I write this blog primarily for residents of Kendal at Longwood. But outsiders sometimes find their way to it, and that has turned out to be a big influence on how many times a given post is read.
WordPress, the blogging software I use, keeps track of viewership for each post. When I started the blog in 2019, most posts got a dozen views or less. Now, they typically get about 40 views. It is unusual for posts that are specifically related to Kendal to get more than 100 views, and none has ever achieved 200 views.
But some of my posts have turned out to be of interest to people far beyond Kendal, and those are the posts that have gotten the most views (over 800 in some cases). Readers have found them via Google or shared them with other readers and (in a modest way) they have gone viral. That didn’t really happen until this year.
In 2022, the blog got 6,422 views from 3,695 distinct visitors. That’s more than a 50% increase from 2021. There is a core base of about 100 subscribers and followers, most of whom are at Kendal (plus my family members).
The #1 most-viewed post in 2022 was “What happened to Trader Joe’s Bay Blend coffee?”, from last June. I never expected there would be much interest in that post, which I wrote in a fit of pique because Trader Joe’s had discontinued my favorite coffee beans. But as it turned out, I was not alone. 896 people viewed the post in 2022, and it is still being viewed at the rate of about 4 per day. The comments make it clear that this post struck a chord with a lot of coffee drinkers from all parts of the country, some of whom made multi-hour treks to their nearest Trader Joe’s primarily to restock their supply of Bay Blend beans. For myself, I have tried a lot of other beans and have finally found some I like. I suppose there may be a post about that at some point.
The #2 post was also unexpected. It was “Is your floor too cold, but your ceiling is too hot? You have a stratification problem—and you’re not alone.” That post got 891 views in 2022. Not only that, but it had been posted in 2021 and already had 157 in that year. This post got views from all over the world, with more views from other countries than from the US. It continues to get about 2 views per day. Clearly, Kendal cottages are not unique in having temperature stratification problems!
Most of the remaining posts on the Top 10 list were more specific to Kendal, and they got far fewer views. #3 was “What’s the optimal size of a retirement community?”, with 182 views; and #4 was “Healthcare wing expansion: the balance between funding and growth”, with 175 views. Other Kendal-specific posts were “What needs to happen with the Big Woods?” (#6, 111 views), “What is Kendal’s ‘unique selling proposition’?” (#8, 102 views), “The healthcare wing expansion: an update” (#9, 102 views), and “R.I.P. Julia Van Ravenswaay” (#10, 99 views).
Also making it into the Top 10 were two reviews of environmental books: “The complicated climate message of Steven Koonin and ‘Unsettled’” (#5, 111 views), and “Vaclav Smil: great at explaining climate and energy problems, but not the solutions.” (#7, 102 views). I believe the majority of these views were by people who weren’t Kendal residents.
It will be interesting to see what 2023 brings.