Writing a blog is a fun, thought-provoking, creative outlet for me.
I like narrowing in on something small or trivial from my day and giving it a few moments in the spotlight. I like sitting down at my laptop not having a clue what I'm going to write about and letting my thoughts wander. I proofread and hit the publish button and then I carry on with my day, happy in the knowledge that I've tossed my thoughts out to the world.
The other part of blogging that's fun is checking out all the stats. I like seeing where readers are from and how many visit my site every day. It's actually pretty consistent which is neat. I get between 50-60 people who visit every weekday and about 25 on weekends. People seem to have figured out that I take weekends off. About 70% of readers are from Canada, another 20% from the US and the rest from all over the world. Ireland is a regular visitor. So are Russia, France and Germany and the UK. Very interesting.
Another stat that Blogger lets us see is the search keywords that lead people to our blogs. Obviously, if someone types in Céline Parent + blog - they find me. But lots of other random searches lead people to Running on Carbs. Funnily enough, the word "poutine" is the most popular way that people find me. I wrote one blog about it on Canada Day and it has risen to be one of my top five entries simply because people stumble across it on their poutine internet search. "Coppertone baby" is another popular one (from my entry on running tan lines) and, believe it or not, so is "Rogue" (from X-Men).
Fifty-one percent of people read my blog on Windows, 39% read it on MacIntosh. Blackberries and iPhones are next on the list. It's fascinating stuff for someone like me who enjoys watching patterns develop.
Because I have such a stable number of daily readers, I'm assuming that they are typically the same people every day. I'm sure some people stumble upon the blog, read an entry or two and move on with their lives. Others, I would guess, check in pretty regularly.
The reason I say guess is because I don't really know. I have a few people who comment (hi John! hi Scully!) but, other than that, I really have no idea who checks in regularly and who passes in the night - never to be seen again...
...until someone says something. Like yesterday during our bike ride. A new rider came out (hi Shane!). Part way through the ride, he asked if I was Céline. I confirmed that I was. He said that he reads my blog. Really?
A few weeks ago, when I had my shins taped for the long run, a few runners asked to see the tape job that they had read about in my blog. Really?
I forget sometimes, as I'm sitting on the couch sipping coffee and writing about my day, that real people out there are along for the ride. I forget that people who know me read what I write and then they know more about me than I know about them. And I forget that people from around the world whom I have never met are checking in.
It's rather strange to think about so I don't think dwell on it too much. I prefer to just write and post. But reminders like the one I had yesterday help keep me honest. They remind me that, if people are taking the time to read, I had better take the time to produce something worth reading.
So thank you my friends. For visiting. For reading. For reminding me why I'm doing this.