It’s been two years since I wrote my first blog post from the depths of Papua New Guinea. A bit of an anniversary for something that started off as a bit of an uncertain project. So many of these internet whims end up as nothing more than virtual book-ends collecting motes of cyberdust, abandoned a few weeks in after good intentions stall. So I’m excited to be able to look down the pages of this website and see a ream of memories captured, stories told, and interactions shared.
Thanks all of you for being a part of that.
I started this blog as a place to share where I’m at and what I’m doing, to let readers, both known and unknown, catch a little glimpse of the world as I see it, a world I feel very privileged to pass through. I’ve found the mix of words and images very cathartic for me, and it’s been a great place for me to be able to process some of the challenges I come across, both personal and professional. I feel honoured- and a little surprised- that so many of you have joined me for that journey.
A few days ago my [extremely talented] writerly friend Lisa, amused by her findings, posted some of the search hits that were leading people to her blog (about she and her husband moving to Laos with an NGO)- my personal favourite being “giant snake bites electric fence” (why don’t you try it and see if it leads you to her blog…?). I was amused by the post and thought I would look at some of my own stats and share, in a thoroughly narcissistic fashion, some of the highlight reel.
I hope you like numbers as much as I do [insert geek emoticon here].
All up, as of the time of writing this blog, I have written 307 posts including this one. This works out as one post every 2.4 days for the last two years, which I feel is a fairly good and consistent average, all things considered.
I am gutted that there isnt a total wordcount widget for this site, as I would love to know how many words I’ve churned out. Given that most of my posts are on the lengthy side of concise, I suspect the total tally is probably fairly high.
On the flip side, I am imensely relieved that there is not a widget telling me how much time I’ve spent writing, uploading, tweaking and maintaining this blog. Given that I don’t earn any money from it, this is one uber-time-consuming hobby… 😛
In total, I’ve had 169,737 visits since I launched this blog. Given that it was originally started as a place to share stories with friends and family, I think this is a fair running tally. In 2008 (when I first launched the blog) I was getting an average of 18 hits per day. Through 2009 I averaged 144 hits per day. So far this year I’m getting an average of 410 hits per day. So, erm, a humble thank you to all of you who’ve dropped by (be it once or many times) and made me feel like the words I’m writing are actually being read and enjoyed by people. It means a lot to me.
This year, I’ve been very honored to have my posts placed on the WordPress homepage no less than 9 different times (which has been a lovely boost to my readership) (yeah, I know, I was born a numbers whore). These are:
Why Aid is Slow Getting Through to Haiti
Tasmania: The Taster Tour
Faces from a Guatemalan Village
Wat-er Mess (or, Why Society is Once Again Seriously Screwed)
Analysis: Social Media and Humanitarian Response
Embracing the Chaotic: Cynefin and Humanitarian Response
Back in the Field
Most of these are among the most popular posts I’ve written. ‘Why Aid is Slow Getting Through to Haiti‘ has the largest number of discreet hits, at 6,813. However the third most popular post, ‘One for the Roads‘ (2,747 hits) generates its traffic by being placed high in the search engines for people looking for roads and highways. The 6th most popular, ‘Haitian Seaside‘ (1,842) generated a huge spike, for obvious reasons, in mid-January 2010, after it was picked up in people searching for images of Haiti. And #8, ‘Light on a Cloudy Day‘ (1,667), just seems to get a lot of hits. I’m not sure what drives people to it.
My search-engine items are a little more embarrassing. Number one, with 1,730 referrals, is ‘gungrave’, the title of an anime show I quietly reviewed and posted here. Clearly the otaku are onto me. (And while I take note of people telling me I should specialise my blog and not post any more anime reviews- *sniff*- I guess someone’s reading them, as ‘speed grapher’ (#8: 568 referrals) and ‘claymore’ (#10: 535 referrals) both feature highly, and four more anime search items show up on my top list as well. Erm… yeah… embarrassing.
Of the rest, #2 is ‘annapurna’ with 1,248 referrals, and links through to a number of my posts on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. Number 2 is ‘sunset’ (988 referrals) and presumably links to one of several such-tagged posts. Numbers 3 (‘highway’), 5 (‘roads’) and 9 (‘road’) all link to the ‘One for the Roads‘ post, cumulatively accounting for 2,350 referrals and making that post the single biggest search-engine drawcard. ‘desert sky‘ and ‘chess‘ fill in the remaining top ten spots.
And now a word for our sponsors… WordPress.com, courtesy of the posts I have had on the front page, has given me 15,918 hits- by far my most generous contributor. Next come some of my social media outlets- Twitter (cumulatively 865- a pretty significant drop), Facebook (cumulatively 714) and Flickr (902 across a number of different flickr photos I’ve posted- including this one which has linked 108 times alone). Stumbleupon and Googlereader have given me 361 and 282 respectively. However my biggest shout-outs go to the personal blogs who send me traffic. Bill Easterly’s Aid Watch blog (specifically this post) has sent me 184 readers, while the fabulous Tales From the Hood has sent me 170 (big shout out, J.) Viv McWaters has fired off 121 in my direction, while Saundra’s Good Intentions blog has sent 215 my way from several of my posts linked there.
Thanks team! 🙂
So while I’m on the topic of talking about myself (or, more accurately, my blog), you may have noticed a few changes in the layout today.
Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you. I’ve changed themes.
Why? Well, as a Third Culture Kid, Global Nomad and Change Junkie, I am addicted to change. I’ve had the old theme for 2 years, which is waaaaay too long: I’ve had 5 different homes (about to move into my sixth) in that time. Gotta keep moving.
Do let me know whether you like the new layout or not. It’s experimental. Honestly, at some stage (when I have time, and possibly resources) I’d like to self-host and give myself a little more freedom. So this won’t be the final iteration.
Also, apologies in advance if there are some glitches with layout, formatting etc., as the different column width means that old posts may not fit quite the same. But as I explore and tinker, hopefully I’ll get things looking okay. I’m wanting to pull a number of my blog posts into pages so that they can be accessed via the drop-down menus as well, but that’ll take a little time to organize, sadly.
However the new format lets me post pictures in a larger size in my posts. My biggest complaint about the old theme is how narrow it is, wasting huge amounts of potentially creative screen space.
Anyways, that’s enough talking about blogs for one day. It’s a stinking hot Nigerien afternoon outside, so I’m cowering indoors with an internet that mercifully hasn’t given up on me yet. Four more days here, and then I’m back to Australia- and much as I’ve enjoyed being here, it will be nice to head home to loved ones. In fact, nice doesn’t cut it.
Thanks all of you for stopping by and paying me a visit- I really appreciate it. I hope you have a lovely week.
Shalom. Salaam. Peace out.
1. Barefoot– sandals in the Sahara Desert
2. Nomad’s Return– footprints on Saharan dunes in northern Niger
3. Giggles– A girl outside a school in central Niger
4. Road Trip– Highway, South Australia
5. Country Roads– Rural lane, Western Australia
6. Colours of the Annapurnas– Umbrella with Macchapuchare and the Annapurna Himal beyond
7. Desert Skies– Saharan dunes, Niger
8. Crossing Wapta– Backcountry skiing, Yoho National Park
9. Vanquish– Chess pieces in light and shadow