The Year in Blogging, 2017


This was my favorite image from 2017. I took it at the beginning of the March for Science, which happened in Duluth, Minn. I call it “Standing Strong for Science.”

My fifth year as a blogger has come to a close. I hear in the blog-o-sphere that such longevity is unusual. Most bloggers only maintain their efforts for a year or two. What can I say?  I keep doing it because I keep coming up with stories to tell and places to visit. I don’t have any goals other than sharing my stories. Well, there might be a bit of book promotion in there, but I try to keep that to a minimum. Oh, and there’s also that time I tried to save my job, but more about that later…

In 2017, my blog saw the most traffic so far. It had over 4,500 visitors and over 6,100 views. I’m sure part of that is because there’s more content so my blog shows up in more searches, but I’d also like to think it’s because people find what I have to say of interest and of use.

I’m sure if I was active on more social media channels, I could up those numbers. But upping numbers is not my goal, it’s just a nice side-benefit of telling stories.

Here are the most popular stories for the year:

# 1 Why Sea Grant is a Kick Ass Program (And Not Just Because I Work There) – This was my plea for people to contact their congressional representatives to save the federal program that employs me. The post got shared widely among my colleagues and friends, and guess what? It worked! We all still have our jobs with an organization that works to study and protect one of our most basic requirements of survival: water.

Not only was this post the most popular for 2017, but for the entire time I’ve been blogging.

Congress ignored the President’s budget cut for us, and even gave us a little bit of a raise. It’s nice to know that your country values you. Alas, the president has zeroed out our budget once again for next year, but I’m not freaking out because the Sea Grant leadership suspects that congress will keep us in the budget as before.

Anyway, thank you for the support you all provided!! It means a lot.

#2 Iams Dog Food Alert!—This story didn’t take off right away like the Sea Grant one did. Its popularity is unfortunately based on the fact that many dogs other than mine have had bad reactions to the sneaky changes this company made in the recipe of their dog food. This is one story I wish wasn’t popular, but more and more people keep finding it though searches. I am glad the story is providing them with answers, but sorry that their dogs are having problems.

#3 Minnesota Singer/Songwriter Jacob Mahon – This is a short post that I whipped out in about 10 minutes after seeing a new Duluth-based musician. I suspect part of its appeal is that it was short and to the point, plus the guy is good! The story was shared by several people, which helped lead to its popularity. Go Jacob!

#4 and #5 The Lake, it is Said, Never Gives Up Her Dead and Remembering Black Sunday in Duluth – I group these two together because they are about the same topic, and because they follow each other in popularity. Fifty years ago, three of my cousins drowned in Lake Superior. The stories are about the incident and a special ceremony that was held on the lake in their honor and to remember the people who tried to rescue them. They serve as a reminder of how powerful this lake can be.

#6 Challenge: Describe Your Community in One Word – This story, which I wrote in 2014, describes the efforts of myself and a friend to find one word that describes the people who make up Duluth, Minnesota. I’ve noticed that this story pops up in a lot of searches, especially from the Philippines. I suspect there’s a school teacher there who is giving his/her students the assignment of coming up with one word for their city or country. My blog has probably been plagiarized for many a school paper, but that’s okay with me!

Thank you for meandering with me, and Happy New Year wherever you may be . . .

2 thoughts on “The Year in Blogging, 2017

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed the posts and that you are enjoying Demetri’s viewpoint. He’s one of my favorite characters in Plover Landing. I modeled him after a neighborhood boy, plus my youngest son. Of course, there’s a bit of myself in him, too!

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