As I type this, I'm only 16 people away from 75,000 visitors, which I never would have guessed five years ago when I started this blog. I'm sure by the time you read this, I will be well over that number but really, who's counting. I've written a journal for many years, love to write and love to read other other's opinions so a blog has always felt natural to me. It was so natural, that when I slowed down last year from doing five posts a week to my current 3, I had a huge backlog of ideas in draft for a long time. Now that I've had a chance to get used to the idea, I have grown lazy and sometimes feel that three a week is too much. But for now, it continues.
So I thought I would celebrate my 5th anniversary of blogging with some facts and figures thanks to two different blog statistics programs that run in the background.
Most of the 24 to 30 of you who frequent my blog three times a week are from the United States. I have a small cult following in the Philippines due to my associations there but other than the odd one in Asia or Europe, I seem to attract mostly Americans. I'm not sure if it is the sidebar widget that updates who has posted something new or that you are used to my posting routine for my three biggest days of page hits (more than twice the volume as other days) fall on the days that I post which has mostly been Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In those five years I've done close to 1300 posts though in the process of switching my url address, I cleaned house and my official stat is in the mid 500's. Most of the posts that I didn't carry over were mostly dribble anyway and I didn't want to overburden anyone new who might want to read all my archives with too much of a load.
I had a changing rotation of popular posts over the years but the most popular general category is by far Wal-Mart which attracts nearly 20% of all new hits. The second most popular is one single post and a recent addition at that garners nearly 5% of all new hits is from people searching for the Commando 450 Shower Nozzle. I once did a post about RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) that garnered a lot of attention but I suspect that was mostly because it contained the word nude in it. Put the word nude in any post and suddenly you get all kinds of hits you would never have guessed. For example, since I used the word nude and blog in the same post, I'm sure within a week I'll get someone who lands on here who was searching for the phrase 'nude blog.' It never fails.
Surprisingly, I have a small Iowa audience with most of my returning visitors coming from such Midwestern states as Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri though I have someone from every coastal state except the Carolinas and Virginia. I'm not sure why I don't do well in those states. I'm also sure why I don't do well in the Great Plains states either. They are like a giant white hole on my map.
The average time you spend on my blog is two minutes and forty-six seconds. My blog is also very shallow as the large majority of you (48.79%) just read the most recent blog post. The next group of two page views falls in at a measly 25%. It goes sharply downhill from there. 86% of you are Windows users, 11% are Macs and the remainder Linux.
Perhaps the most notable thing that has come from blogging is having an author of a book I reviewed stop by here twice. I also had one of my posts linked to a national online edition of a newspaper that drew lots of hits at the time. I once was linked to a high school class reading list for a post that now escapes my memory. Mostly it is the smaller things that I enjoy such as the occasional email from a distant relative who read some genealogy post and took the time to write me. The only other people who took the time to email me about a post were people who were having Peace Towers built by the Maharishi in their hometown. They mostly wanted my words of advice on how to defeat them and were probably disappointed when I failed to get excited about it.
Though I try to remain anonymous, quite a few of you know who I am. I don't mind the people who know, knowing, but I do like remaining anonymous to all but the determined to give me the freedom to write as I please without fear of repercussions. I have thought about changing my moniker from Ed Abbey to something different just to prevent having to explain to those who don't know that he is dead why I am not him and why I chose that name. Besides, the reasons I did choose that name really don't follow along with my blogging topics of recent years anyway. Perhaps someday I will but not today.
In closing, thanks to those who continue to stop by. I'm flattered and am not sure what you see in my posts. Although I write them to give to my grandchildren someday so that when I'm about six feet under, they can know who I was better, you are welcome to read them too.