I published 131 News Day blog posts in 2016, which got more than 21,000 views from about 15,000 visitors (readers). I also finished a novel in 2016, completed a first draft of another during NaNoWriMo, joined a writers’ group, and published my first poetry chapbook.
In 2017, I hope to publish my All Souls novel online, and maybe even sell some of the Forest City Poems chapbooks. This News Day blog kicks off 2017 with a series on media literacy, facts and fake news, mainstream and alternative media. I’ll be talking about these posts on KFAI on Wednesday mornings in January.
My ten most-read posts of 2016, in order, were:
- What’s wrong with Sheriff Stanek?
- Don’t believe everything you read: Phony news and how to spot it
- Minnesota Jim Crow confirmed by Met Council analysis
- Remembering Mr. Phil
- Eight to eighty?
- More than a safety pin
- Why Minnesota wants to shut down Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business
- Why you should vote on August 9
- Cabrini-Green to Glendale, Chicago to Minnesota
- White friends and family – join me today
Not a single one of 2016’s most-read blog posts is about immigration, but four of the bottom ten – with 18 or fewer views – focus on immigration and refugees. (Also in the bottom ten: The genocide you haven’t heard about. I guess you still haven’t heard about it.)
The numbers raise questions: What should I blog about? And with what goal? Do I want to figure out what posts will get me more views/clicks? Or do I want to write about what seems important to me, and let the clicks fall where they may?
My writing takes a lot of time and research. I double-check facts and numbers. I link to background sources and related information. And then I wait and see what happens. Sometimes I really work hard on a post and like what I’ve done, but not very many people read it. Sometimes I write something that feels less polished, less important – and it’s a winner with readers. Overall, it seems like a crap shoot.
I care deeply about immigration, and I’ll keep writing about it. And about racial justice, environmental issues, and sustainable farming. I’ll keep publishing occasional poetry and essays on my Fragments blog.
Some 79 much-appreciated readers subscribe to News Day. Thank you for reading! (If you’re not a subscriber yet, just enter your email and click to subscribe at the top of the right-hand column. Then you’ll get an email telling you when I write a new blog post.) If you have any feedback, suggestions or ideas, please let me know.
Last year was miserable in many ways. We face battles against the odds in the next year and the next four years. In all of this, I still have hope. As the clock ticks down to midnight, I hold on to words of new year hope from Ricardo Levins-Morales: Another year is coming. Another world is possible.