- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Celebrating @ Summit Musings - 300th Blog Post!
Hey out there! Have some virtual chocolate to help celebrate a significant day for me in the blogosphere. Since May 2007 when, with a lot of excitement and self-doubting, I got on Blogger and set up my own web page, I've sat down at my computer on a regular basis to crank out posts or "musings" about living the good life as a retiree. This post is the 300th one I've written in four years.
People start blogs for a variety of reasons. To share family news, work through personal challenges, advance a social or political viewpoint, teach a skill, promote a project or service. Or, they just want to talk about themselves. Most, however, are like me--they need to tell stories and have conversations with many people beyond their immediate circle of friends and family.
Blogger has this great feature called "Stats" which helps you track, for varying amounts of time, the interest readers show in your blog posts: most popular posts, number of hits, search engines used to get to your blog, key word searches, and countries of your readers. I'll admit to finding this rather fascinating as a writer. Exactly what is it about a post that makes people care enough to read it? What I think may have been a great post will often get no attention, being outstripped by the most obscure topic. Just for fun and to illustrate this puzzle, here are the top 10 blog post topics out of my 300--the ones that get the most hits consistently:
1. Frank's House --about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's house in Frankfort, KY (almost 4,000 hits)
2. Maxine on Age and Beauty --based on the cynical Maxine cartoons
3. Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy (Girl with Dragon Tattoo,etc.)and Scandinavian Crime Fiction
4. Ballymaloe Cookery School and Garden, Ireland
5. Father Peter, Assumpta and the Baby Polar Bear (doomed love affair in BBC's Ballykissangel)
6. Crazy Border Collie Stories (living with Zack, my CBC)
7. Kentucky Derby
8. Time Travel in the Scottish Highlands (Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series)
9. Kentucky Barn Quilts (statewide art project to paint quilt designs on rural barns)
10. Easy Company takes Hitler's Eagle's Nest (visit to Hitler's mountain retreat in Bavaria)
Here's another puzzle, although these posts get almost daily hits, they don't all get many comments. I still haven't figured out what makes people comment on a post except dog stories are guaranteed comment getters!
So, when I started blogging I had a few "commandments" in mind for Summit Musings.
--tell the truth, except for a bit of story-telling license
--be sparing about beating readers over the head with my own social, political and religious views
--don't use my blog for therapy
--write for my readers some days, for me on others (there are stories that I just want in writing)
--be appreciative to people who comment and, if they blog, be sure to comment on their page
From the way I feel today, I think I'll be blogging for many more years--at least so long as I can remember my password! For those of you who enjoy other forms of social communication like Facebook and Twitter, I highly recommend blogging as a next step. You'll be amazed at what you're able to write, the things you learn, and the people you meet along the way!