2013 in rear-view:
◊ Regarding macro bug photography, 2013 was a pivotal year for me. In the spring I received my first published magazine interview, began teaching my first macro photography workshops, held my first photo exhibits and made my first direct print sales (you can see the hi-lights in my CV). This first non-blog exposure to the general pubic has been both challenging and delightful!
◊ I also spent some time working on my first insect-related timelapse production, with an army cutworm (Euxoa auxiliaris) that had been infested with the larvae of Copidosoma bakeri (Chalcidoidea: Encyrtidae), a tiny parasitoid wasp. This was an unplanned project, and although not entirely successful, the learning process of trying to capture tiny 2mm wasps emerging from a shrivelled caterpillar at an unknown time was very enjoyable! The process left me with a better understanding of the difficulties involved, and I am now better equipped to do it again should the opportunity arise. The attempt to make a popular ‘up-beat’ video of the emergence can be seen on YouTube.
◊ And what about the visitors to Splendour Awaits in 2013?
Overall blog visits: Splendour Awaits began in December of 2011, so this is my second full year online. Like many other bloggers, I have seen blog visits decrease. In my case the drop is about 15% less than the previous year.
Top Ten Posts for 2013 (by highest visitor count )
- The Nikon R1 Close-up Speedlight Remote Kit
- Black-with-a-little-red-bit-in-the-middle Ant
- The Black Oil Beetle
- Equipment Foibles — Long Macro Lenses
- Ento. 101: Who?(II) – Aristotle to the end of the 17th century
- The ‘Stump Stabber’ – An Ichneumon Wasp
- Macro Flash Solutions – I
- Ento. 101: Wing Structure and Venation
- Best Images of 2012
- Ento. 101 – External Structure II: The Head and Mouthparts
It is notable (and a bit depressing!) to see that all the most popular posts were written before 2013! That may have something to do with search algorithms, but it is most likely because I am not producing good enough posts lately. That is partly related to my bug photo production which did not increase much over last year, despite an increase in field trips. (I am beginning to wonder if I have to change my bug-hunting strategies and perhaps spend more time with entomologists out in the field so that I learn to find more bugs!) Another reason is that I have no academic access to many articles that would help me expound more on the insects I do photograph, which leads to less informative posts. Many posts were quick photo-only entires, which don’t have much longevity. More quality and less quantity is in order, I think. Food for thought for 2014.
The Top Ten Referrers: Beyond all the visits that occurred due to online searches, the following entities provided the most referrals to Splendour Awaits:
- youtube.com How to build a collapsible white box for macro photography
- Google Reader /Netvibes.com
Considering how important Facebook and Twitter have been to directing people to this blog, it also shows that I have ignored Google+ for too long and that I need to utilize it more consistently. Notable is how one blog entry by the highly esteemed Alex Wild at Compound Eye who has driven a lot of visits to Splendour Awaits–even more than that from subscribers. Google Reader no longer exists, and it’s demise seems to have been filled largely by NetVibes.
Top Ten Visitor Nations
My mother-and-fatherland is tenth, which is a bit disappointing. At the bottom of the list was Guadeloupe, with one (1) visit. Come on Guadeloupians! Get with it!
That’s all for now. All this ‘retro-specting’ has made me realize how much I am part of a community, and that there is a lot to be thankful for. More on that later.