The period of my absence is starkingly similar to the time I recently spent in a 0.0 alliance.
I won't talk about the alliance, but for any who are interested I can sum up exploration in the Drone Regions with one word:
Perhaps you can make some isk if you manage to get all the escalations for 'hierarchy', but then you also have to worry about logistics. You've gotta have something to haul all that drone poo. It's not like popping a faction ship and getting one module worth millions. You don't get anything like that in the drone regions at all.
I tried radar and mag sites as well, and was not impressed.
This was not the reason I left Cobalt Edge, but it was a factor. I went into that alliance with over 2 bil in my wallet, and after I'd sold off all my assets moving out of there, I was back at 2 bil, plus two badgers full of t2 or meta4 mods (from ratting in nearby tenal), and a spare tengu. Considering I've nearly doubled my isk since leaving.
Still, having had a taste of 0.0 you can bet I will be going back. With a different alliance.