It's been a year! Stats between my first year as a music journalist and my first year science blogging

For about three years, I was a music journalist. I had my own site and had a decent sized community (~30k readers/year). When I made the jump from music journalism to cognitive neuroscience, I decided it was a smart thing to start up a science blog. Here are some things I've noticed between my first year as a no-name music journalist and my first year as a no-name science blogger.

Some very KEY differences to just start with:

As a music journalist, I had a lot more contact with music PR, management and record labels -- all sources for traffic into my site, as they used my reviews as press clippings for their artists. I don't do that on True Brain with science articles.

True Brain is less driven by the perks of the lifestyle. Music reporting, I was more under pressure to drive traffic to my site to increase my own visibility and ultimately receive a status that would allow me and my writers into huge festivals for free. I don't seek that here.

There is no "news" here, other than my own personal lab news. Indie music and freshman album releases for artists aren't necessarily the most impactful news out there, it was more on-the-pulse of the culture than this blog is for the culture of graduate students in science. People frequented my music site daily because they wanted to know what's new in music. That's not the case for True Brain, as it's not a daily source of posts and there is relatively no general news here.

Science blogging 1/10th as popular as new music blogging

I like using the unique visitors (or "uniques") as my metric of choice, since it's not inflated by multiple visits. However, I do lose some data from multiple people visiting from the same computer (all those people visiting me from libraries... holler).

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True Brain stats for the last year

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402 Productions stats between Feb 2011 - Feb 2012

True Brain brought in 1660 uniques this year. That's pretty awesome, since I'm not published and just about all of my links are coming from my Twitter network of only 350 - 450 people -- most of which are not scientists.

402 Productions -- the music site -- brought in 14771 uniques in my first year writing. I had substantially less followers at this time (250 - 300) but, as stated before, a lot of the links in came from the artists, labels or other agencies who had a lot more followers than I did.

Average duration for 402 was greater -- most likely because I had a lot of live coverage and therefore a lot of live photos from shows. Even though my posts here are longer, we bloggers should all know about how many people actually read your posts.

Lots of love from the east coast, for both music and science.

This probably isn't a surprise to many. My target demographic for both sites were "people in college".

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True Brain geography

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402 Productions geography

In the True Brain map, we should ignore the giant circle in north Utah, as that's visits from me. We should also ignore that massive circle in the Bay Area (specifically, Lafayette, California) from the 402 map, since that's mostly me again.

Boston loved me both times. The Great Plains were pretty nonexistent in terms of visits for either site. Also, no love from any Up-pers in MI for either site! What gives?!

Internationally, I get more mainland European attention for True Brain than I did from 402 Productions. I am also big in South Africa. Weird.

Technology of choice?

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True Brain mobile device usage

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402 mobile device usage

Okay, don't make fun of the old phones from the 2011s. Although, the rise of Samsung over the last handful of years has been of note... The reigning champ of mobile viewing for both sites is still Apple. Funny enough, I had almost more visits from mobile devices alone in my first year as a music journalist than True Brain did for the entire year across all unique visits.

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True Brain browsers of choice

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402 browsers of choice

Scientists use Chrome. Hipsters use Firefox.

Also, let's give it up to the 17 people in 2011 who tried RockMelt! Wow. How edgy of you!

For non-Apple users, Safari (in-app) refers to those Apple iPhone/iPad folks who clicked links through Twitter or some sort of app.

Differences in articles

truebraintoparticles 402toparticles

It's no secret that compendiums of articles are more linked to than one-off articles. Why do you think those stupid list articles on Cracked or Buzzfeed are so popular? It's headline culture.

So it's no surprise to me that my #1 article in 2011 was an article about the best albums of the year.

For True Brain, my technical article about E-Prime and sending triggers to Emotiv's native EEG acquisition software seems to get a lot of attention -- which makes sense, as it is a "how-to". There aren't many chances for how-to articles in the world of music reviews. Also, my article about the NSF GRFP has been of note.

Conclusions?

Uh, well. There aren't really any. I thought this would be interesting to see and draw lines between but both areas are so different -- both in terms of me and how I write/wrote and also in terms of who was reading and why -- it's really hard to draw any legitimate conclusions.

One thing is for certain, people will come and read so long as you write and promote yourself. I might not have as many people reading my posts as I did some time ago, but I believe my content now is a lot more helpful than a meaningless music review.

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