Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Blogging milestones”

Zero the Hero Helps Me Celebrate My 200th Post

Today, Zero the Hero makes a special guest appearance on my blog to celebrate my 200th post.

(We celebrated my 100th Post on May 17, 2013.)

Who is Zero the Hero? Well, I’m happy you asked.

Now, on stage, Zero himself: Zero the Hero. Cute little guy, isn’t he!

When I worked at the Lower Primary School at Hong Kong International School, we had an incredible team of talented kindergarten teachers who brought Zero the Hero to life every tenth school day.

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Early in the morning on one of these zero days, a poem would appear somewhere in each kindergarten classroom. This poem told the children to look for certain counting items in the classroom; to do something (sing, dance, play a game, hunt for counting items); to make something (an art or cooking activity); or to do something related to counting and numbers (listen to a story, draw a picture, build a tower, sort and categorize objects).

Sometimes Zero would leave a special snack for the children, and these snacks most often looked like zeros: Cheerios, life savers, donuts, bagels, or other zero-like things.  Zero himself did not show his face…that is, not until Day 100…and then there was a BIG PARTY to celebrate Zero the Hero’s arrival.

Zero the Hero visits kindergarten

Zero the Hero visits kindergarten

There’s even a song for the kindergarteners to learn.  (Click on the red link.)
You can learn more about Zero the Hero here.

Two-Zero-Zero

So this is it: my 200th post. 2-0-0. Two-zero-zero. Thanks Zero for joining me in this celebration.

Here are some WordPress blog statistics for my journey to this point.

Most read posts:

Home page / Archives More stats 7,907
Two Oceans Meet in Gulf of Alaska? Not! More stats 941
Italy: It’s 4 PM. Have You Had Your Gelato Yet? More stats 429
Q is for Quirky Dreams, Susie Q, and Prepositional Phrases More stats 379
Saturday Silliness: Where do cats sleep? More stats 304
O is for Ocean City, NJ: Pizza, Saltwater Taffy, Frozen Custard, Caramel Corn More stats 269
Italy: A Visit to Tuscany

Total number of views of all posts to date:      17856  (9-4-2013)
(Looks like Zero the Hero will have to return sometime soon to help celebrate my triple zero viewers milestone:18,000!)

Number of countries with viewers: 92  (darker colors = more readers)

WordPress Statisitics: Countries/Viewers Summary, Sept 4, 2013

WordPress statistics: Countries/Viewers Summary, Sept 4, 2013

Countries with more than 200 views:

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 10,558
Canada FlagCanada 1,108
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 1,088
Australia FlagAustralia 576
India FlagIndia 320
Italy FlagItaly 288
Philippines FlagPhilippines 258
Germany FlagGermany 249
France FlagFrance 223

Missing Countries:

My last check on countries with no viewers occurred on May 28, 2013…read that post here: Dear Readers, Who Are You?

In that post I wrote

Equally interesting are the white spaces on the map: Greenland;  Paraguay, Suriname, and French Guiana, three countries in South America; many Middle Eastern Countries; many countries in Africa; and Papua New Guinea in the Far East. It makes me wonder: Is Internet available in these areas? Is Internet available but restricted?

Since then, a few countries with viewers joined the list. A special hello to the new viewers in South America (Suriname); Africa (Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Tunisia); and the Isle of Mann.

Alas, still missing: Greenland; Nicaragua in Central America; Cuba in the Caribbean; Paraguay and French Guiana in South America; many countries in Africa; Middle Eastern counties of Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan; and Papua New Guinea in the Far East. Maybe by Post #300 some of these counties will visit this blog. After all, even in non-English speaking countries many people study English. Of course, Internet is not available everywhere.

The Last Meow

Numbers, schnumbers. Don’t forget, we kitty cats helped with each one of these posts, and we have more to go. But in the meantime, it’s nap time.  See you for Post #201.

Photo credit: writerjenn.blogspot.com

Photo credit: writerjenn.blogspot.com

Meow for now.  =<^ ! ^>=

S is for Stats and Milestones–10,000 Views Milestone! WooHoo

a-to-z-letters-201310,000 views of my blog? Really? How did that happen?

I hadn’t really paid much attention to the stats that WordPress keeps for each blog, not realizing how broad the reach of a blog can be. So in early April, when out of curiosity I clicked on my blog stats, I was surprised shocked to see that my blog had well over 9000 views.

Getting StartedThey laughed

I laughed when several years ago my daughter said, “You ought to start a blog.”

Why on earth would I do that? I laughed.

But once the seed fell out onto the ground, it began to take root and grow, not right away, but over time.

