2014 In Review – My Blog’s Annual Report

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog stats: 18,000 clicks and counting!

Every once in a while I’ll glance at the number of page views for the blog, and today I see that after three years of blogging I’ve just passed the 18,000 page view count.

It’s always hard to know how my page views stack up against “similar blogs” because bloggers do different things to promote themselves.

I’m probably not doing enough to promote my blog, but I’m content with knowing 38o people are subscribed to my blog today, and I’m getting over 200 visitors to the blog each month plus I have a group of regular readers who come by and comment – which I really love.

If you’re a blogger, how is your blog doing? What do you think you could be doing better? (And what do you think I could be doing better, for that matter!)

As always, thanks for dropping by. 🙂

Pursuing Greenland – the quest of a global blogger

The first thing I must say is that this post is about hubris, mine of course since it’s my blog.

I’m really proud of the fact that over the past few years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve attracted readers from all over the world. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve had readers from every continent (except Antartica, that I know of…) drop in at some point and read something from this blog.

As you can imagine, the U.S. and Canada represent my most frequent readers, but I have a lot of readers in Northern Europe from countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden … and a few from Iceland and Norway too.

But what about Greenland? Nada!

The nice folks at WordPress light up a map on a report I can pull up with all the lovely reader tallies from each country, and depending on the number of people who have viewed the blog the country color goes from white (no readers) to deep red (lots of readers.)

Greenland looks like a field of pristine snow on my color map … all white.

Country coverage from my blog

But in all fairness, how many times have I written about Greenland on this blog? Until today, zero times. And it’s highly unfair of me to expect the fine people of Greenland to come to this blog and spend their well earned leisure time (you know, after they shovel the sidewalk in front of their house in the dark for the two hundredth time, and feed their sled dogs) reading about me complaining how we’ve gotten “a lot of snow in New York City” this year and “how cold” it is here.

Yeah, boo hoo they must all be saying way up north. We have parts of our place that are above the Arctic Circle, so don’t talk to us about cold, they might sniff at me. I wouldn’t blame them one bit.

And so it was that I started searching around online for news about Greenland, and I found (no, I’m not kidding) GreenlandToday.com.

You want pictures of icebergs and polar bears? They got ’em!

This big boy looks fierce!

This big boy looks fierce!

You want to know which Greenland based designers showed their wares at the Copenhagen Fashion Week and were well received? It’s in there!

Great Greenland designs at Copenhagen Fashion Week

Great Greenland designs at Copenhagen Fashion Week

And what blog post about Greenland would be complete without an image of the Northern Lights? Right!

Northern Lights over Greenland

Northern Lights over Greenland

In short, this post is my shameless appeal to the lovely people of Greenland to come on over and visit this blog … and maybe comment too, if they want to.

Since there are only about 57,000 people living in the country, which is about 20% of the city where I live (Jersey City has at least 250,o00 people) I know I’m appealing to a limited audience.

Still, I believe in the power of the internet and global communications.

Come on folks, let’s make it happen.

A final Netherlands – Belgium vacation mash-up

It’s been two weeks since I returned from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Belgium. If you’ve read any of the preceeding posts (about 9 so far I think) about the trip, thank you.

This will be my final post, with a melange of images that give you a taste of the many places I visited … some of which I haven’t mentioned yet.

(The blogging about the trip begins with the post “Going Dutch” and adds from there – you can also find them if you search my “Travel” tag.)

Boat making its way on a Brugge canal

Boat making its way on a Brugge canal

Travel Tip: Brugge is beautiful, and worth seeing as a day trip. Stay in Gent, Belgium and travel to Brugge for an afternoon.

The Delft town square

The Delft town square

The other side of the main square in Delft is this magnificent church

The other side of the main square in Delft is this magnificent church

Canal porn - Another tourist taking a canal beauty shot - Delft

Canal porn – Another tourist taking a canal beauty shot – Delft

Travel Tip: The three images above show you everything you would want see in Delft, in my opinion. I suggest you go elsewhere to spend your limited travel time and budget.

Stitched sculpture of a woman - SMAK Contemporary Art

Stitched sculpture of a woman – SMAK Contemporary Art

Travel Tip: And when you go to Gent, if you like contemporary art even a little bit, you would do well to spend an afternoon at SMAK, the Contemporary Art Museum.

