A year’s blogging

Well I’ve now been blogging for a year now. What you don’t realise when you start is how many different types and styles of blogs there are out there! Also interestingly so many of those blogs are very focussed in terms of what they talk about. In other words most blogs try to be experts on a particular area. So, if you are interested in green issues you look at a green blog; if you are interested in religion you follow a religious blog etc.

Now my problem has always been that I am interested in loads of things and I think I would soon get bored of staying on one small area. In fact although I have blogged about everything from opera to the middle east to Theological Questions To Which The Answer Is No to RUSH, I have actually limited what I blog on! So, I have generally kept off much of the political scene although I find it fascinating; lots of the articles have some link to theology and faith. So, although there are limits and there is a bias to issues of faith my blog is a general blog and I expect it will remain so – even though a number of people have recommended me to be more focussed to get more readers.

So, how have I found blogging? Well lots of it has been great fun. I have really enjoyed looking at different areas. I’m not looking to do great big deep articles (they take too much time!) but I do enjoy making some comments on an area for discussion with others. Now and again I have had writers block wondering about what I would write about – but it doesn’t happen too often! The issue is more that I tend to not have enough time to comment on all the things I would like to!

There are some times when it has been really useful to have a blog to use. For example, when we were organising going to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last Christmas it was really useful to give out the latest information (especially given the early snow fall); it was great to keep everyone up to date about the trip to RUSH in February, or to announce that Rowan Williams is coming to Springfield. It has often been the case that the blog has been easier and quicker to give up to date information on the blog rather than the Springfield website.

In terms of the numbers (I am a mathematician by training after all!!) I have published 250 articles (this is my 250th post!) – although lots of those might be short video links etc. I have had about 50,000 page hits (can’t give exact figures as those who read by an RSS feed are only shown by individual story), the most people in a month who read the blog is about 3,000 people (in March), with the day with the most people visiting the site was May 21st with 446 people. On average over the past year there are about 150 page views a day.

There are changes around – especially with the rise of Twitter – which have allowed discovering information around the world which has been fascinating. But the great strength of Twitter is not the 140 characters of a tweet but the way that the good tweeters point you to stories on webs and blogs around the place. Will blogs decline? Maybe, but communicating just in 140 characters isn’t enough to get into a subject. Facebook is huge but even with that there are signs that they are no longer growing in the key markets in the US and Europe outside of young people. So, I think that all these are important but I believe that there is still a place for blogging!

So, here is to year two!

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7 comments on “A year’s blogging

  1. Simon
    October 11, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Well done! As a person who found your blog ‘accidently’ I really enjoy it, and the diversity of articles.

    I started blogging in 2003, but my blog was really a place where I’d store little useful bits of technical information, mainly for myself, but it has helped lots of others along the way too. Entirely different to yours.

    It’s a good part of your ministry, keep it up!

  2. tallandrew
    October 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Another mathematician vicar! I am amazed how many there are – me included. Of the 12 people on my BTh course at college, 4 were mathematicians. I wonder what links maths and theology?

  3. Geoff C
    October 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I have not yet got into Blogging and read very few other peoples blogs – but if I did I suspect it might take a kind of diary orientated style with comments about my life experiences along the way.
    Well done and keep it up!
    Geoff

  4. Will Cookson
    October 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Thanks all for the encouragement. I have enjoyed this year blogging.

    Andrew, not sure about maths other than I suspect many of us find a beauty about maths that can be mirrored in God. The whole idea of the beauty of a simple mathematical expression – at once both complex and simple can be awe inspiring.

  5. Janet
    October 12, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    I hope you keep up the blog. It was Jacqueline who directed me to it because you were all going to Kenya. I have kept reading it because not only do a get a feeling for a remote part of Kenya 2011 but also I read it for matters of faith. Many thanks for your various topics.

  6. johnm55
    October 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Congratulations on your first year. Personally I like the style of the blog. A sort of main direction, but free to follow whatever sidetrack, deviation, or cul-de-sac seems interesting at the time.
    Ignore those who tell you to narrow your focus to generate more traffic. There are enough blogs dealing with the minutiae of Anglican life or specific aspects of theology.

  7. Will Cookson
    October 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Dear Janet and John (now that is funny to write given that I used to read the books as a child!),
    Thank you for your encouragement. I do enjoy writing the blog and though there is usually an underpinning I do enjoy the rabbit-holes and sidetracks that one can go down. John, I think that I would get very bored if I had to limit myself to some particularity, I enjoy being able to range more widely.

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