Blogosphere

2019’s greatest hits

At the end of each year I look back at how this blog performed: raw stats and popular posts. It’s a chance to revisit the best of what I published this year.

Pageviews are down in 2019, largely due to search driving way less traffic, as I wrote about here. Search started driving big traffic here in 2015 (about 138,000 views) and continued through 2016 (127,000) and 2017 (also 127,000). It started to fall off in 2018 (96,000), and dropped sharply this year (60,000).

If you subtract search-driven views from the last five years’ total visits, you get 132,000 in 2015, 124,000 in 2016, 160,000 in 2017, 149,000 in 2018, and 152,000 in 2019. 2017 remains this blog’s best year in terms of pageviews, but overall I think Down the Road is still growing, slowly.

Here’s a far better measure of this blog’s success: comments are way up. (About half the comments represented in this count are mine, as it’s my policy to respond to nearly every comment.) I blog because I want to engage with people like you, so thank you for every comment!

And now, the traditional Top Five lists. First, my five favorite posts. If you click no other links on this page, click these. I put my whole heart into these posts.

These are 2019’s five most-viewed posts, thanks largely to being shared widely on Facebook. I don’t much like Facebook anymore, but it’s hard to ignore how powerful of a platform it is for promoting little blogs like mine.

  • Welcome to New Carlisle — A small town on the Michigan Road in northern Indiana, New Carlisle retains considerable charm.
  • The giants at Bernheim Forest — You can still go see these remarkable wood sculptures at Bernheim Forest in Kentucky.
  • A 1989 photo ride — I took my camera out on my bicycle in the Terre Haute neighborhood where I lived after graduating from college.
  • Kodak No. 2 Brownie, Model F — This 90-year-old box camera still has the touch. It’s a decent camera even today.
  • Recommended film labs — Do you have film you’d like to have developed? These are the labs I recommend.

This year I decided to teach myself to develop my own black-and-white film, and scan it. You all taught me a lot in your comments — thank you! Three of the top five most-commented posts relate to that project.

I appreciate it when you click Like on one of my posts when you don’t have a comment to offer, because then I know you’re still out there. Here are the five posts that got the most likes this year.

Thanks for reading Down the Road this year! Now on to 2020.

If you’d like to see my Greatest Hits posts from past years, they’re all here.

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9 thoughts on “2019’s greatest hits

  1. A wonderfully variety from the JG keyboard. This is always one of the first emails I open each day, with great anticipation. I am rarely disappointed.

    I hope your 2020 is a great year for you in every way that matters.

  2. Ken Bandy says:

    Jim, your post about the Washington Street bridges got me hooked, as I appreciate local history. I also enjoy your classic film camera posts. My wife and I recently returned to Brownsburg from spending Christmas in LA. While there, we visited the Getty Gallery, and I got a few pictures of a “Mammoth Plate Wet-Collodion Camera”, dating from the mid-19th century, that was on display there. Let me know if you would be interested to see the photos.

  3. Hi Jim. I missed the “How to blog every day” post originally, but that’s a helpful read, thanks. I already do blog everyday, but I’m the first to admit that my posts can be a little, erm, concise. One of my plans is to write longer posts in 2020 – maybe not everyday, but more frequently – and I think the techniques you’ve described will help me in that aim. Anyway, great to read your blog as always and I wish you a very happy, healthy new year!

    • I don’t know, I like your short blog posts. They’re like crisps, quick and tasty. But of course, if you feel the urge to write more let me not stand in your way!

      • Thanks. There will still be lots of “crisps”, don’t worry. :)

        It’ll be nice for me to try and document some outings in more detail though if I can. Your blog has given me some tips on how I might fit some longer posts into the schedule.

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