30 December 2011

2011: A Blog Year in Review

A real year in review is forthcoming, as are the ABBAs which I decided to hold in January given that everyone is traveling and on vacation right now.  Here is a quick run down of how the year went on AVFTC, what I hope for next year, and a request from all of you to let me know what you hope to see on AVFTC next year.

Top Post of 2011

  1. Ian Birrell vs Paul Kagame on Twitter 
  2. Volunteering Overseas: A Socially Conscious Action That Only Looks Like It Helps 
  3. Visualizing Kiva's Growth 
  4. Food Aid Sleight of Hand 
  5. 100K Discussions about World Vision 
  6. Aid's God Complex and Bloggers Groupthink 
  7. Stop the Pity: Now We are Getting Somewhere
  8. You Hate Innovation. Really, You Do.
  9. The Empire Strikes Back: Sachs Vs. The World
  10. Three Cups of Lies

The trend in the top 10 is that the stories are more towards the side of reporting than they are opinion and analysis.  It is something I have begun to explore further and expect to do in the coming year.

The Data

In 2011, AVFTC had 75,959 page views and 59,669 unique visitors.  I published a total of 456 posts (this puts the number to 436) placing my average just over a post per day.  The numbers felt a bit low until I compared them against 2010 when I had 28,322 page views and 19,761 unique visitors.  Comments also jumped by a significant margin thanks to the more popular posts like Birrell vs Kagame (79 comments).  In sum there were 880 comments on AVFTC in 2011.  A good portion are mine since I try to respond as frequently as possible. On average, this means that I had a comment and a response on nearly every post.  By all accounts 2011 has been a big year for AVFTC. Finally, RSS readers have grown from 127 to 619.

Looking to 2012

An outcome of this growth has been the opportunity to participate in more events that are traditionally covered by journalists.  I still have a tough time seeing myself as a part of the realm, but I would be remiss to avoid these reporting opportunities because of a discomfort with a title.  2012 should be a time to do more reporting.

I have criticized the reporting of people like Nick Kristof.  There is little I can do if I am not in the field, but that does not mean that I cannot use my available resources to provide an alternative.  I believe I am still a long way from what I envision, but having a strong community in this space means that I will be held to a high standard.

To My Readers

First off, thank you. Knowing that people read this space and hearing encouragement from you has kept me trying to make this as useful to both you and myself as possible.  I am very appreciative to all of you.

This started as a place to learn and it continues to be a space where I have grown in my understanding in international aid and development.  I have learned that it is also a place where people come to learn and stay informed.  Because of that, I want to do better by my readers.  What do you want to see on this blog?  How can this be a better resource for you? Please feel free to add some ideas in the comments section or shoot me an email at murph (at) aviewfromthecave.com.

Thanks again and see you all in 2012!