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My 24 Hours of Fame

Yesterday evening I sat down in front of my laptop to check email and news. I was surprised to see that there were about 20 emails from this blog: comments, likes, and new subscriptions. On most days I see one or two emails like that. I went to the blog’s dashboard to look at traffic. It showed about 300 page views for the day, which easily topped my previous record of 134. What’s going on? Has someone hacked my site? And it kept going up. Every time I hit refresh the total would go up by 20, 30 page views.

We started this blog for family, friends and acquaintances who wanted to keep in touch with us over our year in the Arctic Circle. On most days I get 20, 30, 40 views. There were 50 subscribers who signed up to receive emails when a new post is up, and I know everyone of them. So this sudden burst of activity was a little startling.

I went through the new comments, which were genuine, and almost all on a single page,The Best Camera is the Camera That’s With You. A few of them say, “Congrats on being freshly pressed.” What’s that? Dry cleaning? Olive Oil? I googled it, and went “a-ha!” The site that hosts my blog, wordpress.com, picks 10 blogs a day to feature on its home page. For some reason, my “Best Camera” blog got picked. It’s not even among my best blogs, but it does have a dramatic photo of a double rainbow. WordPress is one of the two main blogging sites in the world, so it has a wide reach.

Over the next 24 hours, I watched as page views grew to 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000. Over the last 24 hours, I’ve got over 6000 hits, 150 comments, and 90 new subscribers.

Page Views on this Blog

Of course, I was happy about it. I’m a sucker for publicity like most people. But now that my 24 hours of fame is over because my blog has been nudged off the “freshly pressed” list, traffic has dropped off a cliff. This chart above is henceforth useless, and a little depressing to look at.

I could pull out all the stops to beat 4,000 hits a day. After all, I have time.

It’s tempting. Blogging can easily become my occupation for the year. I’ll pass. I’ll continue to write honestly, and frequently. Ultimately this blog is a report on my year off, not the substance of my year off. If I get another 24 hours of fame, it’ll just be another stroke of good luck and a pleasant surprise.

With that said, I’ve done a few things to this site to make it more accessible for people who don’t know me. Welcome!

30 Comments
  1. That’s very nice.

    September 27, 2011
  2. Fede #

    I’m traveler who works also, and as I was doing some research about WordPress as CMS I found by serendipity your post. I’m now happily subscribed to your news.
    Go ahead, best wishes and kindest regards from Barcelona !

    September 27, 2011
  3. bruce h #

    and I thought it was the gutted cod…. *#(*#%

    September 27, 2011
    • I love my gutted cod. I spent about half an hour setting up for that photo. My parents-in-law thought I was nuts.

      September 27, 2011
  4. As Andy Warhol famously said in 1968 “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
    So you may not have reached the ‘world’ but it was longer than fifteen minutes!
    One Love

    September 27, 2011
    • That Warhol guy was pretty smart. 🙂

      September 27, 2011
  5. The most exciting thing is new subscribers, like me! I only have five subscribers so far, but I am happy to have them! Freshly Pressed is an odd phenomenon….I have noticed they don’t always pick the best entry on a person’s blog. Your pictures were cool, but your post on the end of summer was even better.

    September 27, 2011
    • Thanks for subscribing. I like your blog also and am now I happy subscriber.

      September 27, 2011
  6. Winston,

    When I first read how you were spending your year I thought it sounded like a great idea for a book – technology guy takes a sabbatical in the Arctic Circle. Best of luck to you and your family, I will be following your adventures.

    September 27, 2011
    • Thanks Joel. I hope you’re doing well – it’s been a long time. If someone happens to come across this blog and decide it’s book worthy, perhaps. You know any publishers? Like the trib? 🙂

      September 27, 2011
  7. Winston,

    Enjoy and keep going!

    September 27, 2011
  8. Great post. I know exactly how you feel. It was so wonderful to get FP myself and receive so many nice comments. But I didn’t get 90 new subscribers! That’s huge! When push comes to shove, I blog because I love it though. Yes, love to know others actually read and subscribe to my blog but I don’t let it get me down if no one else is reading. I do it because I love it!

    September 27, 2011
    • Thanks. You’re right. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 or 2,000 readers. Blogging is a great creative outlet. And, even if nobody reads it, it’s a great way to reflect, and document important moments in your life.

      September 27, 2011
      • Good saying, Winston! I’m also a new subscriber and I am fond of your Arcric and follow you this year. Think about book – you write!
        See you soon:-)

        September 28, 2011
      • Thanks! Just looked at where you’re from: North Caucasian Mountains. It’s a privilege to be connect to people from far ends of the earth through this blog.

        September 28, 2011
  9. Linda Bagby #

    Winston, can I have your autograph? I think you’re now the most famous person I know! 🙂 Ciao. LB

    September 27, 2011
    • Linda! You need to come and visit. You and your significant other.

      September 28, 2011
  10. I’m still following… sometimes being freshly pressed brings in new loyal readers. 🙂

    September 28, 2011
  11. Ula #

    It’s a well deserved “freshly pressed”. Your post about the best camera being the one you’ve got with you pretty much sums up what I think when people either demand to know technical properties of my photo equipment when I publish a photo without them, or are very surprised that my camera is six years old and yet I manage to take good photos with it (which makes me laugh every time, because previously I used a 30 y.o. film camera). Of course, equipment is important to the point when you’re comfortable to work on your photo shoot without wondering if your lens will manage to show all the details, or worrying about other technical stuff. But after all it’s the photographer that matters, and whether you’re using the equipment that you have to its full capability or whining that it’s crap and you’d rather have this camera or that lens is up to you. So cheers for saying all that in one sentence and thumbs up from Ireland.

    September 28, 2011
    • I just looked at your blog site. Great stuff. I’m just an overly enthusiastic amateur in comparison. Thanks for your comment.

      September 29, 2011
  12. Message in a Bottle Hunter #

    The same thing happens to me! I think it’s just the nature of blogging, when you are fortunate enough to have great material.

    This, by the way, is a fascinating experiment you are undertaking with your family. I am totally jealous 🙂

    September 28, 2011
    • It’s an experiment alright. It’s been raining sideways for the last 2 days. We’ll see how I feel after a month of this…

      September 29, 2011
  13. Wiktor #

    Hi.
    I got to say I love reading you blog. I have followed it for some days, and will surely continue to do it. I’m the youngest son of Vivi that your wife is working with at the school, and all your beatiful pictures really makes me longing home.
    Hope you and your family are setting in nicely at Rødøy.

    September 28, 2011
    • Thanks so much! We love your hometown. It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.

      September 28, 2011
  14. I’m so jealous. I’m at 5964 page views, and I’ve been blogging for 18 months. But then, like you, I’m not really doing it for anyone but myself, so that’s okay. 🙂

    September 29, 2011
    • You know, it really helps to have time, especially the time to take pictures. I didn’t touch my SLR from January to May this year. I didn’t have time.

      September 29, 2011
  15. We’ve been doing a similar family adventure in Australia since January, so I’m interested and delighted to read about your experiences. Best wishes!

    September 29, 2011
    • I just saw your blog. Great stories and I can totally relate. Thanks for your comment. Now you’re probably at the stage of thinking, “maybe we should stay another year…”

      September 29, 2011
  16. juyjuy #

    I am neither a follower nor a friend of yours but I still followed your blog. It is some sort of inspiring to me.

    September 30, 2011

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