Closing the Book on December – Blog Housekeeping Update

One of my favorite kitchen counters on the planet. Athens County, Ohio.

Before continuing my headfirst plunge into January, I want to come up for air long enough to provide a quick update on what’s transpired on Piran Café over the past month. Like me at the moment, it’s a bit scattered; my sincerest apologies.

Holidaze

I made a 12-day visit to Ohio last month for the Christmas holiday to spend some much-needed time with family and friends. As has become customary, that meant much less time was available to spend on the blog, but that’s hardly a complaint. A great time was had by all and I wouldn’t trade it for all the travel blog traffic in the world.

That meant a massive 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 worries. 🙂

Most of the work I did accomplish was behind the scenes in preparation for the site’s first major facelift in several years, which I’m still planning to unveil before the end of January.

Top five posts for December

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to read or look at. I was actually quite pleased with how the top-five for the month panned out, following fairly closely my own personal favorites. In case you missed anything, you can catch up right here, right now.

5. Pelicans at Sunset, Manta, Ecuador – Pic du Jour. You don’t need further explanation, do you?
4. Hotels, Rooms, Hostels & Beds – The Best of 2013. An 83-second slideshow featuring images of most of the 50+ places I rested my head last year. I did say that the soundtrack is amazing, too, didn’t I?
3. Happy Saturnalia, ‘The best of days’! A brief photo essay on Ernesto Biondi’s playful sculpture depicting the ancient Roman festival which rests in the Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens.
2. Ethiopian Expats in Doha (Pic du Jour). A shot for ‘community’, the theme for the WordPress Photo Challenge the weekend of Friday the 13th.
1. 25 Most Memorable Pics from 2013 – Year-end Wrap, Part I. As the title implies, lots of photos. Most popular on my Facebook page as well.

Reliving South America

My Manuscript Without a Name documenting my overland trip through South America last year continues to take shape. It’s not going as quickly as I’d like, but I don’t force it either. That time has passed since the actual act of travel is more of a help than hindrance, allowing for a more cohesive overall recounting. I readily admit that balancing that with a blog I’m hoping to grow continues to be a major challenge.

Socializing

While I didn’t post that much on the site, it was a good month for social media –that’s not surprising given that SM is by nature such a good match with holiday time.

There was steady improvement across the board but not only in terms of numbers. I also spent some time improving the quality of connections and engagement, particularly with Google+ which is quickly becoming the favorite of my big three. Facebook continues to disappoint. Attracting page fans is difficult enough; an unwritten policy of ‘Pay to Share’ renders it nearly impossible for those you have attracted to see any of your posts. I have promoted some post in the early weeks of January; a fuller report on that in next month’s summary.

For the record, the numbers, as of Monday morning 6 January, are as follows:
Google+ followers: 1,853 (1,261 last month) – pushing 2,000
Twitter followers: 1,098 (up from 927 last month) – cracked 1,000!
Piran Café Facebook page fans: 392 (327 last month) – approaching 400.
If we’re not connected on any of those yet, we really should be. Beginning right now. 🙂

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014. May it be eventful, adventurous but peaceful as well.

Cheer,
Bob

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