It has been a particularly long year. In December 2010, I decided to take up the gauntlet thrown down by WordPress.com and attempt to blog daily. This is my 291st blogpost in 2011 so I nearly made it. My best run was in Jan/Feb with 19 straight days with posts. The second best run was in Nov/Dec with 15 straight days. That may not sound like a lot but, honestly, finding a topic to write about and the time to sit down at the keyboard amid the daily chaos of being a dad of two with three hours of commuter traffic per day and a highly engaging, technical job and you’ll probably appreciate the effort this took. I am awed by the stamina of fellow bloggers that were able to do all 365 posts and wish to particularly note my appreciation of Jackie’s hilarious blog and her wonderful Lollipop Tuesdays - she is one fun, creative, and inspiring writer – great job Jackie!
On my end, overall, I am very pleased with the result even if I didn’t get to 300. Here are a few emblematic stats:
You guys were fantastic this year. I had an average of nearly 1000 hits per month and almost hit 1500 in April. This is so encouraging for us bloggers because as I mentioned in a previous post, ego is an ever-present entity while we toil over these webpages and without readers, we’d feel awfully alone.
Another thing I noticed was the popularity of various subjects I wrote about. I wrote a lot about geeky stuff like browser choice – your favorite this year; TV series I watched – you appreciated what I said about Weeds the most; Music was also a popular topic that I love writing about – you apparently liked my Chilis article. A little disappointing perhaps is that my movie articles didn’t make this top 10 list. Now there is something misleading here – the Home Page is of course the daily article and unless some fellow WordPress hack can help me out here, I can’t find anyway to find my top days from 2011 to determine which article brought in the most readers. The daily stats only go back to November so I can’t find this piece of intel. Sorry.
Lastly, another healthy sign for a blog is some friendly banter via the Comments. I had almost a comment a day with my Metallica article garnering the most conversation. To my most often commenters lili c, Erik, Rick and m.poulet, and Ed M: a hearty thank you going out!
A Year of Loss, Hope and Change
The year 2011 was one that for me symbolized a sense of loss in many ways and major changes as well. This isn’t to say that it was a particularly bad year, just that it started with the shocking and traumatic Fukushima quake and nuclear accident. This a few years after the several New Orleans disasters – one from nature, one purely man-made folly and made me feel a real sense of loss for the families struck by this cataclysm. I recall my shock at the event and it is still on my mind. My watching and blogging about the TV show Treme this year served to remind me of the ongoing tragedy for the survivors – and probably to some degree captured some of the pathos of the Japanese victims of a similar catastrophe.
There was a loss of innocence for the Euro as it enters 2012 fighting for its continued existence. I still believe that it will survive and that it is a positive symbol of 67 years of peace in Europe – at least between England, France, and Germany – albeit imperfect. It is so hard to imagine going back to the pains of multiple currencies having lived in both systems (6 years with the Franc and now 10 years with the Euro). The Euro, despite all the negative press it has gotten lately, has served to give Europeans a common identity and a sense of pride as well for having broken down barriers of language and culture to create a true neutral space symbolized by the common currency. If only Northern Africa, Subsaharan Africa, or Central Asia could come to a similar state of affairs – think about it: the cultural differences are no greater in these regions and yet this kind of union is considered beyond the realm of possibility. For me, the Euro symbolizes this coming together that would have similarly been seen as insane had one mentioned this in the 30s. It gives me some measure of hope for the future however mitigated by the economic crisis.
As for change, I moved into roles (management and marketing) for which I had no experience and yet I shone in both – at least I think I did. The current org shakeup notwithstanding, I am pleased with how things went despite the massive amount of modification of ways to work and think that were required. The next year will involve even more change, I am sure, and it seems that churn is the new stability. In my family life, the kids are growing of course which itself is another constant set of changes. My wife also changed from a dead-end HR career to an open-ended attempt at becoming a sort of French physical therapist. She is working hard to win a national test to be able to attend school for it so we are all behind her on this massive and difficult challenge.
What will 2012 bring us? Let’s hope that there will be no more natural disasters of the scale of last year (not much we can do about that) and more hope and positive change both in our professional and personal lives. I still haven’t made my resolutions for the following year. I’ll post again tomorrow with whichever ones I come up with. At least I can say that my primary 2011 resolution – blogging – came through for me. I don’t think I will be as aggressive in 2012 but will continue to work at it.
Thanks again to all my readers and to all: Happy New Year!