Thinking Out Loud — A Blogger’s Annual Report

One year ago today, on July 4th, 2009, I began this blog.  Because I like to play with numbers, I wanted to review what happened in these pages in that year. So here’s the facts/numbers about “Like It Matters”.  While this stuff may be interesting to me, this article your reading is my least favorite kind of media — media writing about, talking about, or covering… itself. If you want to stop reading right now, I don’t blame you. On the other hand, consider this the best form of doing that — a report to the public about the public “airwaves”.  As I sort of consider this a thing for the public good/in the public interest, this is what the rest of media should be doing.

 This will be the 81st article/column/blog thingy I have published in that 1st year. There are 13 drafts that didn’t make it.  That means I wrote something about every 4 days, and published one every every 4.05 days. I didn’t know I had that much to say.

In that time 126 comments were written — some heated, some not.  Assuming that I responded to each comment, that means that 63 people wrote in to comment — about 3/4 of a comment for each article. So the blog added to the public discourse, which was the point.

In the year, there were 1766 “hits”.  That means that about 5 people every day read this blog.  

At least 22 blogs were about theology, of the top 10,  4 were about it.  This is not really surprising, because theology for me is about everyday life.

At least 35 were about current events. This should also not surprise anyone because it means at least 35 times this year, something in the news upset, angered, or caught my curiosity. Mostly, though, I just couldn’t believe some of the stupid things our society is about at times.

At least 8 were about mental health issues because every once in a while, because that’s where I live most of the time, because I want to address a client or a class’s issues or because I just can’t sleep until I get something off my chest from my day.

I suspect that most people get incensed every day by the paper or the government or by something in their lives.  All of which leads me to my next category:  Requests.  At least 3 or 4 times, I have written about a topic which someone asked me to write about. Most recently, “Answers for Emma” which was questions asked by a little girl about God and nature and why things are the way they are.  In fact, a good portion of these articles come from things people have said during the day — at an ecclesiastical council, in a session, at a meeting over coffee, etc. What people say to me is important, gets me to think, and arouses some passionate feelings, making this blog sort of a collaborative thing, which is also the point of writing. They say something, I respond, they respond to my response and away we go. This is as it should be, if I’m doing my job…

Below are the top 5 articles people read and who many “hits” they got.

Guess Again: The Top 100 Albums of All Time 89  
About this blog and its author… 74  
Trucks Going Both Ways — Maine and the the WHOLE gay thing… 52  
I’m sad, but this IS America… 47  
Do Your Own Theology — Are you a Christian? 42  

Michael Jackson  — my very first blog article — comes in at  #6.

Here are the bottom 5 articles:

2009/2010 Review and Predictions                    (on the tabloids)                          4 hits

The Worst of Both Worlds? What now?              (on health care reform)              3 hits

What Does It Take for This Guy’s Reputation to Be Ruined? (I think it’s on Karl Rove)  3 Hits

1000!     (about my first 1000 hits)                                                                                                    3 hits

You say you want a Revelation   (about the end of the world)       1 hit!  (poor Bob, who had to read it.                                             

What does all that mean?  People reading the blog from the internet read the fun stuff (That many people don’t read my blog generally – these are search engine results), People who read  me like to be challenged and like to think about theology and daily life. Nobody likes snarky or thoroughly depressing.

My favorite to write? “For friends” because I felt so good writing it, knowing how cool my friends really are – a fact borne out by my recent 50th b’day.

The Highest month = 1st one – 233, after that it’s all downhill, sort of.  4 of the 1st 7 months = about 200 or higher. Lowest month = 72 in 12/09 when 1) everybody was too busy to read and 2) I was too busy/exhausted to write (at least I think so).

The last few months have been busier in my writing, I think.  They have also been, overall, less read. Not exceptionally less read, but around 140 hits per month.  Average overall is 147 hits per month.

Two specific comments:  I hurt Marilyn Sloth’s feelings when I said people who didn’t like Obama were racist. I still feel bad about that, because she’s not and I want to encourage her to write some more and promise to not “shut down” conversation in advance by saying “Don’t even try to tell me… or I won’t print it”…

Also to the really nice blogger from Pittsburgh (Screaming Weasel) who has linked his column to mine on occasion. Thanks and thanks for the referrals! 

A couple last comments:  I will glad take requests for subjects to banter about — especially theology. You can post them in the comments section. Facebook friends have been really cool and I really appreciate their thoughts as well.

It’s been really fun for me this year, but I want to be wary of being pompous or egotistical.   The title of the blog was supposed to be sardonic, because I don’t have all the answers to anything, even if I have lots to say. I don’t want anyone to think I do.  At the same time, I wanted to convey that I was serious and like actual journalism and deep thought.  Thus the bombastic New York Times/old school journalism theme to the page.  So in year 2, I’ll go for a mellower look to the page — not the bombastic New York Times type of thing.

So that’s my annual report to the readers. Thanks for being there. Hope you’ll come back for year 2.

Peace,

John

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2 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud — A Blogger’s Annual Report

  1. I for one read your blog on email so maybe your ‘hits’ are skewed? I read it all now because it shows up in my email complete, since i subscribed, does this count? I typically read all your stuff, it my connection you know.

    Peace & Love as always.

    • Rob:

      That’s a really good question. Their stats gizmo is hard to read. It says I have 3 e-mail subscriptions, but 11 comment subscriptions. In short, I’m not sure what it means.

      In any case, thanks for subscribing, thanks for caring and thanks for being my friend. You’re a good guy and I feel a Boston trip coming on 🙂

      Peace,

      your friend, John

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