2016 In Review

From the title, this must sound like a desperately boring post, but please bear with me for a moment: I’d like to record a few summaries for future reference.

First of all, I passed the 10,000 page views mark in the very last days of calendar year 2016. This represents how many pages were looked at since I started this blog back in October of 2013, NOT the number of visitors to my site. The actual number of visitors is just over 8,200 since some people look at more than one page before departing. A huge chunk of those visitors came because of a single post: from May 16, “Controversy Over GenCon’s Industry Insider List”. That single post in defense of GenCon’s ongoing attempts to include a more diverse selection of game designers and artists in their program apparently got picked up by the folks at GenCon who cross-posted it somewhere. That bump alone drew a total of just over 3,500 page views during the span of just over a week, and nearly 2,300 in a single day. Wow.

To date, I’ve posted 81 entries to my blog, 25 of which came this year. My goal is to post weekly; sometimes life intervenes, but I’m satisfied with this year’s 25 posts. I’d like to do better, but averaging every other week is decent. Some weeks I can’t think of anything interesting to say, and while I wait for inspiration the week slips by. Some months I posted every week, and some I only managed one post, but I kept at it, which is important to me.

Some other stats: This past year, five RPG books I worked on saw print: The SAVE: The Eternal Society sourcebook for the Chill RPG; Ghouls & Revenants for Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition; and Assault on the Mountains of Madness, Secrets of the Dust, and Elder Godlike, all for the Achtung! Cthulhu RPG. Five RPG books is hardly setting the world on fire — especially since I only wrote a fraction of each book — but over the years I’ve become more picky about projects I’m willing to work on. Part of that is wanting to be paid a reasonable wage for my work, and not all tabletop RPG companies are willing or able to offer that kind of compensation. Part of it too is working on material in which I have an interest. I turned down a couple of offers of paying work this year for that reason; either the source material wasn’t interesting to me, or I was so unfamiliar with the system and setting that it would take me too long to get up to proper speed.

I am extremely fortunate in that, between my wife and I, our income is sufficient that I don’t need to take every job offer that comes along. I can afford to be picky, and I realize only too well that not everyone in my position is nearly as lucky in that regard. I enjoy working on tabletop RPG material, and until my fiction career is more solid, I will continue to work on RPGs. In fact, I already have three projects — one of which is fiction — in the works for this year with deadlines coming up soon!

More stats: most of the people — by a very wide margin — visit my site from a link I posted to my Facebook page. For all its faults, Facebook is where the people are, and that brings greater potential for visibility — Facebook’s quirky algorithims not withstanding. Since October of 2013 when I first started blogging, more than 4,500 page views — close to half of the total I’ve had since I started — were led to my blog courtesy of Facebook. A distant second is Twitter, with something over 700. If I had ideas of dumping Facebook, they are surely set aside for now. I hope to have a few more people find my blog interesting enough that they are willing to subscribe to it — a link for which can be found on any page of my site on the right-hand side. Those subscribers are notified by email when a new post goes up, which is obviously the most reliable way to follow my blog.

Curiously, people who come to my blog from Goodreads don’t show up at all. It’s been suggested that this is probably due to Goodreads’s and WordPress’s interfaces not getting along, but it’s disappointing that that extra source of encouragement for me — though more visitors to my blog — are not measurable at this time.

Like 2016 and the years before it, 2017 promises to be filled with conventions. I have my tentative convention schedule posted HERE for reference. While things may change without notice, I try to call out events where my attendance is less certain.

All considered, 2016 has been a decent year in terms out writing output. I plan on 2017 being better — MUCH better — but 2016 gives me a very solid foundation to build on, and I’m encouraged that people seem to be checking out some of my older blog posts from time to time. If there’s ever anything you, the reader, would like to read about in my blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me at my email address: bill (dot) bodden (at) gmail.

Thanks for reading, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

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