Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I haven’t posted anything for the last month or so, veering away from my reliable once a week schedule. Perhaps they’ve even wondered why, or what could be up next in the queue.
Where you been, boy?
There are a few reasons for my absence, but nothing dreadful.
I suppose the primary reason is that I just haven’t been all that inspired to write. It’s a travel and adventure blog after all, and I haven’t been traveling or adventuring. Walking down memory lane could be a possibility, I have a backlog of pictures I could scan for inspiration.
But just reading and watching is easier.
Unlike some folks who have “I must express myself” embedded in their genetic code I’m perfectly happy ensconced on the couch, laptop on its target platform, quietly reading blog posts, news, articles, email, and following other passive pursuits.
I have a huge backlog of on-line classes from Udemy and The Great Courses I’ve been picking away at, and an even larger pile of ebooks I picked up for free that are calling my name.
I gave myself a new toy for Christmas, a DSLR camera upgrade. Researching that, and subsequently learning its bells and whistles has taken a while; the user guide is a mere 400 pages. And that doesn’t even count looking into lenses. Or learning the third party software that came packaged with the camera kit.
None of this is inspiring grist for writing blog posts. How many of you, if you’ve even read this far, have already felt the TLDR call to abort and move onto something more compelling? Can I ramp this up?
Foodies might be interested in the delights we availed of this holiday season, tempting the tongue but terrorizing the scale. Or the results of a beer I homebrewed that didn’t follow someone else’s recipe. But I’m not a food writer.
It’s popular, this time of year, to look back. This was my first full calendar year of blogging, so I see the stats and wonder at the results.
WordPress tells me I wrote 59 posts last year. This boggles my mind. As I’d guess I average 900-1000 words a post that suggests I wrote a short novel.
I’ve been getting 50-80 views for a typical post. There are a few outliers:
- Getting Down In Barkley Sound: Sure, it was a shark encounter story. But it mostly got hits because I let the dive lodge I stayed at know I featured them in a story, and they cross posted it to their Facebook page.
- Ghost Ship: From the minute I posted this one it got attention. It was the story of the wreck of the Peter Iredale on the Oregon coast, with spooky pictures thanks to the foggy backdrop the day we visited. It also got comments for the writing. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bottle up what makes one post more successful than another so we could drink from it for future posts?
- A Year of Blogging: I’m not sure why this one got hits. It was a retrospective, maybe a lot of folks could relate to it.
- Hey, Where’d That Island Go?: This was the last post from the Peru series. Maybe the title was click bait. Maybe the B/W feature picture caught attention. Maybe it was the intro about having a smile that wouldn’t quit. Whatever it was, it worked.
Likes are a different story. It seems as if they should be a better indicator of a well written and/or photographed story than Views, but the cadre of folks who spam-like posts to get you to come to their site skews the numbers. Ever notice how Like counts exceed View counts in the first couple hours after posting?
Just the same, once you factor out some of the Likes, it still gives a decent idea of what folks enjoyed. If you check my sidebar for “Best Liked Posts”, you can see what was most successful this year. Hover over a picture for the title, click to visit. I’m not sure if notepads show the sidebar anymore, it doesn’t look like smartphones do since the update in reader styles despite what Preview mode suggests. For folks who don’t get the sidebar, the top 5:
- Hey, Where’d That Island Go?
- Ghost Ship
- Getting High With Flowers (Part Two): A visit to beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park at the height of wildflower season.
- Whine or Wine?: A story about wine touring on a wet day.
- A Year of Blogging
This is some correlation between Likes and Visits, but even more between Likes and how recent the posts are. That may be due to a moderately growing audience, or to folks looking for something to Like despite my relative inactivity the last couple months, or less likely, I’m actually getting better at this.
In any case, I’d like to express my appreciation to those who visit and read, and especially the community of folk with whom I swap comments.
So if I’m in a dormant mode now, what of the future? I suspect I’ll continue to be a bit slow on the posting in the near future. I still have those backlogs, and my screwed up back is still preventing me from jumping into anything too adventurous. But from time to time, just for grins, I’ll fire up the Wayback Travel Machine or opine on something random for your entertainment.
In the meantime, I look forward to reading your blogs.