When I first moved into this cyber-neighborhood a few years ago, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I was pretty skeptical as to how effective this blogging platform could be for what I had to say. I also had serious doubts as to whether one could really form any kind of meaningful relationships through the exchange of "follows," "likes" and "retweets."
Those first few weeks, it seemed I checked my stats almost hourly. I'd get excited if I'd had five or ten page views. And I was blown away when the occasional visitor from another country showed up.
And why have I been getting thousands of visits
from folks in the Ukraine, of all places?
Well, this afternoon I logged my 100,000th page view. Now I realize that, for a top blogger, that's about the number of views you might expect in a day or two, but to me it's huge. It shows me that what I've been trying to do here at One Man's Wonder has at least been getting out there, and I figure that even these modest numbers suggest folks have been liking and sharing my content with others.
And I've now had visitors from 72 countries. For some reason, this strikes me as even more amazing than the page views. Maybe it's the intrigue—wondering what kind of person each new tick represents, imagining the perils they might encounter for subscribing to the free expression of ideas in countries like China or Iran. And why have I been getting thousands of visits from folks in the Ukraine, of all places?
Well, I guess it's kind of like flying for me. I know there are good solid reasons why it works. Still, no matter how often I do it, I just sit here like an awestruck kid, thinking it's nothing less than a miracle.
It's not about the numbers; it's about the dialog,
the relationships you make, how you're affecting
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
At the same time that I celebrate this little milestone, I must keep in mind what the wisest and most experienced bloggers have told me: it's not about the numbers; it's about the dialog, the relationships you make, how you're affecting your readers.
I've realized for myself the validity of this advice, often succumbing to the seductiveness of the numbers only to have that temporary burst of energy and confidence fall off like the rush of a cheap drug. What truly energizes me—and keeps me energized—is the writing and the responses of readers who find it interesting and inspiring.
So I'll keep denying my admitted need for affirmation and keep my focus where it belongs. Among my goals for the coming months:
- to post consistently high-quality content that you find worthy not only of subscribing to, but of sharing with like-minded folks;
- to find more and better ways of participating in the growing movement to rescue and restore our (especially children's) natural affinity with Nature;
- to get outside the comfortable role of preachin' to the choir, and find new audiences who may not yet know how much a part of their souls Nature and wonder are.
- to elicit more of your comments (I've always intended this to be a dialog, not a soliloquy) and
- to continue broadening and strengthening my connections with other bloggers.
Many thanks to all who've visited One Man's Wonder, those who've taken the time to comment, my faithful RSS-feed subscribers, and to those who've shared, liked and tweeted about OMW.
Thanks to my fellow bloggers who, as a rule, have proven to be kind, generous and supportive. So many of you have mentioned or shared my posts with your followers, offered suggestions, posed challenging questions, and/or agreed to share my work as guest posts at your sites.
Thanks, too, to those who've been kind enough to review or mention my book, Under the Wild Ginger – A Simple Guide to the Wisdom of Wonder: Stacey Mathews, blogger, outdoorswoman and epic hiker, Patricia Hamilton of Patricia's Wisdom, William Ricci of Stone Path Review and Cassandra Herbert of Just Bee Wellness. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.
My friends, your encouragement and support has been a great blessing, often coming, miraculously, at just those times when I most needed a pat on the back. THANK YOU!