If You Build It...?
Sometime today, if things keep up, the 20,000th Visitor to this little hallway of Blogdom will be received. While I'm still hoping and praying for a gig to pay the bills, the interest and support of this audience -- of all of you -- has both warmed my heart in affirming the importance and value of this work, and served as proof to the people around me who think I've lost my mind that I am, in fact, doing something productive, even if survival at this point is a daily struggle. (To aid with the latter, you'll see a donation bar on the right sidebar. Please support the mission!)
I was really humbled the other day to receive a word from one of the legends of the field -- who, as it turns out, is a committed reader. (Imagine my shock and awe. Those Curia boys are way too loose-lipped when it comes to their fonti.) When he started out, he told me, he thought he'd be read by "a couple-hundred Vatican junkies," and now he's huge, he's everywhere.
That's just one of the many expressions of support I've gotten which mean the world everyday and keep my morale up, so tutte grazie to you all. Thanks for visiting (often frequently), staying awhile, making your voices heard, keeping in touch, keeping me sane and spreading the word. If I could ask a favor, please keep spreading that word. And apologies to everyone whose e.mails I have yet to return!
As my Dad has spent the better part of three decades in big-city newspaper circulation, I'm very cognizant of the role of numbers in journalism, so here's a brief summary for the curious. Since starting the counter on 4 June, it took 31 days to reach the first 10,000 visitors. Since then, 22 days to 20,000 -- between the two milestones, readership has increased 36%, which is nothing to thumb your nose at. The average viewing time clocks in at about four and a half minutes, which is unusually high for a blog. The numbers spike at the beginning of the workday on the East Coast, yet there is also a curious uptick in the middle of the night Eastern time, coinciding with midmorning in Rome -- or, more appropriately for this time of year, Les Combes. This is all very gratifying.
Lastly, a personal blurb: even though I opened this Loggia up in December on the advice of friends, I decided to make it a full-time commitment after the Events of April. Before we lost JP, I was doing positively mind-numbing things (like PR for strip malls), and it drove me crazy because I knew what I loved but didn't think that the audience existed for it. And then arrived this moment of grace, when what I've always seen as my life's cause and beloved work was played out on the front pages, computer screens, radios and televisions of the world, and I was able to be a part of explaining and analyzing it for a mass audience. Having spent most of my life preparing for it and years operating behind-the-scenes, I took to the task with such great senses of joy, love and fulfillment that I decided I had to keep at it, even if it meant going for broke.
What's life if you stop yourself from doing what you love, right?
Well, that's where I'm at -- gone for broke and waiting for redemption. So hopefully things will tick up. Until then and always, just gotta keep Rock n' Rollin....