Five Years Blogging!

28 11 2011

Jeez, I’ve been so busy I forgot that this month marked Bull Runnings’ fifth anniversary! Thanks to all of you for taking the time to stop by and check out what goes on here. So far I’ve made 1,240 posts on various Civil War topics. Lately I’ve been trying to get back to adding to the resources section of the blog, and that will be my focus for the coming year.

I’m thankful that this modest site has opened so many doors for me, especially in 2011. I’ve had the opportunity this year to do things I never thought possible, like lead a tour for the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, speak as part of the Gettysburg Foundation’s anniversary series, address three great roundtables in Pinehurst, NC, Washington, DC, and Leesburg, VA, and write for the Weider History Group’s fine publications America’s Civil War and Civil War Times. And I owe it all to Bull Runnings and you, dear readers.

Thank you.





Four Years Blogging

2 11 2010

Bull Running’s first post was made this day in 2006.  Titled Patience, it asked everyone for a little time to get things up and running, explaining that the project was a work in progress.  That still applies, by the way.

I won’t belabor my stats.  They are up considerably from the prior 12 month period.  A lot of that increase was due to a strange occurrence regarding my son’s essay An 11-Year-Old on Abraham Lincoln.  The photo that accompanied that post was for two months the number one Google image search result for Abraham Lincoln!  Therefore I had about a 150% increase in viewership over that period, and my son’s post is now the number one most viewed page all time on this site.  Exclusive of that, it looks like I’m up about 10%.

This blog has been a really wonderful thing for me.  In addition to the outlet it provides, I believe my professional writing opportunities are a direct result of Bull Runnings; my four speaking engagements coming up in 2011 wouldn’t have happened without it; I’ve had the opportunity to virtually meet some fine folks via the comments feature, emails, and the general Civil War blogging “community”; I continue to learn more about First Bull Run in particular and the Civil War in general; and I think my writing is getting more better gooder.

So thanks for stopping by to see what I have to say.  With any luck next year will see me get back on track posting to the resources section of the site.  I hope you’ll stick with me for year #5!





Three Years Blogging

3 11 2009

I started this thing on Nov. 2, 2006.  Now it’s three years later, and I’ve made 759 posts, including 256 entries in the resources section.  The blog has received 172,496 WordPress hits, basically doubling the previous year each year – this year so far I’ve received 89,500 hits, and will probably get about 107,000 or so by the end of the calendar year.  In contrast, I received about 52, 200 hits in 2008.  Last month I topped 10,000 hits in a month for the first time, and in October 2008 I set a then record of 4,825.  My busiest day was this past August 31, when I had 728 visitors thanks to the late Rolling Stone Brian Jones being in the news and lots of folks looking for an image of his tombstone, one of which (from findagrave.com) graces this post.  So the growth has been slow but steady.  Huffington and Malkin have nothing to fear, but I’m happy with the way things are going.

This past year I also jumped into social networking with Facebook.  I registered the blog there with the Networked Blogs application on Facebook and have 93 followers that way.  I’ve also added links to the bottom of selected posts to make it easier for readers to share my posts via different sites if they’re so inclined.

As for posts, …but I know what I like is still in the all-time lead with 4,171 views (none of these numbers include feed readers).  1862 Photos of Bull Run is a distant second with 3,212.  The most viewed post written this year has been Civil War Art – Howard Pyle with 711, followed closely by Civil War Art – N. C. Wyeth with 686.  Seems like a theme.

Over the past few weeks I’ve strayed from the central theme of this blog, but I’ll get back to posting primary Bull Run material soon.

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Two Years Blogging

2 11 2008

I made my first post on Bull Runnings on November 2, 2006.  It’s been a fun two years, and I’m hoping for a few more (at least), the Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise.  By way of a recap on the digital history part of this site, I’ve posted all of the Official Reports (After Action Reports) for Bull Run proper, at least all of those included in the Official Records; citations for all Bull Run MOH awardees; Orders of Battle for both armies; a few biographical sketches; links to beau coup digital books; one previously unpublished contemporary letter from a prominent participant; transcripts of one witness’ testimony before the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War; and three photo galleries.  Lots of miles to go yet.

Bull Runnings has been featured in one print magazine, and I was interviewed for an Internet Civil War radio program.  One series of posts was included in the 14th Military History Carnival.

Bull Runnings remains ad free.

Blog stats.  I’ve written 463 posts in 36 different categories, and received 940 comments (a useless stat since it includes links between articles).  I’ve also received (and blocked thanks to Akismet) 10,798 spam comments. At the suggestions of Craig and Robert, I’ve started using something called “Tags”.  I don’t understand the difference between tags and categories, but I’ve created 25 of the former in the past couple of days.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go back and tag every old post, but may do so as I revisit them for whatever reason.

As of right now, my pages have been viewed 72,551 times.  For the 2 months I was up in 2006, I averaged 63 pageviews per day; 73/day for all of 2007; and 137/day so far in 2008.  Right around 90 different computers visit Bull Runnings each day.

Not very impressive numbers, I realize.  But I’m OK with it if you are.  I know of a few sure-fire ways to increase traffic, but writing about such things would violate the few very simple rules I established when I first set out, and I’m not willing to make that sacrifice.

Thanks to each and every one of you who read my stuff – even you who come here via Google searches for striated glutes.  Thanks to you who have provided great information that has helped make the Bull Run Resources on this site a meaningful tool.  Thanks to all my fellow bloggers who have been so helpful over these past two years.  And last, thanks to my wife and son who have had to ask distracted dad the same questions or give him the same instructions repeatedly while he taps away on this keyboard.








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