Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ten Years Blogging And All I Got to Show For It Is a T-Shirt

Well, as sold on CafePress and what not... ahem. I should focus here.

Infidel753 over on his blog announced he had completed ten years of crazy blogging and took a moment to look back at his biggest reads. Blogger.com tracks viewership stats, country of linkage, and search terms used to bring up the blog.

He pointed out how Pinku-Sensei over at his blog had done the same thing, and I got to thinking that hey, it wouldn't hurt to look back as part of the Ten Years Gone sentiment and see what was popular among the eight regular readers and occasional guests...

10) There's a book on suggested amendment ideas! Oct 23, 2007
1135 Pageviews

This is a hold-over from the days where I wanted to focus my blogging on amendment reforms and ideas, when the blog was Amendments We Need and... almost nobody read it. But this picked up a lot of traffic because of the keywords: the word "amendment" and the name "Larry Sabato," a well-known Constitutional scholar and political pundit. Sad thing is, there's nothing to this entry. It's barely two paragraphs, mostly noticing there's a book on suggested amendment ideas. It's kind of sad how the Google search algorithms work.

9) Democratic Debate Drinking Game for October Oct 1, 2015 7 comments
1144 Pageviews

This is part of a phase on my blogging when I couldn't take the then GOP Primary debates of the 2015-16 news cycle. So to cope, I wrote a series of mocking, almost horrifyingly accurate drinking rules for people watching the debates.

This isn't even the highest ranking drinking game mockery, just one that eked into the top 10. I will say more higher on the list.

8) The Danger of Trump's World View Apr 29, 2016 5 comments
1245 Pageviews

The biggest reason I get a lot of recent traffic is that somewhere around 2012 (2011?) I came to the attention of Batocchio, blogger at Vagabond Scholar, who placed links of my articles at Crooks & Liars newsblog under the Mike's Blog Round-Up daily share. Since then, other guest managers of MBRU like Tengrain and Infidel would link me as well, kicking up my traffic from fourth-tier to... um, maybe second-tier infamy.

This affected me in two ways. One, it increased how often I would blog because before then I would post something maybe once a week: Nowadays I try to blog something of interest once a day. Two, it made me try to write things of genuine thought and intellectual worthiness to make the grade for the MBRU notice.

This actually wasn't one of my more intellectual works. Borrowing a lot from Adam Silverman's more scathing attack on Trump's world-view from Balloon-Juice, all I did was add on my views of Barber's Presidential Character traits and let it out there. It had a lot of the emotional urgency - due to it pointing how dangerous Trump would be, period - which I guess made it a popular article to link. It not only got the C&L treatment, I also got linked to Infidel's individual weekly wrap-up as well as a link from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo!

7) Florida Ballot Amendments 2012: The Big No Oct 12, 2012 1 comment
1257 Pageviews

One thing I noticed from the analytical information is how I get traffic from other nations. I get readers flocking in from places like Russia and Japan for certain articles. Sometimes because the Russians were trying to hack me, probably, still I shouldn't be too paranoid. Ahem...

This was HUGELY popular in places like Japan and France, and the reason why was that I was blogging about a rare thing: the statewide amendments on the Florida ballot in 2012. There must not be a lot of other people who spend the time - at least back then - to go over each amendment in detail and offer up a suggested "vote this way". I must pop up high on the search engine results whenever someone wants to know "hey, what's Amendment 7 about" and "should I vote NO on this amendment on tax exemptions for war veterans?"

6) Florida 2014 Election: Sample Ballots and Reminders Oct 12, 2014 8 comments
1380 Pageviews

As noted with 7), my Florida-based evaluations of the sample ballots and amendment votes are a big hit with the search engines. This one got slightly better traffic, and even got more heated commentary, because of the key races for Governor, the Medical Marijuana vote, and the Pasco County Mosquito Control Board (sadly, there wasn't enough information on that year's Mosquito Control candidates, which led to a lot of angry readers). This year, I hope I get a good showing for the general election recommendations...

5) American Income, American Injustice Mar 6, 2015 2 comments
1503 Pageviews

This one is one of my prouder achievements. Building off of the examinations from better writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chad Staton, I delved into our nation's nasty little secret of police-driven extortion in the form of Asset Forfeiture, and how it was keeping poor communities broken and feeding into the cycle of mistrust between law enforcement and the citizenry needing their service. I consider it one of my better calls for reforms I've written.

4) Whatever happened to the Port-O-San Cleaner from Woodstock Aug 15, 2009 7 comments
1569 Pageviews

If the previous article is my proudest work, this is my most personal fave.

I've been a fan of Woodstock Festival 1969 ever since my high school years studying modern history, and so every year every August I find myself gushing over the event. In particular, I came to respect the man who showed up in the classic award-winning documentary working on keeping the Port-O-Sans clean for 500,000 (!) attendees, and so in 2009 I dedicated a researched blog article about Mr. Taggart, the Hero of Woodstock.

Where most of these articles are ranked high thanks to traffic links from Crooks & Liars and other bloggers, this one does not. And yet it made the Top 5 all on its own, based on search engine requests from hundreds of other people trying to find anything on the "guy who cleaned the Port-O-Sans at Woodstock." Every day I see one, three, five, eight people hitting this article - sometimes not even near the anniversary - all because they want to find any info on him too. Such is the legacy Mr. Taggart has left to us: there are so many who watch the documentary and are touched by the man's story and who want to know more...

And I'm still waiting to hear from Mr. Taggart's son! C'mon man, I need to hear your story...

