Four Years

It’s hard to believe, but today is the fourth anniversary of Disciplehood. Happy Bloggiversary, readers!

Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) gives Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) a vial of Felix Felicis potion, aka Liquid Luck, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) gives Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) a vial of Felix Felicis potion, aka Liquid Luck, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

On September 30, 2010, I wrote and published Genesis, my audaciously named first blog entry. (To read a little about the genesis of Genesis, check out a post from a couple of weeks later, called Felix Felicis.)

Since that day, I’ve written about 240 of these posts. That’s a little better(?) than one entry per week, which is my general goal, although there were periods where I went multiple weeks between blogs and others where I published entries multiple days in a row. I haven’t run out of things to say and the time to say them, it seems.

But is anybody listening?

A recent screen capture of one of the many pages of statistics available to WordPress bloggers.

A recent screen capture of one of the many pages of statistics available to WordPress bloggers like moi.

WordPress, Disciplehood’s host site, automatically generates a battery of statistics about blogs it houses, but I don’t normally spend a lot of time looking at them. However, to mark Disciplehood’s fruit/flowers anniversary, I decided to do a little navel gazing.

This blog’s posts have been viewed more than 58,000 times :), which sounds like a lot. And it is …

… kind of.

The top end looks pretty awesome, to be sure: 10 of my posts have been viewed more than 1,000 times each. Abba‘s total is more than 19,000. Mountain Top‘s is nearly 9,000, and the rest of the Top 10 are at the bottom of this post.

But things drop off pretty quickly from there. In fact, those 10 posts account for three-quarters of Disciplehood’s total lifetime views :/, and my other 230 posts’ views add up to around 15,000 views, combined.


Will you still respect me if I admit that I watch 24? Let’s call it a guilty pleasure, OK.

Only 47 entries have been viewed more than 100 times (and that includes the top 10), and only 78 have broken 50. The median readership of the Disciplehood library is 24 – which means half of my entries have been viewed two-dozen times or less. 😦

So you could say that while there are a few impressive spikes here and there, the width of Disciplehood’s impact on the rest of the world is pretty puny. But only God knows the depth of that impact, and I’m content to keep blogging and leave the impact questions to Him. (If nothing else, all this studying and writing should be good practice for the time when the topic of Ask Somebody Already! comes to fruition.)

But enough about the Bottom 230, let’s get back to the Top 10.

Before we get too excited about these big numbers, let’s be clear that a view does not equal a read. For instance, the overwhelming majority of the Abba viewers were undoubtedly accidental clickers. I posted a photo of the Swedish supergroup ABBA on this entry, and the inexplicably powerful and long-lived international popularity of Bjorn and co. is clearly the reason the post has garnered so much attention.

But that was entirely deliberate, of course. I used that image in the hope that ABBA fans would come across the photo in their Google image searches and click on it. As a result, they would find themselves on a quirky Christian website talking about the Aramaic word Abba, and accidentally stick around long enough to catch a glimpse of a God who loves them like a daddy loves his toddlers. If that happened to a couple dozen of these 19,000 accidental clickers, hallelujah! (Ditto for the yucky photo of someone hawking a loogie on Spit, the barely-tangentially related shot of Xenophilius Lovegood on Quibbling, and the shamelessly pun-trocious classic rock tie-ins of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Earth Wind and Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears.)

I was never a huge fan of their music, but Earth, Wind & Fire's costumes sing a song all their own.

I was never a huge fan of their music, but Earth, Wind & Fire‘s costumes sing a song all their own.

It’s clear that I’m not above a bit of pandering and trickery to attract people to my posts, but don’t judge me too harshly. I need all the help I can get. The number of people interested in taking the time to read any blogs about God and faith, regardless of how good they are, has to be pretty small – especially those blogs whose authors have no education or expertise in the subject area.

Careful, Baldy. You almost convinced us there.

†   †   †

Playing Favorites

I can’t tell you how often people ask me to tell them what my favorite Disciplehood entry is. … I really can’t, because it’s never happened.

'This is a real nice surprise, Clark. ... (ahem), Here's a little list: alphabetical, starting with Catherine.

‘This is a real nice surprise, Clark. A real nice surprise. … (ahem), Here’s a little list: alphabetical, starting with Catherine…

But if I ever were asked, I’d have trouble. All of the posts were helpful, challenging and fun for me, both as a writer and as a disciple, so if anyone ever does ask me I think I’ll come up empty.

But I don’t have any trouble at all pointing out some good entries with low clickership numbers, that I think could help a lot more people than they have so far.

