One year of exposure/effect

Well, I’ve made it through a full year with this blog; not bad since I’ve heard the average blog only lasts 3 months. A big “thank you” to all my readers, regular and casual – if no one was reading then it wouldn’t be worth my time to keep this up. To mark the anniversary I’ve added a new page, “Best of exposure/effect”, with links to some of what I think are the best posts here, mostly for the benefit of new readers.

I’ll indulge myself in a brief review of what I’ve accomplished this year, and what my hopes/plans for the future of this blog are:

  • I managed an average of almost one post per week, though a few of those were brief references to posts/news from other locations. Some were hits and some were misses, but even this misses are part of my learning experience. I’ll aim for an average of one completely original post per week this year, though as always my family and paying job take priority. Most of my posts take a fair amount of time to prepare – even when I’m dealing with an area I’m quite familiar with I need to check sources to try and ensure accuracy – so anything more frequent than that probably isn’t realistic.
  • Readership has steadily increased for the most part, with the past month being the busiest yet, despite my rather sporadic posting during February and March (my busy season at work). I’m a long way from the heavy hitters in the science blogging field, but people are coming here.
  • By far the most viewed post was “Human health effects of oil spills and implications for the BP spill“, although that may be more due to the general popularity of anything related to the spill than to the quality of the post. Still, it garnered a mention in Seed magazine, and has been linked to or referenced at a bunch of other sites, so I think some of those who read it must have found the post useful.
  • My post on “Manganese in drinking water” was an Editor’s Selection at researchblogging.org (who have been the source of a lot of my traffic, particularly when I was just getting started).

Overall I’m happy with the way the first year has gone, and hope to take what I’ve learned so I can continue to improve this blog.

So what’s coming up next? I’m planning on finishing my series of posts on mercury and doing a couple on artificial sweeteners in response to reader requests. I’m also hoping to do at least one more post on BPA – focusing on why industry, regulators and environmental groups all have different opinions on its toxicity. I’ve also had plans to do a series on vaccine ingredients from a toxicological perspective, but need to make sure I have the time to do that properly. I’ll also continue to write about interesting research articles I read, relevant topics in the news, and whatever else I get inspired to write on.

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