3) The Long October: The Ambitious Damage of The Hollow Men Oct 15, 2013 2 comments
1969 Pageviews

This was me, waxing poetic during the big Republican Shutdown effort of 2013, what I called "the Long October." This made a big impact on the MBRU page the week I wrote it, and I later considered it for Batocchio's Annual Roundup at his Vagabond Scholar site, which added to the traffic.

2) And Iran. Day Six Jun 18, 2009 2753 Pageviews

I was one of hundreds of people blogging about the Iranian Green Revolution back in 2009, hoping at the time that the people's uprising might lead to good things.

Sadly, it didn't.

I still got a lot of traffic for this entry, most of it from France, probably because this one had photos to it, some I had created on the I Can Has Cheezburgr site using the Demotivational Poster tool. And ouch, the links have actually gone bad. I need to go in and fix those...

In the meantime, the Iranian uprising had been quashed in one way but had retained life in another: the Iranian people still vote for the most moderate, global-minded candidates they can in spite of the Ayatollah's efforts to push hardliners into office. Granted, the moderate officials can't do much, but the votes are still a major denouncement of the religious leadership, and they've led to better foreign relations that can lead to a kind of peace that the Ayatollah cannot ignore.

1) It Has To Be Done: GOP Debate Drinking Game 2016 Jul 22, 2015 17 comments
3879 Pageviews

I will admit: This one was too easy to make.

The early polling for the Republican slate of Presidential candidates was making it clear that Trump was dominating the set, and that the upcoming televised debates starting that August were going to be barn-burners (in a bad way). At one point I tweeted to Oliver Willis if he knew of any drinking games that were going to be in play for at least the first debate, and then I decided "You know what? F-ck it, I'm writing my own."

Even though I personally do not drink alcohol of any kind. I *am* keen on the microbrewery process as a purely intellectual / cooking /chemistry interest, but that's it. I'd be drinking flavored tea where I could (and hell, even drinking water to excess is toxic, so any drinking game carries a risk...)

By creating that drinking game list in July, I had gotten ahead of a couple of other bloggers (and professional writers) who were trying the same thing before the actual August event. By getting in early for the search engine parameters, I ended up at the top of the results pages for a lot of people looking to get buzzed - or drowning their sorrows - during what turned out to be the Worst of Times and the Blurst of Times.

Adding to the fun was getting Pinku-Sensei showing up, plugging in his suggested drink recipes for each GOP candidate, and which helped spike interest.

I made another drinking game for September, building off the success of this one, but by the October one I realized the gag wasn't that funny anymore and that people were likely getting drunk over the realization that Trump was winning the Republican ballot. I don't think I will create another election-based drinking game again.

Unless Ted Cruz and Marco "No-Show" Rubio make comebacks for 2020.


So there you have it. My ten most viewed articles in the first ten years of this blog.

Of the articles I'm most proud of that didn't make the list, a popular article on Presidential Character for Woodrow Wilson deserves honorable mention. I also get a lot of traffic for the MegaCon comic book conventions, but that's about it.

I do encourage you all to of course read every article. :)


Infidel753 said...

I was one of hundreds of people blogging about the Iranian Green Revolution back in 2009, hoping at the time that the people's uprising might lead to good things.

Sadly, it didn't

I would argue that it did -- in the long run. The protests couldn't reverse the stolen election of that year, but they made the theocrats too scared to do so too blatantly with the next election -- and so the reformist Rouhani won. This led to some considerable loosening-up within the country, as well as the nuclear deal with the US -- although what Rouhani has been able to accomplish is limited, since much of the power in Iran resides with the "Supreme Leader" (head theocrat) rather than with the President. But none of it would have happened without the 2009 uprising.

I once said to an Iranian blogger that both the US and Iran have a reformist, international-minded President being obstructed by an opposition party dominated by religious crazies. His response was, "The difference is that we Iranians would never have elected our religious crazies if we had proper free elections." Rouhani's victory in an election the theocrats were too afraid to rig too blatantly bolsters his point.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog through a link roundup somewhere a few months ago and I'm glad I did. I read all the posts now. Great blog.

Anonymous said...

I also read infidel but I very rarely comment anywhere because I have no time.

dinthebeast said...

I found this blog on MBRU also, read it every day now. I agree with Infidel's comment above about Iran. I have been especially interested in Iran since 1984 when I was taught to be a line cook by a chef who was born in Iran. He was quite a character, and I liked him a lot. He was an entomologist who listened to opera in the kitchen while he worked, and found ways to call out the bullshit US/white biases I still operated under in my early twenties. He gave me something to compare the stereotypes about Iranians I encountered later to, and I am glad to have had that as I discovered more about Iran.
It's been interesting to watch all of my favorite political blogs as they celebrated their ten year blogiversaries. It seems like many of them started right around the time I first started seriously paying attention to politics, in the aftermath of the 2004 election.

-Doug in Oakland

Pinku-Sensei said...

"Adding to the fun was getting Pinku-Sensei showing up, plugging in his suggested drink recipes for each GOP candidate, and which helped spike interest."

Glad to have helped propel that entry to number one. It was the least I could do after you wrote the rules that I used for multiple entries.

"I don't think I will create another election-based drinking game again."

Well, phooey. I'll have to find another blogger's rules to use for the Vice Presidential debate.

"Unless Ted Cruz and Marco "No-Show" Rubio make comebacks for 2020."

May we both still be blogging then.

Paul Wartenberg said...

I could write a drinking game for the coming September one... but I need to focus on getting my short stories finished for 1) an upcoming library class on self-publishing and 2) a few deadline submissions for various publications that I am now aware of that I *might* have stories that fit their needs.