My Incredible Adventure

On October 1st, 2006, I posted Revelations Of My Shadow, the first essay I had written since my attempt at papers in college. Although I graduated, it was due to those black and yellow pamphlets called Cliff Notes; a necessary tool since I never had a visual sense of what I was reading, unable to ’see’ in my mind’s eye the concepts sequentially and be able to integrate them as an image, making it difficult to focus un-distracted. My tendency is to read word for word, which is slower then reading concept to concept. As a result, literature and geographical descriptions are two dimensional for me, while content is incomplete. Only by going back and re-reading, although time consuming, do I recognize how much I initially missed.

Prompted by a friend, but really by myself, I considered essays. They are short, a few paragraphs, offering me an opportunity to discipline my thoughts and pen on paper all those “things” that roamed around in my mind. Learning how to organize and process ideas by trying to elucidate them with less words, avoiding redundancy.

Research is always difficult, especially in the past, in the pre-computer age. In order to do a term paper, I had to actually walk to the library, go through the daunting ‘Card Catalogs Room’ of the Forty Second Street Library in NYC, a forest of large and imposing wood-framed “places” to pile stacks of information on 2×4 cards in alphabetic order according to the Dewie Decimal System. I never went into that room, finding outside what I initially set out to research but I always left with some idea that I hadn’t yet thought of.

Acknowledging my computer illiteracy early on this year, in my essay, Y-iPod, I had no clue what was possible, nor did I know what I was doing in an area I knew nothing about, even after it was explained to me thrice, always wondering what I could offer that might be different or distinct among billions of facts, information, speculation, extrapolation, prognostication, etc, which in the end are just opinions.

I have always respected the word “Eclectic” as an expression of adaptability, drawing on all fields, ideas of thought, line of thinking, both practical or impractical, that imbues creativity, potentially leading to new insights especially when life seems circular instead of spiraling. However, diverse ideas, even those that don’t provide solutions, become fodder for new insights, simply by adding other elements to the equation that may open new solutions that I haven’t yet thought of. This is what I discovered the blog did for me. A format to think about “things” and have complete freedom to “post” them in a “place” where others can read and come to their own conclusions.

My objective, to provoke thought, seems to have succeeded. According to Google Analytics, readers are spending an average of 12 minutes reviewing my blog, reading multiple pages (1.8 on average). Each month, the number of people looking at the essays increases, while the amount of regular readers has also magnified. The top content listed, aside from the sensational ones – Vanessa Hudgens and Juanita Byrnum – are: George W Bush, Cults, Marijuana, and the widely received Kandor, The Lost City Of Krypton. A more complete list of the blog’s statistics can be found below. Viewers come from all continents except Antarctica, and from most countries.

Though my writing style has changed over the course of this year, I made a decision not to go back and re-write the earlier essays, hoping it shows the evolution of my ability to organize, articulate and concretize my thoughts. The most difficult essay for me to write was On Being A Good Parent. The most fun was On Kandor, The Lost City of Krypton.

This coming year, I hope that my essays will continue to explore unique subjects. It’s been an interesting year, I must admit. A test of my enthusiasm, endurance, commitment and patience which I never would have done had it not been for my cohort and partner CJ. To Ilka Yodas of thethinkingblog.com for providing a forum to think and exchange ideas. To webmetricsguru.com’s Marshall Sponder, who helped me understand the maze of Analytics, and whose website recently passed 500,000. His continued insights and up-to-the-minute buzz of current trends unknown to the average mortal internet user, continues to mystify and attract interest. To all the blog authors, writers and contributors who’ve welcomed and encouraged me – Blue from Blue Skeleton Productions comes to mind, as well as this other blogger writer/reporter working with AOL at that time, who encouraged me to write “in the moment”, as well as a handful of others – you’ve all helped add a little shine, joy and pride to this calendar cycle.

Finally, to the readers who come only once, those that come again and the many more to come, I want to say simply: Thank You.

EC Anniversary 1

Some Statistics about the past year:
avg time on site: 12 minutes
pages/visit: 2
new traffic: 70%

top countries:
USA (New York, California, Texas, Florida)
Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary)
United Kingdom (London, Brentford, Manchester, Milton Keynes)
Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane)
Germany (Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich)
India (Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai)

browsers used:
Firefox: 61%
Internet Explorer 26%
Safari: 6%
Opera: 2%

connection speed:
Cable 42%
DSL 27%
T1 6%
Dialup 3%

OS:
Windows 64%
Mac 30%
Linux 5%
(playstation portable at 0.01%!)

languages:
English (us, gb, other) – 96%
French – 0.45%
German – 0.36%
Spanish – 0.20%
Italian – 0.17%
Portuguese/Brazilian – 0.13%

loyalty:
23% – 5 or more times
70% – first time visitors

depth of visits:
75% – 1 page
25% – 2 or more pages