Monday, February 18, 2008

Octogenarian's third anniversary

As I begin my fourth year producing this blog, the masthead statement, introducing myself as a man who has "recently turned 80," is out of date. But I do not intend to make a annual public ritual to update my advanced age.

I believe my blog is unique because it is a mishmash of autobiography and political opinion. This may have turned off some readers seeking some consistency in subject matter. But it has probably produced a wider range of visitors whom I might not have otherwise attracted.

I have always been curious about how visitors discover my blog's existence. When I began publishing it, my big fear was that the blog would be lost and unread in the vast and mysterious blogosphere. I am pleased that my blog has attracted much more traffic than I ever anticipated. Only recently, however, did I begin to appreciate that a primary source of viewers is Google and other Internet search engines into which the reader taps in an inquiry.

The search engines have referred an extraordinary variety of people to my blog. Many have responded with interesting and often provocative comments that make blogging such a fascinating endeavor.

Among these readers: a second cousin I do not know; a New York Times editor who is writing a history of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx; the children of a former Soviet air force colonel, now deceased, who had defected to the U.S. and become my friend; former professional colleagues; fans of Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable; the grandson of one of my college professors; World War II veterans who, like me, served in India; Indian residents familiar with places I knew in their country; a former Slovak partisan who had fought the Germans; admirers and critics of Rachel Carson, a pioneer in the environmental movement; onetime college classmates; an American living in Scotland; a retired English teacher in Paris; and a Dutch farmer who grows eggplants .

I have even received a comment in Polish, a language I do not know. Surprisingly, the writer bore my surname. So I am eager to have his message translated. I do not know of any relatives in Poland, my father's birthplace. The few I was aware of perished in the Holocaust.

A program called SiteMeter is installed on this blog. It measures the number of visits to the blog and identifies the general location of the visitors and the blog pages that they viewed. (Names and addresses are not shown.) Last year the monthly average was about 1,500 visits to the blog and more than 2,000 pages viewed.

Two years ago I posted a piece entitled "My Sex Life in the Army." I estimate that at least 20% of my blog's visitors still go to that page. Virtually all of them are from foreign countries. I assume that most of them seek an erotic charge from a pornographic account of army sex life.

I probably disappoint them because I treat the subject not as a sexual participant but as an observer, functioning in the dispassionate manner in which journalists are obliged to operate.


Blogger lilalia said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary. As one of your readers who was directed here by Ronni Bennet and not through searching about sex lives in the army, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your stories and other articles. All the best.

Thursday, February 21, 2008 2:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Claude said...

Happy blogaversary, Mort! I have been one of your faithful readers, also pointed to this blog by Ronni Bennett.
What drives people to a blog is really surprising sometimes, I once wrote a post about dozing after meals that is one of the most visited posts in my blog, and one that still attracts comments! The other one is a poem by African Poet David Diop I posted both in English and in French, it is a beautiful poem, but why people come to my blog to read it, is one of Google's mysteries! ;)
I wish you many happy returns, in other words, many posts to come!

Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. It's always interesting to see what brings people to a blog--this time of year I get a lot of hits on unfreezing car doors. Ohio is getting a storm tonight, so I expect the meter to really be ringing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:17:00 PM  
Anonymous joared said...

Congratulations on your blog anniversary! I, too, found you through Ronni Bennett's "Time Goes By" blog. I think you are an excellent writer and I thoroughly enjoy the variation in topics about which you write. I look forward to reading much more from you and wish you many more blog anniversaries.

I'm finding reader interest sometimes focuses on subjects I would least expect in the short period of time I've been blogging i.e. about this redhead aging naturally. Someone, good naturedly suggested to me that was probably generated from porno sites expecting -- who knows what.

Friday, February 22, 2008 2:11:00 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

I add my congratulations on your third anniversary. I also found you via Ronni Bennet's TGB blog. I found Ronni via Google when I searched for blogs about aging.

My best to you and Sybil.

Friday, February 22, 2008 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger Judith Shapiro said...

I just found your blog today and I'm so glad I did!

Saturday, February 23, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Dear Mort,

Congratulations on your Third Anniversary.

I enjoy reading your stories about your Army days in India and I identify with your story about coming home from the war and your father rushing down the stairs to hug you and bring you up to your mother and Grandmother, so thrilled to have their son home safe and sound. It was the same at our house when my brothers came home from the War. I still get teary eyed remembering you and my brothers and all the men who served our country so well.

Keep up the good work, Mort and we'll continue to read you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Happy Anniversary Mort! I think I came to your blog via an article about elder bloggers (I think it was Ronni Bennett too) and just kept hanging around.

Sunday, February 24, 2008 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Observer said...

Hello Morton:

Just keep going like that Energizer bunny.

Best wishes from that former Slovak partisan

Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:56:00 PM  

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