Compared to last year’s report, this one will be brief.
The blog has been a little more active this past year than in its first year, featuring some 200 posts (compared to 140), many of them short but some quite substantial. Highlights included the cross-blog Vibrant Matter reading group (in May and June), the recurring process-object debates (see Geophilosophy), more writing on film, and more political commentary (including about oil and the Gulf spill and other environmental matters).
Since this time last year, the blog tripled its number of subscribers to over 200, and averaged between 1500 and 2000 page views a week (and around 1000 unique visits a week), with spikes reaching well above that and lulls when the blog was less active. The big change — the migration from MovableType to WordPress (here, where you are) — occurred earlier this month, and subscribership on this new site has gone from almost nothing to over 100 in the three weeks since that migration. Thanks for the loyalty, and a warm welcome to any new subscribers.
I’ve only started using Google Analytics since moving to WordPress, so I can’t compare data directly for the popularity of recent blog posts with older ones. But for some of the more popular blog posts over time, see the “Popular posts” list to the right. I only include more substantive posts there, not the quickies, like this one, that get picked up by some weird flight of fancy and bounced and re-tweeted around the web. The most popular post since the recent move to WordPress has been, by far, my list of books of the decade in ecocultural theory. That post resulted in a six-fold spike in visits, including what was probably an all-time high, for this blog, of visitors on the blog at once: over fifty, according to Sitemeter (which, since it collects its information in temporal chunks, might mean something more like “in a 15-minute period,” but still…).
Writing to an online audience always feels a little mysterious to me, and without doing some kind of survey I can’t tell you much about who you are. But I can tell you that you live all over the world: the U.S. is the source of by far the largest number of visitors to this site, but many come from Canada and the U.K. (which consistently vie for second place), Italy, Australia, Germany, Thailand, Israel, Sweden, New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, India, Ukraine, Spain, and many other countries. I’m happy that some of you choose to participate by commenting on posts, linking from your own blogs, and so on. (And it’s nice when those conversations, like the one between Paul, Mark, and me here, spin off well beyond anything of interest in the original post.) Without that feedback and participation I would have grown tired of writing here long ago, so thanks very much for the moral support it provides.
I haven’t had too many complaints about the appearance or maneuverability of the new blog design, and I like it very much myself, so it will stay as is, at least for a while. (Page loading has speeded up recently, but let me know if it is still too slow for you.) As mentioned before, the new design combines 85ideas’s Motion theme with a digitally manipulated (by web designer Ines Berrizbeitia) image of a photo I took on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii. The old design is still up, and it remains the best and easiest way to view the whole history of the blog organized into its nine topical categories (which you can find there in the right-hand sidebar).
One of the intentions behind this new design is to provide for a more magazine-like feel, and over time I expect the blog will become less personal and more webzine, or “blogazine.” Expect to see a few new contributors this year, an expansion into poetry, more sound, and more consistent and reliable coverage of the communicative arts — which are, after all, the main ways that ecoculture spreads and seeps into the world.
Immanence will remain its own distinctive fusion of philosophy, ecology, and culture, with politics, spirituality, and media commentary thrown into the mix. But it is not only immanent to itself, but to the world, which is its source and its destination. This blog is, in the end, just a circulatory node, a passageway, an alley filled with posters, announcements, and passionate graffitos chalked up at night while the city sleeps, with the sly intent of redirecting traffic inconspicuously but decisively once the morning routine begins. (Kind of like those alien architects rearranging the world in Dark City.)
Thanks to all of you for paying attention, and especially to those who have participated in discussions, linked or set up feeds from here to your own blogs, and helped keep my own interest going in this online venture. It’s that kind of feedback that makes a blog, at least when, like this one, the work involved is a labor of love, with no advertising and no remuneration. Keep coming back and you will be edified.
Thank you, all, for being there.