Sometimes, after researching and writing a blog for hours or days, I finally post it and then basically...nothing happens.
There is no applause, a paycheck doesn't arrive, no one slaps my butt on the way back to the huddle and says "good one, man." It just silently goes out there for the world to read- if they can find me, and if they like it.
Well, it looks like you've found me, and you like it. My feedback loop is a website hit counter and the number of references to the blog now being found on the Internet.
The number of visitors and page views to the blog has grown steadily over the past twelve months, with several humongous spikes in August and now again in September. We already have as many visitors in September as we had on average in May, June and July this year.
In July, Simostronomy cracked the Top 100 science blogs on Wikio. In August, we climbed up to number 32, and have been holding our spot in the top 40 since then. Wikio tracks blogs by the references and back links to them, so that means not only are people visiting but the articles are being linked and referenced all over the web. Many of you are sharing the blog through your own links, blogs and Facebook pages. Simostronomy has been the #1 astronomy blog on Facebook's Networked Blogs for all of 2009.
The thing that has become obvious from the numbers is, the more I write the more you come. If you take out the steady growth trend, the graph of visitors mirrors the number of posts per month almost exactly. It's like the line in 'Field of Dreams', "If you write it, they will come." I will keep writing, and I'll try to keep a steady flow of interesting stellar astronomy pieces coming. Your loyalty is my reward, and I will try to deserve it every month.
The numbers don't lie. You've voted by coming here and staying long enough to read a page or more each time something new goes up. Thank you, all of you.
Now, publishers like National Geographic, NOVA and Arizona University Press are even sending me comp astronomy books and DVDs to review. Sure, if you want me to read it, send a free one!
So, thank you to all of you who have found me, heard my voice and keep coming back for more. I am flattered, and will try to keep earning your readership.
There are some individuals to whom I owe a special thanks (pulls out Academy Award list):
Pamela Gay, for encouraging me to give this a try in the first place by pushing me into the Web 2.0 pool and yelling "swim!"
Fraser Cain, for including me in the Carnival of Space and allowing me to host the Carnival several times.
Aaron Price, for gentle nudges, hints and encouragement along the way (even if he still calls it Simo-astronomy).
Slackers, Michael Koppelman and Doug Welch for reminding me every time I am with them that I'm not the only one who thinks astronomy is serious, but also seriously fun!
And to the other astro-bloggers I've come to know and admire, and who inspire me to pick up my game, particularly Ray Villard, C.C. Petersen, Kurtis Williams, Ian O'Neill, Nicole Gugliucci, Jennifer Ouellette, and Amanda Bauer.
And last but not least- thank you Google, for making Blogger so user friendly and simple even I can do it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...