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19 July, 2008

Can You Drown In Yoghurt?

You could knock me over with a keyboard! I made it to two hundred blog postings! And you, my probably first-time visitor, are looking at number two hundred. So, as I always do in my 200th blog posting, I'll take the opportunity to reflect on blogging and the nature of life in the tag clouds.

I started this, you may recall, because I wanted my voice to be out there with the tens of millions of others who take part in this pandemonium we call the blogsphere. I'd read a lot of stuff and wise old heads at the time said give it a couple of years – about 200 posts – to gather a reasonable-sized readership. Well, here I am and where are you?

Actually, I'm not complaining. I get about 5 unique visits a day to Waving Not Drowning. That's 150 unique visitors per month, mostly from Australia and the USA but also the UK, Canada and India, as well as places I didn't expect, like Greece, Poland, Moldova, Romania and the Philippines. As far as I can tell, about a third of my visitors each month are regulars and two thirds are drop-ins. It's not roaring success by any means but it's a great feeling to think there are people all over the world who click by to read what I have to say about life. It's an even better feeling to know that there are some who keep coming back for more. (Thank you, all of you – especially those of you who have been interested enough to leave comments.)

It's also a source of guilt. In the past six months I've been letting the blogging slip. I post once or twice a week now (not quite the two or three times of my first year) but there have been weeks on end recently when I didn't post at all. All I can say is I had a lot of stuff to do and a big change of lifestyle to get used to but I'm getting back into the swing of it and I hope to do better in the coming months. When I was posting at a rate of 15 to 20 posts a month, I was getting 50 to 100 visitors every day. This was quite exciting but it's hard work finding something different and worth saying every other day. I don't really see the point in just blathering. If I haven't got something interesting to write about, I'd rather keep my fingers to myself.

In the course of my 200 postings on Waving Not Drowning, other blogs of mine have come and gone. I've had music blogs and writing blogs and user interface design blogs but I've hardly used them and have shut them all down except the UI design one (which I haven't posted to in ages.) I have, however, just started up a new blog about writing (which you might care to go and look at) and it seems to be more successful than the others. (More successful than this one, too, according to Google and Technorati – both of which rate it as twice as popular and 'authoritative', even though it gets only two thirds the traffic – go figure.)

In all I'm getting 350 visits per month for my three blogs (about 11 per day). It may seem unambitious of me, in a world where popular blogs get thousands of visits per day, but I'm very happy with what I've got. Fewer might make me wonder what the point of it all was but many more and I would start feeling pressured. I can easily imagine 11 people stopping by the house each day for a chat. I'd be hiding behind the sofa if there were a thousand queueing up the drive. I'm also pretty pleased with the standard of the comments I get. I've had a few excellent arguments over the years.

So here's to the next 200 posts, to the many great bloggers who have inspired me to join in, and to all my readers, without whom I would be talking to myself (you don't think I'd shut up, do you?)

Oh yes, and the title of this post. One of the many interesting stats I get from Google Analytics to help me interpret traffic to my blogs, is a list of the Google queries that have led people to come here. And, yes, one of them was, 'Can you drown in yoghurt?' I certainly hope my blog helped with that.

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