Monday, December 17, 2007

Reflecting on StarStuff

It's now been more than a year since I started this blog. I've had a great time with it, and I hope that I've been able to entertain and inform a few people along the way. A few months after I started, I began tracking visits using Google Analytics to help me get some sense of my audience -- and I discovered that I didn't have much of an audience. Even so, I decided to continue posting for at least a year.

I'm glad I did. If I hadn't continued, I would have missed the one remarkable event in the first year of this blog. On August 22, newspapers around the world carried an announcement by Google that the latest version of its popular "Earth" application also included the Sky -- turning any computer into a virtual telescope. One of my early posts to this blog speculated that such a feature might be coming soon, and during the final week of August that post attracted hundreds of users who were looking for the new software. In fact, about half of the visitors to this blog over the last 9 months came during those few days. Most didn't stay long. They were looking for something else.

Aside from that week in August, Google Analytics tells me that during a typical week about 15 unique visitors view this blog. Roughly 80 percent are new visitors, meaning that only 3 visitors per week are coming back for another look -- and the average time spent browsing the site is less than a minute, suggesting that most visitors aren't even reading a post. At this point, I have to ask myself whether I can justify the time I spend on this blog, even if it isn't much time.

Six months ago, I disabled the comments feature since I was essentially the only one making any comments (sometimes following up on the topics raised in the original post). Today, I'm turning the comments back on -- and I'm asking for your feedback: Should I continue posting to starstuff.blogspot.com? After the new year, based on the comments you leave or email, I'll either continue for another year or hang up my blogging hat. In either case, it's been a great experience, and the archive is here for everyone to enjoy.

1 comment:

Wendell said...

I can't remember where or how I found out about this blog. I suppose I check in about once every three weeks. I read fast - too fast given the density of your posts - looking for interesting facts or a simple, layman's explanation of anything I've been puzzling over. Then I move on.

I don't know how you promote the blog, how you chose your topics, who you want for an audience, or why you blog. I don't need to know, of course: these are just the typical self-reflective questions bloggers ask themselves.

Nothing wrong with shutting down a blog, or putting it in storage for a bit. Guest bloggers, polls asking about readers' interests, inviting questions, and shorter (easier, less time consuming?) posts are other options.

Best wishes, and Merry Christmas.

New Brunswick, Canada.