Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Gish Bar Times Two-Year Anniversary

Today marks the second birthday for the Gish Bar Times.  You can check out the original Welcome message that I posted two year ago.  The last year has seen a number of commemorations of various anniversaries related to Io, including the flybys of Voyager 1 and 2 in 1979, the Galileo flyby in October 1999, and the discovery of Io by Galileo in 1610.  Focusing on these anniversaries in the last year has been a large driver of content here on the blog in addition to the usual discussions over new papers and meeting abstracts.

Now during last year's birthday message, I said that I would expand our content to include more discussion of the other Galilean satellites of Jupiter.  To some extent I did this, with posts on the delivery of oxygen to Europa's ocean, but for the most part, I've continued to stay focused on Io here on Gish Bar Times.  I think in the end, the focus will remain on Io, but if there is an interesting story regarding the other Jovian moons, I won't hesitate to post about it, but it won't be prominent in our coverage.  Last year, I was concerned about maintaining readership levels while maintaining a focus on one Jovian moon, but in the last year, we have gone from 51 unique visitors per day in 2009 to 107 so far this year.  In each of the six months, the number of unique visitors has exceeded those of any previous month except for February and March 2009 when the Outer Planet Flagship Mission was selected.

So what can you expect over the next year?  Well, recently I have gotten into writing more articles on various Io topics, such as surface features or the exploration of Io.  I think what you can expect is more connection between my write ups on Wikipedia and posts here, which I think will be of interest to readers here.  If I am wrong about that, let me know, but I think that could help both in the coverage of Io on Wikipedia and provide new and interesting content for the blog.  So in the next year, expect to see more overview articles on the various volcanoes of Io.  Of course, we will continue to cover the Outer Planet Flagship Mission, the Discovery mission AO, and new papers and mission abstracts.

In the next few days, you can expect some minor changes to the layout of the blog, to make it feel more like a website than just a simple blog.  The first step in this plan was done on Monday when we moved the site to its new URL:  That move is now complete, and some of the tools I had that were temporarily gone are now back online.  This includes comment deletion, so spammers, your window of opportunity to run wild here has now closed.  I will add additional features, such as static pages and a table of contents below the title.

So with two years down, here's to another!

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