Monday, 25 September 2017

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes...

Folks. Come closer, and pull up a chair. Let me share with you something wondrous. Ready? Of course you are, you're gagging to hear the news. Well, here we go. Last Friday, this teeny-tiny blog written by little old me, had it's first birthday. I KNOW. In the bastardised words of a politician I didn't much care for, WE ARE A ONE YEAR OLD. 

Honestly, I've never committed so hard to anything in my life. Weekly ramblings uploaded every Monday and shared around the world. (Yeah, yeah, I had three weeks off at Christmas, it won't happen again.)

It genuinely thrills me to look at the stats on this thing. Mostly, I get a couple of hundred people (well, a couple of hundred clicks) reading this over the course of the week. The bulk of those are on the day it comes out - Monday. Some posts are more popular, but that seems to be an average figure. But now and then, there are anomalies. I went on an all-dayer a few weeks ago (Deanesfest17) and when I got in, despite the week's post having been online for five days, I saw it had been clicked 142 times while I'd been out. And... wait for South Korea. WTAF?

I know it was probably a bot. But still, the fact that happens makes me smile. The other week, Canada seemed to like something I wrote about gender. It had more views there than anywhere else. The randomness of the Internet is boss. 

I realise I am ridiculously behind the times. Blogs were cutting edge in the last millennium when only clever people knew how to do them. Once something IT-based and technical has been dumbed down so much that even I can get on board, you just know the cool kids are elsewhere. In vlogs? On Snapchat? Orbiting space? Even so, I'm proud of myself and my corner of the Internet. And I've learnt shit loads. (That's a technical term.) The musical RENT asks us, 'How do you measure, measure a year?' and I answer, 'In all the bloggy things I have learnt that are listed below.' RENT replies, 'So not in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?' And I say, 'No. In the list below. Keep up.'

Whadda I Know? 
  • Blogging is free! Blogger is anyway, and that's the one I use.
  • Typing a blog online is not like typing a word document. Code decides where things go on the page, not text boxes. (Sorry to all who know and accept this readily but it still blows my tiny mind.)
  • Pictures and GIFs make everything feel better.
  • The most popular posts have been the ones where I rant about something I think strongly about. This is usually gender stereotypes, sexism and Eurovision. (I'm a broad church.)
  • Putting ads on your blog can earn you money every time someone clicks on one from your page. It can earn you whole PENNIES!
  • If you get your family and friends to click the ads repeatedly to up your cash, Google catch on and close your account.
  • Adding additional pages can give the blog more of a website feel.
  • I've got tabs and everything!              
  • The longer I've done this, the easier it has been to think of something to write each week. At the start I'd be planning that week's post for days. Now I roll out of bed on the day I write it, and it usually comes.
  • The most popular browser used to read it is Chrome.
  • The most popular operating system used to read it is iPhone.
  • The top three countries that read it are UK, USA and Ireland.
  • I've made a conscious decision not to say anything negative about anyone online. Very hard at times! Mainly to avoid being sued but also to make it a friendly place to be. (That's the aim, anyway.)
  • I often spend more time looking for the right GIF than I do writing the text of the post.
    I feel ya, Tom.
  • Whenever I want to add a link to a post to enlarge on a point, I know for sure that The Guardian or The Pool will have something suitable. 
  • I find it really hard to categorise what this blog is about to people who haven't read it.
  • I usually say, 'It's like I have a weekly column in a liberal broadsheet and I'm famous enough to be able to write about anything I fancy without being mithered.' (I think that would be my dream job actually.)
  • Writing a post on a Friday to upload first thing on a Monday is fine until it is a Bank Holiday weekend and you go away until Monday afternoon without your laptop and have to borrow someone else's and then reset your password to get into Blogger because you don't have it saved and then you have to publish a day early because you forgot this wasn't a normal Monday. (This has happened twice now.)
  • My stats go much higher when I use a twitter hashtag with a big audience. So far, these have included #eurovision, #strictly and #womensEURO2017.
  • Writing a novel takes forever so having a weekly outlet for short bursts of word-play feels essential.
  • Every picture I upload on the blog gets added to a Pinterest page with the same name, to drive more readers this way.
  • Getting messages and comments from people who have agreed with me about something important (to me) is the best feeling.
  • Seeing people like and share something I've written online is also cockle-warming.
  • I'm well up for another year of this. And with a bit of forward planning and a couple of pre-written posts, I'll even keep it up over Christmas. 

Happy birthday to all readers everywhere, whether they are in South Korea, Canada, or wherever. Let's eat cake, drink wine and party like it's 1999 - a time I would have been a pioneering early-adopter of the blogging field.

Have a lovely week, folks. 

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