I reached a milestone of sorts today, when the number of page views of this blog eclipsed one million. It may not mean a thing to anyone else, but I was pleased.
This short post is the 1,026th that I've made since starting the Ohio Birds and Biodiversity blog in its present format, on blogger.com. The first post dates to July 22, 2007, and covered the Ohio Dragonfly Conference. I had made scores more posts before this one, but they were hosted on a less stable server and some unknown Internet blow-up caused me to lose them all. So, despite its occasional foibles, I am quite grateful to blogger for providing a stable and reliable platform for those of us who wish to expound on this and that, and share our photos.
I intentionally put "Ohio" in the blog's title, as I like to promote my home state, even though I and the blog often roam much further afield. I'm grateful that this blog has been at least marginally successful in pushing the virtues of the Buckeye State, and natural history in general. And I apologize for not being as interactive with readers as a good blogger should be. I've gotten plenty of comments - 2,895 to date - but I can be quite slipshod about answering queries. Sometimes it's all that I can do to make posts, and it sometimes is tough to make time to comment back to people, or answer the personal emails that get sent my way.
When I noticed today's million milestone, I turned to Google Analytics for a quick look-see at the blog's activities of the past month. If you're in the dark, GA is a free service that tracks about every imaginable stat on blogger blogs.
In the past month, upwards of 14,600 people have made over 19,500 visits, and they represented all U.S. states and territories, and a total of 118 countries. That makes me feel good, because whether they wanted to or not, Ohio and biodiversity at least briefly registered on the consciousness of people from Stockholm, Sweden to Ankara, Turkey to Buenos Aires, Argentina to Tokyo, Japan.
Always of interest, to me at least, is the "keywords" that people punch into a search engine that lands them on my site (yes, Google Analytics tracks this, too). In the month just past, 5,325 unique search words or combinations thereof led to Ohio Birds and Biodiversity. Some are predictable, such as the various misspellings of my name as people apparently seek the blog. Others are quite specific queries, such as "Giant Leopard Moth" or "Northern Saw-whet Owl". Other search strands are more general, such as "cool bugs", and "flies are cute". Yet more seek answers, and log in with detailed requests such as "why do chipmunks cluck", "are there weasels in Ohio", and "big green caterpillar with yellow horns". Hopefully the blog has helped these answer-seekers in their quests.
If you read this blog - and you must, if you are reading this! - thank you. I hope to keep it up and running for another million visits.