On that note, here’s a little list:

The Top 10 Most-Underappreciated Disciplehood Entries/Series
(So Far)

10. Is he or isn’t he? – ‘She’s so upbeat and helpful. She never says a bad word and always seems to try to take the high road. I wonder if she’s a Christian…’ Ever wonder that about someone else? Do you give them any cause to wonder it about you?

9. Let’s Get Real (series)- Authenticity is good. But is it possible to have too much of this good thing? And is it possible that we’re looking at the word ‘real’ from the wrong angle?
8. Tears Are Still Not Enough (series) – In the mid-80s, we were told that if we pulled together, we could save the world forever. Thirty years later, there are still people dying and we’re still pimping our own rides. It turns out that things are improving in the developing world, but pretty slowly. (This is a rare Disciplehood series that’s about doing, rather than being, and it’s worth reading – even if it does contain a few earworms some of us would rather have left in the ’80s.)
7. The Word ‘Word’ – Lots of words have multiple meanings, but when it comes to meaningful meaning, you can’t beat the word ‘word’.
6. Son of Joseph (series) – A few times in the Gospels, people gave Jesus ‘who do you think you are’ attitude because they knew Him as the run-of-the-mill son of Joseph the carpenter from Nazareth. On this side of the Cross, we know Him as the Son of God and King of Kings. But do we live like it?
5. Truth – The Ultimate Spiritual Trifecta – Worf, Son of Mogh; Indiana Jones and Baldy – teams up to pose three important questions: (1) If someone proved to you that the Bible is pure fiction, how would that impact your faith? (2) And if they proved that it’s pure fact, how would that impact your faith? (3) Does your answer to No. 2 give you pause to reflect on the authenticity of your faith?

The Ultimate Spiritual Trifecta: Mister Worf, Doctor Jones and Baldy.

The Ultimate Spiritual Trifecta: Mister Worf, Doctor Jones and Senor Baldy.

4. The King of the Ring – This post has it all: a nostalgic walk through the 1980s heyday of professional wrestling, insightful commentary about a famous and iconic Bible passage and a word from God that’s meant just for you.
3. The T-Word (series) – This six-parter explores uses of the word ‘test’ in the Bible – from Abraham and Job to the Exodus, to Malachi, to Jesus in the Wilderness. Researching and writing this series helped me to let go of some of my hang-ups and misgivings about tests from God, and reading it might do the same for you.

2. The A-Word Series (series) – In Exodus 3:14, God tells us His name is I Am, and if we have ears to hear, that revelation can tell us a lot about who we are. (The Words super-series that’s dominated Disciplehood in 2014 might be the strongest work of my life, and the five A-Word posts are probably the best of the bunch.)

Jenny and Scotty double-dog dare you, too.

Jenny and Scotty double-dog dare you, too.

1. 40 Simple Truths About God (series) – This 40-part series walked us through Lent 2012, one day at a time (except Sundays). Even if you think some of its points aren’t all that insightful, there simply can’t be a down side to pondering a different simple truth about God, every day for six weeks.

I double-dog dare you to consider taking the 40 Simple Truths Challenge for Lent 2015.

There you have it. That’s what I think about Disciplehood. In case you’re curious about what the rest of the world thinks …

The Top 10 Most-Viewed Disciplehood Entries (So Far)
(with their views-to-date as of last week, in brackets)

10. Quibbling (1,014)
9. Creedence Clearwater Revival (1,200)
8. Bloody Do-Gooder (1,324)
7. Harry and Dexter (1,510)
6. Doorbell (1,550)
5. Popeye Syndrome (1,882)
4. Secret (2,519)
3. Spit (4,648)
2. Mountain-Top (8,891)
1. Abba (19,083)

Thank you, readers, for contributing to those numbers. Whether this is your first visit or you’re a regular, I’m honored and humbled and grateful for your visit(s). If you have any feedback you’d like to offer, or if there are topics you’d like me to wade into sometime, please let me know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, May the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Peace be with you.

About robpetkau

Communications professional by day, amateur musician by night, worship leader (at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Calgary) on weekends and aspiring Bible teacher in my dreams. Grateful husband to the woman who completes me. Doing-the-best-I-can dad to the son and daughter who keep me on my toes. Striving disciple of the GodMan who came, taught and died for me. Thanks for stopping by!
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3 Responses to Four Years

  1. dwaynekwhite says:

    Great post, I always look forward to your next post.

  2. andysread says:

    Very interesting Rob, I have looked at WordPress stats myself with more than a bit of scepticism. But if the blog helps one person get closer to Jesus the effort is worthy. Thank you.

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