Three Years of Around the Grid

WARNING:  Some statistical navel-gazing ahead!! (Though not as much as in the past)

Around the Grid with Harper turned three years old on November 20 and has had over 75,000 visits during that time — over 78,000 as of this writing!  This is far better than I ever dreamed it would be back in 2007, when I started this journal to record my experiences in Second Life, and I’m honored to be as popular as I am with you my readers.

As is my tradition, it’s time to dip into the statistics a little bit and see what’s been going on in the past year and over the run of the blog.  First of all, the traditional yearly Top X — this year, the Top 20, which I plan to keep it at for as long as I keep doing these yearly retrospectives:

Top 20 as of November 21, 2010

The front page, not surprisingly, is the top entry of all time, with well over 20,000 visits.  The perennial top individual page is still there, though:  my article in the first year on the one custom dress I’ve commissioned to date.  And, as always for that page, it’s nothing about Second Life that’s attracting people — it’s the screenshot I included of a guest character from an episode of original Star Trek, Diana Ewing’s “Droxine.”  I suspect I’m getting a lot of fans — not to call them fanboys, but that was a beautiful character — who are looking for a picture of Droxine, as stills of that episode are thin on the ground.

More after the fold….


Not surprising either is the number of fashion articles in the Top 20.  “Fashion” as a category on Around the Grid accounts for only 22% of the 527 articles I’ve written, but SL fashion blogs are insanely popular — out of the four SL blogs I have permanently bookmarked on a Firefox toolbar, two are fashion blogs.  My own small contributions hit on something good once in a while, I guess…or people just enjoy looking at pretty pictures (grin).  Any road, one of my favorite articles, on the cocktail/party dress from the House of Nyla, rides high at #4, and half of the articles in the list are fashion-related.  It does occur to me that this says something about the depth we exhibit as avatars, and maybe as people, but that’s a speculation without any backing in cold facts.

Interestingly, I seem to have become a source for information on Bloodlines, the Grid-based vampire game that kicked up such insanity a few years ago.  I can’t figure out whether people are wanting to learn more about the game — which, as far as I know, has faded into the background of Second Life due to peer pressure — or were looking for someone who shared their opinion on the botheration factor the more aggressive players exhibited.  Comments have not been forthcoming on the matter (hint, hint)….

I like this last one that I’ll belabor you with:  my article on the Reverend Mark Brown stepping down from his position on the Leadership Board of the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life is on the list at #16, with a respectable visit count of 730.  Mark performed well as first Rector (as I see him) of the very dynamic Anglican/Episcopalian “parish,” and the interest in this article shows, I think, how people can bring their RL concerns about such matters as the Immanent into Second Life.

Taking a look at referrers — the places people click from to find my scribblings — I find a lot of them coming to me from the WordPress Dashboard, which probably means they are searching for certain keywords and click on an article from the list provides them.  Others come, I’m proud to say, from favorite blogs I’ve been mentioned in or have commented on, such as New World Notes, Red Rose of Caledon and It’s Only Fashion.  I hope that, if you find one of my articles good, you’ll mention it on your own blog (if you  write one).  Using the Like button also gives me feedback on how well I’m doing, as well as the 5-star rating system; and the social-networking buttons are also very welcome.  For instance, I’ve seen perhaps 80 visits from Twitter as a referrer.


Speaking on my personal performance as this blog’s publisher/editor/author/chief cook and duty wallah, this past year hasn’t been the greatest.  I believe I’ve noticed a falloff in the number of articles I’ve written.  The one thing I will plead is that, for me, I try to keep RL more prominent than SL.  A real husband and two children must have more importance than the much more ephemeral world inside the computers; I hope that I’ve succeeded in juggling them both without giving in to obsession with my Grid life.

Having said this, I think I have picked up in a few areas, and maintained a good standard of quality in others.  Since photography is my secondary vein of expression in world, I started the irregular “Contact Sheet” column to bring attention to some of the fantastic photographic work I’ve found from other avatars.  Though I’ve slipped back a touch over the past few months, I did manage to catch up my columns to the point where I was close to doing one a month in the aggregate.  I hope to get the rest of the way by this time next year, if not maybe even get ahead.  And my reporting of news events, while not thorough and daily, has (I hope) maintained a good standard for impartiality and accuracy.  You, the readers, are my judges in the final analysis, but I haven’t been accused of gross stupidity or slander yet (grin).

As always, your thoughts are welcomed, as long as they’re reasoned and non-contentious.  Indeed, comments are the one real avenue of input bloggers have from those who read their work; number of visits tells how many people are coming to look at the screen, but any number of those visits can be “false drops,” as we call them in librarianship.  (Witness the Droxine article; I’m pretty sure most people are visiting for the pictures, not the story.)  I seem to be doing reasonably okay, I think, on writing well enough to get some feedback.  I have over 600 comments listed on my dashboard that aren’t spam.  Subtracting, say, 3/8 of the comments as replies by me still leave nearly 400 pingbacks and comments by readers.  I could be more severe and say that most of the pingbacks are from me; I cross-reference my articles with a vengeance.  Still, if you invert the numbers, some 235 comments aren’t too bad — nearly a 50% response rate.  I guess I’m doing something right when I write….

So here I am, heading into year 4 of the run.  I plan on continuing to perform as well as I have, or at least hope to do so.  You, Gentle Readers, are the judges and jury.  And so I also hope you’ll keep on visiting, and that you’ll drop even more comments.  Please come back soon!

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