Two “Top Ten” Lists for 2019 – Part 2

Two “Top Ten” Lists for 2019

Part 2 – Top Ten Blogs of 2019

Yesterday, I published my Top Ten” (actually Top Five) sermons from last year.  What follows is the list of my most “popular” blog posts.

#10) “Fear” (February 21)

Writing before the Special General Conference on issues of sexuality in the United Methodist Church I shared a few words for those who were worried about the outcome and the future of our church.  Although that conference is over and the future is slightly more in focus, my opinion hasn’t changed.

#9) “So, What Do We Do on a Mission Trip?” (September 25)

After our team returned from our latest trip to The Joy Center and Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, I explained a little about what happens there.

#8) “One Year In” (June 20)

A few words on my first anniversary at Christ Church

#7) “Pastor’s Report 2019” (October 28)

My summary of our year written for our official Charge Conference report.

#6) Confession and Pardon for Scout Worship (July 28)

Here I share my contribution to a Protestant worship service at the World Scout Jamboree in the event that that others might it useful for future scouting events.

#5) “What Happens When We Die?” (November 1)

One of my friends asked this question online and I shared it here because I know others have asked the same question.

#4) “Cutting the Baby in Half” (October 24)

Regardless of its apparent necessity, I don’t think that dividing the United Methodist Church will end well for anyone any more than Solomon’s proposal to cut a baby in half.

#3) “I’m Not Going” (March 25)

I explained to my congregation, and to anyone who cares, that regardless of how our denomination may, or may not, divide, I have no plans to leave this local church.

#2) “Do We Need a Catholic Order of Methodists?” (October 30)

While I doubt that anyone cares what I think, this is my proposal for how our denomination might stay together.

#1) “A Jamboree Honeymoon” (July 31)

While I was at the World Scout Jamboree, I met a young couple who were so passionate about scouting that they were spending their honeymoon sleeping in separate tents and working as staff so that scouts from all over the world could have the experience of a lifetime.  This post was read almost eight times more than #2 and ten times more frequently than #3 because it got picked up by both our Annual Conference and our denominational web pages.

Honorable mention

“Changing the World with Muddy Boots” (July 23)

While this is officially my least read blog of 2019 (and probably the shortest), it’s still has an important message and is one of my favorites.

 

 

 

 


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2019 – By the Numbers (Part 2)

2019 – By the Numbers (Part 2)

Social Media Year in Review

 

Last week I wrote what is essentially the “first half” of an overview of last year.  I may still write a “top ten” list of the most read posts from last year, but while last week’s post was mostly about the church, this week’s is more personal.  While I did include some blog statistics in last week’s post, it was only those that related to the weekly posts of the Sunday sermon and, although that is probably the bright spot of this report as well, this post will cover more ground than that.

First, and most strangely, my old blog on Blogger, which I no longer maintain, and which I have clearly labelled as having moved to my new address on WordPress, still gets regular traffic.  It seems that, at some point, I might be forced to either edit every single post with a note about moving or delete that account entirely.  In any case, even though no new content has been posted there in almost four years, it still had considerably more traffic (5814 views) than my new one (3994 views).  This is both humbling, and an illustration of how well Google can push traffic toward its own properties.

Obviously, the traffic on my blog is pitifully small, especially when you read that you can begin to “monetize” your webpage or blog once you reach a benchmark of something like 10,000 visitors per month.  Even so, while the number of visitors to my old page is about half of what it was the year before, the number visitors to the new page nearly doubled.  Specifically, there was an 85 percent increase in visitors from 2018 to 2019 which was only slightly better than the 84 percent increase that we saw from 2017 to 2018.  So, while traffic to this blog is still small, its growth has almost doubled in each of the last two years.  And that, is both encouraging and humbling.

Some of that growth is reflected in the increase in subscribers.  At the beginning of 2019, 70 people subscribed to my blog on WordPress, and at the end of 2019 that number increased to 120.  Separate from that group, there are also two lists of folks who subscribe to blog notifications.  The first receives each week’s Sunday sermon, in its entirety, by email.  That list grew from 141 to 213.  The second list receives email notifications every time that I post a blog (like this one) that is not a Sunday sermon.  That email is usually just a notification that there is a new post and includes a link to that post.  Less impressively, his second subscription list increased from 18 to 24.  I’m not sure which of these is “cause” and which is “effect.”  Did increasing blog traffic drive increased subscriptions, or vice-versa, or did they feed one another?

On Facebook, I have, so far, resisted the call to create a new profile and separate my “public” and my “private” or “personal” life, but I do try to be careful not to accept too many friend requests from total strangers.  As of now, I have 812 Facebook “friends”, but I have no idea how much that might have grown since last year.  Neither do I track the growth of my network on LinkedIn, but again I do try, somewhat, to limit that platform to people that I’ve met in person.  Theoretically, Twitter should be the place where I gather “fans” that I haven’t met, but I probably don’t expend enough effort or focus there, so over the course of the year my follower count dropped from 389 to 371.   The number of people who subscribe to paper copies via snail mail decreased from 7 to 5, and although we haven’t been able to get into a routine of getting videos posted, a few things did and the number of people subscribing to my YouTube channel somehow managed to increase from 3 to 7.

Again, even though what I do online is not anything close to my “main” ministry, we are reaching people through this medium and the results are encouraging.  I hope that your New Year is a bright one.

For all of you you’ve been here all year, and for those of you who are new this year, thank you.  Feel free to comment below and let me know how these messages might have helped you this year, or what topics you might like to see addressed in 2020.  As usual, I’m sure there will be more ideas than time, but even if I don’t get to yours, your suggestions and comments are always welcome.


To read the first installment of this year-end review, click here: 2019 By the Numbers (Part 1).


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