2011 Site Year in Review

Bit of inside baseball here.  Ported the blog to a new server mid-year 2011 with alot of help from my amigo, pen name Orge Orphelins.  I’m still no good with Google Analytics—it’s too powerful a tool for my simple wants and needs—so this is more of a qualitative, navel-gazing year-end review.

2011 Quick Stats

2,836 site visits
2,077 unique visits
4,421 pageviews
~1.56 pages/visit
4:01 – 8:35 average time on site (before & after move)
Most all of you visitors are from the US
Welcome visitors from Canada, UK, Brazil & France
About 1/3 of y’all are coming by search, ¼ referral, ¼ direct

Top Posts 0f 2011

I started out trying to do the Post a Day challenge, then shifted to Post a Week… ended up keeping up with Post a Month!  I have many different interests, and rather than focusing this blog on just one of those it has evolved into a repository of my many different posts.  We’ll see how that holds up going forward.

#1: Little (Lego) House on the Prairie (Style).  This 2009 post caught Google’s eye for both terms ‘Lego’ and ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’.  Lost the pictures when the site ported, fixed that now.  Here’s a cool story in the Chicago Tribune about the designer behind these Lego architecture lines.

#2: Dr. David Y Gin, RIP.  Obituary for my brother-in-law, a great guy gone much too soon.

#3: Open Letter on Legislation for Zoning Variances in Minnesota. The Minnesota legislature rolled over and passed legislation making it much easier to grant zoning variances in the state.  One good thing is they normalized criteria so you meet the same requirements in a township or a city.

#4:  Texas Declaration of Independence 1836.  Just the text.  Looks like I lost my source link when the site ported. Should go back and fix that, too… right after lunch.

#5: NPR Wishes President Reagan a Happy 100th.  Last year would have been President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.  I posted a few reflections on this occasion.  A great man.

Goals for 2012?

  1. In real life I’m a “planner”, working in community & economic development, mostly in rural America.  I often save up potential post topics until I have time to write out 800 or 1,000 words on the topic, or else I just pop it off in 104 characters or less to Twitter.  I’d like to get better at the 400 words or so middle ground.  You, gentle reader, probably have more patience for that, too.
  2. I ought to figure Analytics out.  See what y’all are up to.  Get some of that SEO voodoo to work.  Or I could just hit myself repeatedly upside the head with an adding machine. About the same amount of pain.
  3. I’ve been neglecting the roots music community.  One blog featured on No Depression last week garnered more comments than I’ve ever yet had on JCShepard.com.  When a tree falls in the forest it may still make a noise if no one is there to hear it… but that tree would sure rather have an audience for its effort.

That’s what we’re all about:  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Americana.


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