Today is the fourth anniversary of my blog. In light of that fact, here are a few facts and statistics:
The first post on this blog was a review of Constance Weaver’s Teaching Grammar in Context. Since that post, I’ve made 564 posts (including this one).
The first commenter was Ms. Ris, who commented on my post about The Teacher’s Daybook by Jim Burke. Since that time, this blog has received 2,004 comments. Some were lost when I had a problem with a Web host.
Although readership is kind of hard to track, and I tend not to get caught up in readership stats for that reason, Feedburner reports that I have 683 subscribers to my RSS feed. Feedblitz reports that 57 people subscribe to posts by e-mail. If you want to subscribe, click here. I don’t check site statistics that often, so I was interested to learn that since I installed Statcounter (and I confess, I can’t remember at all when that was, so this next bit is fairly useless), my site has received 809,143 page views. Now, many of those are for subdomains that serve other areas of interest and many are for Google searchers who landed here and probably were not looking for my site. That number has nothing to do with readership. That much is evidenced by the fact that 68.9% of the last 500 visitors only stayed for 5 seconds or less. Then again, I haven’t updated in a few days, and some of those visits may in fact be regular readers who are checking to see if I’ve updated. (You can save yourself the trouble if you subcribe!)
I began this blog using Movable Type. Here’s a peek at what my blog looked like back in those days. Some time after I started this blog, I had a major problem with my Web host at that time (see a page I put up in the interim until I could fix it). Some time later, I came back with WordPress, and older readers might recognize this design. I have not changed the look of this place many times. My blog has only had those two looks and this current one with the exception of some slight experimentation that never lasted long.
If you are a newer reader, you may not have seen some of my older posts. Here are some of my favorite posts over the past four years:
- Grade Inflation: A Student and Teacher Dialogue (I heard from Anthony last October, and he is currently a student at Yale; he contacted me to remind me after I grumped rather loudly about not wanting guest posts that I wasn’t always so opposed to the idea!)
- Would You Send Your Kid to Hogwarts? (It’s no secret I’m a Harry Potter fan, and I had a lot of fun evaluating the Hogwarts faculty according to my beliefs about teacher effectiveness.)
- A series on teaching Romeo and Juliet (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)
- I also post about Understanding by Design/backward design/UbD, which revolutionized my teaching, but there are so many posts, I think it’s easier to just link to a search for UbD. I am proud of some of the UbD work and units I’ve planned. Check out the UbD wiki for more.
- A series designed to help teachers new to blogs and wikis:
In this time when some folks are saying blogging is dead, I have to say that nothing I have done for myself as an educator has helped me learn more and be a more effective teacher than starting this blog. Nothing else has contributed as much to my reflection and enabled me to connect with other teachers and learn from them like this blog has. Starting it was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I am glad and humbled by those who visit and find it useful for their own learning as well.
Happy birthday, blog!