Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blog reflections on Season Six

Well, it's that time of year again.  This is the last Blog posting for this the sixth Season of Living Loreto and it is time for me to thank you, my loyal Readers, for your continued interest in my thoughts and experiences about the place I live. 

With almost 200 postings to date and a total of almost a quarter of a million words, this Blog has become an important part of my understanding and appreciation of my life here - and, in fact, sometimes an important part OF my life here as well!  Writing these posts on a weekly basis is occasionally a challenge, looking for a topic, particularly when personal commitments or lack of "events" are factors, and can result in what I have come to refer to as "Seinfeld Blogs" - or Blogs about "nothing".  But ironically to me, sometimes these "Seinfelds" are some of the most popular posts I write, based on website stats and feedback that I get from some of you.

The (self-imposed) pressure to "publish or perish" on a weekly basis has at times been the incentive for me to do things, or go places, that I might not have, without the need to have another story or experience to share with you.  It has also imposed a degree of intellectual discipline in my life that I think has been beneficial and has lent some structure to it as well.  But my list of benefits from this would be incomplete without including that through persistence and repetition, writing this Blog has been a do-it-yourself course for me in learning about how to write.

And for all of that, I have YOU to thank!  'Cause as the saying goes: "Without no audience, there ain't no show!"  Over the course of the past 6 years, I have taken perhaps too much statistical interest in the Blog audience data, but I do get a lot of satisfaction from following the number of "hits" I get from week to week, and year to year, and one of the things that strikes me is how consistent the figures have been at about 20,000 hits per year, or an average of around 500 per week.

While I am here I write between 30 and 40 weekly posts during the winter season, but the Blog also continues to get hits year round, throughout the summer months.  To some extent this "off-season" readership contributes to another Blog Nerd statistic, and that is the on-going popularity of certain posts, all of which can be found in the archives at the top of this page.  Apparently the Blog title can be a factor in its popularity, as can some "key words" that may be searched and attract hits, as well as popular subjects or areas of interest.  For example, one of this Season's posts: "A Whale of a Tale", is now the most viewed post of all since the beginning of the Blog, although it has only been available online for two months!

In addition to being interested in what interests you, I also find it interesting to know where you are reading from, because it is the World Wide Web, after all!  While it will probably not be surprising that over the life of the Blog by far the largest number of hits have come from the USA, at double the combined numbers  from Canada and Mexico which are in the second and third spots.  (Although, I believe that the Mexico number is mainly made up of US and Canadian readers who are Loreto Bay Homeowners accessing the Blog while they are here in Mexico.)  However, some of the next most frequent sources may surprise you: Russia and Germany rank 4th and 5th, and while the UK and France may not be surprising as next in the order, I for one would not have expected Latvia, Ukraine and Slovenia to round out the top ten!

Something else that has evolved over the life of the Blog is the number of contacts that I have received from Readers.  From a small handful in each of the first few years, that number has grown dramatically doubling year over year for the last several years.  Those contacts fall into three main categories; people looking for information and/or advice - often prior to a visit to Loreto, "fan" mail from people who just enjoy reading these posts, and Real Estate inquiries, which is the fastest growing group - reflecting the positive changes in this market in recent years.

And so, although I am not actually leaving Loreto at this time and I expect to be here for another month or so, I am beginning my "summer hiatus" from writing the Blog, as Loreto Bay transitions from the busy winter season to the much quieter (and hotter!) summer.  I trust that you will understand that for the next few weeks that I am here, but not making new postings, I will still be enjoying the uncommon experience of "Living Loreto" without writing about it!

Thank you again for your continued interest in these pages and I look forward to writing for you again this Fall, starting sometime in October if you want to diarize a reminder to check back, but until then I hope some of you will continue to look back at past posts and enjoy keeping in touch with "Living Loreto"!

Hasta Luego!