Running the table occurs in billiards when a player takes the break shot, pockets every required ball, and wins the game outright before his opponent ever has a chance to take a single shot. The entire sequence happens flawlessly, a perfect balance of skill and luck with awesome and impressive results.
I’ve been trying to "run the table" figuratively speaking for more than three years on the Twelve Mile Circle. I defined it as receiving at least one visitor from each of the fifty United States plus the District of Columbia all on on the same day. Yesterday it finally happened. Please forgive me in advance for this incredibly self-indulgent post as I reflect upon this momentous occasion. It doesn’t take much to please me, truly. I’m doing the Happy Dance.
Doesn’t that map look magnificent? Every space is filled.
You already know that I have a thing for maps because everything on the 12MC relates to that topic in some manner or form. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you also know how I salivate over my Google Analytics figures, especially the mapping functions. I’ve celebrated the arrival of visitors from remote corners of the world. I’ve highlighted anomalies appearing on my Analytics maps. I’ve even resorted to begging and pleading to fill in the blank spaces.
One thing had eluded me. I’d never run my personal version of the table. I’ve checked every evening with a hopeful heart, thinking "today might be the day." Days, months, then years passed and many times I came oh-so-close. I fell one state short on multiple occasions, usually a Dakota or Montana, but sometimes Rhode Island or Maine. Kansas used to be a problem until one of my loyal readers thoughtfully locked it down for me. I’d been getting closer the last couple of months with increasingly frequent near-misses, and I had a feeling this day was coming.
The universe of people who appreciate geo-oddities is rather small. This website doesn’t generate outrageous traffic volumes and I’m fine with that. Otherwise I’d write SEO-friendly celebrity gossip or something. I’d rather focus on our obscure niche and enjoy the give-and-take of our conversations, as we move along on our strange little voyage. Nonetheless my conscious decision to limit my audience appeal complicated my competing priorities such as running the table. I’d been blocked for the longest time — but now the table has been run!
I ran it with conviction, too. Virginia and California both delivered 50+ visitors. The District of Columbia had 32. Twenty locations fell into the double-digits. Only Maine, South Dakota and New Hampshire referred only a single viewer.
I bet you’re wondering about Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands which all have their own top-level domains. I did capture Puerto Rico yesterday but not any of the others. In that instance, I guess some observers might quibble that I didn’t actually run the table. Well, perhaps in the strictest sense that’s true, but it also provides me with another goal. The Northern Mariana Islands will be the toughest one though. I’ve only gotten four visitors from those remote island in the entire history of the blog.
My current accomplishment has already started feeling a little anticlimactic after that initial adrenalin rush. On to bigger and better things!