One of my first blog posts was, “They Laughed When I Sat Down at The Piano.” You know, sort of like, “They laughed when I sat down to blog.”

wana imageWANA: We Are Not Alone

I have been blogging for a while now. I muddled around started with a BlogSpot.com blog,  titled GED Writer, in September of 2010, writing about the GED (high school equivalency testing for dropouts) and adult education topics. I realized this was not a hot topic for a blog and decided to think the matter over a bit more.

I tried again with WordPress in December of 2011, finally getting a blog going in January of 2012. I met Kristen Lamb online and began to follow her posts at Writing Warriors. I read her book, We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, and I joined her WANA112 group: 100 writers who wanted to get better at blogging.  Kristen advised us to use our own names as our blog titles because we needed to build name recognition as serious bloggers. She also advised us to branch out and write about multiple interests rather than just write about our primary, more narrow, writing interests.  All of this was great and encouraging advice.

In the process of building my blog, I made lots of new writer friends. Of those 100 original writers in WANA112, 88 of us still keep in touch on Facebook on our closed group page.

And more amazing than that was that I gathered followers, kind readers who left encouraging notes.  I learned a lot from reading their posts, too. Such clever people, I thought. I will always appreciate these early followers. These are the best friends I have never met:

Tami Clayton, Taking Tea in the Kasbah
Elaine Smothers, Wonder in the Wild
emaginette, Shout With Emaginette
Glenda Mills, Meet Me On The Mountain
Barbara Forte Abate, Scribbling Outside The Lines
Judythe Morgan, Voice and Views from The Front Porch
Mike Schulenberg, Realms of Perilous Wonder
Sheila Pierson, Wonderstruck
Ellen V. Gregory, to beyond and back
Jodi Lea Stewart   Walking on Sunshine
Liv Rancourt, Laughter, life and romance under partly sunny skies
Elizabeth Fais, Where the awesome begins
Sara Walpert Foster, Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Siri Paulson, everyday enchantments
Linda Adams, Soldier, Storyteller
Sherry Isaac, Psychological Sizzle
Sherri Martin-Hutchins, live wonderstruck
And none of us could get anywhere without advice from Laird Sapir, of Shabby Chic Sarcasm

A to Z Badge 2012 (1)A to Z Challenge, 2012

But I didn’t really get into more serious blogging until the April 2012 A to Z Challenge (to write 26 posts in the month of April). I took the challenge seriously. I decided that if I could do 26 posts in that short a time, I could probably do more. The A to Z format certainly made it easier to come up with ideas.

I finished the 2012 A to Z with a hey,-I-can-do-this-blogging-thing attitude, further reinforcing Kristen Lamb’s yes-you-can-do-it encouragement.

Of course, blogging daily is tricky to do what with all the other commitments in life, so I settled into a doable pattern of two to three blog posts a week and continued through November of 2012 before taking a break because of family health issues. When that 2013 A to Z Challenge flashed around the Internet, I was hooked again!

Topics

In May of 2012, I traveled to Tuscany and Rome in Italy for two weeks with my sister-in-law and two other friends and found many topics to writevilla-Il Cortile del Borgo about there. We rented a villa named Il Borghetto near San Gimignano and wrote about that. We visited other intriguing Italian cities, and I wrote about them: Florence, Lucca, Sienna, Pisa, aother charming towns. We traveled to Rome, and I wrote about our adventures there, staying in an old family-run hotel near Piazza Navona.

After Italy, I returned to Southern New Jersey and wrote about surprising things there: blueberry festivals, derecho (severe wind storm), veggie farms, Relay for Life, Ocean City, and a few other events of interest in my home state. And I added recipes for my favorite foods using “Jersey Fresh” vegetables and fruits.

For the 2013 A to Z Challenge, I have focused more on Writing PLUS Grammar-You-Can-See. Let’s just wait-and-see what comes along next!

Thanks, again, to all my faithful friends and followers. You truly are the best. My blogging adventure has been fun, though I must admit it has had its hours and hours moments of frustration. The learning curve is steep, but it does level off get less steep as you move along. Just keep writing!

***

Here’s a post from Ellen Gregory, a WANA112 friend, on her recent accomplishment of writing 200 posts. It’s so nice to see my blogger friends hit their own milestones. Congratulations, Ellen.

The Last Meow

Of course, kitties have been a big part of my blog. They always have something smart to say. They really don’t care for myTerribly Cute pic...cat attitude grammar posts, but they seem to like the rest of my blog topics. They celebrate with me on our 10,000 views. After all, that means they get 10,000 views, too. No grumpy cats here!

Meow for now.   ={^;^}=

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