Dateline: Emerald Hills, 12/24/08
Last week this blog passed the 1000 mark for "unique visitors", and that's just since June 9, when I installed the Bravenet counter. I started the blog in January. I continue to be amazed at how many people are actually reading this thing. The average seems to be about 3 or 4 per day, with small surges after I write a new post. (The surge comes mostly from my knitting friends, who find out about the post by checking their friends' activities on Ravelry.)
Bravenet shows me the most recent "referrers", which are the web sites or searches that led people to the blog. By far the most common referrer is variations on searches for bead stores or yarn stores in Maui. This was the subject of one of my first posts, in January. There must be a lot of knitters and beaders out there who are planning trips to Hawaii. I also get searches for specific beading teachers or projects that I have written about. And there are occasional unexpected searches, like the recent one for "fortman (sic) and mason afternoon tea". No, I didn't misspell it on the blog; the hit was on the other words.
More recently I installed Feedjit, which gives me a map showing the location (but not the identity) of people who come to the blog. This has been truly fascinating, and has led me to speculate about why people are reading what I write. The first marks on the map were from northern California and the Washington, DC area. This is understandable; it was my local knitting friends and my friends from Y2Knit, who linked from their blog to my posts about the Montisi retreat.
The first international hit was from Kuwait. I was amazed. Was it an American soldier, a knitter or beader, on her way to Iraq? When the Kuwait hit recently disappeared from the map I got suspicious; was the Pentagon involved? Some Italian hits followed, probably people searching for information about Montisi. I was surprised by the first hit from Africa, in Mali. Now I have visitors from every continent except Antarctica. Aren't there some knitting or beading researchers stuck in Antarctica for our winter/their summer who have little to amuse them except reading blogs?
In the U.S., the hits are clustered on the two coasts, with a nice sprinkling from the midwest. But strangely, there is a big gap coming from the mountain time zone. I used to work for a company based in Denver, and I've spent a lot of enjoyable time there. I've also loved visiting New Mexico. What is it about my blog that is keeping residents of the mountain west away?
To readers of this blog, wherever and whoever you are: I am very grateful for your support during my first year of blogging. I wish you happy holidays and the best for 2009.