"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

All aboard--The blog at 11 years

Page views by month, though the blog started in May, 2009
This blog turned 11 years old on May 3, which sort of amazes me, since I didn't know then what I was doing or where it would lead or if I had the discipline to continue.
This marks the 2,386th post in the 4,013 days since then, an average of one every two days.
I'm  proud that this month the blog passed more than 310,000 page views since it began...that's an average of more than 2,300 a month. Highest month was May, 2014 with 7896 views, and two other months that year rank second and third. It was not until December, 2019 that it topped 5,000---5,606.
don't know why those large numbers in those months--I did repost my series on Bob Illidge, and "The booth" that May. Other times, it has mysteriously seem a large number of hits have come from Russian and this year, the Ukraine. That could be "bots" or maybe the KGB thinks I'm a troublemaker.
My largest audiences in 11 years
I'm also proud that there have been readers in more than 150 countries since this began. For a while, that became a motivation, and fun, wondering who  and why people in far off lands, where English isn't even a language, would click on what I said.
In the 132 months since I first posted, there have been only two months, April and May of 2018, that I haven't written something.
Part of that is because the blog, like me, has changed in that time, starting first as a journalistic and educational effort and gradually evolving into one more about art than journalism and education. 
Personally, there were times when I resisted sitting down at the keyboard, or had nothing to say, or had no motivation. I've written in the past that the blog was almost comatose compared to earlier years.
It's not unusual for a blog to be started and then be discontinued. People run out of subjects, or motivation, or passion. Of the thousands of blogs in the world, few last 11 years, especially those that don't make money, and are more general than niche blogs. My blog shows some of that trend with many more posts in the first and early years. It was also helped that I was teaching both blogging and twitter in those years, and believed it necessary to continue for my students. 
Fact is, I haven't figured out how to make money with this, and even with my web page, I don't spend enough time on it to make it profitable. Another fact is that I'm retired, and I don't really want a job.
In many ways, art has rescued the blog this year in terms of passion and motivation, also helped by the crisis of the pandemic which fueled my painting with more color and consistency.
This post marks 98 so far in 2020, compared to only 112 last year and 149 the year before.
So here are stats on 11 years of blogging:
Largest number of page views is for the first post, 11 years ago, "Toasting the passage of time." The other top posts tend to mention railroads...I figured out that if I put "All Aboard" in the headline, I'd get more readers.
I've avoided political comment, and most sectarian religious content as well. As many know, I reserve that for social media, which barely existed when this began.
Do I have favorite posts? Too many to count.
Most posts by month
August, 2009 -- 76
Fewest posts by month
April, May, 2018 -- 0
Most posts by year
2009 -- 339
2010 -- 292
Fewest posts by year
2019 -- 112
2015 -- 135

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