Happy Birthday to Here!

It’s not my birthday. It is not even the birthday of anyone I know. However, it is the (belated) birthday of this beloved blog, If I Had A Minute To Spare I Would Probably Say Something Like This.

Alas, I didn’t get a birthday cake for the occasion.

Weep ye not. I feel a little, hmmm, aggrieved that I didn’t notice this most important of days passing about a month ago (maybe longer), but perhaps I can blame the business of that most evil of trivialities, work – in this case I mean real employment where a service/product (my wonderful ‘ness) is exchanged for monies, and not writing blog posts and poems.

But still, the birthday of If I Had A Minute To Spare is a special occasion. After just one year and with very little publicity and fancy internet tricks to make more people visit, If I Had A Minute To Spare has had an epic 8,339 hits.

In 2010 I had around 3,500 hits in eight months. So far in 2011 I have well over 4,000 hits and I am still in the seventh month of the year, so I’m excited for the next few months. Imagine how popular I could be? The things this will do to my ego!

I originally started the blog on blogspot while I was still in Ireland and waiting to return to Korea. When I came back to Korea it took me a few months to get the thumb out but when I restarted the blog it I moved from blogspot to wordpress for reasons that can only be attested to my own ego – great big screenfuls of statistics showing me where and when everyone came from!

Of course, I’ve never really wanted to blog, or log anything, If I Had A Minute To Spare has always been about writing. Sure, you could probably have picked that up that this is merely a place where I can stretch my fingers and practice putting words together, although it may be more than that now. But now you have my written admission. I could also call it my hobby

I have worked hard at building the blog up to something relatively regular. That is one aspect of practising writing which is very important, it must be done regularly and it must be done properly. By properly, I mean it must have a beginning and an end, and a reason for someone to actually read it. Sure, writing about myself is fine, but unless there isn’t anything for anyone else to learn from than I don’t think there’s much point in writing about it, or at least sharing it with the internet. The more that I write on the blog the more I see what I am writing coming together as complete, or completer would be better way to put it. This has been transferred on to my other writing, too.

I think the blog really started to build pace during the summer when the world cup was on. I was lucky enough not to have to work on any of the mornings so I could sit up until 5am watching the football and then I’d spend hours writing amazing commentary on my observations. I was ecstatic after the world cup when I checked the stats on my blog to see that I had over 1,000 hits in one month. Then I deleted my Facebook account.

Facebook had a lot to do with this popularity. While I was writing one or two posts a week these posts were being directly linked with my Facebook account. I had over 300 ‘friends’ on Facebook at the time so, I assume, many of these ‘friends’ were reading my posts. When I deleted my Facebook account I emailed most of the ‘friends’ on my account and told them where they could find me – traditional methods such as email, telephone and also writing regularly on If I Had A Minute To Spare.

The deletion of my account was an attempt to realise two goals. Firstly, I wanted to find something more interesting to do with the internet short of refreshing my email page, and secondly I needed more productivity in my writing. I think that the two were tied together as whenever I’m writing I have a strong tendency to drift between the internet and the page I was writing on.

Since I deleted my account I would argue that I have been incredibly productive since I deleted that account. I’ve written countless numbers of articles for magazines in Korea, I have a relatively successful blog that famous people have visited and commented on, I will have some poems printed in magazines both online and in print in the near future, and I’m still busy writing a number of other things.

The blog has been one of the biggest motivations for this. I suppose I write kind of regularly although it depends on the mood I’m in, but most important is that I see the hit count rising gradually every week, even after I haven’t posted for a while. Much of this success has been pinned on the relevancy that my writing here has taken.

Before, I used to write randomly about nothing in particular. Now I seem to be more focused on the present, or at least the situations that are taking place around me. One thing that has helped me this way is my recent ascent into the twittersphere – which means I’ve joined twitter.

Probably, some might think it’s as bad as Facebook but I think it’s a bit different. For starters, I know none or very few of the people who follow me on twitter, and also it operates as a giant communicable RSS feed of blog posts, photographs, news updates and witty commentary by lovable characters. It’s also a bit of fun.

I’ve become aware also of the Korean blogosphere – something I knew nothing about in my previous time in Korea – and have managed to find some interesting commentary on this lovely peninsula. Some of it is observational, some brown nosing and ridiculously positive it makes you want to punch the screen, some well written and researched – I myself have tried to be funny…ish. Or at least I try to be witty in my own observational Irish way. Whether I succeed in this or not, I’ve not idea. Maybe someone will comment,“you’re soooo funny. LOL”. Until then I wait for outside clarification.

Anyway, regardless of what I think I am and where I have come from, I have come a long way, but needless to say, I am looking forward to going a lot further. To be honest, I’ve no idea where it will go but it will keep going. If I Had A Minute To Spare will continue to have many minutes free…

Thanks for reading! It has been a deadly year.

Conor

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