There comes a time when you have to step back and reflect, before you decide what to do next. This blog is just about 2 years old, 25 months to be exact (despite a few posts that date before then). And in blogoshpere terms, I gather that is like turning a 100 in human years or so. With attention spans in the nanoseconds and information stored in forms I would never understand, this whole blogging thing is a phenomenon I am in, but am not sure whyâ€¦ The statistics at this point are something I do understand from a numbers point of view â€“ In the past 25 months I have published 904 posts or an average of 1.19 posts per day or a post every 20 hours! When printed out and punched and placed in binders for my own satisfaction that I do, indeed, have a hard copy, it filled over 7 binders and used up over 3,000 sheets of normal sized white paper. So far these 904 posts have elicited 14,600 comments from readers, or roughly 16 comments per post; though many of the first hundred posts were lucky to get 2 comments and I think the most commented on post hit about 300 comments. Over the past two years, the site has logged a stunning 2.3 MILLION page views, which I like to think of as if I had written a thousand page novel, and 2,300 discerning folks then read it cover to cover. Over the same period, 230,000+ unique visitors have stumbled across this website, though I suspect a good 85% were just lost in cyberspace and rarely, if ever came back. But that still leaves some 33,000 folks who read several posts, and who have either gotten bored and gone on to other blogs or activities and have never come back.
At the core of the current readership are an estimated 6 â€“ 8,000 regular readers who come fairly frequently with a huge predictable surge mid-week from Tuesday to late Thursdays and a slower pace of visits on the weekends (heehee, you guys are surfing AT WORK?). Despite my previous attempts to fish you out of the dark, a good 90% of readers have NEVER left a comment on this blog, and another 7% have left 2 or less comments in the past two years. Thus only 3% or less chose to participate in the give and take on the comments section. You hail from over 80 different countries around the world and roughly 60+% of you live outside of the Philippines from places I have literally never heard of before from Northern Scandinavia to Southern South America to the Caribbean, the East and West Coasts of North America and hundreds of towns in-between, tons of Asian countries, the lands down under and their New Zealand neighbors, Europe and even Africa. While I am really dopey about keeping track, I know there are regular commenters who have been on this site from nearly its inception, with folks in Belgium, Greece and the Mediterranean, Australia, London, China, California, Davao, Manila, just to name a few locations. I am grateful that all of you have been such â€œregulars,â€ and a vocal part of what I like to think of as the growing Marketmanila foodie family. I figure if I spent an average of 3 hours a day shopping, cooking, photographing, writing and responding to comments on this blog for the past 25 months, that is a total of 2,280 man-hours expended or 57 standard 40-hour work weeks! And it didn’t feel like work at all!
I should also point out that I do not accept promotional freebies and that applies to all that have asked. I choose to remain advertising free to ensure that I remain as objective as possible. I have never tried to do anything to “enhance” my statistics as some others tend to do when advertisers are watching the numbers… it seems some folks set up separate blogs just so that they can bump up their links to their main blogs…geez, that’s just too involved for me… I just write the posts and whoever reads them, reads them. Period.
So whatâ€™s next? While I currently have material and photos for at least another 100 or so posts that I just havenâ€™t had the time or energy to write yet, I thought it would be a useful time to run an all-out brainstorming survey of readers, and I hope to draw out as many of you as possible, under the guise that whatever you say, it will be good for Marketmanila.com. Here are some of the questions I have for youâ€¦feel free to respond to only the ones that matter to you.
1. What categories of posts would you like to read more about in the next 12 months? Recipes and what types of dishes? Produce, provedores, flowers, kitchen equipment, sweets and desserts, rants, etc.?
2. Should the pace of posts slow down to say 3 a week, or remain at the current pace of about 1 a day?
3. Are you starting to feel the site is getting repetitive, boring, staid?
4. Should I focus on more depth and less posts, or continue to post as it hits me, as I have been doing in the past year?
5. Is it time to round out the posts at 1,000 and call it quits, and retire from blogging for good?
6. Write a book (but I canâ€™t really write! and who would pay for it?), publish a calendar, open a foodstore?
What do you think? Please leave a comment if you have some thoughts on these issues. I am out of town for a few days but will be checking the site often to see what everyone has to say. I hope you are all back into the groove of things after the holidays! If you have been away for a while, check out the archives for posts from the last monthâ€¦ And if the site is sluggish or difficult, it may be because of the earthquake in Taiwan that cut some fiber optics cables which has in turn affected internet services all across the region. Many thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions! I realize this is a free-for-all request but I am really curious what your responses will be like!