Friday, June 1, 2012

The Year That Was

I need to start out by giving credit where credit is due. Albeit late.

I didn't come up with the name The Brown Knowser.

[Insert a mass gasp of breath, of glasses crashing to the ground]

When I decided I wanted to create a new blog that was separate from my family blog, I wasn't sure what to call it. At the time, I was uninspired, and so I simply called it The Other Blog.

Today marks its one-year anniversary.

A couple of days after I had started posting to this new blog, I grew tired of the title and knew that I needed to change it before my readers got used to it. But I was still having difficulty coming up with a title that I wanted to see every day. I knew that I had one chance at getting the title right: I didn't want to change it again—that would make me seem flaky.

I turned to Lori for help. We bounced ideas off of each other—we're particularly good at that. I almost used Mostly Harmless, but I thought I was already stealing from Douglas Adams by using that phrase in my Twitter bio. There was Ross' Rants, because I had gone off on a few, but I didn't want this blog to be only my rantings.

"How about the Brown Noser?" Lori joked. "You're always sucking up to people."

My dear, wonderful readers, that simply isn't true. Surely, your great intelligence and wisdom has already led you to discover that I'm not a suck-up.

"Actually," Lori added, "You could spell Noser K-N-O-W-, like you're knowledgable."

I loved it.

We played with a couple of other ideas, but I was already sold on The Brown Knowser.

And now a year has passed since the first post. Time flies.

I want to thank all of you who read my blog, either as regular followers or as occasional visitors. Thank you for being the driving force behind my posts.

For the past year, I've been following the stats for my blog, trying to gauge the posts you like versus the ones that are not as popular. And I thought I'd share my findings with you. I took some screen captures of my stats as of 4:00 pm on May 31, and here's what I've found:

Over the year, The Brown Knowser has received more than 16,000 hits to its 244 posts. That averages to more than 66 hits per post. I know: for some bloggers, that's small potatoes. But for me, that's awesome! I mean, you're awesome!

And this May received the most number of hits of any month, so I must be doing something right.

Some of the most popular posts have been, not surprising, my Where In Ottawa contests. My beer reviews are also popular; in particular, my Mill Street reviews. It seems that Mill Street has been adding my links to their Facebook page whenever I review a beer, and that's okay with me. Read on, folks. Read on.

Surprisingly, my Instagram: Light Play post continues to be popular, but I've explained why that is. And so the number of page views grows.

What also surprises me is where my audience resides. I expected the vast majority of my readers to be from Canada and the United States. I have friends in Germany and India, and I know people in the U.K. and Australia. But to my knowledge, I don't know who in France is reading my blog. I certainly don't know who in Russia is reading it. Or Saudi Arabia, Argentina, South Africa, or Brazil. I've seen readers from almost every continent.

Here are the top 10 countries and how they are accessing my blog.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. Quite the contrary. I welcome everyone to The Brown Knowser. I'm just wondering what the attraction is for someone who is from a country where English is not the first language. I would love to hear from you. Why not leave a comment and tell me where you're from, and what brings you to my blog?

So what is in store over the next year for The Brown Knowser? Beats me. I'm surprised I can sit down each night and come up with something for the next day. And just hope that you like it.

And I thank you for reading it!

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