I just about let this one get past me. My first post at OIJ was on January 19, 2007, and so I’m celebrating 10 years of writing into the ether of the Internet.
That’s 5,119 posts actually posted — not counting drafts and posts written but not yet posted. That’s a little less than 1.4 posts per day, on average. If the average post is 1,000 words (most run close to 1,500 words, but some are just a YouTube clip), that’s over 5 million words. Which is a lot.
OIJ has about 8,400 email subscribers, growing at over 50 per day lately. There are another 1,000 readers or so via Facebook. And there are 151 followers on Feedly and another 140 Twitter followers.
Every day, the site gets 1,500 or more page views. It’s hard to be exact, because views via Feedly and email are often not measured. The Internet just makes it difficult to measure readership, but readership is clearly growing.
There have been over 60,000 comments, but I lost a lot of comments when the site was hacked a few years ago. The real number may be closer to 100,000.
I don’t have a total number of pageviews from the beginning. Too many hacks and ISP changes, but it’s in the millions.
During a typical month, OIJ will have over 20,000 unique visitors and measurable page views over 35,000.
I have no idea how much influence the site has really had. I mean, how do you measure influence? How do you know whether it’s been worth 10 years of daily postings?
I know that lately it’s become popular among native missionaries across the world. I get Facebook friend requests daily from Africa, Latin America, and Asia — and I find this really exciting because there’s been a tendency among Americans to figure that people in other countries should be satisfied with the old, disproved legalism that they’d never allow in their own pulpits. When I see church leaders from all over the globe reading some of the best theology I can lay my hands on, and getting excited about it, well, that’s a very good sign for the future of the Churches in other nations. (Maybe this should be one of my five church trends?)
I love browsing the email addresses of email subscribers just to see whether .edu and congregational URLs show up, telling me that full-time church leaders and college students and professors are reading. In fact, there are even a few congregational websites that recommend OIJ to their members. (Thank you.) And sometimes the email address indicates the nationality of the reader — and they’re from all over the place.
Now, having said all that, I don’t advertise. I make no effort at Search Engine Optimization. There’s no marketing. It’s all been word of mouth and referrals from one reader to another — or else a reader finding OIJ via Google or a search engine. That is, I know where the readers come from — and it’s mainly from the readers. OIJ runs almost entirely on reader word of mouth — and I thank you.
I mean, the site defies all conventional wisdom as to how to have a popular blog. The posts are too long. They come too often. The topics are often very intellectual, very theological. I rarely write about Mother’s Day on Mother’s Day or even Christmas on Christmas. This is not supposed to work.
And so my heartfelt thanks to the readers. And thanks for helping to spread the word.