A Milestone With Meaning…

It’s Good Friday here in the UK and after an impromptu dinner out last night with a work friend (and a nice bottle of red shared between us) it’s been a lazy start to the day. But with Vegemite toast done, the coffee machine warming up and back episodes of Frasier on the telly, I’ve popped by to see what was happening.

And it seems rather a lot – in the last few days, Gidday from the UK has tipped into triple figures and passed 100,000 page views.

It might not seem so much to some but when I started tapping away in 2008, it seemed quite impossible that anyone outside my nearest and dearest would actually find my witterings in the big wide blogosphere, let alone read them with any regularity. And that’s because I really started this blog for me, to find an outlet to express both the richness and ordinariness of my everyday expat moments that seemed to fall short in their relating during long distance phone calls to loved ones. 

But it appears that there are many more of you out there – and for the most part we’ve never physically met each other – and I feel enormously humble when I think about that.

So whether you’ve been visiting for a while or you’re a newbie here, thank you for stopping by and being part of the Gidday community.

And have a wonderful Easter however you choose to spend it. 

Under The Bonnet…

I’ve noticed a bit of a boost in the number of you popping in to Gidday From The UK recently. January’s witterings prompted an all time high of 6,241 page views and some time over the last couple of months I passed the 50,000 views milestone. 

So I’ve taken it upon myself to have a little rummage around under the bonnet here at Gidday to see what the deal is. Here’s what I found.

For a long time, coffee held a seemingly unassailable lead at Gidday with my post on the art of latte in July 2010 in first place. But it would appear that while I wasn’t looking, a fair few of you became enamoured of my first time as a guest blogger in February 2011 (yes, two years ago – I can still remember the excitement) and it now holds the top spot. My observations on mid-life, duly recorded in September last year, have also shimmied up the ranks to a respectable third, pushing both Christmas and Australian fashion down the ladder.

Indications from views of the Gidday! (512) and Book Nook (490) tabs also suggest that there are many new visitors to Gidday curious to meet the (t)wit behind the (t)wittering and a multitude of bookish types who like to keep abreast of Audrey’s latest Commuting Gems.

Unsurprisingly the most frequent searches leading to visits are latte/latte art (over 1200!) but strangely enough the number 42 ranks next, leading neophyte Giddayers to a little birthday poetry. (If you like a rhyme or two you might like to catch my crime series in two parts – yes that’s one, two.)

Gidday would not be where it is today without my lovely fellow bloggers who are generous in both visiting and featuring Gidday From The UK on their blogrolls. Many thanks to those of you who do this – a special nod goes to fellow Aussie The Vegemite Wife who, in the face of many advertised and agreggated expat blogs, is the the number 5 provider of visits to Gidday. Thanks mate!

And finally I had a squiz at where my ‘readership’ has hailed from. Sites like Seen The Elephant and The Displaced Nation have lifted Gidday’s profile in the USA (and since Seattle-A moved stateside, she maybe doing her bit as well). And being a blog about an Australian living in the UK, you’d expect the 2nd and 3rd places to be held by the UK and Australia (respectively). But who do you think has crept into 4th place?


Who knew that Ruskies liked a little irreverent Aussie banter in their digital mashup.

Oh those Russians!

Valencia…Que?

This blogging lark is a strange caper. We online literary hopefuls tap-tap-tap away in the hopes that people (that’s you – in case you were wondering) will read all about our passions, woes and little foibles, whilst wondering what the perfect recipe will be to whet your appetite.

Anyhow for those of you uninitiated in the delights of blogging oneself happy, I think I speak for the majority when I say we bloggers love a stat or two. How many visitors pop in to check things out, where they come from (geographically and virtually) and which posts they read can add an elated squeal, a puzzled frown or, more often than not, a combination of both.  

A little while back, I decided to add my Top 5 Posts for the Week to the Gidday From The UK home page. It was a little experiment to see what Gidday-ers were reading each week and also designed to offer anyone with a little reading time on their hands, a quickie guide to my most popular posts.  

As you would expect, the most recent posts appear. Of late, both Did Somebody Mention Christmas? and 3 Sleeps To Go…A Little Pre-Christmas Cheer (from 2010 and 2011 respectively) have popped up. 

(Let’s face it, the man in the red suit arrives in 74 sleeps and Gidday has probably appeared in a few early – rather too early for my liking – festive searches.)

But there are times when I find myself at a loss to understand why a particular post suddenly appears. 

I mean what’s with the sudden surge of interest in Valencia?

