As I sit down to write my 200th blog post on this platform, I find myself taking a moment to pause and evaluate my progress, as well as consider the future.
This blog began on August 27th, 2013 at 15:39 with a brief overview of some thought-provoking websites. Shortly thereafter, I failed the physical exam to become a park warden and was thrown into a torrent of self-evaluation, critical reflection, and anxious introspection. For some reason – perhaps because I was just finishing up my Master’s thesis and had a lot of leisure time available – I continued to work on the blog throughout this burn-out period.
Today the blog has garnered 4, 565 total views – a steady increase from 141 views in August 2013 to the height of the blog’s success of 710 views in March 2014. I continue to ask myself: who are these people? And why do they bother to read my stuff? I’m incredibly flattered – but my blog has found only two consistent thematic foci (hiking and books), neither of which tell you how to get rich or find happiness.
Although my audience may change (with a few consistent followers, who I love eternally for their readership), I do not. I remain thoughtful and secretly wishing that I could invest my time into a timeless literary novel, rather than a spurious blog that purports to be writing (but isn’t, really). I remain relatively uncertain about the doctoral process, in a state of semi-unemployment, and still massively opinionated on many topics. Some of my top posts (not including the static pages) have included:
- The Doge – A Canine Meme (198 views)
- Dryden Tract and Sudden Tract – North Dumfries, Ontario (85 views)
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men (62 views)
- The Death of the Road Trip? (40 views)
I know that my articles on internet memes (like the doge) have been picked up by StumbleUpon and Reddit, allowing chronically bored and short-attentioned people everywhere to take a two-second view of my blog’s homepage.
I keep up the blog in tandem with my social media channels, which have also thrived. My Klout score currently sits at 48.29. Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence on a scale of 1 to 100. This score is fairly average, since few of my 59 Facebook friends, 440 Twitter followers, 32 Google+ followers, and 3 Instagram followers regularly engage with my content. But it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see this number, regardless.
It is, in essence, this warm feeling of being known (of being a somebody) that keeps me sitting down to write regularly on this blog platform. Like some of my Millennial brethren, I believe that modern technology offers us a unique way to broadcast our hopes and fears to the world, while chronicling our daily anxieties, frustrations, and personal experiences. It occasionally feels pointless in isolation, like thoughtless shouting at a blank wall, but I imagine that someday, somehow, it will all be worthwhile.
I do solemnly vow to continue with this blog, on a frequent or semi-frequent basis, so long as I am physically and mentally able, and anyone who wants to read it is a welcome visitor to my brain.