Friday, August 30

Seven Year Itch

Reading the title of this post you could be thinking that I am writing about the bites that seem to plague me every year at this time. I need to spray myself liberally every time I venture out of the house and woe betide me if I forget just because I am popping into the greenhouse. Itchy as I feel this isn't the subject of my post.

Today it is seven years since I published the very first post on this blog. In those seven years things have changed a lot for both me personally and my blog. Don't bother checking back posts from 2006 as I can guarantee you will be bored, bored and bored! My blog had a whole different purpose and personality back then - in fact it didn't have a personality at all. It had a job to do and it did it. The posts were almost one liners and served as a message board for the plotters on our site. For this reason I started my website as a personal diary rather than an allotment site bulletin board which was more or less where my blog fitted in and although I wrote the blog it wasn't really mine in the true sense.
Gradually the blog evolved - the main change being in 2009 when the blog and the allotment site association parted company. The 'history' behind how my blog grew is posted about here just in case you are interested in that sort of thing. 
At this point the new focus of the blog was to provide information about the manure contamination that was spreading across the country but gradually posts became longer and included life outside of the allotment plot and the blog metamorphosed to become what it is today.
I started my blog thinking I was communicating with a few people on our allotment site and now I am constantly amazed at how far the blogosphere reaches. Initially visitors comments were restricted to banter between plot holders and then gradually I began to gather a group of regular commenters from further afield which I am happy to say are being regularly added to. I still am just as interested in the comments about my posts as I was in those earlier days. 

Initially I tended to 'live' in isolation rarely venturing outside of my own blog area but now I enjoy reading many other blogs as much writing my own. Many of the blogs I enjoy are featured in my bloglists but more are in my pending tray with new ones being added regularly. Some will become firm favourites and others may fade away. Just as in 'real life' we find we have more interests in common with some than with others.

Last week I checked the data from my Clustermap widget
First there is information about UK visitor numbers per area. If you click you can read the information. It seems the highest number of UK visitors come from London. Although there were 1,360 visitors from an unknown location.
As far as non-UK visitors the highest number come from the USA.
What I find amazing though is the number of countries that my blog has reached out to. Granted quite a lot of visitors will have just paid a fleeting visit having arrived 'by accident' but a percentage will be visitors with some sort of interest in what I have written. I think it demonstrates the power of the internet as a communication tool. Like all communication tools, though it can be used for bad as well as good reasons.

If you are a visitor that comes regularly on purpose then thank you for your interest and encouragement. If you are a new visitor please don't be reluctant to join in by making comments. New commenters are very welcome. Often it is using the links left by new visitors that I find new blogs to read. (Less welcome are the spammers so please don't follow any links that they leave behind. Many spam comments are filtered out anyway so in most cases they are just wasting their time).  If you are a regular visitor but still are more comfortable just reading then thank you too for taking an interest. 

As for the seven year itch - let's hope we survive it. I think for me the secret has been not to allow the blog to become a job of work or a chore. I don't write about everything we do in the garden, I write about the things that are interesting me at the time. If you also follow Martyn's blog you will have found that although we are writing about the same garden and plot we often write about very different aspects of our gardening activities.

Our website tends to be the diary and record keeping device that we can look back over and compare the current year to previous years and my blog is more snapshots of activities and events. Maybe that will change over time but for now it's how I like it.

As for the other itches I'd better go find that spray before I go out! See you later - I hope


27 comments:

  1. Wow, seven years, that's fantastic, well done Sue. I'm not surprised that you have so many followers, I love reading your blog. I see I am on the list - South Gloucestershire 1! It's lovely to see people from so many countries have found you - lives everywhere are so different, it's nice to imagine what it's like where other people are too. Long may your lovely blog continue.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement CJ. Yes you're on the list - a recent find but I love it - I think I found you because you found me! If you use the Clustrmaps it provides some really interesting information about where people come from

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  2. You've done really well to blog for 7 years. It's interesting to see where your visitors have come from. I wonder how accurate it is though? I've noticed some blogs have a thing that shows where the latest viewer is and my location is never right. Is it because I haven't entered my location in Google? xx

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    1. Locations aren't really accurate Debbie - ours varies. I'm not sure whether this is as a result of which server you connect to when making your search or whether the geolocation function just gets it wrong. If you change your location in Google it may give a more accurate address. Ours is sometimes Wakefield or Leeds and sometimes places to the south of us or even York. I wonder if it depends how busy the nearest server is.

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    2. Just checked and I have my Google location as West Yorkshire which may affect the accuracy

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  3. Wow seven years, well done Sue.

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  4. Congratulations on seven years. Brilliant!

    I find it amazing how far a blog can reach too, the world is certainly becoming that mush smaller.xxxx

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    1. It is amazing Snowbird and somehow makes world news far more relevant and interesting as often you think I 'know' someone who lives there.

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  5. I feel the same way about my early blog posts too - although I have been blogging no where near as long as you my blog and the content has changed dramatically over the last two or three years. I think if we didn't progress with our blogs then it would become boring to us and our readers.

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    1. It would Elaine, I think too that as you learn new things you want to incorporate them. Life is all about continuing to learn isn't it?

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  6. Congratulations on a fine achievement, Sue. Your blog is definitely a Perennial!

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    1. But is it a hardy perennial, Mark?

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  7. wow 7 seven years of blogging amazing Sue well done you

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  8. Congratulations on your seven year blog anniversary. You're still finding plenty of interesting topics to blog about so I look forward to reading many more posts.

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    1. I nearly made a blunder though, Jo. I've just found out a post I had written for posting next week was almost identical to one I published in January! Oops

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  9. Hello! I´m a new follower from Uruguay a very little country in S.America between Brazil and Argentine.We are well known because of football!. I find your blog really interesting . I´m a"new "gardener ,and I´m learning a lot sharing experiences with people around the world.! besos. Lilián.-

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    1. You are most welcome Lilian. I certainly know of Uruguay. maybe I'll learn a bit more about your country from you.

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  10. Hi Sue! Happy 7th blogbirthday! I just love reading your blog, you write so often it's hard to keep up at times but when I do, I catch right up and keep coming back for more :)

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    1. Thanks Anna, Must admit my posting does sometimes ebb and flow depending on how much I have to write about. I prefer not to have posts too long and to try and restrict to a theme which is probably why I have lots of posts.

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  11. Congratulations it's amazing how far your blog has reached into the world!

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    1. I'm sure yours will have done the same Damo

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  12. Well done Sue for 7 years of blogging thats brilliant, may you continue writing many more

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