Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Millionth Milestone

Almost too good-looking for words, the Lesser Fringed Gentian, Gentianopsis virgata. I photographed them yesterday in a Ross County, Ohio fen, and more about these gentians will be forthcoming in a future post.

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.


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10 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Congratulations, that's wonderful! You're right, I have arrived here several times through a Google search - pretty much any time I have a question involving nature and Ohio - and think to myself I should have thought to just check your blog first! Thanks for this very informative and unfailingly entertaining resource!

Jack and Brenda said...

Congratulations on reaching the one million milestone! I'm sure the next million will come a lot faster.

Jack

OpposableChums said...

Of the 30 or so birding/nature blogs I read every morning, yours remains my favorite, introducing me as it does to so many different aspects of natural history. Your ability to unearth and document the myriad miracles that surround us is astonishing and hugly appreciated.

Congratulations, Jim. Here's to the next million equally well-deserved visits.

Sharkbytes said...

Congrats! I think I found you by searching for a spotted slug. I still have that un-IDed one that doesn't seem to be a leopard slug.

Jim McCormac said...

Thank you all, and thanks for reading and commenting on my blog!

A.L. Gibson said...

Congratulations and a job well done, Jim! You greatly inspired me to take up the blogging world and influenced my interest in the natural and botanical world. I owe you and this blog a lot of thanks over the years! Keep the posts coming, I always look forward to the next installment.

Jim McCormac said...

Thanks Andrew! You are one of the premier nature photographers out there, and I always enjoy your work.

Hal Mann said...

This is a must read blog Jim. After meeting you and walking on a few field hikes you've lead, I'd say your writing style matches your easy going personality too. As a blogger myself, I always take note of your wordcraft and ability to make things interesting I never would have bothered to look at before. And I must say, you are the master of the synonym. You must hold the world record for the number of words you have to say "insect". Congrats on the 1 million hits and superb content. Here's to the next million! Cheers

Jim McCormac said...

Thank you very much for a very nice comment, Hal!

Pat Ernst said...

Congratulations Jim, and thanks for all your work involved. I have learned a lot from your posts.