That’s typical of the kinds of headlines I don’t really care for, yet a style bloggers are being told they need to write in order to quench the thirst of the SEO beast. I’ve never liked that least common denominator approach, hate myself when I do it so have decided it will cease before it becomes too ingrained. Blogging rules be damned. Happy spring.
I didn’t write the rules, why should I follow them?
– photographer W. Eugene Smith
Much like the entire month has been across the planet, Piran Café the blog was a bit fickle in March.
I’ve been back in Slovenia for more than six months but my mind is still on the road. And that’s not an entirely positive thing and has impacted my life on several levels, most of which I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say that reentry woes that can follow long-term travel are a difficult thing to explain if they haven’t been experienced; they’re next to impossible for a sometimes-blogger to articulate if he hasn’t been honest with himself about the direction he wants to steer said blog.
I decided a long time ago that what typically passes as travel blogging these days wasn’t for me. I have zero desire in entering into an ass-kissing relationship with the travel industry, no interest in creating Buzzfeed-esque posts and no inclination to even characterize Piran Café as a travel blog.
Yet I’ve spent much of the past five months revisiting the world of travel bloggers. Networking mainly through some Facebook groups, I’ve met some great, committed, talented and enthusiastic people. But I’ve also learned that I don’t want to do what they’re doing. I’m still trying to figure out the precise coordinates to punch into the blog’s GPS but I do know that if I never read another over-the-top 1,000-plus word review of a luxury hotel it’ll be too soon. Back to the roots I go.
Top Five Posts For March 2014
So that said, it’s obvious readers didn’t come across any hotel PR copy here. So what did they read?
Actually, see is a better word this month than read, since photos continued to play a primary role as most of my paid assignments require days filled with wordcraft. What energy was left was directed towards my manuscript which kept chugging along, albeit at a snail’s pace.
5. Fast Food Bus, Chaiten, Chile – A Pic du Jour of a fast food joint where service was anything but fast
4. Lüftlmalerei, or Air Painting in Bavaria: 14 Examples – from a February visit to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
3. In Praise of Books – Another Pic du Jour, this time from the Chilean capital Santiago
2. Joby’s Gorillapod SLR-Zoom – an 85-Second Review – self-explanatory, no?
1. The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries – La Recoleta, Buenos Aires: A Tour in 32 Photos – A stroll through one of the most popular attractions in the Argentine capital
Honorable mention: I was happy to see this one from just over one year ago given a second life by StumbleUpon and Twitter to become the fifth most read post from last month: Punched in the Crotch by a 4 1/2 Foot Tall Woman, or the Dangers of Street Photography in Potosi. Again, no further explanation required.
Visitor figures were mentioned above; a few other numbers of note:
Domain Authority: 41
Page Authority: 51
My Pic du Jour project hit 50 (!) straight days, then 75 (!) and has since reached into the 80s. This is by far the longest successive roll I’ve been on since Piran Café opened its doors.
Socializing: So Long, Facebook Page
As most of you certainly hadn’t noticed (or even cared) I need to mention that I decided to retire my blog’s Facebook page after 14 months of activity. I’d been struggling for a direction with it since I returned to Slovenia last September and quite honestly couldn’t figure out an honest and productive way to differentiate it from my personal Facebook account, which I found myself ignoring in the meantime.
It came down to this: the only brand that matters to me is me. I didn’t need another mirror site to do what I’d been doing all along with my personal account. Facebook’s fan page policy, which essentially made a page all but invisible to followers unless you paid for promotion, didn’t help matters. Considering the modicum of shallow engagement it created, it simply became a waste of time and effort. I honestly don’t miss it at all. The saving grace was some of the great people I met. Which brings me to this: I’d be delighted, humbled, honored and thrilled if you would accept this invitation to friend or follow me on Facebook.
Everywhere else on the SM front things continue to go quite well. For the record again, the social media numbers as of Tuesday morning 1 April, are as follows:
– Google+ followers: 7,003 – up from 6,081 at end of February (4,554 January, 1,853 December, 1,261 November).
– Twitter followers: 2,548 – up from 1,887 at end of February, (1,184 January, 1,098 December, 927 November)
– and for posterity’s sake, Piran Café Facebook page fans: topped out at 677 – up from 610 at end of February (468 January, 392 December, 327 November)
~ On the road ~
After sticking pretty close to home for the entire past month, it’s nice to know that I have four longer trips confirmed for between now and late September:
– A week in Doha, Qatar in early May – I’ve been there a handful of times but not since the spring of 2011.
– A week in Ostrava, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia. The former is a return engagement and the latter a first. Slovakia is the closest country I haven’t visited yet.
– Ten days or so in Zurich and parts of southern Switzerland in August.
– And 11 days in Marakech – the second time in Morocco but the first in this city I’ve heard so much about.
In April? It’s time to get back in shape. There will be lots of exploring by bike in the hills close to home.
Happy spring and thanks for reading.