It only seems right, now that we have rolled into the New Year, that I take a moment to say thanks to all you who read here.
I do not really keep track of views except as kind of an exercise for my own vanity, but this year (even with the friendly Russian Hackers) I had a total viewing of 27,192 - 29.6% of my total views since Blogger helpfully started tracking such things in 2010. Even taking a huge discount in spam hits, that still makes me feel pretty good. It is a lot more people than I could come in contact with if I did it some other way.
Some of you readers I know. Some I have met via this blog and then reading blogs of your own (and being improved by them). Some I have no idea who you are because, like the thoughtful hikers and campers you are, you take only photographs and leave only footprints. To all you, thank you for taking a small part of your time to spend with me.
There is a sense in the blogosphere that the blog as an item is slowly fading away and being overtaken by different forms of Interweb communication. I have certainly found a number of bloggers that have gone silent over this year - which on the whole makes me sad, because they are all individuals from whom I gleaned wisdom. It worries me as part of the larger growth of our inability to communicate: we have patience for less and less reading and words and so reduce complex ideas and thoughts into 140 character sentences and memes that make evoke strong emotions but do not do justice to what is trying to be communicated.
I value blogs - not just because I appreciate that amount of effort that is required to maintain one and generate the written word on even a semi-regular basis but because behind every blog, even the ones I may not frequent and even disagree with, is someone with dedication to an idea and communicating it. And the Interweb has made it possible for someone such as myself to express these things without an intermediary or the "luck" of being included as an editorial or interview.
I had written earlier this year about scaling back on my writing endeavors; in the intervening time I have found myself strangely and somewhat unexpectedly more committed to them than ever. My skill in writing may be hit and miss, but my dedication to expressing myself in this fashion seems to transcend any physical benefit I seem to be deriving. So I have simply accepted that this is what it is: I am writer. I write to impact the lives of others. If I somehow manage to do this, my purpose will be served.
So again, thank you for spending some of your valuable life with me. I am grateful that you are here and along for the ride.
Let us see what 2017 holds together.