Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blog Post #200

According to the stats that this free blogging platform provides, this is my 200th published post.  I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to redesign the look of the site (hopefully making it more readable) and to reminisce a bit...

It all began in April of 2007 with this post:  In the beginning.  I blogged pretty regularly through the summer of 2007--mostly philosophical meanderings.  Blogging became a pretty significant part of my mental landscape, and I guess that is what led to me ending the experiment in September once school started up again.  In my 87th post on the 5th of September I whined a bit about how it takes too much time and mental energy to always be thinking about what to blog that day (full post here).  But then I gave some positives I saw about blogging.  They were:
  1. I love the medium of language. Others paint or play music or blend media together in movies or what have you; I like straight language. It is remarkable to me that a certain pattern of ink splotches on a page, illuminated pixels on a screen, or vibrations through the air can be such powerful communication tools.
  2. Blogging promotes a reflective lifestyle. Most all life forms experience the world (I'm not sure about bacteria...); I'd like to think that we humans are unique among creatures (at least those on earth) in that we are capable of reflection and the organization of our experience. Writing about our experiences is a great way of expressing our humanity.
  3. Blogging promotes an interactive lifestyle. I suspect most all bloggers refer consistently to postings in other blogs. The nature of the web has grown this aspect exponentially over things like letters to the editor in a magazine, and I see it as a positive dimension.
  4. It feels so hip to mention that you blog.

I started back up on a more limited basis in March of 2008.  According to the aforementioned stats, my most popular posting of all time (in terms of page views) occurred then.  As of this writing, it has been viewed 1428 times--evidently primarily by robotic entities of some sort that leave anonymous messages about websites selling various enhancement pharmaceuticals (if you know what I mean).  I can't figure out why it is so wildly popular among that set.  I quote the Five Man Electrical Band classic song, "Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign."  Perhaps that is it.  We'll see if referring to it again here generates the same thing.

After a couple of months I petered out again--this time for quite awhile: 3 years.  It was May of 2011 that I started up again with a post about blogging eternal security (once a blogger, always a blogger?  Was I just backslidden for those three years??).

Since then I've been going fairly regularly at the one-or-two-posts-per-week rate.  Occasionally I'll miss a couple of weeks when something has come up.  But I don't really feel too bad about that anymore.

I gave a post here about why I write.  Essentially it is because that is how I work things out in my mind.  Many of the posts that generate feedback are on these kinds of posts where I try to tell it like I see it.  Of course many of the posts are just goofy things, and probably too much of what goes on here is shameless self-promotion.

I've always been a data guy, tracking all kinds of things, and for bloggers the main data is how many people are reading what you write.  It appears as though I've developed a somewhat loyal following.  Most posts get around 100 views these days (except when I give my "New Book Update" posts--those are lucky to get 40 views).  Here are the most popular of all time (though I think Blogger only started keeping track of page views since I started back up in 2011):

  1. The previously mentioned: Signs, signs, Everywhere a Sign (1428)
  2. My eulogy to Gene Carpenter: Eugene Carpenter (1943-2012) (646)
  3. A lot of recent traffic due to my mention of angels and shepherds:  Christmas in June? (549)
  4. On biblical interpretation:  We should all mean what Olson means... (545)
  5. My soccer recap:  Champions league fun (442)
  6. Crossfit bragging:  Pilot Crossfit Burpee Champ (417)
  7. End of TV:  Wireless and Cableless (343)
  8. End of Cornerstone:  Cornerstone R.I.P (311)
  9. A new profession:  Philosopher Kings (or at least consultants) (235)
  10. More on biblical interpretation:  It's not that simple (sorry) (219)

It's pretty tough to find a common theme in these.  Most of them got re-blogged or re-posted by people from Facebook.  I enjoy hearing from people out there who read.  I'm sure there's some fancy way to track that, but I have to rely on comments to know who you are.

So, thank you for the platform.  I'm open to suggestions for making this better.  200 down.  How many to go??


Jamie said...

As a blogger myself, I can readily identify with the obsession with stats! :) And with the struggle to put forth great content week after week! Hang in there!

Sam Ochstein said...

Jim, I love your writing. It's a pleasure (and often times a good laugh) to read your wit and wisdom. Thanks for blogging!

Lisa Joy said...

I've been reading your blog solely through Google Reader rather than taking the link through your Facebook posts because I was getting lined vision whenever I read from the white-text-on-black-background that you had before. This theme is so much better! Thanks! I feel like I can visit your blog for real again!