12,000 views all by itself. We’d be the first to admit that some of the content here gets very close to navel-gazing or over-earnestness, so it’s good to know that humour is also appreciated. Other comic interludes amidst the serious stuff included our profiles of lab superheroes and super-fiends, as well as a scripted scene depicting some chauvinists struggling to get to grips with gender equality.

We also managed to maintain our once-per-calendar-week posting frequency, with only 8 weeks in the year being missed. Six of those were due to Brooke having to move house yet again – an event which scientists of all ages are grimly familiar with, and which was alluded to in our “Fastpaced life of a snail post.

We had our first commercial forays this year too, with auctions of Oliver’s amazing original artwork for the blog being held in February and November, as well as a special TIR calendar. Don’t forget that print versions of Oliver’s artwork are always available, so if you’d like a hard copy of a particular image (or if you’d like to commission something yourself) then check out his site HERE.

Probably the most successful category of posting on TIR has been our “How to… series on developing soft skills. This year we’ve provided advice on finding a postdoc position, giving scientific presentations, clarifying reproducibility, and more. Old favourites such as our guides to writing papers and asking questions in seminars have continued to rack up the hits.

Here, as in all categories, we’re always very happy to get suggestions from you, our readers. If there’s something you think TIR could usefully advise on, or if you’d like our take – either serious, caustic, or comic – on some issue or topic, then we’d love to hear from you.

Finally, don’t forget that you can sign up using the “follow” tab at the top of TIR’s homepage to get notifications every time we upload a new posting.

With that, we’d like to wish you, our readers, all the very best for 2018 and beyond. We’ll keep reflecting.


Brooke & Oliver

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