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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Six Years Blogging

September 28, 2008.  That's when I took my first step into blogging.  "It'll be fun," I thought.  "Some people make money doing it," I also thought.  Well, six years later I'm still at it.  Some times have been more fun that others and I sure haven't made money, but it's still something that interests me.  Really, if you look at the average person who decides to start a blog, it's pretty amazing that I'm still at it this long afterwards.  I've surprised myself that I can keep coming up with topics on an average of 10-15 per month without excessively repeating myself.  Most people seem to peter out after a few weeks or months.
So what have I learned over the last six years?
Some people are very opinionated and willing to give insults and personal attacks in order to make their point.
Some people are looking for free advice and don't want to see a vet.
Many people have very interesting and insightful questions.
I have a much thicker skin than I thought.  Neither my wife nor my father can understand how I can handle some of the hateful and ignorant comments that are made.  I usually just shrug them off.
It's fun to interact with people from every continent (still waiting for the research stations in Antarctica to notice me).
It's pretty neat to have regular readers and followers.
The bigger you get as a blogger, the more spammers try to make comments to increase search engine optimization for a given business.
Lots of people are worried about their dogs choking (more on this in a minute).

At my current rate I'll have made 1,000 blog entries by next Summer.
One of the interesting things about Blogger is that it gives me statistics on who is reading this blog, what they are looking at, and how they are accessing it.  Here are some of the choice facts about this little corner of the Internet.
People read this blog from all over the world.  If we look at the countries of origins of my readers, it breaks down in the following way looking at my blog since the beginning, listing the top 10 from most to least:  United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Russia, France, Ireland, Saint Kitts and Nevice, Ukraine.  However, if you look at the data from just the most recent month you see a slightly different distribution:  United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, France, Turkey, Russia, Germany, New Zealand.  What does that mean?  Probably just a difference over the years as new readers find me and older ones fall away.
I can also see what devices and browsers people use to access the blog.  Looking at "all time" data, from the beginning to now, we see (in order from most to least) Windows (50%), iPhone (15%), Macintosh (12%), Android (9%), and iPad (7%) as the top 5.  But over the last month it looks a little different, especially the percentages:  Windows (30%), iPhone (28%), Android (15%), Macintosh (12%), iPad (11%).  It's pretty clear that more and more people are using mobile devices rather than laptops and home computers, which is not surprising considering the significant increase in the presence of smart phones in 2014 compared to 2008.
I want to say thanks for everyone who has continued to read this blog, put up with my hiatus earlier this year, and continue to share my posts.  I hope that I've both informed and entertained.  If nothing else you are learning what it's really like to be a vet and what goes on behind the scenes.  And that's my guide to life.