The other day I received a delightful email from the people at WordPress, my blog server, giving me an ‘Annual Report’ for 2015 with statistics about this blog garnered by what they call their ‘stats helper monkeys.’
Immediately in my mind’s eye I could see those eager little creatures running here and there, collecting, collating, assembling and number-crunching to provide me with the valuable information regarding the number of people who read my blog each day, week, month and year, which blog posts were the most read, and where those avid readers were located.
It certainly was of interest to me, and it somehow reminded me of those heady days when I worked in the English section of the Bank of Israel’s Publications Unit. There, too, we produced an Annual Report each year, though that was a weighty tome containing chapters of great seriousness with headings such as ‘Output and Demand,’ ‘The Balance of Payments,’ and other similar titles.
They, too, were based on numbers collected, collated and crunched, upon which lengthy and profound analyses were based, though I doubt whether the people who worked on these subjects in the Research Department would have liked to be known as ‘monkeys.’
Still, I must confess that I personally found the data regarding my blog far more interesting than those pertaining to Israel’s macroeconomic situation. In fact, I was fascinated to find which post was most read during the year (it was ‘Why I Had to Write ‘Time Out of Joint, the Fate of a Family’), which day was the most popular (Monday) and which time of day was most frequently cited (10 a.m.).
In an evident effort to sugar the pill of a slight decline in traffic to my blog from 2014 to 2015, I was told: ‘Some of your most popular posts were written before 2015, Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.’
Now that is complete nonsense, in my opinion. Who wants to read about the same things over and over again? I certainly don’t, and I think that I really do try and keep writing about different subjects, though I admit that that’s not always easy. The political situation in Israel and abroad provides plenty of ammunition for any number of blogs (which is essentially what newspapers contain), but I don’t want to be constantly harping on about politics. It’s true that there’s always something happening in that respect, but there are plenty of other sources of information and opinion on that topic elsewhere.
I started writing this blog some time in 2012, so I suppose one could say I do indeed have staying power. After I had been writing my monthly article for the AJR Journal (Association of Jewish Refugees) in England for some time (I started in late 2003), I found myself wanting to say something about various subjects on a far more frequent basis. One article a month was just not enough! So, after having failed to persuade that august publication to appear on a weekly rather than a monthly basis, I enlisted the help of one of my sons and set up this blog. Since then I have been writing a post on average once a week. Although it’s not always so easy to find something to write about, usually something does turn up.
Just like the email I got from WordPress the other day.