Saturday, January 5, 2013

Summit to Shore Turns Four

There seems to be some debate about the average lifespan of a blog.  I have seen numbers as low as a few weeks and as high as two to three years.  Summit to Shore has apparently beaten the odds.  It turns four years old today! I started Summit to Shore, and blogging, on January 5, 2009. With a post entitled Ex-Nihlio, I entered the blogosphere.
Looking back  over the past four years, I think I started blogging for several reasons.  First and foremost, I wanted to learn about blogs and how to blog, as well as to learn more about social media.  In other words, I wanted to keep up with the times and I believe that the best way to learn is to do. 
Yes, I read a couple of books and on line articles about blogging but I more or less just jumped into the blogosphere without much preparation. I have learned a lot along the way.  In good Socratic fashion, however, I have also learned that when it comes to blogging and social media there is a lot I do not know.  It sometimes seems that social media is changing so fast one must be working in it full time to keep up with it. I use social media in my profession, but social media is not my profession, just part of it, one tool in my professional toolbox.  I therefore sometimes find it difficult to keep up with all the trends and changes.  Nevertheless, I try.
I also entered the blogosphere because I felt like I had something to say – not that anyone would want read what I wrote.  I may not be the world’s best writer, but I like to write.  I sometimes feel like there are words and ideas within me that I have to write down, or else I will burst.  Blogging offers me an outlet for some of my creative energies.  It also provides me a forum for some of my ideas and opinions.
I have sailed against the wind by not blogging about one particular topic.  Summit to Shore is certainly an eclectic blog, covering everything between, well, summit to shore.  In the beginning I had intended to be eclectic, but to write more about mountains and summits than I have.
When I lived in West Virginia, I spent a lot of my free time hiking and backpacking.  I often hiked two to four days a month, covering 8-16 miles a day hiking in some rough mountainous terrain at high altitude, at least by eastern standards.  After moving to New York City five and a half years ago, I thought I would spentd a lot more time climbing and hiking in the Gunks, Catskill’s and Adirondacks, but the reality of traffic and tolls soon altered my ideas.  It takes me at least an hour and a half and over $10 in tolls just to drive up to the Gunks for a day of hiking or climbing, and finding climbing partners whose skills and experience were compatible with mine was not always easy.
I can drive from my home to Jamaica Bay in half an hour and pay no tolls.  With a sit-on-top kayak kept on Jamaica Bay at the Sebago Canoe Club, where I can almost always find someone to paddle with,  I quickly found myself drawn more to the shore than the summit.  Two and a half years ago my wife and I took sailing lessons and  I bought a used C&C 24 sailboat, which I also keep on Jamaica Bay. This past summer we sailed on average probably one day a week.  A year ago I acquired a Necky Chatham 17 traditional kayak which I also keep on Jamaica Bay at the Sebago Canoe Club.  Is there any wonder, then, why I have ended up posting more about sailing and kayaking than hiking and climbing?  I also often cross post many of my kayaking related posts to the Sebago Canoe Club Blog,
Almost three years ago I took on the “Lectionary Ruminations” Column on Presbyterian Bloggers and soon started cross posting “Lectionary Ruminations” to my blog as well.  While between 25-45 people read my “Lectionary Ruminations” post every weak on Presbyterian Bloggers,  I will soon complete the three year lectionary cycle and will no longer post on Presbyterian Bloggers, which seems to have outlived its lifespan.  It has been six months since anyone else has posted to Presbyterian Bloggers, so I plan to update, expand, and edit my previous “Lectionary Ruminations” postings and continue posting them exclusively on Summit to Shore.
For the first two and three quarter years of Summit to Shore, I was working less than full time and had free time to write.  For the past sixteen months I have been working two half-time jobs, or the equivalent of a full time job, and have not had as much free time.  Therefore I post less than I used to, devoting most of my creative energies to “Lectionary Ruminations” with an occasional post about sailing, kayaking, politics, culture, or anything else between summit to shore..
Glancing at my BLOG ARCHIVE suggests that I started blogging like a sprinter and over the past four years have slowed down to a reduced but more manageable pace.  Here are the numbers.
2009    213 posts
2010    161 posts
2011    90 posts
2012    70 posts
According to All Time Stats, as of 10:40 AM this morning, there have been 53,598 pageviews and I have made 535 posts, with eighteen followers (THANKS ONE AND ALL). These have been the most popular posts.
We Sailed, posted August 27, 2012, has received 659 pageviews, nearly twice as many as the next most viewed post.

PC(USA) GA Vice Mod Visits NYC Presbytery at the God Box, posted October 8, 2009 , has received 346 pageviews.

A Prayer for Newtown, posted December 17, 2012, has received 339 pageviews.

Stuck, posted June 15, 2010, has received 317 pageviews.

At least one post from each year made it into the top six.  Three of the top six posts, however, are from the most recent year.  I suspect "We Sailed," "A Prayer for Newtown," and "Stuck" will continue receiving additional pageviews and that "A Prayer for Newtown" will eventually rise to second place while "Stuck" will eventually rise to third.
Happy Birthday, Summit to Shore, and may your best years be ahead of you.

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