Detail - stitched sculpture

Detail – stitched sculpture

Bicycle sculpture - SMAK

Bicycle sculpture – SMAK

Canal in Amsterdam

Canal in Amsterdam

Don’t get me wrong (from my previous blog posts, I mean) Amsterdam has it’s charms. When the sun peeks out from the clouds, and a lone boat sails down yet another picturesque canal in the center of the city, you could come to like the place.

Me taking a photo of tourists taking a photo of themselves in Rembrandt Square - Amsterdam

Me taking a photo of tourists taking a photo of themselves in Rembrandt Square – Amsterdam

Yeah, the place is over run with tourists but what can you do but go with the flow? After all, I was one of them.

Detail of something I liked at the Rijksmuseum

Detail of something I liked at the Rijksmuseum

And the art is pretty cool, no matter which museums you like best.

Writer sculpture - Eye Film Institute Amsterdam

Writer sculpture – Eye Film Institute Amsterdam

Despite all of my experiences, I still found it hard to encapsulate them into blog posts. There was so much to write about, and I didn’t even realize it until I got home.

View from top floor of the Amsterdam library

View from top floor of the Amsterdam library

Top Secret Travel Tip: This is the best view you can get in the city of Amsterdam. Behind Centraal Station, you can take a free ferry across the water. Find the Amsterdam Public Library, and go to the 7th Floor, which is their EXCELLENT restaurant. Go to the outside deck, and snap a couple of incredible shots of the city, then go back inside and get one of the most reasonbly priced, delicious lunches you’re going to find.

Worn Out - Van Gogh sketch

Worn Out – Van Gogh sketch

When it was time to leave, I was ready to come home to New York City… still the best city on the planet.

Blog Stats Update – International Readers Come into Focus!

The last time I updated you on my blog stats was in October 2012, so I figured it’s time to share more good news with you all!

This past week, my blog hit a new milestone of 12,000 page views since it’s “birth” in March 2011. Yay! I’m thrilled with the new WordPress functionality that shows me the number of individual visitors coming to my blog page in addition to the page views (since people usually click on more than one page.)

Also… I now have 168 people subscribed to my blog for regular updates. Thank you, and Welcome to all the new readers that have joined in the last few months, it’s really encouraging to see my audience growing.

And speaking of my audience, there is one statistic I am MOST PROUD of for my blog:

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People from NINETY (90) COUNTRIES visited my blog in the last year!!

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WOW!!

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I’m really amazed by this statistic and I can’t tell you all how much it means to me to have made so many friends from all over the world through my blog. Nearly EVERY CONTINENT IS REPRESENTED in my readership – how fantastic is that?!?

Since you are probably curious, here is a list of the “top countries” where readers come to visit the blog (the countries I did not include in this list are the ones with one (1) page view):

United States 5,467
Canada FlagCanada 540
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 318
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 261
Australia FlagAustralia 157
Germany FlagGermany 117
France FlagFrance 81
India FlagIndia 68
Spain FlagSpain 50
Brazil FlagBrazil 43
Turkey FlagTurkey 43
Philippines FlagPhilippines 38
Italy FlagItaly 36
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 36
Mexico FlagMexico 34
Kenya FlagKenya 33
Ireland FlagIreland 28
Norway FlagNorway 24
Singapore FlagSingapore 19
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 16
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 15
Japan FlagJapan 13
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 11
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 11
Denmark FlagDenmark 10
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 10
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 10
Ukraine FlagUkraine 9
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 9
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 9
Argentina FlagArgentina 9
Pakistan FlagPakistan 8
Poland FlagPoland 8
Egypt FlagEgypt 8
Belgium FlagBelgium 8
Nigeria FlagNigeria 8
Thailand FlagThailand 7
Romania FlagRomania 7
Guinea-Bissau FlagGuinea-Bissau 6
Sweden FlagSweden 6
Colombia FlagColombia 6
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 5
Austria FlagAustria 5
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 5
Greece FlagGreece 5
Israel FlagIsrael 4
Hungary FlagHungary 4
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 4
Bahrain FlagBahrain 3
Lithuania FlagLithuania 3
Peru FlagPeru 3
Serbia FlagSerbia 3
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 3
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 3
Namibia FlagNamibia 3
Mauritius FlagMauritius 3
Cyprus FlagCyprus 3
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 3
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 3
Estonia FlagEstonia 3
Chile FlagChile 3
Iraq FlagIraq 2
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 2
Panama FlagPanama 2
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 2
Malta FlagMalta 2
Ecuador FlagEcuador 2
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 2
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 2
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 2

A Creaky Whirligig Addendum: the Twitter-machine

Way back in my personal time machine about a year ago, and prior to that, I was tweeting regularly (and potentially obsessively). I’d tweet for fun, re-tweet news, writerly advice, interact with a bunch of people, and of course tweet stuff from my blog.

