|Hanebutt, Clark, Hickman--in May, 2009|
Five years ago on this day, in the transition from long time department chair to becoming just a faculty member, I started this blog. not know where it would go, or if it would survive. I was changing offices and roles and identities. I'm not really sure why I started it, and I knew the odds were against it being a long-term project. Basically though, there seemed to be a lot of bottled up writing inside of me because being a department chair drains you of time and energy and creativity.
In that first post, I wondered if I would be among the five percent of the millions of bloggers who keep going. http://clarkcoffee.blogspot.com/2009/05/march-3.html
The numbersSince then the blog has changed from just writing to more, and I've posted 1,063 times, including photographs, paintings, videos and more--which is remarkable in that I've kept at it. There have been a few droughts, but that still averages out to about five posts a week in the 206 months since May 3, 2009.
As with most blogs, this one started off with lots of activity and then evened out. In 2009 there were 339 postings, including 76 in August and 70 in July. The total dropped to 292 in 2010, and 135 in 2011, but rose to 203 in 2012.
For a while this year, I was posting almost every day, till a trip to Germany interrupted, but this is the 94th post of the year.
When you consider that Technorati reports of the 30 million plus blogs in the USA, only 11 percent post daily and 27 percent weekly., that's not bad for this old newspaper man. In fact, one friend commented appropriately on this blog: "You've got your old newspaper column back."
The other number I'm really intrigued by, and proud of, is that even with only 155 official followers, I have readers in 100 countries.
The passing of time
So what has happened since this blog began, that has influenced and affected it?
- At the top of the list is the birth of two grandchildren, Neysa Elaine Clark in 2011 and Barrett Bryderick Clark in 2012. There have been two deaths, my uncle Mike in 2011 and my oldest cousin, Charles Rogers Lutrick in 2012.
- I've traveled to India and Germany.
- Domestic trips we've made have been to Alaska, San Francisco, Seattle, Savannah, Charleston, Florida, California, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Amarillo, East Texas, Columbia, Missouri, Colorado, and multiple times to my beloved New Mexico and Santa Fe. Oklahoma trips have been over many backroads, plus to the Osage, Tulsa, Norman, Guthrie, Bartlesville, the Oklahoma Panhandle and Black Mesa, and along old Route 66.
- My painting has flourished with a few paintings sold, three art shows and two years of displays in a Paseo gallery.
- Articles written have included nine in Persimmon Hill, two in Oklahoma Today, 48 monthly columns in the Oklahoma Publisher, and more than 20 articles for the month I worked as a reporter for The Journal Record, in May 2010.
- My teaching has changed with developing new courses--Blogging for Journalists is every semester. There's also been International Media, Twitter for Journalists, Media Leadership, plus my old standby, Feature Writing.
- Two awards came my way. The OkieBlog Awards named this the best writing award in 2009, and in 2011 the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists awarded me its Lifetime Achievement Award.
- We had two cats when the blog started--one is referred to in that first post. They've died, and last month, we adopted two more cats.
Time goes by.
|Clark this year|
I don't know, but I want to take this blog to "the next level," whatever that means. I expect in this next year to switch from Blogspot to Wordpress, to give it a more professional appearance and more options for design, etc. I want to increase the number of followers and grow more of the audience, and perhaps find a way to start bringing in money from advertising, etc. This will be difficult, because most blogs that make money are niche blogs, very focused in certain areas, and Coffee with Clark isn't...but it's still a goal.
I've become fascinated with blogging in journalism and keep learning. I was going to cite more statistics on blogging, which has really grown over the past five years by millions around the world,--more than 170 million, not counting perhaps 70 million in China.
I also wanted to list some of my favorite articles. But this post is about to get too long, and those will be subjects later this month.
So, thanks for helping me make this blog a success, and celebrate its fifth birthday.
"That's what's brewing in my coffee pot."