Tag Archives: blogs

Some reflections on reaching one million views on my blog today

I started this blog on April 2007. After four years, it had reached 500,000 views. A decade later, it has reached a new milestone: a million views!

In the first four years, blogging was hot. I even had my blog featured on one of the blog roles on the New York Times. (It was a fluke, but it meant I got 500 views a day: now I average around 50 views.) In the last decade, blogging has been superseded many times by other online media, from twitter to TikToks. I use some of them, but I keep beavering away here too.

I have been steadily blogging for ten years, never knowing if I would reach this peak. Now that I have, I don’t know what I will do. Will I still blog every weekend and have them distributed throughout the week? Or will I just go with a random schedule? Will I move this off of WordPress and go to another platform and more effectively monetize the few popular posts I have? I don’t know. Something will change.

Meanwhile, I expect I will continue to blog. I like it. Maybe my next goal is 5000 posts. Or 250,000 visitors. We will see!

As always, thanks for reading this. I’ve been lucky to have thousands of people like you reading my posts a million times. That’s great, and greatly appreciated.

P.S. I’ve written a fair bit of blog posts about blogging. You can read them, here.

P.S.S. My favorites are here.

 

 

On the creator economy, access, and monetization


The following quote from an Axios piece struck me as odd:

The creator economy was supposed to democratize media, but it turns out that a small portion of creators still reap the most revenue for their work across multiple platforms.

I wonder how they came up with their assumptions. The creator economy has been going on since blogging and other Web 2.0 technologies, and while it has given creators equal access to platforms, it has never spread the wealth. Ever. There is a reason why books like The Long Tail were successful: they accurately described how things worked. Platforms come and go, from Blogger to Twitch, and no doubt more will come in the future. Everyone will have equal access to them. Likewise, a few will reap the lion’s share and the rest will get crumbs. That’s how it works.

For more on it, see: The creator economy is failing to spread the wealth – Axios

December pandemic highlights and ramblings (a newsletter, in blog form)

Well well well, it’s the last month of 2020, and my last not-really-a-newsletter newsletter! I appreciate you taking a moment to read my latest not-a-newsletter of highlights and ramblings since the one in November.

I’m not sure if I will continue these here and in this format in the new year. Let’s see. Something for me to consider as the year closes. But for now, here’s things I’ve been thinking on since the last one:

Pandemic: It’s hard not to think about the pandemic. Since November, the pandemic has only gotten worse in many places. My town and province is no exception. Cases are up, deaths are up, efforts to flatten the curve seem to be going nowhere. My son’s school was shut down then the rest of the schools were shut down. As for leadership, it seems very reactive these days. A good analysis of that is here: With the pandemic surging, we need more leadership and less urging – The Globe and Mail. Also this piece: Why Doug Ford is stumbling during COVID-19’s second wave? Too often governments thought they could somehow manage the disease and open the economy. They couldn’t.

One of the reason deal with COVID has been so frustrating is well captured in this image:

Governments everywhere keep fiddling with the dial as if to find the right setting, and then find there is none. (Image from xkcd: Covid Precaution Level)

Some places have managed better than others, but even there it has not been perfect. Not long after this came out,  Living in Nova Scotia’s Covid-Free World – The New York Times, they had an outbreak in cases. Nova Scotia is still doing very well, but it is hard to stay perfect. (I’m looking at you New Zealand.)

Besides the health costs, there are the economic costs of the pandemic too. Articles like this come out every month in Toronto: Toronto rent prices are down 15% since last year at this time. Since that one, the rents have dropped to 20%. Meanwhile, places like The Gap are calling it quits in parts of the city: The Gap is closing its flagship store in Toronto

It may be a sad reality that many of storefronts will be boarded up  when the pandemic is over. Indeed, many are boarded up now.

And it will be over, this awful time. Vaccines are rolling out now. Here are places you can use to track it:

In the meantime, stay safe and try to stay healthy this winter. If you are in Toronto, consider this:  A New Way to Play: Recreation During COVID-19 – City of Toronto

Non-pandemic items:

The US: This newsletter is not just about the pandemic. It’s also time to send out a big Bronx cheer to the current president of the United States. I often argued that he was not the worst president in American history. I am wavering in that belief. Just the number of unnecessary deaths resulting from his inaction make him truly terrible. As we lift up the rock and uncover more about him, I think he will only seem worse. Meanwhile, here’s a good piece on his ending: Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial – The New York Times.

