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Blogging highlights for 2016

January 4, 2017

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

Hannah Kent, Burial Rites bookcover

Courtesy: Picador

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:

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:

Sarah Kanake, Sing Fox to meMy 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.

Challenges/Memes

awwchallenge2016As 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.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2017 10:17 am

    Super interesting – thanks!

  2. January 4, 2017 11:31 am

    Have you got your wordpress report, Sue, or is this from your own analysis? I haven’t got mine yet…

    • January 4, 2017 11:54 am

      No, Lisa. I nearly asked you the same.

      I had to leave out a couple of things I included last year because I don’t have their report. I did a Google search yesterday and couldn’t find any info about their doing or not doing one this year. Given that, and the fact that I hadn’t seen anyone else report on theirs, I’ve decided they’re not doing it. I think last year it came on 30 Dec. Fortunately, just in case and because I gather some different data, I downloaded one year data around midnight on 31 December and did my own analysis. A shame eh?

      • January 4, 2017 11:16 pm

        i got my data from the stats page for my blog – if you go to wordpress it should give you that option….

        • January 4, 2017 11:20 pm

          Yes, that’s where I got mine, Karen, but that annual report they did gave some stats you can’t get from there, which is a shame.

  3. Meg permalink
    January 4, 2017 11:55 am

    Just love reading your blogs. Thanks to your efforts, they keep me up with Australian past and present writings.

    • January 4, 2017 1:07 pm

      Thanks so much meg. I love that you comment, respond to my queries and share your own reading. It’s lovely maintaining contact this way.

  4. Jim KABLE permalink
    January 4, 2017 4:22 pm

    As one says in Japanese: 「こちらこそ」(kochira-koso) which means that truly – the thanks are indeed due to you – WG! I return the thanks in this Japanese fashion merely to underscore how very significant is your contribution to the literary conversation here via your blog-site!

    • January 4, 2017 5:12 pm

      Thanks very much Jim – and you know I appreciate your contributions. They all add up to useful whole I think because no one person can think through it all.

  5. January 4, 2017 11:17 pm

    those search engine terms are crazy aren’t they – why would anyone want to do a search on ginger gits????

    • January 4, 2017 11:21 pm

      Good question, why indeed? I do love checking out the terms every now and then, Karen.

      • January 5, 2017 12:03 am

        I found one on my site Where is Wales which makes me wonder why they just dont get out a world map

  6. January 5, 2017 4:48 am

    Woo hoo! I made the top commenters list! It’s nice to know I am tops at something 😀

    As for that free masons search, have you been sprinkling in secret words and messages in your posts? Is there something you would like to share with us?

    As always, a wonderful year. And there is a reason I comment so much, you write such interesting things! Thank you! It is always a pleasure to visit.

    • January 5, 2017 8:15 am

      You are tops at lots of things Stefanie!

      As for your next question, I have one word, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

      And finally thanks, you say the biggest things, but you know the feeling is mutual.

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