Sunday, September 15, 2013
Happy Blogday! Four years on!!
With a full time job and the amount of real-life travelling (as opposed to armchair travelling) that I do, it's difficult to keep the blog going at times, but I get so much out of the experience and it's a great record of my learning journey about this world of ours!
At this stage, I can't say I remember the detail of everything that I've blogged about, but I'd like to think that I'm building a residual knowledge of the world and experiencing patterns in the way that people in different parts of the world react to the human experience and our societies that have developed in different historical contexts.
A word on the process
For that reason, I'm trying to keep my blog posts simpler and less comprehensive - I learn so much when I'm blogging about any particular place that it would be tedious (for you the reader) to put it all in blog posts - what I'm trying to do now is blog about the most interesting aspects of my learning experience and provide pointers to readers interested in exploring the themes in more detail.
I've now blogged about 31 places around the world - only 6 of these were in the last year though, so it does feel like I'm slowing down a bit. According to the stats on my blog - there have been more than 30,000 page views of my blog since the very beginning.
In the past year, there have been almost 11,000 page views, which seems to have increased a lot (ie. individual visitors are now reading more) and this is a third of the total page views over a four-year period.
Only 19% of visitors are returning visitors - which is quite low, but hardly surprising, as I don't have a lot of time to publicise my blog or build up a regular readership. Still, I sense that the number of returning visitors is slowly increasing each year!
According to flagcounter.com - the blog has had visits from 146 different countries - the newest country being Uruguay in August 2013.
The top twenty countries in terms of visitors in the past year have been:
2. United Kingdom
9. Saudi Arabia
17. New Zealand
18. United Arab Emirates
It's interesting to compare this to the same data as last year - according to my third blogday post!
Most popular posts
The ten most popular posts in the past four years have been:
1. Togo - Chicken Groundnut Soup with Fufu
2. Yemen - How I made Saltah
3. Barbados - Cromwell, Red Legs and the ethnic cleansing of Ireland
4. Saudi Arabia - Birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad
5. Rajasthan - Gayatri Devi, the Last Maharani of Jaipur
6. Wisconsin - Bucky Badger and the World's most fearless animal
7. Saudi Arabia - Chicken Kabsa
8. Zanzibar - How I cooked Octopus!
9. Urals Federal District - Dr Zhivago
10. Zanzibar - Gurnah's Paradise
Least popular pages
1. Kiribati - Part 2 (it might seem hard to believe now, but in the beginning it wasn't obvious to me that blog posts should have a proper title!)
2. Lesotho - The Ampleforth Connection
3. Mongolia - Education and Ethnicity in Western Mongolia
4. Netherlands - Een Hart van Steen - A Gothic tale from Haarlem
5. Oklahoma - Route 66
Tools for research
Fiji, Guangdong, Honduras, Indiana, Jersey and Korea.
I have read around 25 books, watched 25 movies and listened to all kinds of music, from the Jackson 5 (Indiana) to Black Rose (Fiji) to Leslie Cheung (Guangdong). Not to mention, culinary experiments with Palusami, Jersey Wonders, Enchiladas and Naengmyun.
It's been a wonderful experience and here's to another year of learning about the world!