Then, as you may know if you are a regular reader, things slowed down. I stopped writing for a long while, my blog posts stuttered to a near halt and I stopped going onto Twitter. The only thing my Twitter account was doing was posting my blog-tweets, and since those were automated I never had to actually log on to do it.

Now, I’m back from my hibernation (even though, ironically, it is the middle of the Winter) and I’m re-emerging from my den. Cozy as the Den of Procrastination may be, after a while you get leg cramps and you realize if you don’t get out of there, you may die from lack of movement. (And we all know Ernest Becker wouldn’t like that.)

Over the past few days I’ve re-acquainted myself with Twitter and I put a few tweets out there, started interacting with some editors of small press journals I know (they’re a friendly bunch!) and geared back up a little bit in that world.

I forgot how addictive Twitter is, but it’s one of those places you go and then you look up from the clock and realize an hour has gone by, or more, depending on how many interesting links you find. Why just today I’ve looked at a list of the happiest countries in the world (Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are #’s 1, 2 and 3 kids…) and a bunch of other random stuff I don’t need to know but which is entertaining and will be useful to whip out at parties (okay, I don’t really go to parties, but in my fantasies I’m invited to salon-style literary parties with writerly types in Manhattan.)

Meanwhile, I’m pleased to say I’ve also updated my submissions tracker. That’s my personal self-torture device to show how many places I’ve submitted short stories, the number of months I’ve been waiting for my standard form rejection letter (I kid, I kid! … sort of) and whether or not I’ve sent a personal query on the status of my work.

For example this morning I got my standard form rejection from the Fairy Tale Review, after sending only two polite personal inquiries at the 8 and 10 month marks (their website assured me I would get a response from them in 4 months.) Ah well, what’s 10 months of waiting for an unsigned standard form rejection between friends?

But I’m on the case! This morning I had 18 outstanding submissions, and now I have 17. I’m tracking. I’m following up, a few times if needed. I’m taking my lumps people. This is how we do it in small press literary journal land.

In order to keep the machine oiled, re-adding Twitter to my mix feels right. When I post this, my blog will auto-tweet this, and somewhere on Twitter somebody might read it. And who knows, somebody who read it might re-tweet it. It could happen.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to get back to writing. Not blog posting, not tweeting, not drinking diet cola beverage, but writing. That’s what we writers are supposed to be doing in between blog posts and tweets, remember?

The Magical Five Digits: 10,000 and counting

I finally made it to more than 10K page views on my blog! It took me a little over a year and a half, and given my reduced posting schedule recently, I’m glad I still get traffic when people troll the archives (which they seem to do regularly.) Now I have to find a way to get back to posting more frequently, and writing stories again (and with any luck, having them accepted for publication).

I’ve been spending a lot of time running through airports, on planes and in office buildings lately and I haven’t fully developed a creative “road warrior” strategy on how to balance my busy work schedule and my personal life. Yeah, I have no personal life to speak of these days.

It’s a bit frustrating to not be at home for more than 2 or 3 days at a time and run right back out onto the road, but it looks like this schedule is going to be the norm for me for the forseeable future. I’m going to have to suck it up and “get used to it.” (If anybody reading this shares this kind of schedule and also manages to write and blog, please add comments below and tell me how you are managing to juggle everything!)

My whining aside, I did manage to crawl past the 10K clicks “mile marker” and that still means something to me.

Hope you all are doing well out there in blog land…!

Catch Me If You Can…

My life is a bit hectic these days, not that you’d know it from reading my blog. On the blog, it’s all been a duck swimming on a lake – all the mad paddling has been going on under the surface.

To open a window of insight for regular readers, last week I flew to Nebraska for a few days (for work) and this week I’ll be flying to Arizona and California (for work) and next week I might have to fly to Texas (for work) … and you can pretty much tell I’m here, there and everywhere (for work,) but nowhere when it comes to updating my blog or writing new stories. (Unfortunately though it has not stopped rejection slips from arriving in my email in-box for pieces submitted many months ago…)

This level of travel probably won’t be the norm – although I haven’t quite figured that out yet given the exciting new stuff I am working on (for work) these days. I’d like to imagine things will settle down to a dull roar eventually, at some point in the mythical future I envision myself  jogging through airports with ease, doing all my work (for work) and writing stories in my leisure time (I know, I know. Tell me when you stop laughing.)

