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Two Years

Birthday Cake with 2

It's been two years today since I started this blog with my post on hedgehogs and foxes. At the time I had high hopes, despite having seen many warnings that blogging was dead.

From 2005 to 2010 I had run a blog called it seems to me... which at its peak averaged about 30 readers a day and maybe three to five commments per post. This time around, with Disqus to handle comments, a "like" button for easy instant feedback, and social media to promote each post, I expected to do much better.

But it turns out it's hard to promote a new blog in the 2010s. I quickly realized the two best promotion tools from my original blog—the blogroll which gave us all more publicity and enhanced both our collective and individual Google Page ranks, and blog carnivals which put free links to specific posts on other sites—were now no longer available as so many other bloggers have either gained enough of a following to join blog networks like Patheos or Science Blogs, or hung up their keyboards.

And it turns out social media isn't as good a promotional tool as I thought. (Or quite possibly I'm just not skilled at it.) When I started promoting my blog posts on Facebook, I got more feedback on Facebook than on the blog itself. And while that might be more convenient for most people, Facebook doesn't do nearly as good a job of retaining comments for later viewing as Disqus does. And over time, Facebook has steadily decreased the number of people who are even shown my posts. Because I created a Squish Like Grape Facebook page, I know both how many people saw the post on their wall and how many people clicked on it. As fewer people see the post in the first place, fewer people are likely to click on it—which means Facebook will show the next post to fewer people. It's a downward spiral, a dilemma that I don't have a solution for.

Statistics from Google Analytics (GA), on the other hand, are showing a very slight upward trend—though nothing to boast about. Squish Like Grape, according to GA, averages eight sessions by four unique visitors per day, and the average visitor sees about five pages per session. There are peak days with more than 100 page views, and many days with fewer than 10. Frankly, I don't think these numbers are credible—unless GA is recording visits by search bots.

But I've made it to two years. Has it been worth it? I guess that depends on why I blog. My main goals for this blog are to practice writing regularly, to organize my thoughts regarding various topics, to push myself to research different subjects, and to interact with others who think answers aren't always easy to find. I'm succeeding in the first three goals, but failing at the last one. I don't know if I need to change my strategy, or my goals.

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