Monday, December 17, 2012

First Anniversary

This day in History- The blog “The Picket” came into being.

Yes, loyal reader, one year ago today, I launched this blog. Starting out with trying to come up with a title for it, then posting my first story, and on through the year, it has been quite a pleasure bringing some of the old stories to light. I hope those of you that stop in from time to time have enjoyed the content delivered to you.

Beginning today, as you may have noticed, The Picket has a new name, sort of. I decided to incorporate the blog description into the name, and I changed the description to better match the mission of the blog. I have been toying with the idea for several months and decided to do it now. I am hoping it will help it show up better in general searches. At least get it away from picket fences and Shepherd University's blog also called the Picket. I suppose I should have researched the Web before settling on a name. Generally speaking though, it will always be The Picket!

I would like to share some accomplishments from the year that make this effort worthwhile to me. I am proud of my work here and it does not hurt to “toot my own horn” once in a while although it rarely happens. It is my anniversary after all. So here is my year in a rather large nutshell!
As of today:
The Picket has had 62 posts added to it not including this one. That is not bad for an amateur do you think? Although my unstated goal was to have 100 posts up, I am not disappointed to terribly. 100 is a reasonable target and it gives me incentive to try a little harder for the coming year!
It has had 732 visits prior to this post. The best month was August 2012 with 109 visits. Again I am not to disappointed. I had hoped for 1,000 visits over the year, but I look at it as another reason to try harder. Eventually the readership will grow and I will have more views than I can count?
The Picket has had 194 page views. This number is based on each time a post has been viewed as an individual page. I tend to look at it the most. It lets me know with a reasonable amount of certainty that a real human being has been here and that I have not been invaded by web crawlers and nuisance sites. I must admit I am disappointed in this number. I had hoped to show up in the search engines a little more often. But that will also come in time.
My top page view earner was “A Small Thing But...” posted on January 21, 2012, the story of how the twist drill aided the Confederacy in constructing the ironclad CSS Albemarle.
Google is the top referring site, and Civil War Saga (a great blog!) is the top URL that sends readers my way.
My page background
I have gained two Followers. A little disappointing, but more will come eventually. I hope anyway! This only reflects the Google followers. I think I have a couple of people following by email also.
The Picket appears on one blog roll. Thanks Meg Thompson! (First Fallen: The Life and Times of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth) More will follow someday, when more bloggers actually find me. I do not ask to be on other lists. I feel I need to earn a spot on them. I won't be mad if someone suggests this blog to other bloggers, or shares it to Facebook, a favorite forum, Tweets, Stumbles, Diggs, Pins, or whatever social network you engage in, feel free! (Yes, that is a hint!) That way others can make a judgment as to this blogs worth and include it on their blog rolls if they feel it has enough quality content. Just make sure you think it is worth mentioning before you share it.

My first post was “Forgotten” posted December 17, 2011. It tells of a group of unknown Confederate soldiers buried in a small cemetery in Southern Indiana.
My favorite post did not see the light of day as far as page views. Someone may have seen it, but it did not show up in the search engines to be read as its own page. Titled “Not So Friendly Fire” it was posted June 23, 2012, and highlights the “battle” of Columbus, Ohio. Men of the Ninth Corps were passing through Columbus while transferring to the west in 1863, and clashed with the very raw soldiers of the 115th Ohio Infantry who were on Provost Guard duty there. Shots were fired and men died in a truly senseless episode that many may have never heard of. That post was a true accident as far as writing it went. I had been researching something else when I found a soldiers death listed as “Murdered in Columbus Ohio”. Further digging produced the story.
So there you have it. A year in the life of one blog; my blog, The Picket. The only real disappointment I have is that I did not start sooner! I have enjoyed it as it couples my love of writing with my love of history, in particular the American Civil War era.
My mission for the coming year will be more of the same. I will strive to improve both the content and my writing. I will need your feedback from time to time though. Tell me how I am doing! Good, bad, or indifferent, another opinion can only help me improve. Suggestions for stories are welcome also!
Here comes YEAR 2 and maybe this will be the year I get discovered! (I can dream can't I?)
Lord willing there will be more years to follow!

And thanks for stopping by!

The Picket

Army of the Potomac. Our Outlying Pickets in the Woods” Winslow Homer

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