The Right Blue: 2009 Review

by B. N. Sullivan

So, here we are at the beginning of a new year on the calendar, and a new decade as well.  We hope our readers had an enjoyable holiday season, and we wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010!    During our holiday break we took some time to review where we've been -- literally and figuratively.  For one thing, we reviewed what we produced here on The Right Blue over the past year.  We also took a good look at the 2009 traffic statistics for this blog.

Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana)
Here are a few interesting nuggets we discovered.  In 2009, readers in 170 different countries visited The Right Blue. About 67% of our readers were in the United States.

Well over half of the traffic to The Right Blue came via search (mostly Google).  Thousands of people landed at The Right Blue after searching for information about fire coral -- the number one phrase among a total of more than 13,000 unique search terms.  Most of the other top search terms were the name of some creature -- sharks, sea turtles, nudibranchs, various fishes and corals. And then there were the innumerable versions of the question about why the sea is blue: "why is the sea blue"; "why does the sea look blue"; "what makes the sea blue"; "how come the sea is blue" -- and so on ad infinitum!

Search produces the most traffic to The Right Blue, but the number two source of 2009 traffic -- about 20% -- was (and we thank the readers who liked a post enough to Stumble it!)  We also noted a substantial (and growing) amount of traffic from both Twitter and FBI Blogs. Considering we only joined FBI Blogs in May, and Twitter in June, we are both amazed and gratified to see that these associations have become so fruitful so quickly.  Big thanks to Damon Tucker, who runs FBI Blogs, for inviting us to become a part of this group of top-notch Big Island bloggers, and thanks as well to our fellow FBI bloggers for their support.  (Note: In case you may not know, 'FBI' stands for 'from Big Island' -- not that other federal FBI.)

Speaking of Twitter,  Jerry has been the official Twitterer for The Right Blue since June of 2009, and thanks to his efforts, @therightblue already has just shy of 4,000 followers.  Jerry tweets the titles and links to everything we post here on the blog, of course, but most of what he tweets is ocean news and interesting finds on the Web about the ocean, marine science, conservation, and related topics.

Among the articles we posted on The Right Blue in 2009, these five were the most popular, based on number of visits to each:
  1. Tiger Cowries: The largest cowries in Hawaii, posted in May.
  2. Conus striatus - a fish-eating cone shell, posted in April
  3. Stingrays: Dangerous or not?, posted in May
  4. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, posted in May
  5. The Octopus: Nature's ultimate shape shifter, posted in December
I should note that although the above were the five most popular items posted in 2009, they were not the five most popular articles overall.  That honor went to three articles from 2008, and two from 2007.  In the next post we'll tell you which articles on The Right Blue have attained the status of Perennial Favorites.

About the photo: The image on this page shows a Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana), a species common to the Caribbean, and occasionally seen in the Bahamas and along the coasts of south Florida.  I photographed this one at Stingray City, a popular dive site in the Cayman Islands.


  1. For a second there I thought you were blogging for "the man."

  2. Ha ha, you must be referring to the part about FBI blogs ( It's an in-joke among people who live here on the Big Island of Hawaii: we are all "FBI" = from Big Island.


  3. I love your great blog and I'm so stoked that you are part of the "FBIBloggers".

    Wish you the best in the future... and let's hope and pray the real FBI doesn't decide they want that blog site for their own. LOL

  4. Thanks, Damon. We're proud to be part of FBI Bloggers.

    If that "other" FBI ever decides it wants the domain name, tell them they have to pay you 'da kine' -- BIG money! LOL



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Bobbie & Jerry