We started this blog about 16 months ago. We didn’t know what we were getting into but it seemed harmless enough – something we would add to as the mood struck us. Mostly we’ve blogged about food, some art and topics that hold our attention for a moment. Like many of you we check the dashboard from time-to-time to see what kind of traffic we’re getting. We were “Freshly Pressed” in December, 2010, which was exciting and brought us many new readers and friends. There are two posts, however, that consistently show up in the Dashboard’s Most Active list.
On March 16, 2011 Jeanne published a post called Balrogs and Hobbits and Nazguls, Oh My! where she defended Peter Jackson’s movie, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, in Educlaytion’s blog for the March Movie Madness.
On September 20, 2010 I published a post called Chicken Chowder which is a reminiscence about my late father and a Western New York food specialty, Chicken Chowder.
Hardly a day goes by when one of those posts doesn’t get a hit. Sometimes they get a lot of hits – because the Chicken Chowder post also references the 4th of July celebrations in my home town of Bergholz, that post gets a lot of traffic around the 4th. We can’t help but wonder, though, what those nerds and dweebs who drop into our world looking for Balrogs and Hobbits and Nazguls think of the rest of the blog which is mostly a middle-aged foodie’s take on the daily ritual of the table. Of course, Jeanne, hardly a nerd or dweeb, wrote the Hobbit post, defended the movie (although she didn’t win) and more often than not is the author of the rest of our blog.
I guess the lesson to take from this phenomenon is that it’s easy to write something that no one else cares about – we all probably have a life full of those things. It’s harder, although not always, to find a topic that strikes a chord in other people’s lives. It’s near impossible to create the perfect title to reel readers in to take a look. Hobbits are a pretty easy topic and putting “Hobbit” into your title would probably drive a lot of hits. You could probably publish posts entitled Hobbit kitchen, Hobbit dress, Hobbit sex, Hobbit food – you get the idea – and you’d get hits on your blog, not because of what you have to say but because there’s a lot of people inordinately or obsessively or unnaturally interested in Hobbits – well maybe the sex would bring them in too.
Writing about the death of one’s father and the food he cooked is a harder sell but, nonetheless, one that apparently hit home for many people. We all have/had fathers, well-remembered or not, and many may have done some of the cooking (beside chowder duty, mine cooked Saturday breakfast for us kids and, no, it wasn’t cereal) and that evokes common experiences and tender memories that we can share.