Blogging: Beginning to Take Stock of My Year

For many people, shorter forms of communication like Twitter have supplanted blogs as a means of staying in touch. I find Twitter too short for the kind of reflection I like to do on a daily basis. The blog form, 250-500 words, suits me. Fortunately, I have a core group of regular readers for whom that length and my choice of topic are interesting enough to keep coming. At year end, I like to take a look at where, and what, people have chosen to read. I’ll do the major assessment a little closer to the end of the year, but I couldn’t resist taking a preliminary look now.

I expect to come in with roughly the same # of page views as last year, about 80,000. I’m not growing the blog much any more, although I continue to get new followers: 621 at current count. But I still have enough of a readership to keep going. Blog readers from countries around the world continue to find individual posts that they click on and read. My biggest three countries in terms of readership for Dec. 20 were the United States, Bangladesh, and Hungary. I know that people in those countries clicked on something, but not exactly what they read. My biggest three countries thus far for all of 2018 are the United States, Panama, and Germany.

My biggest single day of readership happened in 2014, when there was a tsunami warning for the Pacific coast in Panama. The villa I rent is only a few hundred feet from water’s edge, so we were on high alert. People with family and friends in Panama found my blog, and wrote frantically to see what was happening. I updated the blog every hour, and answered as many individual queries as I could: for example, was someone on the Caribbean coast of Panama in danger if the tsunami warning was for the Pacific coast? The answer is no.

The reason I write hasn’t changed since the blog began in 2009. I take it as a personal spiritual discipline to be present to the world around me, and present with the people I encounter. I assume there should be 3-4 things every day that are interesting enough to write about. If not, I’m not paying attention to the precious journey that is life. The impetus for starting the blog in 2009 was my first extended trip back to Panama, after finding Minga in 2008 during a consulting trip to the country. As stories were pouring out of me, a friend said, “You know, you really ought to write this stuff down.” The Panama thread has remained one of the core topics I write about, along with grandparenting, aging, politics, getting to know Seattle, and a lot of random stuff.

More to come by year end on stats for the blog this year. Glad to answer any questions you might have as a reader, and always glad to hear your comments.


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