I would settle for Biden just being not-Trump. But he has a chance to do more. I hope he will. Here’s one way he could do it: Biden transition: How he could act fast and outrun Republican opposition to his presidency – Vox

The economy: One thing we are doing to hear a lot about is the deficits and debts now. This is not the time to do that. There is still much needs to be done for the world to recover. Not only that, but interest rates for some nations are essentially negative. See this for details: China Borrows at Negative Rates for the First Time – WSJ

One group in Canada you might hear banging on about the debt is the Fraser Institute. So here’s a reminder from PressProgress: pay no attention to anything the Fraser Institute says. Even if you are a right winger, at least find some source that doesn’t manipulate the facts.

Newsletters: they have become old hat now. So much so I think I will not comment on them any more. I would like to highlight one last one, though.  David Lebovitz has moved to Substack. Here is his.. He also has a great blog. He’s been an excellent user of social media for some time (not to mention a fine cook and author). Go check him out. Meanwhile, for anyone tired of turning bananas into banana bread, check out this: Banana and Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake (Lowfat) – David Lebovitz

My blog: ICYMI, I wrote earlier on this blog about friluftsliv (a concept you should know), Ikea,  cardigans and why they are great, Betty Godwin and why she is great, various cocktails (and why you should drink them), as well as being moderately gifted,  being good  and being Paul McCartney.

Thanks for reading this, as well as anything else on my blog. I always appreciate it.

And for those celebrating it:

On blogging/writing online in 2020 (how I write now)


In 2020, blogging is back. At least blogging as newsletters. Think Substack and all the people flocking to there. Blogging on WordPress (or Blogger or Tumblr or other blogging platforms) is not as hot but still going strong.

That’s good. I am a fan of more writing and better writing, whether it comes in blog form or newsletter form. Bring it on.

I continue to write here as I have been for some time.  I’ve written a number of pieces on blogging over the last decade; this piece will join that.

I’ll likely to continue writing here until I get 1,000,000 hits (currently at 976,745 hits) but given the limited readership, that may never happen. I’ll keep writing, regardless. We all need goals, and the million hits is one of mine.

Currently I sit down every Saturday morning and review interesting things I’ve found on the Internet and saved in Pocket. I have over 1000 things still in Pocket, not to mention a spreadsheet of old links that were noteworthy. There’s always something of interest to write about. Plus the Internet never stops being interesting.

I usually take 3-4 hours to write about these things. Then I schedule them to be posted throughout the week. My thinking is that this is more likely to bring a wider readership to them. My SEO skills are limited, but this is my thinking.

I enjoy this writing time. I grab some breakfast and a coffee and craft the posts. I grab images from Unsplash.com to illustrate the posts. It’s a hobby and something I enjoy doing. I love doing it. I’m an amateur writer and thinker.

I try and mix up the posts for readers. Something on Monday to help you get your week started. Something fun on Friday. Something to make your weekend better on Saturday. Perhaps a more thoughtful post on Sunday.

As always I think: would someone reading this get any benefit? Much of my posts are advice, but in areas I am interested in. I want to share things of interest to me but that will also interest others.

Once a month I go back over posts from other years. Today I will go back over the December posts. It’s fascinating to see what was interesting to me in other years.

Whenever I am lost for what my audience is, I think: would someone in my family want to read this? Or one or more of my friends? Once I have that one reader, I can write to them. Many of my posts are letters to people that may not realize it.

Since the pandemic, I have started a newsletter within the blog. I haven’t broken it out into its separate media. Just like I never moved to Tumblr or Medium or took up podcasts. This blog is sufficient for what I want to communicate and record.

I have a few other blogs on WordPress: one on cooking that I enjoy writing from time to time. A few others that are experimental. I use Instagram still because it is easy, but photography is a very separate and different media.

I’ll continue to write here, writing for smart people I know. I’ve been doing it since before the World Wide Web.  Why stop now?

As always, for those who have read this far:

An appropriate thank you card for this era.

(Coffee Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash. The other image is also from Unsplash but I could not find who to attribute it to)

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More good reasons to blog

Here, in this blog post: 28th May 2019 — Daniel Benneworth-Gray.

It was charming to read about blogs in 2006. They were such a force for a time.

P.S. I think it’s a shame blogs have such a unique and unattractive name. Online journal is a better name than blog, but blog we are stuck with.

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Two good sources of images for your website/blog/whathaveyou.

