Just out of curiosity, I ran a word count on each of the Word documents into which I've been archiving my blog posts since I commenced blogging in February 2009. I entered the raw figures onto an Excel spreadsheet, and after number-crunching it gave me this information, which I found rather surprising:
2009: Average 5,220 words per month
2010: Average 8,053 words per month
2011 so far: Average 12,709 words per month
All-time word count since February 2009: 263,216
Google was able to tell me that since May 2009 my blog has had 53,313 pageviews. The pageview total per month first exceeded 3,000 in February 2011 and was 4,255 last month (September 2011).
And for the related Flickr site:
Photos uploaded, put into categories and published since February 2009: 5,729. Viewings: 68,269.
What can one make of all this?
Well, I do churn out a lot of words. What, over 263,000! Really, there's absolutely no excuse for not knowing me very well indeed, if you delve into that lot. In fact it's a fair assumption that anyone who flings comments at me that simply don't fit me as I really am hasn't bothered to study my blog. The material to hang me or beatify me is all there. There's no excuse for not reading a fair sample of it before sounding off at me. Just put in a key word in the search box - 'dilation' maybe - or 'love' - and see what I have to say. Then judge, if you really need to judge at all.
And I publish a lot of photos too, although bear in mind that the total number of digital photos I've taken since May 2000 has now exceeded 101,000, so I haven't in fact stuck everything up on Flickr!
The personal output may be large, but that shouldn't in itself generate any particular recognition, and indeed neither posts nor photos usually attract much in the way of comment. On the other hand, since my blog is much read, and since the readership seems to be increasing, I must be putting out stuff that chimes with what a lot of people want to read. Putting it another way, if I published bland, boring, unstimulating, depressing material that was way too 'me, me, me' all the time, I don't think I would command so much of a readership. People will only stay with you if what you say is sufficiently interesting and well-written to be worth a look. But (this must be human nature) not many are actually going to commit themselves to a comment unless they wish to especially endorse or decry what you say.
I'm very pleased that I'm not writing into the void with no readers. But I'm not a journalist doing my bit to increase the circulation of some newspaper or magazine. Popularity, like fame, is a slippery and capricious thing. I'm simply glad that these figures show that a large number of people, albeit mostly silent and unknown, appreciate what I have to say, and what I find worth taking a photo of.
By the way, I've no means of knowing whether the readership is predominantly trans, or much more general. I suspect that the trans element is gradually diminishing as I get absorbed into the post-op mainstream, and the blog begins to cover subjects that anyone might relate to. Such as life as a pensioner, and, when I can get back to it, travel. Well, we'll see.