A Near-Record Month, a New Shop and New Connections: Closing the Book on November

Before continuing my headfirst plunge into December, here’s a quick update on what’s been happening on Piran Café over the past month, and some thoughts on what’s in store for December and the early part of 2014.

November – a (near) record month

The site attracted 6,350 views from 3,472 visitors in November, the third best monthly tally since Piran Café went live in late December 2006. MANY Thanks everyone, and please don’t be a stranger. 🙂

Those are hardly internet-crashing figures, but they provide a good starting point as I move forward and finally invest more time into the site.

The monthly traffic record? 39,320 from January 2007 –yes, the first full month that this blog existed– based almost entirely on traffic from one semi-viral post about a spiny fish that lodges itself into a penis.

And also site-related.. After playing with a few over the past several months, I’ll be rolling out a new layout, hopefully before the end of this month, that I think will provide a much neater, more organized and cohesive presentation of the direction in which Piran Café continues to evolve.

My South America manuscript

The bulk of my time and attention over the past month has been focused on my book manuscript chronicling the seven months I spent traveling across the spine of South America earlier this year, and I’m making decent progress. The first draft is just about finished and a title is beginning to germinate. I’ll let you know when it sprouts. I’ll also be sharing some bits and pieces from the second draft here and elsewhere to solicit feedback –and offer some modest incentives to those who’ll offer their time.

A new shop!

Two actually.

I received a handful of inquiries in recent weeks from people interested in purchasing prints –THANKS to you all!— which I interpreted as a sign to finally set up shop, which I have since done through RedBubble and Zazzle.

While both sites offer a variety of items I strongly suggest using Redbubble for prints and Zazzle for post cards and greeting cards. The current inventory is a little sparse but I’m trying to add a few items to each daily. When you have a few minutes to browse, check ‘em out and let me know what you think.

Ljubljana Moors Greeting Cards
Ljubljana Moors Greeting Cards by PiranCafe
Shop for Ljubljana Cards online at Zazzle.com


(Admit it: You really want one of these.)  🙂

Connections and social media

I’m also devoting a little more time to further build and cultivate relationships and connections through social media. I’m not trying to be everywhere – Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are more than enough for one person to handle so I won’t be adding any others.

For the record, the numbers, as of Saturday 7 December, are as follows:

Twitter followers: 927
Piran Café Facebook page fans: 327
Google+ followers: 1,261

While they’re all still very much evolving, a pattern is emerging:

Twitter I’m mainly using to share news stories on a variety of topics along with other blog posts that pique my interest. Since I finally broke down and bought a smart phone, some real-time photos are popping up there, too.

I’m using Google+ almost exclusively to share photos and to interact with the phenomenal photography community that’s there. While many are spammy, there are also a handful of decent travel- and blogging-related communities worth checking out.

The Facebook page is also heavily focused on photography — my own and that of other FB pages I follow.

By all means, let’s connect. Everywhere.

Looking forward

I’ll be heading to the U.S. around Christmas for about ten days, and am really looking forward to hooking up with some friends who I missed on my last visit back in August. Also on the travel calendar is a late January ski trip to the Dolomites, and a brief excursion to Bavaria in February. And lots of work on my manuscript.

Thanks again for reading, Cheers and happy December!


PS – a hat tip to FW at Lunaguava whose November summary reminded me that my efforts with monthly wraps –something I had planned from the get-go– have been woefully inadequate.

  1. M. R. says

    I like this idea of a blogsite giving a wrap-up and and heads-up: is it your own? As for “hardly internet-crashing figures” … you must be talking in terms of commercial sites. Whereas you have hit upon a very happy medium. My congratulations!

    1. BobR says

      Thanks – yes, everything’s mine. I’ve been meaning to do this from the outset of this blog, a monthly notebook of sorts to monitor and report on how it grows and evolves. And with transparency in mind, should this actually become more of a commercial venture.

  2. M. R. says

    Yes, that’s it! – you’re quite right: it’s the transparency angle that appeals. It makes the whole thing far more friendly. Less in-yer-face. Well, it wouldn’t be that, because it would be a different site, mounted by a different person … ANYWAY; I like your site very much, and I hope it gets the oxygen it deserves. Well – it’s already doing so, eh?!

  3. Lunaguava says

    Those are pretty good numbers you’ve got there, Bob. Thanks a lot for the shout out, much appreciated. Wishes of continued success! Safe travels!

  4. ninano says

    The numbers are impressive. You DO communicate, with loads of people all over the world… (How much time do you spend weekly?) I’m looking forward to seeing your new layout.

    1. BobR says

      I have more time to commit now, but have to try and manage it well. Keeping up and expanding contacts through social media does take a great deal of time. But that’s not a complaint. I love meeting people new people, from far and wide.

  5. restlessjo says

    Photo “shops” seem to be the way to go, Bob. Thanks for being so upfront about things. I’m still finding my way, but enjoying doing so. 🙂

    1. BobR says

      Hi Jo – We’re all very much finding our way. Enjoying the process is the most important thing. 🙂

  6. jenbeckseymour says

    Hello there! I’m a recent hook-up of yours from Facebook, and even though I have a blog, and I know I need to read other peoples blogs – I rarely do. But for some reason, I just read yours. Interested in your book! I’m writing one too, so am fascinated by people who take on that challenge. Very cool on your zazzle & redbubble ventures too!

    1. BobR says

      Hi Jen, Thanks for picking mine. 🙂

      What are you writing about? Mine’s a South America travelogue mixing history, culture, politics and current events from a progressive prospective.

      Yeah, I’ll be adding regularly to zazzle and rebubble. Haven’t really done any promotion yet though. It’ll come. 🙂

      1. jenbeckseymour says

        Cool on your South America book. Mine is about my life in Dallas and my decision to quit my job and early retire to Costa Rica. I’m also thinking of putting a cookbook out. Too much to do! 🙂

  7. Heather Innis says

    I love the RedBubble page, Bob! Will definitely order from you at some point. Really looking forward to the book, too. And seeing you in the near future!

    1. BobR says

      It’s gonna be a blast!! I understand that there will be a mighty fine wine list.

  8. […] drop in traffic from November –about 68% percent less from what was a near-record month in November, the busiest of the year– but that was anticipated. No […]

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