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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

366 Days of Friendly Bacteria; My First Year in Review

My blog is a year old! HOORAY! One year ago I posted the very first post;

(Although the first post was posted on the 27th not the 28th, so I've made a mistake somewhere... or the leap year thing messes with my timetable or blogspot. Oh well!)

It's been a pretty huge year for me, not just because I occasionally ramble about bacteria on here, but in life generally. So here's my year in review; Year 1 of Friendly Bacteria!

I'm a big nerd so I'll start with numbers stuff I guess.

761 people follow me on Twitter! I feel bad when I have days where I don't really say anything other than about this blog, but I do love creeping on what everyone's saying about science and all that! I'll try and be better at the twittering. Now they have the tabs thing it might be easier, I always find it hard to keep track of topics and stuff but that might help.

3959 Pageviews on the blog! That's a lot of people. Google tells me that's as many people as lived in the Nepalese village of Lapilang when the 1991 census was taken! ( That's pretty incredible. I know a lot of reads will be the same people reading different pages, but that's still going to be a sizable village somewhere. I'd love to go to Nepal one day, mountains are my jam and the food is incredible! There's a Nepalese restaurant in Brecon and it is glorious.

I've posted 71 blog posts! 72 including this one I guess. In the first post I said I'd try and do one a day, that didn't really work out did it... One every five and a bit days on average is ok though! With the pageviews, it comes to like 55.8 views per post, which is cool!

The best parts of the year, in friendly bacteria context, are probably the #meetthephd posts ( ) which have given cool insights into PhD experiences from a huge range of people, and got me talking to some really nice fellow PhD people! If you like that series, there'll be one coming next Wednesday if all goes to plan (Sorry for the wait Louise if you're reading this!). I've also just generally had a blast, writing about science is really fun! I originally wanted to use all this as a way to boost my self confidence, but I'm also really liking talking science (and other stuff too) and generally the process of writing is actually pretty fun.

Non friendly bacteria wise, I had so many awesome experiences.

I fed marmosets!

I went to Brazil!

(Not at the same time; Marmosets are pests in Rio so they aren't down with people feeding them)

And of course I did a bunch of awesome PhD stuff too that you don't get to hear about because of confidentiality reasons. 


The year's been sweet. But what would I change about it?

Firstly, I want to do more videos. I've been slightly better lately but I've got such a huge backlog of footage I wanted to put on YouTube. In Brazil I took over 30gb of pictures and videos, and you can see I had a camera on my chest in the marmoset enclosure when they were climbing all over me. I tried to vlog early on last year, which failed, and I've recently started trying again, which was supposed to be weekly but is more sporadic now. I want to do a consistent weekly video, not so people watch it, but so I have a cool record of all my adventures, and life in general. I want an excuse to buy a drone as well but that can come later...
I'm going to be pushing myself to do more video things, so if you want to see them here's my YouTube thing:

I'd also like to plan blog posts more in advance, just to get better quality and to have backups for days when I'm not able to write anything, to get that average post count up to like two a week.

These don't sound like big things but I've also just started fencing again so I've got to fit in training for that, and I don't do blog/video stuff in work hours (apart from the odd tweet from coffee breaks), and I need to sleep and eat and stuff too... It could be tricky but I just need to get into the habit of doing it all and I should be fine! PhD comes first though so this might not go exactly how I'd like it to.

If I could go back in time a year and tell myself some things, last year me would be pretty reassured. In general things are going well for me. I'd probably tell myself to make more of the summer, to relax more about the 'scary' stuff like giving presentations because they all went really well, and to lay off the gluten because there was a whole thing where I can't eat that now without getting really ill. Also I'd say to plan a trip to somewhere with more than two cinema screens around when Resident Evil was released, because I'm still sad I've not seen it yet :(

And finally, some aims for year two:

I already said about the blog/vlog stuff, so I won't repeat that. But I want to make the most of my year. Take opportunities to do fun things (like help out at British Science and Engineering Week soon), work hard on my PhD but enjoy the journey, and live life to the full.

I think that's the biggest thing I've learnt over a year of doing this; last year my goals for the year were number of twitter followers, number of blog reads, goals and targets that a) I never reached and b) suck the fun out of actually doing everything. This year I'm going to have fun, be me, and if you want to read or watch what I do then that's great. I'm going to be doing it anyway, for future me to look back on and present me to enjoy doing.

That doesn't mean I'm not grateful to everyone reading these posts and stuff; thank you, all of you! You're awesome.

Most of all, thank you Ciara. You inspired me to start this blog in the first place, gave me the idea for the #MeetThePhD stuff, booked me in for the marmosets and generally make every day so so special. Thank you so much xx

Happy Birthday, Friendly Bacteria!

This was actually my birthday cake this year, my Mum is awesome!

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