Happy New Year and 2009 Site Stat Review

Happy New Year!  2010 is here and so are the comments about lack of flying cars, robotic maids, and other technological advances predicted waaaay back in the 70s and 80s.  I wonder how far things will progress by 2040.  Probably not as far as we would expect in most areas – but surprisingly far in others.  I’m not sure anyone accurately predicted or anticipated the advent of the internet or web 2.0 back in the day, yet today many of us can’t imagine our lives without g-mail, facebook, twitter, or wordpress.  My mom even has a blog!  No offense mom =).  I have a feeling 30 years from now my son will be asking when I will be getting on BrainBook so I can be mentally bombarded by his latest news or when I’m going to update my antiquated blog with a Neural Subscription Syndication (NSS) feed so he can instantaneously absorb the latest content while on the daily commuter shuttle to Mars.

Until those days arrive here’s a bit of a stats review for the blog this past year.  I don’t expect anyone else will find this terribly interesting but I started doing this last year and think it’s a nice way for me to mark milestones on the blog.  I’ll start off with a horrendously cobbled together low-tech graph.

2007-2009 Pilgrim w/o a Shrine Stats

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am pretty pleased with the growth of the blog since I started piddling around with it almost 3 years ago.

2007 Avg hits/month: 45

2008 Avg hits/month: 700

2009 Avg hits/month: 1585

As you can see in the graph my biggest month in 2008 was April.  This was the month that I took a 2-week trip to this side of the world to visit Dubai and Jordan.  I posted a lot and included a bunch of pictures.  The blog didn’t get nearly that much activity again until January of 2009 when I wrote a series of posts reflecting on Israel’s horrendous bombardment of Gaza at the time and the local response here in Jordan.  The really surprising (to me) peak of activity, however, was just back in November.  The draw?  Well it just so happened that the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha fell in November this past year.  I had written a little reflection on the festival back in December of 2008 but a year later it was drawing a ton of traffic to the blog – go figure!

So without further ado – here are the Top 10 Posts of 2009!  (sorry – no drumroll, but by 2040 we’ll have that sorted out)

Notre Dame du Paris

#10 – 384 hits – Notre Dame du Paris pics (April 25, 2008): #4 on last year’s Top 10.  A gallery of pics from a layover in Paris.  Notable to me because although this post is #10 on the list this year it beat last years #1 post by over 130 hits!

#9 – 393 hitsThe Citadel (Jebel al qala’a) in Amman on Friday (April 18, 2008):  #3 on last year’s Top 10.  My thoughts when looking out over Amman from the Citadel.  Includes a small gallery of pics.

#8 – 403 hitsBarack Obama at the Western Wall (July 31, 2008): #5 on last year’s Top 10. Just a couple of thoughts on Barack Obama’s visit to the Western Wall during his presidential campaign.  The prayer he stuffed into the wall was stolen and printed in the media.  This post got a ton of hits early in 2009 around the time of his inauguration but surprisingly peaked in November, coinciding with all the Eid al-Adha hits.  Hmmmm.

#7 – 420 hits – Random Pics from Amman (April 20, 2008): #10 on last year’s Top 10.  Just what it says a gallery of 20 or so pics from Amman.

Martin Luther King Jr.

#6 – 467 hits A message from Martin Luther King Jr. to Israel, Palestine, and Obama on Inauguration Eve (January 20, 2009):  While perhaps having the distinction of Longest Blog Entry Title, I wrote this in honor of MLK Day 2009.  It applies a snippet of a speech MLK made a long time ago to the current world situation.

#5 – 541 hits – Recent Thoughts on Osama bin Laden and Marthin Luther King Jr. (April 5, 2008): #8 on last year’s Top 10.  A look at two people who say they were fighting for the oppressed.  One by violent means, another by waging peace.  Posted in remembrance of MLK on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his assassination/martyrdom.

#4 – 832 hits – Pope Benedict visiting Jordan (May 9, 2009): A half finished post about the Pope’s historic visit here.  It has some pics of the Pope with the Jordanian Royal family and this earned it a link from a forum for royalty aficionados and quite a few hits.

#3 – 1215 hits – The Bake House – Jabal Amman  Restaurant review (October 15, 2008): #1 on last year’s Top 10.  Ok, this post fell two notches – but it earned almost 10x as many hits this year!  If you want an American style breakfast in Amman this is the best place I know of.

Scary!

#2 – 1373 hits – Scary Rooms (November 21, 2008): This one cracks me up!  Basically this was supposed to be the 1st part of a 2 part post about Jordanian culture.  It has a poll about what room people thought was scary in their childhood and a story about my fear of the basement.  I was supposed to follow it up with a 2nd post on what room Jordanians typically consider scary, but never did.  You would be very surprised by how many people google the term “scary rooms.”

#1 – 3,332 hits – Eid Al-Adha, the Hajj, and life in Amman (December 15th, 2008)

Muslim pilgrims holding a nighttime vigil on the Mountain of Arafat

The clear winner this year!  Basically, an outsiders summary of what Eid al-Adha is all about with a few personal reflections about life in Amman during the festival.  This got a crazy amount of hits in October and November.  I wish I knew more specifics about who is reading this post – my gut tells me it was a lot of high school students looking for information for projects.  Hopefully they used proper citations!

*******

So 6 out of the 10 are making repeat appearances on the Top 10 and although they shifted around a bit on the chart they all generated way more hits this year than last.  Interesting to note that only 2 of the Top 10 were written in 2009 – everything else was in 2008.  As I am only looking at hits from 2009 this intrigues me.  It’s good on the one hand b/c I think it indicates I’m getting a lot of traffic from web searches, but it also concerns me a little about the stuff I wrote in 2009.  Maybe it wasn’t as interesting or relevant.  Or perhaps next year posts from 2009 will be more popular.

In any event, thank-you so much for reading!  I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to what 2010 will bring.  I’ve got some new ideas to implement this year so be looking for those (but next up a Top 10 Image Gallery from 2009).  And check back in 2040 for links to flying car dealerships, robotic maid employment agencies, and my fancy new Neural Subscription Syndication button.



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4 Responses

  1. actually, your Mom now has two blogs! 😉

  2. I had a protracted conversation with a co-worker this year about his excessive fear of robot maids when he found out that you can buy a fully functional humanoid robot for about $200k. My friend is haunted by his own talents. He is a fantastic programmer, and suggests that as soon as there is a robot in every house it would be a simple matter to sell macros that would turn one into an assassin.

    Anyway, contrats on the numbers. I am curious where your major referal portals are and if the majority of your readers are Western or Middle Eastern.

    • Robot maid assassins – Sounds like the basis of many a good (or somewhat mediocre) sci-fi novellas.

      I am actually crunching numbers on referrals and will let you know. I am also curious about the geo-location of readers, but unfortunately the free version of wordpress doesn’t give me those stats, unless there is a widget I am not familiar with – which is entirely possible.

  3. Brian, I did not realize you had a blog until I saw your link for it on FB this morning. I will be looking it over – sounds interesting!

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