Sunday, February 5, 2012

One year ago...

This week marks an anniversary of sorts.

Last February 8 I created and wrote my first blog entry. Woohoo.

I had no clue what I was getting into. Not that it's a bother. I just like to write. I get enjoyment out of tapping on the keyboard and seeing what happens. Half the time I don't know what is going to pop up on the blank file page until I actually bang out something.

I have two platforms. This one (Blogspot) and a link to The Dispatch (WordPress), which is where I worked for 30 years before I retired in 2006. I create my posts on Blogspot, then cut and paste it on the WordPress site. Both blogs are actually one and the same.

According to the statistics that Blogspot keeps internally, I average about 20-30 readers per each posting, which I promote on my Facebook page (Listen to me: Blogspot, Facebook ... I don't know what's got into me). By announcing each new posting on Facebook, I alert my 115 friends to duck and cover because another entry is online.

So far, for the year, I've had about 3,200 pageviews on Blogspot. That comes out to about nine views per day. It sounds low, but I'll take it, given that I've had exactly zero expectations for this blog in the first place.

The most read entry is one I wrote during my series on the Lexington City Cemetery last March — "Walking Through History — Part II." This entry was about the grave site of former Lexington mayor Harry Anderson, and to date, it has received 175 pageviews. Most of those — about 160, I guess — came in the first few hours after it was posted. It was stunning to see as the pageviews increased with almost every passing minute. "Look at this," I shouted to my wife as the numbers rose. "The computer is going crazy!"

My second most-read blog is a poem I wrote to my wife for her birthday. I don't know why this has taken off. I wrote the poem because, after 30 years of marriage, my wife pointed out to me that I'd never written her a poem, although I've dashed off lines for other projects or simply for my own self-expression.

At any rate, the original poem generated the usual 20-30 pageviews, but curiously, has now grown to 160 views over the course of the year. I don't know what's going on there. Somebody is still reading it almost a year later. I don't get it.

Well, I guess it could be Kim who's reading it.

I don't have access to the stats as they appear on WordPress. Whenever I get curious, I ask Dispatch photographer Donnie Roberts to search the stats for me. This takes a little bit of keyboard time with a little bit of twisting and turning through the computer, so I don't ask him to do this often.

But The Dispatch gives me a wider readership. A recent entry I wrote about the passing of my father-in-law, Charles Martin, who operated the iconic Martin's News Stand in town, generated between 90-100 pageviews for several days in a row. That was satisfying.

I've been at this for a year now. I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing, except that I'm having fun with this.

Guess I'll try it for another year.

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