Originally I was planning a single post for my 2014 retrospective, but . . . 503 posts for the year (as of this writing – there will be more before the year ends). Instead, I will do four retrospective posts, one for each quarter.
Before I look back, let me take a different view than the one offered by WordPress in their annual review of Disperser Tracks.
Here’s a quick progression of this blog since its inception in March of 2010. I now have 1,158 total posts (plus whatever I post in the next two days). That means 43% of my posts were published this year.
Two reasons for that; one is that I did more non-words posts (photographs), and two, I am retired. Not working also means more writing. So, how does this increase in posts translate into another metric of the blog, views/visitors?
In 2012 WordPress split the stats; whereas they used to report only views, they split views and actual visitors. So, my 2010 and 2011 stats include only views (could be anything – robots, aliens, chickens . . . who knows).
So, not too bad (with qualifiers) . . . my views more than doubled in my second year. My content must have improved as well, going from 2 ‘likes’ to 15. I got seven times better!
The usefulness of the stats improve with the tracking of actual visitors . . . and offers some clues as to the numbers.
So, a 4x increase in views to 20,000, but one can see that lots of views does not mean that many people actually came to visit the blog. In 2012, 617 visitors . . . not quite two visitors per day. Keep in mind, those are not unique visitors; probably the same people coming back to visit.
The other stat that matters is Comments. In 2012 I had 88 comments, with a core of 3-5 people making most of those.
In 2013 there were 2,280 comments. Although the same repeat visitors account for many of those, there were also new readers who chose to be involved . . . perhaps I pissed them off about something, and they wanted to let me know about it.
From the above, we can already see a huge jump in visitors in 2013 . . .
Roughly another 10x increase in visitors, but . . . a modest increase in comments. People came, looked around, said “Meh!”, and moved on.
Notice also the drop in views. This does not mean much; perhaps some of the automated crawlers had trouble finding me. Perhaps I used tags incorrectly; perhaps I did not sacrifice enough chickens to the WordPress gods. Whatever the reason, while somewhat important, for me ‘Views’ hold the least interest of all the statistics.
Same with ‘Likes’ . . . note I had an increase in ‘Likes’ in lieu of an increase in comments. Life got busy, people reduced their attention span, and it’s much easier to click ‘Like’ than to actually read stuff and engage.
So, where did I end up in 2014? Well, you already know the answer, but here it is . . .
Views jumped back up to 2012 levels, a thousand more visitors, and 1,300 more comments. It sounds great, but remember . . . I almost had more posts this year than the previous three years.
Mind you, I am not complaining. I appreciate the visitors, I appreciate the comments, and I appreciate even the people who don’t have time to comment, but press ‘Like’ . . . . except them who press like without reading anything (a lot more than I would like).
So, where do these views come from? Many come from the reader, some from searches, and some from subscribers (followers). The stats tell me I have 669 WordPress subscribers, plus an additional 16 e-mail subscribers for a total of 885.
Wow . . . but, remember also that many came on board this year, and many, many are people selling things, wanting traffic on their own site, or just hit subscribe and are never heard from again.
My core readers number somewhere between 10 and 20. There are an additional 20 that stop by depending on the post. By that I mean that core readers are more likely to look at everything I do, whereas others may only look at photos, or only read fiction, or are interested in travel stuff. Very, very few are interested in my opinions, and even then only so they can point and mock.
Where do these people come from? Well, this year they came from . . .
The summary from February 2012 to now looks like this . . .
Not bad . . . Greenland would sure be a feather in my cap (hint, hint).
That’s it for stats . . . what did I actually post this year? Well, for reasons that should be obvious, I will not review each and every post. Interested parties can do that on their own.
I should add another comment . . . because I prefer it for myself, I normally set the photos to open in a new window or tab. I did not set them so for this post as I was in a hurry, and WP does not allow that to be set as the default. However, some photos will open in a larger view, and some not. I suggest to just enjoy them here, and if really interested, go to the actual post.
How’s this for a segue? . . . if you want to see the actual posts, go to the sidebar, select the month (under the heading ‘Stuff Before Now’), and it should bring up all the posts for that month.
So, here we go . . . I’ll just touch on things that pleased my old bones once I saw them in (virtual) print, starting in January with . . . antiques (it’s only a coincidence my bones are old).
I was, but have since stopped, buying vintage cameras. I want to get back into it, but I stopped because I did not know what I was buying. I plan to research and look for interesting cameras that shaped the history of photography. Like the various box cameras . . .
In January I was still showing flowers and bugs from the Summer of 2012 . . .
And I also started my Untitled Series; one to three photos with no words to accompany them. There would eventually be a tad over 100 posts, reaching the equivalent of one 365 day project (one photo a day for a year, but done in three months). The SmugMug Gallery for all 365 photos is HERE.
Of course, I also had my signature marathon posts (here’s one), from which we get this shot . . .
. . . and this shot . . .
Posts about food also proved to be popular . . .
Those were from a throwaway-post, no more than a joke, but it garnished a lot of views.
Food shots are usually taken with my phone, as was this one typical pasta dinner . . .
February had some things from our 2010 Hawaii trip . . .
. . . contrasted with winter views . . .
. . . with my staple shots of hawks, either perched or in flight.
Add in a sunset . . .
. . . and a tea . . .
. . . and we got us a month.
Except, I also started to post my first NaNoWriMo novel (I’ll link the full one when I get to that month), and my longish short story N. E. O.
I rushed that one, but I still like it.
March continued my Untitled Posts, more Hawaii, some instructions and examples of Topaz in action . . .
. . . plus documenting my visits to the library pond . . .
. . . and the beginning of my Macro Phase (need to get back to that . . . soon).
Plus, you know, writing.
I continued with the finishing the 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, and also wrote THIS story for a contest (I got reader’s choice).
One more note on February . . . we spent two weeks in Florida, and even included a ride up to Savannah. One might notice the photos are noticeably absent . . . Patience Grasshopper; they will come in due time.
We now come to April. That’s right, we’re not even half way through 2014 but we are at the last month for this post.
April and November tied for most posts per month with 75 posts each. In April we saw the continuation of the Untitled Posts, the continuation of the novel, and a number of retrospective posts on past trips to Mount Rainier . . .
. . . Hawaii . . .
. . . my icescapes . . .
. . . looking back at Yellowstone’s bisons . . .
. . . and Yellowstone moose.
April also saw me push one of the macro competitions I entered (I did not win or place).
I covered Rosie’s Diner . . .
. . . and looked back at our 2010 visit to Rocky Mountain National Park . . .
That trip included a visit to the Stanley Hotel . . .
. . . and, of course, a duck (a young one).
I leave this post with a few photos from my Untitled Series . . .
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.