First-ever BitB “Reader’s Poll”

For seven years now I’ve been conducting this experiment called Beetles in the Bush. In that time I’ve written nearly 1,000 posts (with the help of a few guest authors), posted nearly 3,000 images, contributed or entertained over 10,000 comments, and watched the site creep ever closer to its millionth hit! This might leave you wondering why I should, now, be asking readers to provide feedback on why they visit BitB and what they like most (or least) about it. The reason is simple—blogging is less popular now than it was a few years ago. Comments and readership are both in decline (not just here, but across the platform), and the trend has left few clues about who the remaining readership is and what they are interested in. If I know clearly what readers want, it will be easier for me to provide it. That is not to say I expect (or even could) drastically change my content or its focus. However, if I know a certain topic is more popular than others I can give that topic priority, or if nobody really reads the “long-reads” I can skip them altogether. I hope you’ll indulge my curiosity by participating in the five short polls below that need only a few anonymous clicks of the mouse—no written responses required. Of course, if you wish to provide written feedback in the comments section it will be most appreciated. And, as always, thank you for your readership.

© Ted C. MacRae 2014

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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10 Responses to First-ever BitB “Reader’s Poll”

  1. Bioman says:

    HI! I’m the WordPress resident biomimetic representative and I would be VERY interested in picking your brains. Very. Great site. Cheers. Bruce

  2. sleather2012 says:

    Very interesting – you seem to get a lot of views, although as you say they are in decline- my Blog is only just over a year old and is still growing – but I average only just over 2000 visits a month so small beer really. I was hoping for more interactions when I started it, but that mainly seems to come via Twitter

    I think your site is excellent

    Best wishes Simon

  3. I have always found interest and enjoyed your blog. Yes, occasionally, some topics do not interest me but I’ll at least scan them for cross reference links, etc. One of the things I like about your blog is that I am not inundated by advertisements nor asked for donations (= cyber-begging, e-begging). BitB is one of a few blogs I feel worthy of providing a link to on my own blog.

    Keep up the good work and best wishes, …

  4. Mark Sturtevant says:

    I enjoy your blog, and visit when I can. I very much admire how you have made a career in entomology.

  5. GeoffBr says:

    Ted, I’ve been lurking on the blog for some time. I am purely an amateur when it comes to entomology but have very much enjoyed your posts.

    FWIW, one of the big challenges of sites like this is less the content per se than the somewhat random update schedules. Unless a reader makes a site a daily / weekly / monthly habit, it is easier for time to elapse between visits (and they become more occasional readers than regular ones). You’re certainly more on top of these updates than many, but a post every few days (which may or may not be of specific interest) can be challenging to keep up with. This isn’t to say you should update more per se – just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of spacing out posts more regularly.

    • Good point, and that is a problem for any individual blogger who does this strictly as a hobby. I’m not sure I know a good solution, as sticking to a set schedule can be difficult during busy periods and limiting during times of inspiration. The last thing I want to do is start posting “filler” posts designed to keep the blog on a regular schedule – that would represent a drop in average post quality, which is not something I want to happen.

  6. Bob Kipfer says:

    I hit your blog when I (1) find a subject in a search (2) am dealing with a beetle or (3) see in interesting subject in my “Nature Blog Favorites” on my Blog at http://springfieldmn.blogspot.com/.

    There is such a flood of information on the web that it dilutes your audience, but not its value, not to mention Twitter, Facebook and dozens of other venues (whoops, I guess I did mention them).

    I guess the reason I keep coming back to Beetlesinthebush is the quality of content. Keep on writing…..we are out here reading. Even if the numbers are down, the reader quality is still here.

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