Is there something happening over there that, being the Metro-less traveller that I’ve been this week, has passed me by? 

Is it football? Spanish flu? Last minute holiday deals? Or a sudden political scandal?

Can anyone shed a little light on this conundrum?

Quite A Milestone…or is that A Quiet Milestone?

There is much surprise and delight here at Gidday HQ today!

You see, I’ve been away for a few days at a conference (more about my travels later) and have not had the time or the internet access to lavish my usual attention on these virtual ramblings.  

But it seems that in my absence, you’ve been rather busy in the ‘lavish-ing’ department over the last couple of days.

I opened my dashboard today to see that Gidday from the UK had tiptoed quietly past the quite significant milestone of 10,000 page views to reach 10,088 page views.

That represents all of those times you dropped in to say ‘Gidday’.  Amazing! Wicked! Bonza!  I feel honoured and completely chuffed.  Who would have thought it eh?

Thanks so much for your support/visits/comments and hope you continue to enjoy fossicking around for the next 10,000.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics…

They say that you can prove anything with statistics.

The Times reported yesterday that ‘$200 a barrel for oil [will] hurt and squeeze spending’ for households (no sh*t Sherlock!) and earlier in the month, The Economist used The Shoethrower’s Index to determine the potential for unrest in the Arab World – apparently Yemen is ‘Top of the Pops’ here, right ahead of Libya.  In other news, Michelle Williams wore the ‘most loved Oscar outfit’ according to Friday’s Metro – with Aussies bastions of style Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett occupying the first and third rungs on the worst-dressed ladder respectively – and the National Trust informs us in the latest edition of their member magazine that a ‘large-beach-towel-sized’ area of coastline costs £52 a year to maintain (and there’s room for 624,800 of said towels!)

But what do statistics really prove?

One of the cool features of having a Blogger account is that there is a stats area where you can check out things like daily and weekly visits to your blog, most popular posts and where your visitors are coming from.

It’s quite addictive as you can click on all the ‘Mores’ and get more fascinating detail to pore over like the most popular post/s and where your audience is located.  But I am often mystified by how it all works.

For example, I am Australian with family and friends in places like the USA and the United Kingdom, and I have recently posted about an expat Russian accordionist who lives in South Korea so these nations being near the top this week makes sense to me…




…but I don’t know anyone in Poland, Iran, Taiwan, Philippines or Moldova (where a few kind souls have visited from this week) and then today, some chaps from Vietnam, Ireland, Turkey and Belarus popped by – I don’t know anyone from any of them either.


Is this what is meant by the Global Village?  Maybe they are just being neighbourly and are stopping by to borrow a cup of sugar…after all, my most popular post is about The Art of Latte!
 
Or maybe it’s just people mispelling ‘late’ in their google search…

Narcissism? Let Me Check My Blog Stats…

It would appear that I am not alone in pondering the navel-gazing nature of blogging… please give a huge Gidday From The UK welcome to my special guest, author Nancy Stewart, who’s been giving narcissism a little thought herself!

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I’ve been thinking lots about narcissism and blogging and attention to one’s web site. Is that the very definition of narcissism? Maybe.

Picture books are a passion of mine, and I’ve been writing them for five years. My first one in a series of three, One Pelican at a Time, was published by Guardian Angel Publishing last week. All three of them took much time, thought, critiquing from my writer’s group and self-doubt right up to the end.

Never, though, during that process, did I run to the computer after having been away for an hour to look for comments or pour over stats. This realization may say something to, or perhaps, about me. Oops. There goes that narcissism word again…

The shift from creative writing to blogging/web site production may carry with it the need to be more personal, more introspective, more in tune with one’s own psyche to convey who we are to our readers and, perhaps, to define our own worthiness to ourselves. And with that may come some narcissism by task default. I certainly hope that’s what it is.

In the meantime, I’ll continue writing picture books, consult with my publisher, meet with my writing group, revise, edit, use my Thesaurus endlessly and only occasionally be deeply introspective. That is, until it’s time to write another entry for my blog. Oh, yes.

And even when it’s posted, I’ll pour over it from every angle, perhaps move a photo a centimeter or two, recheck links to be sure they’re working, read my witty words for the zillionth time and be, well, narcissistic.

Please excuse me now. I have to check my stats.

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If you like what Nancy had to say or you’re basically just a bit of a stickybeak and want to find out more about her, visit her website, www.nancystewartbooks.com Or for more soulful navel-gazing (just kidding Nancy!), check out her blog!