I have never done a blog before nor had I ever contemplated doing one. It seemed natural to do one for my “Green Birding Mendo” year. Where would I start? How would I learn? I had never considered myself a writer and had to struggle to take the time to do it. A little investigation on the internet and I found several companies that hosted blogs and you could do it for free. That part certainly appealed to me. They said it was easy to get started. I guess it was. I decided on WordPress, signed up and plunged into this blogging experience. If you read my first blogs you might get a laugh at my attempts to insert a picture and wrap text around it. I found all the buttons above the writing screen intimidating. What were links? What were tags and why did I need to use them. I wanted to use my Ipad but all the reviews for the WordPress App were bad. Then I found “BlogPad Pro” for WordPress and I was on my way. In fact I would find it hard to blog on my regular computer now. BlogPad Pro had a simple “How To” section on their website that answered all my questions. I still don’t know what most of those buttons do but I can get by.
When you finally start a blog you wonder what do you say? There’s no sense writing to yourself so how do you get noticed? Is your message important enough to continue? Will people read it? You actually need some encouragement, so thank you for your comments and your decision to follow my birding year.
I guess you can divide this blog into four subjects, the birds, climate change, bus riding and biking. Each subject attracted an audience. There was lot’s to say about each. It was time consuming researching each subject. I finally found a system that made it easier. I used the “news” app, “Flipboard” and it allowed me to target my subjects. When I found something that interested me I could save it to the “Pocket” app for later reading. “Pocket” sent me an email saying that they were impressed with my stats. I was in the top 5% of readers in Pocket and that I had read 287,987 words which was like reading, “The Great Gatsby” 6 times. I’m a better reader than writer.
So there were some people out there reading my blog. What are the final stats for the year? I actually stayed up until midnight on New Years, something I haven’t done in awhile, to get some screenshots of my blog statistics.
The year ended with a flurry because my post, “Contrasts–A Tale of Two Birders” got linked to the ABA’s Blog. Total views as of this date, 10 days into the new year, have jumped to 1,107 mainly due to a November post called, “80%–EIGHTY FREAKIN PERCENT. It got over 350 views in the first two days of January. Still don’t understand how these things happen.
My blog got viewed in 25 countries. The United States came in first with Canada next, followed by the United Kingdom. Since the first of the year I’ve added 3 more.
For the year I wrote 191 posts. Never would have thought that possible. I wrote on lot’s of subjects. Some of the posts were pretty bad. Some of them I’m proud of. I’m glad I wrote, “Contrasts–A Tale of Two Birders”, mentioned above. My 5 part series on the “Psychology of Bus Riding” caught the eye of the Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA). This one on “How Not to set Next to the Weirdo” was the most fun to write. My “Miami is Doomed” and “The Marshall Islands are Doomed” attracted some attention. One post that seemed to get noticed continually during the year was, “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future”. It’s a combination of science fiction and history written from the point of view of a 24th century historian, “…all agree that the people of Western civilization knew what was happening to them but were unable to stop it. Indeed, the most startling aspect of this story is just how much these people knew, yet how little they acted upon what they knew.” It’s a frightening quote. There is one post that I wish had gotten more attention. It is called, “So—What’s the Hurry??”. It was an “Inside Climate News” story about, “The Most Important Climate Paper Few Have Ever Heard of”. The startling fact is that, “80 percent of all fossil fuel reserves would have to remain untouched to prevent uncontrollable warming.”
Thanks to my followers.
Bud Glory of “ArtlessPoems” was one of my first followers. Bud specializes in “poems lacking poetry”. In Bud’s words, “I, Bud Glory, am writing this in the year 2012 having just traveled back in time from the year 2020…The future is hotter—much hotter; and by the year 2019 so much ice (that once made up the polar ice caps) has melted that sea levels have risen by 50 feet, totally wiping out island nations and cramming everyone into the centers of their continents; and population densities all around the world are so high that individual drops of water in the ocean have more freedom of movement than any person on land.” That might be the reason Bud was attracted to my blog. You can read more about him here.
Ici & Là Nature (walk and bike in France) has been following me for sometime. Who(what) is Ici &Lá Nature and what does it mean? “”Ici & Là” means “Here and there” since our goal is to propose walking and biking tours everywhere in France and bordering countries. “Nature” because when you walk or bike, most of the time you are surrounded by Nature. Nature because this is also a very “natural” way of travelling close to the soil, the traditions, the people.”
“We are a group of European (for now mainly French) Outdoor Travel companies that market ourselves in English through Ici & Là Nature, a portal offering you a selection of some of our best trips.”
Thomas Hoather has the blog, “Let’s Geog” In Thomas’ own words, “My name is Thomas Hoather and I am currently 17 years old but will turn 18 in May 2014… I grew up in Winsford in Cheshire and I go to Knutsford Academy sixth form…I decided that I wanted to take Geography on to degree level for, well, many reasons. One is that I have enjoyed geography lessons since about the age of 11 where I was first properly introduced to it in year 7 (or 6th grade for those American geoggers out there)…Another reason is that the world is always changing therefore so is geography.” Thomas answers Geography questions sent in to his blog. I had the honor of asking him his first question.
Andrea C. Stumpf works in Theater Design and Production and is trying to live her life in a more environmentally friendly way. She states, “I love nature, its beauty and diversity. I have become more and more worried that it is disappearing.” She has done some excellent posts on Germany’s “Green” Energy Program. Her blog is, “Barefeet In The Sand“.
James Elliott is a young journalist. He writes, “I’m a freelance journalist and political blogger. I have a regular blog with The Huffington Post, and I have been published on Liberal Conspiracy, Left Foot Forward, New Left Project, CounterPunch and Mondoweiss.” His blog, “James Elliott-Journalist and Blogger Writing On Politics” will lead you to some of his writings.
Kendall F. Person is thepublicblogger. He writes on a wide range of subjects. He states, “High school, college, ups, downs, high, lows. Life is what we call it. Its always given me exactly what I put into it. Close family. Friends are bond. Middle aged now. Rolling the dice again. But different this time around. I accept my limitations and I understand that gifts are for sharing.” His blog, “Where writing is a performance art and every post is a show.” is here.
Juan Bermćidez-Rey has the blog, “The Environment Wire” where he reports on the latest environmental news. What’s his blog all about? “With so many things going on all the time, and so much information being released everyday, how are you supposed to keep up with what’s going on in the world? Particularly, issues concerning the environment (climate change, food politics, preservation and conservation, environmental justice…) are constantly evolving, and the really important stuff is very hard to track. The Environment Wire is designed to help you keep track of the world. It constantly scans the web in order to select the most important stuff going on out there.”
To the other email “only” follower I don’t know who you are. As far as I know I never got a message about you. Thanks for following me.
My next “Wrap Up” will be what I’m planning in the coming year. Stay tuned.