Some time around 2016 I decided I wanted to write a regular blog. This proved to be a challenge for several reasons. One was that at the time I was not sure what a blog was. I looked it up and learned from Wikipedia that the word itself is a truncation of ‘web log’ . It entry also explains that a blog is “A discussion or informational website … consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).” With that out of the way, I proceeded and made a start. Then I faltered and did not recommence for another two years. . I resurrected the project in 2018 not knowing who, if anyone, might read it. I did not even know how they would know it exists and I am still not sure I understand the process.
I recently realized that the blog is hosted by a website that is fairly expensive and is, of course, in US dollars. I wanted to know if there were enough readers to justify the cost. I have now been able to answer part of that question: It seems I have posted 44 blogs that have been , viewed by 801 visitors (not necessarily different people). For some reason or other, the statistics indicate that my blogs have been viewed over 1800 times. I do not believe this is correct.
Some blogs have proven to be far more popular than others. I was not surprised to learn that those that are brief are more warmly received than the long ones. The most popular was ‘More Chatchkes’ – 55 views. The least popular each received only two viewings. The topics of these failures included ‘Miracle Wrap update’, ‘In need of a new word’, and ‘Your time is valuable.’ It only goes to prove… I am not sure what!
The website that handles all this is wordpress.com. It is a bit complicated but once you get the hang of it it does a good job. It provides other statistics if you know where to look. For example, you can differentiate views from visitors – suggesting that one visitor is so enthralled or such a slow reader, he or she returns several times to read the same blog. Reassuringly, the number of views is always greater than the number of visitors. I even have learned who my 14 followers are though only some are people I know. I also know who I invited but declined. I can even tell which posts garnered the most comments and how many words on average each commenter used. I know for certain that our daughter, Tamara, is my most faithful reader and commentator.
Fascinating stuff, no doubt. But is it worth over $80 US per year? I have decided to abandon WordPress when it expires next year. During the transition I intend to combine the blogs with these fortnightly Staying-in-Touch emails. Fair warning. I should add that I could not bear to part with links to all the old blogs so I copied them all, did some light editing, and intend to put them in a slim printed volume. For posterity, of course.
All joking aside, when COVID began to isolate us, I resolved to keep in touch with family and friends and sent an email to about 60 of them every fortnight. Not everyone replies; I don’t expect them to. But those who do seem to appreciate the initiative. I concluded that the recipients of this email are a better target for my blogs. Doing so will save me a bundle of money that I promise will go to a good charity.
With many thanks for your patience,