Today’s a special day at What’s Past is Prologue – it’s my 100th post! In the blogosphere, 100 is a party-worthy number to reach. It’s been eight months, 246 days, and almost 65,000 words later. I have to say, I’m surprised at myself for several reasons. First, I’m still at it. (I started a blog earlier than this one that has fallen by the wayside as this one has grown.) I’m also surprised I haven’t run out of ideas yet, mostly thanks to fellow bloggers’ memes and carnival ideas! I’m very suprised that people are reading what I write, commenting, and subscribing to read more. Finally, I’m astonished that I am spending more time on this “free” writing than on my paid writing jobs. Something ain’t right there…
When I started this blog, there were several things I hoped to accomplish. Let’s look back and see how I did:
- find more cousins, including some that might have an interest in genealogy, and share our family information - I’m still hoping to find more cousins. Since the start of this blog, I’ve found two second cousins once removed, but not as a result of this blog. I may have found another Bergmeister cousin as a result of my Bergmeister Family Page, but we’re connected so far back that we’re double-digit cousins!
- -find others researching the towns or areas where my ancestors lived - I’ve had a couple of comments from folks researching in the same towns, but we haven’t exchanged info yet.
- -share (hopefully) useful information regarding how to research - You be the judge!
- -join the great community of genea-bloggers for fellowship, to learn from them, and to share our passion for genealogy in cyberspace - This has been the most successful aspect of blogging. I really feel like I am part of the growing genea-blogger community, and I’ve made many, many good friends in far-off places.
- -develop my writing so that I can continue writing magazine articles on genealogy as well as other topics -Blogging definitely helps your writing!
- -organize my research, which will become a necessity if I hope to blog about it on a regular basis! -True.
I’ve learned a few things along the way. First, I’ve gotten a kick out of writing about things that are more of a “personal reflection” such as about my old pastor, car, cats, and music. I had no intention of ever writing such things, especially for all the world to read. But, these personal memories have been so enjoyable – and, surprisingly, others seem to enjoy them as well! I’ve learned that consistent blogging does help stimulate ideas for more writing and more research – your mind is constantly thinking of what to do next. I’m a little surprised that my closest friends and family members only visited once, but strangers have become my blogging friends and fans. I’ve also been amazed that the posts I hurriedly scribbled without any editing and barely any proofreading have “gone over” better than the ones I devoted hours of research and re-writing. Go figure! Equally surprising is the amount of time it takes to keep this blog rolling – hopefully I can continue with a pace that keeps it interesting even if I can’t post every single day.
I’ve learned I’m a bit on the “wordy” side…well, actually I knew that already. I’ve tried to avoid short posts in favor of meatier ones. Half of my posts are over 500 words, and 20 of those are over 1,000 words. My Proust-worthy post is the 2,321-word tribute to my great-great aunt, and my Hemingway-worthy 11-word post wished my parents a happy anniversary.
As for stats…wow! As of this writing, I have had an amazing 13,030 hits to my blog, which averages to about 53 visitors a day (low number 30/day, high 98/day). By month, August was the clear winner with an incredible 3,027 visits. August 29th was my most popular day with 380 people stopping in to say “hi”. My most popular posts in terms of visitors are:
1,065 – Polish Names and Feast Days
668 – 1808: Where was your family 200 years ago
523 – Philadelphia Marriage Indexes Online
342 – About Me
268 – Carnival of Genealogy, 54th Edition
264 – Got Milk?
230 – Hilaire Bergmeister: A Tribute to An Aunt
What are people looking for when they find my site? The majority are looking to find the meaning of Shakespeare’s phrase “what’s past is prologue”! The second most popular search is for information on Polish Name Days.
One fun thing about blogging is the feedback you can get from your fans. I’ve been fortunate to receive 296 comments so far, and I’m grateful for them all. My most frequent commenter award goes to (appropriately enough for my 100th post) — Lisa from 100 Years in America. I’m sorry this doesn’t come with any prize, but you’re tops in my book.
Thanks to all of my visitors, commenters, and the 43 people that are “subscribers” through feeds. I appreciate the fact that you are interested in what I have to say. I hope to keep it coming, and keep it interesting. I’ll try my best. In Polish, after wishing someone a Happy Birthday, you wish them “Sto Lat” – or 100 (more) years. I don’t know what “post” or “blog” is in Polish, so let’s just say Sto Lat and thank you.