Sunday 31 December 2017

Beaker Blog Review of the Year

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its blogs away. But here, at the end of the year, a brief review of the most popular and oddest of the Beaker Year. Burton has crunched the numbers, pivoted the tables, and drunk far too much coffee, and here are the results.

Most popular page / post

The most popular page anyone visits, fifteen times more so than anything else, is the Home Page.  This is reassuring, as it tells me that many people come to see us frequently just to see what's going on - neither waiting for Facebook nor Twitter. Thou good and faithful Beaker People, have a happy new year!  The third most popular is like unto it: the "Folk" page, which tells you who everybody is.  I really should update it some time. Outside of those two, the actual blog posts that made the top 20 this year are as follows. You will note that three of them are from previous years although "Through the Bible with Nigel Farage" was more like one of those Christmas hits that don't go away until March.

  1. If Clergy Ads Told the Full Story 
  2. Those Newer Versions of Hymn Books 
  3. Church Strapline Generator
  4.  Liturgy of Not Passing on Social Media Scares
  5. Contemporary Christianity Exam (2012)
  6. Failed Church Advertising Slogans
  7. Church of England's Tribes Redefined
  8. School for Snowflakes 
  9. The Trump Samaritan
  10. Anglican BAPs: Those 50 Tricky Secret Questions (2014)
  11. The Milton Keynes Statement
  12. Through the Bible with Nigel Farage (2016)
  13. Thought for the Day with John Humphreys
  14. Hymns  (Part of the "New Churchgoer" series from June
  15. Trouble with Trebles
  16. Only Purely Biblical Carols
  17. That Was the Church That Wasn't
  18. The Busiest Priest in Christendom
  19. The Church of England's Prayer for Today
  20. The Seven Deadly Sins of Church Committees

The thing that strikes the eye is that these are all generic church posts, tending to the Anglican / Methodist. The everyday life of the Beaker Folk, with exploding worship buildings, rebellions and general idiot-related noise, just goes on in the background. Which is maybe as it should be.  This pattern hasn't changed down this blog's decade or more. 

Traffic Sources

The traffic sources, however, are the most telling sign of the times. Once upon a time, the major sources of blog traffic were other blogs - and then Twitter. Today, through a general decline in blogs speaking peace unto blogs and the Beaker Facebook page, this has changed quite a lot: 

The blogs I suspect speak to one main thing - the power of sidebars. Because those with asterisks have been quiescent for at least six months, yet keep driving traffic. Apart from that, if I tell you that the first on the list drives four times as much traffic as Twitter, and at least seven times as much as the first blog (which is Thinking Anglicans, which is more of an aggregator of links than a blog in the old sense) - that gives you an idea of the sheer power of the Behemoth that is Facebook.  Put simply, it seems to me, if you want your blog to be read you need an active and growing Facebook community around it. This has weird effects - most notably moving comments from the Blog to the Facebook page.

Apart from that, I'm struck by the ecumenical nature of the blogosphere that still exists. Many of the blogs that link to this little corner of cyberspace are written by traditionalist Catholics. Many are written by Anglican women - one or two even by baptists. To you all, and all the other readers of these witterings, the Beaker Folk wish a Happy and Blessed New Year. May your tea lights never burn lop sided, and your pebbles always be thoughtful.

Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

1 comment :

  1. The Beaker Folk have a small but active Salvationist following too


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