Leather (2020) and Ollerton (2020) both suggest that views of insect-related blog posts are associated with seasonal factors.
Here I show there is no evidence that this is worldwide phenomenon, with data from the southern hemisphere (n = 1).
Over the life of the blog, views were significantly higher in February compared to any other month (Figure 1; supplementary data). However, I did not test whether this was associated with relative number of posts published in each month.
Views of my most popular post of all time, Insectageddon is a great story. But what are the facts?, were significantly skewed toward the publishing date (February), with a small secondary peak in October (Figure 2).
Views of my second most popular post of all time, How do you review a conceptual paper?, reached their peak two years after the publication date (Figure 3) in July 2020. This could potentially be influenced by the increased number of conceptual papers being submitted to scholarly journals during the COVID-19 lockdowns, but there is no way of testing this hypothesis.
I tested the influence of season on views using posts that were highly seasonal (n = 2). Deck the halls: an Aussie pollinator Christmas showed a trend toward seasonal views, with most views tending to be in December. However, this trend was not backed up by the other seasonal post, Arthropod April: Insects are animals too, which was a failed attempt to outcompete the popular March Mammal Madness game on social media. After publication date, this post received the highest views in June and August the following year, but has been relatively unpopular otherwise.
My results clearly show that post views in the southern hemisphere are confounded by multiple factors. Therefore, blog viewers should consider following multiple blogs and reading their back catalogues at random times throughout the year to confound viewing statistics.
© Manu Saunders 2020
I love this – citations pouring in for our new journal Not Nature or Science but much more fun
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Conversely, there is seasonality to views of blog posts that aren’t about insects. Dynamic Ecology’s pageviews are lowest during the Northern Hemisphere summer, both in total and on a per-post basis. 🙂
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