Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five-year Blogger-versary!!

It was hard to know what date to consider my real 5-year blogiversary. I started blogging in a very limited way on a non-public site back in November of 2006, and continued in that lackadaisical fashion with a second post on the same non-public site in July of 2007. As noted in my first blogiversary post and first Blogger-versary post, I started blogging on that same site in earnest in January of 2008, continuing into February of 2008, with the goal of going public with the blog sometime before the end of that year. Because of the rapid expansion of The Geoblogosphere in late 2007 and early 2008, I made my first post here at LFD on February 28, 2008, and began transferring posts from the now defunct non-public site on February 29, 2008 (Leap Day).

Readership has swelled during the past couple years, with subscriptions to the RSS feed numbering over three hundred.

Individual blog hits have increased gradually over time, though they have never been very high (over 100 in a day is exceptional). Hits declined during the last two months of 2012, but surged back a bit in January.

In any case, I plan to continue blogging as time allows (I've been trying to maintain one or two posts per week during this last, very busy year), and will now go through some of my most used blog tags, with a few accompanying photos.

My blog tag list is huge compared to most blogs (see lower sidebar), and was set up primarily so I could find my posts as easily as possible (i.e., it's my own personal cross-referencing system). Tagging has not been entirely consistent, and I try to correct the inconsistencies whenever I see something, or whenever a category becomes large enough to add a tag retroactively. The number of tags I'm citing below was current on January 1, 2013, when I began this post.

View of the Clan Alpine Mountains, Nevada, from the Fairview Peak fault scarp.
My first largest tag or category is (no surprise here!) Nevada, with 463 tags as of January 1, 2013. My Nevada category includes at least two unfinished series: posts about the Midas area and some Northumberland-related posts including posts relating to The Geographic Center of Nevada. For comparison, the next largest state, country, or province category is california, which came in 13th with 74 posts. Alaska was close behind at 17th, with 67 posts.

Geology is in 2nd place, with 171 tagged posts. I haven't used the tag as often as I could: so many things on this blog could fall under geology, or geoscience in a broader sense, and the tag didn't originally seem that useful to me, especially for my own sense of organization.
Geologic map showing a portion of the Osgood Mountains (map from Hotz and Willden, 1964).
For example, the post from which I took the above geologic map, is not tagged geology (or map!), because I really don't discuss the geology (or the map!). I found the post because I knew it was tagged "work."

Drill rig in eastern Nevada.
The tag in the field comes in third with 163 posts. This is a somewhat inconsistently used tag that includes a variety of overlapping topics. For me, "in the field" often means drilling, sometimes mapping, and sometimes life in the field. It can also mean other things, for example old junk or old buildings found in the field.

Monitor Valley Road, more or less south of The Geographic Center of Nevada.
My variously tagged road posts include those tagged road trip, which comes in fourth at 143 posts. Road trip posts include trips on pavement, including those on interstate highways, and trips on goodfair or middlin', and bad dirt roads. The category includes trips far from home, trips closer to home (or field station location), and trips out in the middle of nowhere (or center of everything, depending on how you view things).

The roadside posts (5th in our countdown) numbered 136 at the beginning of 2013. These posts include what I consider to be my roadside geology category and also include posts about things or places located along the road, always a particular road. Highway 50 has the highest number of overall posts at 108, Highway 8A comes in second at 44, and I-80 comes in third at 20.
Falling rock sign on Highway 89, with Lassen Peak in the background.
An example of a roadside geology post: The dacite of Mount Helen near Lassen Peak on Highway 89, CA.
Another example: Phyllitic slate near Connors Pass, Highway 50, eastern Nevada.
Okay, so the various tags can get a little redundant! The previous picture could be tagged, if pictures were tagged individually, Nevada, Highway 50, rocks, metamorphic rocks, roadside, geology, and possibly a few other things. Highway 50, with its roadside geology posts, reminiscing posts (old times, see below), and roadside attractions posts, comes in 6th overall with a fairly whopping 108 tags through the end of last year. That's largely because I've spent a good deal of time driving that road during the course of the last five years, and spent an even greater time driving that road between the years 1975 and 1991 or so. It's also because I've included in the tag posts for some back roads and highways are within some certain, undefined distance of Highway 50.

Our next category, old times, is 7th with 93 posts.

Posts in this category include those that are entirely about the past, AKA the "good old days," and also include posts about current times wherein I mention how it was in the past or tell some part of an old story.

Old times posts rarely include old photographs; sometimes they include new photographs of old places.

Remains of the old bathing cabin at Spencer Hot Springs (story here).
Somewhat surprisingly (to me, at least), the category volcanic rocks comes in 8th at 80 posts. Well, maybe it's not so surprising: I began my career (after my thesis and after some few short stints at government, government-related, and company jobs) doing exploration in volcanic rocks. Consequently, some of the stories of old happen to be about volcanic rocks or the drilling and exploration thereof, and I somehow just seem to pass by and stop to look at volcanic rocks in my travels here, there, and everywhere.
Tuff of Hoodoo Canyon at the entrance to Northumberland Canyon, central Nevada (from Drilling Stories: Getting Started at Northumberland)
Tuff of Hoodoo Canyon and Northumberland Tuff (more here).
Other types of rocks have been tagged less often at LFD: sedimentary rocks were tagged 74 times by the beginning of 2013; metamorphic rocks were tagged in only 24 posts (although mylonite, a type of metamorphic rock, continues to be one of my favorite rocks); intrusive rocks were tagged 14 times, including one of my favorite of 42 beer posts, Icky with Anorthosite.

The tags mining and winter are tied for 9th place at 81 posts each.
A wintry, mining-related photo from this post.
Exploration, a perennial subject here at LFD, comes in 10th with 79 posts. Exploration can be related to roads, rock hammers and other field tools, geology, geologistssampling, drilling, mapping, field camps, and helicopters.
Hughes 500-D sitting on an outcrop somewhere west of Beatty, NV, in 1978.
Many exploration posts don't have pictures.


Lockwood said...

Congrats on making it 5 years! Mine is coming up May 11. Don't have anything planned for it.

Ron Schott said...

Happy fifth! May it continue to grow for many more!

Geology Happens said...

Wow 5 years. Congratulations! I enjoy reading of your exploits. I recently drove across Nevada using your posts as my field guide.

Hollis said...

Congrats! btw, the specific highway tags are pretty handy in trip-planning.

Kea Giles said...


Short Geologist said...

Congrats! I must have just started reading not long after you made your blog public, but I thought you'd been blogging forever! You actually beat me only by a couple of months.

Tony Edger said...

You're an inspiration to all of us. Keep on trucking.

Silver Fox said...

Thanks, everyone! Thanks to all of you for reading: Lockwood, Ron, GeolHappens (indeed, it does), Hollis, Elianna, ShortGeo, Tony.

@Lockwood, congrats in advance, and love your daily geo picture series that is ongoing.

@Ron, thanks for inspiring and all you do and have done.

@GeoHappens @Hollis -glad you found the roadside geo posts handy - that's what I hoped would happen! :)

@Elianna Thanks for reading!

@ShortGeo - I wish I had more time to comment on your posts, or to write posts in response; time at work is just too much these days.

@Tony, thanks, and I hope to! :)

Desert Survivor said...

Way to go! I sure enjoy getting to know Nevada better through you! keep up the great blogging.

Suvrat Kher said...

Silver Fox- late on commenting, but congratulations! I haven't been commenting much but am enjoying reading your posts! do keep writing :)

Silver Fox said...

Thanks to both!! @Desert Survivor, @Suvrat :)