Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 1,000,000th visitor

The 1,000,000th visitor
Weather -- Warming, overcast, melting
Temp--plus 40F Wind--3-5 mph

When I began this blog, I intended it for family and a few friends around the country. I never dreamed that other people would want to read about our experiences in Novosibirsk. I guess we each think that our lives are uninteresting and that no one would care, but the truth is that everyone's life is interesting and full of stories with life-lessons, humor, pathos, sorrows and joys. The blog has certainly changed from what I intended, and once people began to tell their friends and friends told friends, and the online Mission Moms group found it, the hits keep on coming.

Around September of 2008 I began to learn about Blogspot and some interesting things I could put on the blog. I am very ignorant of this technology so everything was an adventure. Among other things I found a counter that could be put on it to tell me how many looks I received and I expected that it would be maybe 100 a month. You can see the counter on the left side under our picture.

I kinda lost track of it until Christmas time and when I happened to look at the counter in December it was about 80,000. I was stunned! It was at that moment that I became aware of the exposure this blog might have and that I needed to be careful that what I put on it was factual when I was talking about anything serious because people from all over were reading about us, our mission activities, and the people of Russia that we met here. I certainly didn't want to give anyone an incorrect impression, so I tried from that point to be factual and even-handed with any comments about events here. I hope that I have succeeded.

Occasionally, I checked the counter over 2009 and saw that the speed of the hits kept increasing. At first there might be 1,000 a month and now it runs about 10,000 a week. I just don't know what to do with that. It is amazing that so many people around the world have read, and apparently continue to read what comes out of our experiences or out of my imagination.

I have enjoyed reading the comments from the readers. Some members of the on-line missionary moms group read it to keep up on life in the mission. Even young men who are called to Russia and are preparing to go to the MTC have read it. Some of them have even come to Novosibirsk and left comments. Many of the young members here in Novo have read it, but none have commented that I know of. Several comments have been made by Russians that I don't know, but wish that I did. The readership is diverse geographically, demographically, and in some way very random.

Thirty-five people have registered as followers and even that blows me away. Even though most of them don't leave comments, apparently they read it and get something out of it, which is really gratifying. For people to come back means something, doesn't it?

I will close this rambling with thanks to you all who have read this blog over the past almost two years. We will be going home in April and the accounts of our adventure will of course cease. However, I like to write and maybe I would decide to start some kind of general blog to air my ramblings.

In the mean time, I would like to say a big welcome to the one millionth visitor. I never imagined that you would exist and I am stunned by our existence, but I love you and hope that the time you spent here was worth your effort.

We still have a month to go and will continue to write about our mission in this country and specifically this city as the snow melts and spring approaches.

What a country.


Trisha said...

I can beleive it. You have good insight and joyful stories and even the ramblings are good for a laugh sometimes. I hope that you start another blog and continue with your life on line. I learn more about you and mom this way. And I learn that I am more and more like you both each day. The best part of that is I LOVE IT!

Carol said...

Well I know that I have certainly enjoyed following your blog. Congrats on having 1,000,000 visitors. WOW!!! That is quite amazing. I do feel bad that you are leaving in a month. Maybe if you get to train the couple that takes your place you should tell them that they need to keep a blog so that we can continue this tradition. :) Anyway thanks again for all of your wonderful posts that has given us all some insight into a country that we know little about. What a country!!! What a great Senior missionary couple!!!

Shannon said...

Yes, what a blog! What a mission. What a missionary couple..!

Emily said...

We anxiously await Novosibirsk, the movie.

samnarene said...

Congratulations on your successful blog and reaching your readership goal. We are among those who follow your blog and have enjoyed your comments and perspective.

I also had a blog while serving in Moscow on our mission; but since I didn't include a visitor counter, I have no idea how many beyond family and a few friends visited the site. Since coming home, I have started a new blog; but I have left my Russian blog open and have had some nice comments added from people I have never met. Thus, I encourage you to leave your blog open for people to continue to enjoy when searching a topic.

I hope you start a new blog when you begin your life-after-mission phase. Include the link on this site, so we will know where to keep finding you.

Thank you for an interesting and inspiring blog. We feel you and your wife have become our friends through following your mission.

Best wishes,

Sam & Narene Ireland

Emily said...

I have a random question. Do you have any idea where your missionaries buy their warm coats? Do they buy them in the US and bring them with them? Do they get them from MrMac? One of my friends has a son going on a northern canada mission and is having a hard time finding a coat for -30 degrees. I thought of you and said I'd see what you suggest. thanks! can email me at nickwilberg at hotmail dot com

Rene Weston-Eborn said...

This blog has certainly been something that I as of "Missionary Mom" I have enjoyed. When our son Elder Eborn recieved his call to Novo, the first thing I did was start researching and found your blog.

It has been been such a resource! I do hope that whoever takes over for you and/or someone in your mission will be able to continue the Russia Novo Mission blog, because it sure has made this mission mom feel better and understand what she needs to be prepared for.

Thanks for taking the time. Thanks for letting me know that my son arrived safely. And for taking such good care of them.

You are sweet people.

Sister Eborn