It’s difficult for me to believe, but I just hit the six month point with the Twelve Mile Circle. I thought I would take a few moments to look back at the site by reviewing some highlights, revisiting a few old favorites, and reflecting briefly upon the path that lead to this point. I wasn’t sure I’d last even this long when I started, and feared the tyranny of a recurring deadline. My general website had been running since 1995 but I had the luxury of adding pages to it whenever I felt like it, with no expectation of a regular readership that expected frequent, fresh material. Seventy four dispatches have been sent to the public these last six month. This one makes seventy five. Throughout this time I’ve managed to keep to a fairly regular schedule with at least one entry every every third day or so and sometimes more, even when I’m far from home. I’ve even waged and survived an epic battle with spam as I imagine anyone who maintains a blog eventually has to do. I haven’t run out of topics or new ideas either so I suppose that’s a good thing too.
This is the Witte Family outhouse, the only object from our family that exists as part of a museum collection. I featured this about a month ago in "GPS and Genealogy," one of several examples of mapping technology being applied creatively to an existing field of study. This has been the most popular article in Twelve Mile Circle by far. Other blogs picked it up and hits came rolling in from every direction. I’m amused that simple potty humor garnered so much attention when some of my serious and well-researched entries barely raised a ripple. Even so I picked up some regular readers as a result, and for that I am grateful.
The next tier of popular posts included the "Smallest County in the USA" series, "Arizona Does Not Recognize Daylight Saving Time, and the "Georgia Border Dispute." What many of these hold in common is that they were all posted fairly recently. It took a little while for people to find the Twelve Mile Circle but it seems to be establishing a small niche and a steady growth in regular visitors.
Some of my favorite posts haven’t received much traffic at all, I think partially because they were written in the early days before anyone knew the site existed. My favorite topics were those that had an interesting thread for me to pull, and where I learned a lot as a result. I discovered the "Lowest Elevation in England," which is still sinking as groundwater continues to be siphoned off for agricultural purposes. I explored "New Urbanism Viewed through Maps," highlighting a landscape and architectural design concept that is both friendly to environment and to people. I found an odd "7th Flag Over Texas," in the form of a short-lived country that didn’t survive. I pinpointed the "Washington, DC Area’s Last Phone Booth," which sadly I’ve learned as of mid-April no longer exists. If you’re new to the site I invite you to take a look at some of those earlier posts.
I’ve determined that I don’t really know which posts will be hits, which will be misses, and which will attract attract more readership to the site. So I will continue to write about what interests me and hope that you will continue to tag along for the ride. If it were about sheer numbers I suppose every article would mention outhouses but that’s not where I want to take the site.
I do have some loyal visitors, some links from other blogs and a number of thoughtful comments submitted. There are even some of you who follow the site on rss feeds. I thank all of you, and I invite you to let me know what you think. If you’re uncomfortable posting a public comment you can always reach me directly by email.
Now back to the geography and on to the next six months!