Saturday, December 7, 2013

Looking back ... on PP's 5th anniversay

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Photo Potpourri, and I thought I'd observe the occasion with a couple of posts indulging in a familiar pastime known as "looking back." I'm going to start with a post that provides a sort of behind-the-scenes peek that I doubt many bloggers would offer readers.

Blogspot, Photo Potpourri's Internet host, provides blog operators and managers various statistics to monitor traffic, as well as to ascertain where traffic is coming from, what is popular and how often people land at the site. I now look in on this data at least every other day to help me determine if I'm offering content of value or worth. I'm pleased to say that traffic has increased through the years -- very gradually the first four years, and by quite a lot this past year.

I've had just over 400 posts since the inaugural one in December 2008 (a post that, ironically, did not carry a single photograph!). That's an average of 80 posts per year, and there have been just under 90,000 hits on the various pages of the blog in that time.

The most viewed post (also known as the post with the most "hits") from as long as I have been following the data has been an interview I did of Indianapolis wedding photographer Rich Miller (left) for Photo Potpourri's former "Photographer in the Spotlight" feature. The Miller interview, which featured some of Rich's great work, went online Nov. 19, 2009. That post, in fact, has been a rock solid No. 1 "hit" -- its total hits (in the four-digits realm) more than doubles that of the runner-up post in hits, also in four digits, which was a recap of the Garfield Shakespeare Company's production of Macbeth (below), staged in a colonial America setting, in September 2010.

My theory on the popularity of the Miller post is that either Rich recommends it to potential clients who inquire about his services, or that potential clients find and check it out while researching possible photographers. My initial guess had been that Rich had a link to the post on his business's website, but when I visited his site to see if that were the case, I couldn't find any such link, so I don't think that's driving the traffic.

Those of you unfamiliar with the former "Photographer in the Spotlight" feature, whose run ended in May 2010, might find the monthly installments interesting reads -- and will introduce you to photographers you might never had come across. Just click on "Spotlight" from the Labels list on the right side of this blog's home page -- or click on the link in the first line of this paragraph -- to bring up all the profiles in the series.

Ranking third on this blog's all-time most-visited-post list is a piece I wrote (with pictures I took) about basketball player Chrishawn Hopkins after his debut performance for the Butler University men's basketball team in November 2010. The hits on that post -- now also in the four digits -- increased hugely two years later when Hopkins left the team for unannounced reasons. Hopkins transferred to Wright State University in fall 2012, and this fall, after sitting out a year, he began playing for the Raiders in his third year of college eligibility.

The fourth-most visited Photo Potpourri post went up Dec. 26, 2012. It was about the oddity of so many tilting trees in Garfield Park, such as the one below, on the Southside of Indianapolis. The fact that it got that many hits in a much shorter time span than posts Nos. 1-3 is remarkable ... but not as remarkable as the meteroric popularity of the post at No. 5.

My report and pictures about the scenic campus of Rose-Hulman Insitute of Technology, a post just barely two months old as of this writing, easily scored the most hits in the shortest time span of any post ever at this blog. I think the explanation is that I had included a link to the post (and to two others I did on Rose-Hulman during my visit there on Sept. 21 of this year) in an email to Dale Long, the school's director of news services. I was doing a followup inquiry to ask for help identifying students in the school's homecoming court whom I photographed during halftime of the Fightin' Engineers football game against Defiance College. The post was lush with images of the scenic campus, including the shot below of Percopo Hall (left) and White Chapel (right) along Speed Lake, and I'm guessing Long shared the link with school officials, students and acquaintances, who in turn passed it along, etc.

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