They call it a Blogiversary.
Crazy, I know.
Nonetheless, whatever it might be termed, I have reached my first ... Blogiversary. (Officially it's tomorrow, the 18th, but I feel it's going to be a busy one so I'm posting this right now!)
I started this blog not because I thought anyone would have any interest in anything I had to say, but because I needed somewhere to keep my recipes. I have a habit of making stuff up as I go along in the kitchen, and then people would ask me how I made it, and I'd say "well..."
So thanks to the generosity of Google Blogger, Freshly Ground was born.
Apparently, some people have even gone on to cook the recipes I've posted. That's cool.
So, without any more inane chatter (which seems to make up the bulk of this blog, despite its pretenses to being about food) I'm going to rattle off a few statistics and high points.
After writing about legendary fantasy cult author Hugh Cook and his struggle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I had the honour of being asked by his family to write an obituary for him. I did this, and the obituary was published in the New Zealand Herald. Were it not for Freshly Ground, I would never have had the opportunity to do homage to this writer whom I greatly admired. To Hugh's family, my eternal gratitude and love.
Running a blog also introduced me to the whole world of the internet, which up until then had always been a blurry and occasionally useful thing, usually for looking up odd words or researching obscure points of history or science. Apart from everything I learned about the publishing world thanks to this post (kindly supplied by my good friend Morgue), I also discovered audiobooks and podcasts. The addition of posting audiobook/podcast reviews came pretty naturally. I was also rewarded with the buzz of making the acquaintance of the writers I had reviewed when they came and left comments, and of trading tweets with those writers on Twitter.
Yes, it led me to Twitter too. Now, I don't know how I survived without it before (I know, it's sad and desperate, but it's an addiction I simply must feed).
This has also led to my latest piece of cool news, which is that emuse-zine have invited me to submit reviews for publication in their quarterly ezine. That's pretty cool too, and I'm looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.
Last year also saw, at long last, the publication of a collaborative work of poetry and short stories that had been on the back burner for nine years. Its final, harrowing birth was brought about, in large part, by my getting into the online world and finding a long-lost friend. If you haven't checked out Urban Driftwood yet, head over to Lulu and take a look.
Now for the stats:
Total Unique Visitors: 5,838 (Average 16/Day)
Total Page Loads: 8,351 (Average 23/Day)
Busiest Month: April 2009 (804 Unique Visitors; Average 27/Day)
Busiest Day: April 5th 2009 - 65 Unique Visitors. This was the day I posted my review of the Audiobook Drama Hoad's Grim. Thanks to Jack Kincaid for putting it out there on Twitter and driving the visitors to me.
Most visited page: The Ultimate Homemade Beef Burger Recipe. Somehow, this page seems to have made its way onto just about every food search engine in the world, because I get visitors from all sorts of random places, making a beeline to FG to learn how they can make the Ultimate Beef Burger. Eat up, I say.
At time of publishing this post, I had 8 Followers (Hi, Followers!) and 15 Subscribers in Google Reader.
Freshly Ground is rated 814,775 on Technorati. Awesome. If you're a Technorati member and think I deserve some love there, please swing by and throw me a bone. I'll give you back all the love I can, I promise.
So thanks everyone, for taking the time to come by and validate my existence here. I hope I've been entertaining.
And that's about it. Throughout the year we've laughed, we've cried, I've ranted, I've raved, and here's to another of the same, only bigger and better. Hopefully you'll all join me on the way.