Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Anniversary-Posting #100

Today we celebrate the 100th entry on this blog, "Light through Stained-Glass Windows." For the occasion I thought I'd do a David Letterman type countdown and share with you the top 10 experiences I've had courtesy of the blogging world. Here they are:

#10. The stated intent was to share the everyday life of our wonderful community (not a perfect group of people, in fact a very human group of people, but a wonderful group nonetheless) and that's exactly what the intent has remained and, I think, accomplished in a small way.

#9. One of the basic things writers-to-be are taught is to write every single day...write anything, but write something. In the last year I know I have become, not a great writer, but a much better writer and I have, in large part, Mary Lou Kownacki to thank. I worked with her for 12 years and wrote 100s of newsletter, magazine and PR articles under her tutelage..she truly helped me to write better. And this blog has, too.

#8. I have been able to share Thomas Moore's reflections, which I think are beautiful.

#7. Through the generosity of some of our photographers, namely Ann, Charlotte and Susan, I began to add pictures in December and that's added a visual dimension that makes the entries much better.

#6. I still can't get over the reactions of readers, especially our oblates, who tell me all the time how much they read this and like it. I'm continually amazed.

#5. Finding and sharing "Gabriel's Oboe," which now has a permanent link in the right-hand column. I must have listened to it 50 times and received many responses on that day's entry.

#4. Google analytics: which tracks statistics on all the Visits to a site, including what countries and states they're from, whether they come directly to the blog or through a referred site, number of readers per day, month, and even hourly. i.e.: January 1-April 8: I had over 3,800 visits from 47 countries and 48 US states plus Washington, DC (no readers from Wyoming or West Virginia!) Again, I'm amazed.

#3. I am able to share this new-found knowledge by adding a blog for "Ellen's Poems," help our oblate director set up her own blog: erieoblates.blogspot. com and, just last week, show a Benedictine sister from Indiana how to set up one for her vocation work.

#2. Having the editor of our diocesan magazine, Faith, offer me a blog-like column in their bimonthly publication. I just sent in four entries for the May-June issue due out May 9th.

And #1. Without a doubt, the best experience has been sharing the enthusiasm and support of the community and my close friends throughout this endeavor. Special thanks to my friend, Anne...our own oboist, for her years of teaching 7th and 8th grade grammar and knowing by heart all the rules that nobody else can remember except for her...she? her?...just kidding, it's "her." And to all my many other friends who think every entry is "just great!" And isn't that exactly what friends always say....and really mean it.