Saturday, August 23, 2014

100,000 Page Views: Hurrah!

Picture of the Bob Wards retail gun counter,
from our inaugural blog post.
I started with a post about a pre-Christmas shopping trip

We had no plan for additional posts and no agenda set on what topics to write about. But I knew I wanted to think things through, and express myself from time to time. In my post retirement world, I did not have a good vehicle for doing so. So Along the Gradyent came into being. 

Winter had set in. We are in Montana now, I thought. We need activities to help us get through frigid winter days and the even colder nights. So I took up indoor swimming to keep body together and forged into the blogosphere to nurture the mind and the soul. When we had several dozen page views the first week, we were pleased.

Today we passed the 100,000 page view landmark!

We are proud of running 'em up, but we are not driven to maximize. Now, don't get me wrong. We like being read and followed. We want steady growth, at this stage about 60 percent year over year. We look at the numbers each month to see what attracted the most readers -- the ratings do not dictate how we move forward, but they do go into the mix. 
Our page view counter reaches 100,000, August 23, 2014.
At the same time, one of our best posts was written early on, and to this day, is among our least read. That hasn't stopped us from doing other serious work from time to time. I remain proud of the Phil Mickelson post and its straightforward message. It shows a country, an economy and a culture that veered in the wrong direction. It's all about dollars and envy now. Little attention is paid to production, growth in the real economy and value. With all the interventions, disruptions to and distractions from the economic value building process, it is no wonder median incomes (and ultimately, living standards) are in decline. The financial system and its government guardians are both servant and king. You all have elected the representatives who created this system. The American people reinforce the culture of envy. You have only yourselves to blame.

We know there are things we could do to significantly ramp up our readership -- first and foremost being to sign up for ads. Getting into the advertising space would advance our links closer to the top of search engine results, in consequence of Google's and Bing's financial relationships with advertisers. God bless the internet cartel. 

Our Google supplied free software gives us the option of allowing advertising by the flick of a switch. The minimal financial benefits are not motivating, but someday I will likely contrive a rationale (like the world will be a better place if Along the Gradyent has more readers) and go there. Don't be surprised.

Another promotional tactic would be to spruce up our posts with pop culture references. Our most frequently read post (The Golf Channel: Spouse's Guide To Sanity) references Axl Rose, Armani, Refrigerator Perry and Katie Perry, among others.  That's more pop culture references than you would find in a hundred posts written by yours truly. The celebrity names are search engine eye candy. 

The Golf Channel post was written by my wife who actually understands people and pop culture. We will go down that route more often if, and when, she gets the impulse to write a post more often than every year or two. As my children gleefully point out on almost a daily basis, I am guilty of abject pop culture ignorance.

As for the future, our blogging will experience its normal seasonal pick up during the next few months. Climatic fall is hitting hard here in Montana this week, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s, and snow forecast above 6,500 feet (we are right around 5,000 feet at Along the Gradyent Central). The cottonwoods are turning yellow. We know there will be spurts of Indian Summer and relief. But when winter sets in, we already have binders (to use Mitt Romney's unfortunate term) of research to support writing new items for the On the Road to Bathgate Series, and we will order up five microfiche reels at a time (that's the inter-library loan limit at five dollars a pop) from the North Dakota State Historical Society, and/or take another mid winter trip to the frigid environs of Bismarck to add to our research trove. 

All thanks to the wonderful relatives who are helping and have supported me in this endeavor -- and especially the wife and the children who put up with it.

The best is yet to come. Cheers!

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