Are Unsplash and Pexels.com

You can do something great with them. (Image from Unsplash)

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Some thoughts on the end of Paul Krugman’s blog and blogging generally

I accidentally went to Paul Krugman’s blog today and was surprised to see he ended it some time ago. To quote him:

A message for regular readers of this blog: unless something big breaks later today, this will be my last day blogging AT THIS SITE. The Times is consolidating the process, so future blog-like entries will show up at my regular columnist page. This should broaden the audience, a bit, maybe, and certainly make it easier for the Times to feature relevant posts.

I remember when the Times (and many other places) finally recognized blogging as a way of communicating and started a big section on their site to blogging.

Is blogging dead? Not really. It’s no longer what is what, but people are still blogging. Does it matter? No. Blogging is writing. Communicating via words on the Internet. We have all these tools and media to communicate. For a time, blogging and blogs were a way to share that writing. Now people are doing it other ways.

What matters is the writing. The format matters much less. I still like the blogging format, but what I like more is that so many people can communicate with others.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to Krugman’s blog: Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman – The Conscience of a Liberal – The New York Times

Blogging: still a good idea


Of all the social media that has come along in the last 10 years, blogging is in some ways the best of them all. It allows for a wide range of expression.  It is not ephemeral. It has a freshness to it, but you can look back in a few years and still read it.

I recommend that everyone blogs. Even in 2017. If you are still skeptical, consider this piece: Seth Godin Explains Why You Should Blog Daily — CJ Chilvers

My blog on wordpress: 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. (Thanks, Helper Monkeys! :))

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blogging: still a good idea in 2012

With all the social media available now, blogging no longer gets the same love it did just a few years ago. That said, blogging is still a great medium with lots of flexiblity. If you have something to share (who doesn’t) and need to log it some where, blogging is still a great way to go.

One thing you want to know if you are blogging is where should I blog. This fairly up to date post, Choosing a Free Blog Host – Comparing WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous, has a great rundown of four of the most popular places to blog.

As for me, here’s my post on What blogs I have and what I host them on

It’s a few years old, but still holds true. I have cut back on my blogging and now have limited to posterous and WordPress.com. But tumblr is really good, and it has a social aspect that cannot be beat. And blogger.com has been revamped not too long ago and it is much better. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. You just need to find the one best for you.

For pure ease of use, I still think posterous is best, although they have all taken ideas from each other and they are all easy to use.

This is not to take away from other social media. From Pinterest to Twitter to Facebook, it’s all good in its own way.

Some thoughts on my blog reaching half a million views

Sometime last night my blog reached 500,000 views. I started it on April, 2007 as a way of getting away from sending interesting links to people via email. Simple as that.

I don’t really know if this is “good” or not. Certainly my views pale in comparison to premiere bloggers. I am sure even some of my peers easily surpass that. On the other hand, I know it can be difficult at first to get anyone to read your blog, and because of that, I am happy for all the people that have.

For me, I think it is a great milestone to reach. I had few expectations when I started the blog, other than I hoped that the people that I used to email links to would go and read them on my blog. Along the way, I was happy to be able to look back over what I blogged about a year or two ago and think: oh yeah, that happened! And while I don’t think I am a great writer, what I am happy for is that blogging on a regular basis has helped improved my writing and my thinking.

Most of the time I am trying to squeeze in a blog post among all the other things that I have to do at work and at home. There’s very little time for revisions and editing. Some of the longer posts have alot of effort poured into them, but most of the time, I think certain things are interesting and I’d like to share them with smart people I know. I am happy to see how many more smart people that I have come to know in the time since I started.

As always, thanks for reading this.

My blog: 2010 in review via WordPress

(WordPress generated this review of my blog and made it easy for me to post. Never one to turn down free content,  I decided to post it! :))

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 5 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 501 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1945 posts. There were 11 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was August 17th with 586 views. The most popular post that day was So how many mosques are there currently in Manhattan, New York City?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, google.com, twitter.com, Google Reader, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for art nouveau furniture, zara suits, slow cooker roast, zara suit, and effects of facebook.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

So how many mosques are there currently in Manhattan, New York City? August 2010
2 comments

2

Why I buy suits from Zara September 2008
24 comments

3

The social effects of Facebook June 2007
6 comments

4

From furniture to art. August 2008
7 comments

5

How to pronounce Gewürztraminer, Viognier, and all those other wine associated words April 2009

I’m moving my blog!

Thanks for coming to this blog. If you like my blog, please come and see my new blog at:

http://smartpeopleIknow.blogspot.com

Different domain name, same good contents.

WordPress itself!

I decided to look around for a new blogging site after blogger started changing. I considered technorati, but went with WordPress for a number of features, including the option to be notified via email when updates occur (a very nice feature). More from me soon….