Blogging highlights for 2016
It seems that I’ve established a bit of an end of year trifecta with my Australian Women Writers’ Challenge wrap-up post, followed by posts on Reading highlights and Blogging highlights. This post, obviously, is the Blogging one. I do it as much for my own record, because I enjoy tracking trends on my blog, so please don’t feel obliged if you’ve had enough!
Top posts for 2016
For the last three years, my most “hit” post has been Virginia Woolf’s short story “The mark on the wall“. This year, finally, an Aussie book topped the list, Hannah Kent’s Burial rites, which ranked 3rd last year. However, while last year, four Australian works appeared in my Top Ten posts, only three did in 2016:
- Hannah Kent, Burial rites (1st – posted April 2014)
- Red Dog (Movie and Book) (4th – 2nd last year – posted August 2011)
- Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones (7th – 4th last year – posted September 2009)
Tenth in the list was, interestingly, my page on Australian Literary Awards. I must make sure I keep it up to date! My Red Dog post has proved consistently popular since I posted it. With a follow-up movie, Red Dog: True Blue, about to be released into cinemas, I presume it will continue to receive hits this year.
In 2014, Barbara Baynton’s short story “The chosen vessel” (posted November 2012) ranked 5th, and last year it ranked 9th. It’s still ranking well, but dropped again this year to 12th. Some of my other posts on her short stories also feature in the top twenty or so. It’s wonderful seeing such a strong, original voice from the past being still read.
What I find particularly interesting, in fact, is that short works, including Baynton’s above, continue to rank well, several appearing in the Top Ten:
- Edith Wharton, “A journey” (2nd – posted November 2010)
- Virginia Woolf, “The mark on the wall” (3rd – posted March 2012)
- John Muir, “A windstorm in the forests” (6th – posted January 2010)
My most popular 2016-written post – ranking 66th – was, unlike last year, for an Australian work, Sarah Kanake’s debut novel Sing fox to me. And it’s closely followed by another Australian work, Stephen Orr’s The hands.
So, once again, my top-performing posts are older ones, which suggests that litblogs are contributing, hopefully usefully, to wider literary culture.
Finally, there is a surprising post in my Top Ten, but you’ll have to read on to see what it is.
Random blogging stats
I love sharing some of the searches that find my blog, so here are some of this year’s more interesting ones:
- freemasons secret magnify glass: what the?
- ginger gits: ditto.
- what pages are the best quotes on in red dog: haha, was this someone trying to short-cut writing an essay?
- whispering gums means: I’d love them to tell me if they found out!
- write a short note on the picturesque: presumably a homework question but I love that s/he seems to have typed in the whole question.
And then there were multiple searches relating to my 8th most popular post this year, What do you say when you order food at a restaurant (posted November 2014). The search terms included what else can i say in place of orderin restaurent, to place order in a restaurant what we say?, fine some expression ordery meal ins the restaurant, and when ordering food restaurant may i have. What a hoot, particularly when, quite coincidentally, the topic of what to say in restaurants became a bit of a family joke over Christmas!
Other stats tell the story of my year. This year was rather frenetic for me with some major family commitments but I managed to write more posts, 164 in fact, than last year’s paltry 133. My blog visitors came from 172 countries, and while Australia, the USA, Britain and Canada filled the top four slots, I love that India, the Philippines and Germany followed them. My most active commenters this year were: Lisa (ANZLitLovers), Stefanie (So Many Books, So Little Time), Ian Darling, Bill (The Australian Legend), and Meg. A big thanks to them, and to everyone who reads and/or comments on my blog. Whether or not you comment, it is a joy to share books and reading with you.
As I wrote in my AWW Challenge wrap up, I will participate in the Challenge again this year. I won’t set a formal goal but expect to read around 30. (See here for the Sign Up page). I will also probably do the AWW Bingo Card challenge again, though, as with this year, I expect to do it more by serendipity than by design. It was fun seeing whether my reading was varied enough to slot into the set categories.
Late last year, I started doing the #sixdegreesofseparation meme, currently run by Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest). I enjoyed the way it made me look back at past reading, thereby refreshing my memory, so I plan to join in again when I can this year.
And to wrap up my wrap-ups …
I’ve already said it in my Reading Highlights post, but I’ll reiterate it: thanks to everyone who read, commented on and/or “liked” my blog last year – and thanks to all the other wonderful bloggers out there, even though I don’t always manage to visit everyone as much as I’d like. You prove that cyberspace can be a positive place. I wish you all happy reading in 2017.
And finally, a big thanks to the authors who wrote the books that we love to read and talk about, and to the publishers and booksellers who get the books out there. May 2017 be a great one for you all.