Long time fans of ErrantScience might remember that the blog post that comes around Christmas and New Year tends to be a bit of an update on the site and planned goings on for the next year. This year the dates nicely worked out that this is actually coming out on the 1st of January so….
Strap in we’ve got some big stuff to share.
First off. 2019 has been one amazing year…
The blog content shifted away from being 100% written by me to being something more mixed with guests. Over 2019 we’ve had 12 amazing guest authors sharing some brilliant stories about science, research and academia. You should be sure to go read all 12 we’ll do a recap next week so you can be sure that you didn’t miss any.
Michelle Reeve who has been working behind the scenes at ErrantScience for a long time became a full partner in the site in 2018 and in 2019 has actually been working 1 day a week for ErrantScience.
In addition to the visible content Michelle produces (her column is great go read it) Michelle has essentially been keeping all the spinning plates behind the scenes spinning. Including making sure we started putting out much more frequent content on social media, getting the shop up and running, getting the shop up and running again after it crashed and organising a bunch of ErrantScience live events.
Speaking of social media, in early 2019 we started pushing a lot more content on social media rather than ErrantScience.com. I’d put this off for ages for reasons I don’t really remember but it’s been crazy successful. Who would have guessed that social media was good for sharing comics eh, shocking stuff.
In the closing half of 2019 we averaged 500,000 impressions per month so I think that counts of successful. That’s half a million people viewing our content every month…. Half a million. Crazy!
So here we are with 2020 stretching out ahead of us. What have we got planned? We’ll I’ll start with the big announcement and then get on with the small stuff.
As of 2020 being the writer and cartoonist behind ErrantScience will be my full time job.
As mentioned, in 2019 ErrantScience did pretty well for itself and every time we put even slightly more work into it did better and better. It did so well in fact that we spent most of 2019 turning down projects because we just didn’t have the time…
So after a crazy amount of soul searching and building up a some savings from work we’ve done this year we’re going to take a big leap into the unknown and give ErrantScience a LOT more love and attention.
I’m sure in articles throughout the year I’ll talk more about what it’s like to take that step out of academia for a bit but I don’t want to spend too long on it here as I’d rather get to what this is going to mean.
First off, cartoon output on social media is going to see an uptick. We’ll be starting to post daily cartoons – some will be old but we’re aiming for 3 brand new cartoons a week.
Secondly, the source of these cartoons is going to change a bit. We are going to start running competitions to select people’s science to cartoon. We’ve planned some things that we’ll announce later in the year but essentially if you want your research cartooned we’re gonna start doing it so follow us on every social media you can find and wait for further instructions!
Thirdly, blog posts are going to stay the same. The blog format is working so while we’re making other changes we’ll leave that alone. If it ain’t broke etc…
Fourthly, we have a comic book! This has been drafted on and off for two years but we’ve never finished it! Not sure exactly of the time scales but it’s coming 😉
Fifthly, we are going to have a SECOND book. Okay so the first book is just cartoons. But as some of you might remember I actually wrote a proper fiction book about 4 years ago that has since sat on my computer doing very little. Well a publisher has persuaded us that actually publishing books is better than hiding them in dark hard drives so we’re going to be sorting that out in early 2020.
Sixthly, ErrantScience content is going to be appearing in lots of other places. As mentioned we’ve been approached a lot in 2019 by people wanting us to make things for them. And some of them sounded awesome. We’ll shout about it when it pops up.
So yeah… 2020 is going to be a biggie. For the first time in 16 years when people ask what I do I can no longer say “Oh I’m a research scientist”. I’ll now have to reply “I’m a writer and cartoonist”…. did not see that coming.
Leslie · 1 January 2020 at 16:15
How cool! How scary! How brave! How exciting!
Congratulations, good luck, and Happy New Year!
And please don’t stop using Facebook as one of your social media platforms — it’s the only social media some scientists (like me) use 🙂
Matthew (@MCeeP) · 28 January 2020 at 13:42
I won’t! I’m not a huge fan of Facebook but it exists and in 2020 I promise to give it a bit more attention and love (e.g. coming soon, Facebook stories for ErrantScience!)
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