Sorry for the image, but it was free, and the blogger didn’t feel like paying royalties for a better one. We were waiting until the last minute this week to attempt to secure an interview on a breaking news story in the world of Geocaching, but that didn’t work out in time for us. So as a replacement, we have our one year of blogging anniversary post, a week early! Yes, this blog was officially launched with it’s first post on March 13th, 2013, although it was in the planning stages for several weeks before that. So for our upcoming one year anniversary, we will reveal the 10 most viewed posts, and give a brief overview of our assessment of the first year of the blog. We also have a big announcement regarding this blog; however, it should be a given that the announcement won’t occur until well after the following page break….
In blogging, whatever your topic may be, unique page views on the individual posts build up over time, and it is true the “latest” of the top 10 posts was from early October, 2013. With that in mind, we’ll give a couple of honorable mention shout-outs to posts we expect to some day show up in the top 10 overall most viewed posts eventually, supplanting some of these:
The top 10 posts:
- #10 Update; 4.5lb Walleye Cache found!! Posted June 11, 2013. This was one of three posts we did on Chris, AKA Stormgren-X, with his non-Geocaching friend, on their epic Canoe trip to find 4.5lb Walleye, then the world’s oldest unfound cache, in Northern Ontario, Canada.
#9 Bad Ideas, Bomb Scares, etc. Posted August 9, 2013. Where we interviewed David Brierley, owner of a Geocaching.com bookmark list of the same name as the blog post title.
- #8 Guest Post: Tips for Geocaching with a Metal Detector. Posted October 2, 2013. As the title would indicate, a guest post by Daniel Bernzweig, co-owner of MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA, regarding Geocaching with a metal detector.
- #7 Travelfleas – Along for the ride. Posted June 27, 2013. We interviewed John, one of the owners of Travelfleas.com, which makes small metal tags that can be used for Geocaching signature items, or attached to trackables.
- #6 An interview with Stormgren-X on the 4.5lb Walleye Cache find. Posted July 12, 2013. Where we don’t just talk about Stormgren-X and his amazing eight day Canoe trip to find this cache, we actually talk TO him about it!
- #5 Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us.. Posted August 15, 2013. A post about the 3rd Anniversary of OpenCaching North America, which was founded on August 19th, 2010. Admittedly, we think most of the people stumbling on this post are just Googling “Happy Birthday” :-).
- #4 The Public Domain Geocaching Logo (and a blog redesign). Posted May 15, 2013. We also believe many of the readers of this post are just Googling “Public Domain Geocaching Logo”. But they’re finding us, and we think we have a very informative post on the topic, and point you to where you can download the logo yourself.
- #3 ROVE: New Bluetooth gadget for instant Geocaching & trail sharing. Posted April 18, 2013. The post title tells you exactly what ROVE is, and we interviewed Jonathan Layes, the inventor of ROVE, and founder of Sparkyard, Inc. It was our very first interview, and obviously Sparkyard themselves have promoted it on their website, and via social media to get it up near the top of our most read posts.
- #2 RSS Feeds, Geocaching in the News, a failed experiment, and a new experiment (be a BETA tester!). Posted May 1, 2013. By far our longest post title, for sure! And obviously most of the viewers are people Googling “RSS Feeds”. But they see it’s a Geocaching Blog, and they’re still coming here, right? In this post we outline how no other Geocaching website has embraced RSS Feeds like the OpenCaching Network has, and we think that’s pretty cool. By the way, the new experiment failed too.
- #1 “Our” OpenCaching vs Garmin’s OpenCaching, a comparison of sorts. Posted March 26, 2013. Part 2 of 2 (Part one was on the little known history of Opencaching.com before Garmin purchased it in late 2010). This post compares and contrasts The OpenCaching Network (us) vs. Garmin (them). Major credit for this post always has to go fellow OCNA Admin Dudley Grunt, as much of it was plagiarized (with permission) from a post he made to several Geocaching forums comparing the two sites in July, 2012. We know people are finding this post via a Google search, and we couldn’t be happier it’s our most read post, comparing us to that “other site”, which makes for a confusing situation for many people.
Just missing the Top 10 were the first of our two posts on The Cache me if you can Geocaching board game, and our tribute to the Late Sven, of the Geocaching Spoilers YouTube Channel. Honorable Mention goes to Sporadically featured OCNA Cache: Mt. Elbert Summit, and the first post of the two part interview with the creators of the Geolocation game Sighter. Those two “younger” posts are really up there on the page views, and we expect them to break into the top 10 over time.
We promised a brief overview of our assessment of one year of blogging: We like it, and we’re not going to stop! We are happy with the readership of the regular users of our website, and the readership we have obtained through promoting our blog via Social Media. We very much appreciate that many of our interviewees have promoted our interviews with them on their own websites and Social Media Outlets. Thank you to all of them for that. And a special shout-out to guest blogger HikerJamz, who runs a free ad on his show for our blog every week, and often briefly discusses that past week’s post.
We are, however, slightly disappointed with the traffic at the blog. More accurately, we are disappointed with the inability to get a decent ranking on a Google Search for Geocaching Blogs, Geocaching Bloggers, or Geocaching Blogging. It’s become rather obvious to us that it takes years of blogging about Geocaching with a Blogger.com blog to get decent search placement on Google. And this is despite implementing obscure SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques for Blogger.com blogs as outlined in this bloggers post on the subject. We haven’t asked, but we seriously doubt any of the Blogger.com Geocaching bloggers who have been blogging for years for their ranking know about, or are using any of those; and still nothing happens for us. All this while a WordPress powered Geocaching Blog not much older than ours, that gets posted to an average of less than once a month, sits firmly on Page 1 of a Google search of “Geocaching Blogs”. Another WordPress powered Geocaching Blog, which has been around for years, but is only posted to a few times a year currently, also sits on page 1 of those results. No names in either case, of course. :-).
The Big announcement:
You probably guessed it already. We’re migrating to the WordPress blogging platform in the very near future! By the way, did we mention Google owns blogger.com? Another obvious factor is the complete control over our own blog content on our own server. It might not be immediately obvious to most readers, but the blog.opencaching.us sub domain is actually just a redirect to a Google hosted blog. So what will happen? Sometime in the next few weeks, we will have a post announcing the change, and for “a few days”, this blog will only be reachable at it’s Blogger.com url http://opencachingna.blogspot.com. When the change over is complete, a WordPress powered blog will then appear at the normal https://blog.opencaching.us URL. Many ISP’s, our own included (Rackspace.com) offer simple “one click installation” of WordPress for new bloggers or webmasters. That is not the case for us, we have to undertake a full manual install, including creating a MySQL database for WordPress. Then once WordPress is installed, the old blogger.com blog content will have to be imported into WordPress via a plug in. So stay tuned, and be sure to look here for the official announcement!