Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Open Flask Blog Turns 1

On a fateful day last February, Y. Brando, Dane, Will, and Hans were busy sitting around rumor-mongering upon the latest internet gossip (likely started by Hans in the first place). Dane was dwelling over his lack of Reddit karma when they were all interrupted by Mr. Phil Barden. Surprising all parties involved, as usual, P.S.B. suggested "if you can't beat them, join them." And thus, we invented Openflask. Our first post was on 2/26/2013. And in true fashion of a graduate student, we forgot its birthday.

During the past year, we've accrued the following statistics:
  • 51 posts, which is close enough to ~1 post/week (not bad for a 35 person lab :/ )
  • 259 comments (the people have something to say!)
The top two most commented on posts were "A Tale of Two Olefins" by J. Lo and "Ingenol: Behind the Scenes" by L. Joergensen. This represents a general trend, in that our posts about our own science generated the most traffic (Dane doesn't know how to use google analytics well enough to find real data), but it seems that we had ~35,000 unique visitors in the past year (of course that counts Dane at work, Dane at home, Dane at phone, and Dane in the public library as 4 people).
  • 13 unique bloggers from our own lab (grad students, postdocs, and "baranlab")
  •  ~2000 coffees Dane and Brandon drink in 1 year
Just this week, Nathan dropped some heavy opinions and Jinghan told you about "Wreck it Ralph" and his new paper. Additionally, we changed some colors due to feedback from some nice fellow on the internet getting migraines due to our white on black color scheme. We've also set up a twitter feed on the left side, which will include literature and mechanisms (@baranlabreads). You should check it out. Or not.

Whats coming in the next year?
  • More write ups about our own chemistry
  • More total synthesis
  • More discussion about science philosophy and policy
  • Novel reagents
  • An AMA with Phil Baran?
  • Tips and instructional videos for going to the gym
  • Tips and instructional videos for chemistry (maybe)
  •  Playlists for making molecules (Pink Floyd, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lady Gaga, and Marshall Military Music)
  • More updates on/for The Chemist's Portable Consultant 
  • Unofficial Baran Lab hosted Burning Man in Anza Borrego?
What does the internet want to see? We'll do it.


  1. Congratulations! You're a great addition to the chem-blogosphere.
    Many happy returns...

  2. Happy birthday.
    p.s. go easy on Mr. Barden, he can't help it:)

  3. Was I spreading the rumor that Vallarta was having $3 California burrito special that day?

  4. Phil Baran AMA and Lab Playlists are a must - make it happen!