Where are the Eyeballs?

Andrew inspired me to take a look at my Word Press blog statistics. He does a great re-cap each year, but I tend not to. After reading his latest post, I was curious to see what’s going on with the numbers since I haven’t checked in for so long. In other words, which of my posts are attracting the eyeballs?

Word Press does a great job with stats, I think. There are obviously some numbers nerds on staff, making sure that we can examine our publishing work from many angles. I first took a look at statistics for 2021 to see what got eyeballs (or more likely, just clicks) in the past year.

For the year of 2021.

The top five posts start with Number 1 – Seven Color Crystal Boll!

Crystal Bolls, all grown up.

2,114 visits in 2021. This blog post was just silly, and carelessly posted. Worst of all, these are some of the most terrible photos in my entire blog since I began in 2007. It was months before I bought my first good camera, and everything is blurry. But this blog post is a showstopper for my modest numbers, and though it was posted in 2010, the traffic never slows down.

Number 2 – Fairy Houses on Mackworth Island

This one looks two stories high, with a stone patio.

1,514 visits in 2021. I’m glad this one gets traffic because it was a fun day and a fun discovery about one of my favourite things about life: when I’m in an otherwise ordinary place and discover something extraordinary.

Number 3 – Shoshone Petroglyph on Map Rock

Map Rock, Idaho

413 clicks in 2021. For a post from 2010, I’m happy that this one still receives attention. This outstanding historic treasure is absolutely neglected on the side of a desolate road in Idaho. More people need to know about it and appreciate it and hopefully someday it will be protected and have some kind of interpretive information there. One cool outcome of this post is that a professor writing an educational text for a mapping class asked to use my photo in his book. I’ve never seen the book, but I did sign some paperwork telling me what my legal rights are, etc.

(I have had similar requests for my photos on other occasions. A company in Egypt liked my photo of the Aswan Dam in Cruising the Nile. A company producing a documentary liked my photos of the stone tablet between the paws of the Sphinx on my Flickr website and asked to use my photos in the documentary. Just last year an artist wanted to submit my photo of his sculpture in the blog post Baltimore Shiver to an arts journal. Now I have a beautiful copy of the book as a thank you. I do a little research and when I’m convinced the company is legit, I always agree to these requests. I’d love to hear about the requests YOU have received.)

Number 4 – Indomitability

Truncated chicken.

228 clicks in 2021. It’s a post about the indomitability of viruses, and chickens, and humans. I talk about the possibility of having breast cancer and about a chicken attack. It’s one of my vulnerable posts, and I feel good that a lot of people read it.

Number 5 – Hiking the Julian Alps

Me about to descend the most terrifying drop off a mountain in my life.

219 clicks in 2021. I’m glad people liked this one too. It was my favourite day of the year, and maybe Pedro’s too. We spent a whole day hiking in the Julian Alps of Slovenia and it was a dream come true – for twenty years I had the fantasy of hiking in foreign mountains.

For All Time. I was curious about the numbers since I’ve been blogging. Though my posts date back to 2007, I actually started blogging on Word Press in 2010. The site hosting my original blog (from 2007-2010) closed but gave us enough notice to capture our posts. I copied them, one by one, to WP then backdated them. Anyway…these are the stats since 2010.

Number 1 – Seven Color Crystal Boll! Total clicks – a respectable 21,566.

Number 2 – Red Rock Canyon SP & Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam from the bypass bridge

Total clicks – 4,687. The reason this one is so high is silly. Because the image you see above is used constantly when people want to show an image of Hoover Dam. I’ve seen it used most frequently in student papers. I’m fairly confident that no one is reading this one.

Number 3 – Shoshone Petroglyph Map Rock. Total clicks – 3,518.

Number 4 – Cubicle as Panopticon

My old office before I medically retired. I affectionately referred to it as The Cubicle Sea. Inspiring, isn’t it?

Total clicks – 2,630. One I am pleased to have on this list. It’s one of the times when I got to thinking about something and came up with a hypothesis I like. I thought possibly the design of my office building was making me feel worse than I had to. Man, I hated my work environment back then. Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Decision Review Officer (like a claims adjuster for appealed disability claims) was the best job of my whole life. Perfectly suited for me and my skills and my goals for contributing to societal good. I really was helping veterans, and I was very good at it. But the environment almost killed me. Literally. I was forced out for medical reasons. Anyway, you don’t even have to read between the lines in this post; it’s clear that I was miserable.

Number 5 – Fairy Houses on Mackworth Island. Total clicks – 2,401. Even though the clicks seem fewer, at less than three years old, this post takes the prize! There were 156 views the first year, 721 the second year, and 1,518 in 2021. It’s already had 6 views already in 2022. I notice each summer there is a surge of clicks, and I hope that’s because people are reading my blog post while planning their summer holidays in Portland, Maine. Fingers crossed that the trend continues.

13 thoughts on “Where are the Eyeballs?

  1. Andrew always inspires me to go back and look at my stats too, Crystal. Not surprising, Burning Man was big. The most surprising to me was a small hamburger joint in Idaho and the town of Hawthorne in Nevada. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Your Burning Man posts are EPIC!! So viewers get more than a glimpse, but a true examination of the art and culture there, from the perspective of an insider who is in love with the phenomena. I am pretty sure I know exactly which hamburger joint. It’s in Coer d’Alene, right? If it’s the one I’m thinking of, I will never forget that place. Literally the best hamburgers I ever had. I’ve been to Hawthorne, NV too. When I lived in Winnemucca I seriously road-tripped across every square inch of that state. It is a fascinating state. I’ll have to go find your Hawthorne post.

      1. I suspect you did have one of those hamburgers, Crystal. Straight meat, lettuce and tomato. Cooks take the meat right off a large chunk of hamburger and cook it in front of you.
        Type in Hawthorne Nevada, a small town with an explosive potential… Grin. –Curt

    1. I’ll bet it’s true that my posts pop up in a variety of places, now that you mention it. I hadn’t considered the wide range of topics, but yes, so many things are here: philosophy, exploration, parks, silliness, emotion.

    1. ❤ Birthday hugs!! Thank you, my friend. I will be curious to see in the future how the hike post ranks. I think when a post gets popular, the WP algorithms suggest it for more people to view, which makes it continue as a popular post. We will see. It's a good one and worth the attention.

  2. I’ve read this 3 times now. Bandwidth in short supply but I love seeing how well your posts do. I have never looked at my stats. I’m sure I’ll feel better continuing that practice. I remember the fairy garden too. It’s a favorite subject for me. I always learn so much from reading your posts and that makes my day. Hugs to you, my friend.

    1. It makes me feel very good to know that you learn from my posts. I do, too. I often spend a lot of time researching when I post, so that I get details right. Interestingly, that often means I learn the most about a place after I have returned home. One great example is that I was looking up the name of a church we visited with Manja in Italy for a blog post once I got home. I discovered that according to local rumor, the church had always been suspected to be linked to the real legend of treasure that was described in the book the Count of Montecristo. People apparently spread this story that the treasure in the book was hidden in one of the churches founded by the Count. In 2004, excavation at this church revealed a pot full of gold coins buried in the foundation. What?!! So amazing. But I didn’t know that while I was there. Too bad.

      I am fascinated by the fairy homes in Maine, and even more fascinated by the local Maine culture of traveling teachers I learned about for that post. Apparently the fairies on the islands are an old legend told and retold there. It’s a wonderful and unique discovery.

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