Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where in the world is Pass the Honey?

One of the most fascinating aspects of this blog, Pass the Honey, is analyzing the data. I've never been much into statistics because they are numbers, and we English teachers don't do numbers. Just mention the word data, and we cringe. I look at those columns and rows in spreadsheets, and my mind completely shuts down. UGH!

This year at school, my former-math-teacher-turned-principal sent an email asking us to analyze the data of our students' testing results to see how we could improve. I said a prayer of gratitude because I didn't have any students who took those tests. 

But blogging statistics are easy and fun because Blogger gathers them all for me. It's exciting to watch a post's readership grow, especially when it takes a huge jump. I've only been a blogger for three short months, and I went into this knowing relatively nothing. I have worked hard to gather any information I could about the process. I even bought the book Blogger for Dummies because, after all, that's what I am.

One way I'm growing my readership is by connecting my posts to "link-up" parties. These parties are hosted by one blogger who selects a theme. Other bloggers link their theme-related post to the host's site and then read/comment on at least three other posts also linked. 

When I started linking-up, my readership took off. For example, I found a link-up for special needs parents, so I linked my Mother's Day post about the birth of my son who has Down syndrome. Three weeks later, that post has grown from 165 readers to 960. It's great for the ego to have that kind of growth, but what's more important are the parents who have reached out to me, asking questions about concerns with their younger child with Down syndrome. 

The most fascinating statistic that Blogger provides is Audience, or the location of my readers. This is truly amazing. Maybe it's because I'm old and have lived in a time when there was no internet that I'm intrigued, but when I see that someone in a remote place reads my post, I get excited. Presently, I have reached readers in over thirty countries on six continents. 

I admit that I am geographically challenged, so I have to search for some of these countries. When someone in Latvia read my post, I had to get out the map. Now I have an old-school paper map that my granddaughter and I check off the countries as they appear in the stats. It's a good geography lesson for us both.

I let my imagination wander when I think about these foreign people who read my posts. For instance, I imagined my Ukranian reader as a Russian soldier who stops his tank to read my latest post. I envision my Brazilian reader as a young, hip missionary floating down the Amazon River who stops the old boat midstream in order to get a clear signal for his iPad. I could go on and on with my stories, but I know in my heart that I have had an impact on world peace. hahaha

If you are interested about where these readers are located, you can check the link "Where's Honey?" that I placed under Sites of Interest on the right sidebar of the blog page. 

I also added Feedjit, a service which shows a live feed of the last ten readers' location. The only problem with Feedjit is that I'm counted when I log on as well. 

So, thank you for reading my blog, and please share with your friends and family. One day, Pass the Honey will go viral!