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!