I think about the blog more than you might imagine. I know when my blogger friends get submerged into their lives I also wonder where they are and what they’re doing, and then when they post about where they are and what they’re doing I’m always interested. That doesn’t mean you are necessarily interested in hearing about my domestic wanderings, but perhaps it is enough to say I would like to think you could be interested in my momentary lapse of blog communication, regular reader.

My bags may be packed and ready to go, but I’ve learned that hotel internet connections are a wonderful thing (see my earlier post about Shrinkage, for example) … so I can reply to comments and engage with you all if you are still listening (I think you are… and thanks for your patience.)

Blog Stats Update: A New Milestone!

Hi everyone in reader-land,

This week my blog hit the 100 reader milestone, and exceeded it! I now have 101 regular subscribed readers to my blog. There has been a slow and steady climb in readership since I began the blog in March 2011, and now after 16 months I’m excited to report readership is in the 3 digits.

Of course I’d like to welcome any new regular readers to the blog, and thank you for signing up for my writerly ramblings, it’s appreciated!

Who are these elusive 101 readers out there in the murky twilight of blog-land?

Most likely they are writers, but all are artistic creative types from what I know.

We have George, my very good friend, a novelist; and Wren my sister in arms who just signed a publishing contract.  There’s Patrick, a sports blogger; and Louise the budding poet from Australia who just had her work in the local newspaper.

Of course there is Hannah, who writes a great blog about breaking into publishing; and Doug, who posts flash fiction to his Hawaii based blog like clockwork (when he’s not sitting atop a mountain gazing at the stars)…and of course Court, a fellow short story writer and PANK staff member, and Harry who has published two novels and whose work I adore. When he’s around Mike Reverb adds his colorful commentary; and more rarely now Scribbla might show up from Namibia to say a word or two. But it’s also Munchow, the professional photographer from Europe, and Veeh, a writer from Africa who pops by now and again. And my new friend Sean who is a short story writer in California. Oh and my new pal Peter, a sometime writer currently living in Turkey, is coming to read the blog too.

As much as I’d like to say this is my blog and I’m the one who writes it, I know that’s not really true. Not entirely, anyway. My blog would be severely diminished as a place to discuss writing and creating without all the people I just mentioned and many, many more.

Who are YOU dear reader? Come and make comment here, all are welcome… storytellers and writers, readers and artists, photographers and creative types of all walks of life.

Identify yourself and say hello to everyone else here in this collaborative circle.

As always, I thank all of my readers for their ongoing support and commentary, their thoughts and their participation.

I truly look forward to entertaining you, but more importantly getting to know you and interacting with you here, and in blog-land.

My Worldly Readers

WordPress recently added a new feature to the Statistics / Dashboard area where the blog owner can see what countries readers are coming from to look at the blog.

 

 

I am BLOWN AWAY by how many readers come to my blog from other countries. It’s astounding.

HELLO WORLD!

IF you are coming from outside the United States, AND you read my blog I would LOVE if you could identify your country of origin and say Hello in your language.

Just for fun – in “# of page views order” here is the list of reader’s countries that visited my blog in the last 30 days.

BLOG READERS COME FROM:

  • United States – How ya doin’?!
  • Netherlands – Hallo!
  • Canada – Hello Ay!
  • UK – Hello mate!
  • Australia – G’day!
  • Kenya – (Veeh taught me “Habari!” Thanks Veeh!)
  • Spain – Hola!
  • Norway – Hallo!
  • India – Namaste!
  • Philippines
  • Mexico – Hola!
  • Republic of Korea -An-nyong Ha-se-yo
  • Italy – Ciao!
  • Germany – Guten Tag!
  • France – Bonjour!
  • Indonesia – Halo!
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Turkey – Merhaba!
  • Brazil – Ola!
  • United Arab Emirates – Merhaban!
  • New Zealand – Hello!
  • Czech Republic – Dobry den!
  • Lithuania
  • Bahrain – Merhaban!
  • Slovenia
  • Singapore
  • Ecuador – Hola!
  • Israel – Shalom!
  • Argentina – Hola!
  • Sweden – Hej!
  • Romania – Buna ziua!
  • Bangladesh
  • Iceland – Hallo!
  • Japan – Kon Nichiwa!