Wow! Hard to imagine that people have visited “Xiamen Adventure” over 15,000 times! I don’t know how many individuals have actually visited – it could be the same 3 of you over and over again! But I really am gratified by everyone’s interest in our adventure. Some of you know us personally, but I also feel I’ve made new friends, especially in those who’ve posted comments or emailed us. Sitemeter, and especially the comments and emails, has really been a lifeline for me. It has helped me to feel connected to friends and family back home to see that folks are actually reading what I write! So, to frequent commenters like Wendy, Sophie’s Mom, Salome’s Mom, Sue, Allen, Judy in KS, Dee, H. Whitaker, Stephie, Mary, Sally, Kerri, Elizabeth in KS, Mimi, and Anonymous in all your guises, thank you!
Sitemeter has really been fun in showing how people found the blog, where they’re from, and when they’re reading. I think anyone can click on the Sitemeter button on the bottom of the blog and get the same information. And as I’ve said before, it doesn’t show anything that identifies you personally, so don’t worry! I know I’m completely nerdy to be interested in this, but I thought I’d share some of the things Sitemeter tells me.
I think, for example, that a number of you are reading on the sly at work. Evidence for that? The huge weekend drop-off in visitors! Consider a typical week in June:
Of course, it could just be that people are too busy to surf the internet on the weekends, but for some of you your ISP gives you away! It’s especially clear for the government workers with that tell-tale .gov. So, welcome to workers for the State of Nevada, State of Kansas, County or City of Los Angeles, City of Multnomah, Oregon – you know who you are!
I love the wide variety of google searches that lead folks here, too. Those looking for girls in Xiamen, nude girls in Xiamen, and escorts in Xiamen find us. Lots of people get here looking for information about squat potties, spitting and smoking in China, dentists in China, and giving birth in China. They find us when looking for Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen Botanical Gardens. “Guilin floods” and “Guiping photos” have also brought people here. And who knew that so many people were interested in Liu SanJie? It is also interesting to see who googles their own name and finds the blog (teehee!) And I’m intrigued by the number of searches for “Xiamen Adventure.” Are these repeat visitors who keep forgetting the blog address? Or are people talking about the blog to their friends and saying, “Just google ‘Xiamen Adventure?’”
My favorite searchers are those looking for something off the wall, who then stick around a while to read. For instance, someone for Poland searched for “red pandas and camera.” I don’t know what they were really looking for, but they found us, and read for almost 20 minutes!
And a special thanks to those who have linked to the blog on their website. People are reading you and finding me. I’ve found some really cool blogs this way, too, by backtracking to them using Sitemeter. Check out:
Adventures with Molly
Wishing for Lia
Coming Around Again
Miracle of Meizhi
Chopsticks and Tabouli
A Million Miles to Mia
Jack's New Family
All of these blogs are adoption-related, and between the clicks from them and from yahoogroups adoption listservs and google searches for China adoption, I can tell that most who are reading are connected to international adoption -- and mostly Chinese adoption -- in some way. Pretty cool to think that what I'm writing might be helpful to adoptive families since I read SOOOOO many adoption blogs while paperchasing and waiting for my girls!
It’s fun, also, to see where people are from. There are readers from Egypt (I know who you are!); Israel, Cremlingen, Germany; Bunnik, Utrecht, Netherlands; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and other foreign locales. And then there are the faithful readers from Norcross, Georgia; Massapequa, New York; Overland Park, Kansas; Falls Church, Virginia; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and, of course, our hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.
Now, don’t be insulted if I haven’t named you; it’s probably because Sitemeter often reports “unknown” for location, referral, ISP, etc. You’re still counted among the 15,000.
Several folks have asked if I’ll continue to blog after we get home. I will for a little while, to let you know how we’re transitioning back to Stateside. I’m not sure, though, that “Xiamen Adventure” will continue beyond that. But who knows, maybe we’ll be back in China soon, and I’ll be blogging as “Kunming Adventure” or “Nanjing Adventure” or the like.
Blogging about our adventures has been a wonderful outlet for me. I’ve mentioned before that I process things by writing about them. And I think blogging really helped me to keep a positive attitude, to be open to new experiences, and to find the joy in everyday life in China – after all, I HAD to have something to write about (nearly) every day! Our time in China has been quite an adventure, and I couldn’t let this 15,000-hit milestone pass without saying, “Thanks for coming along for the ride!”