At the 2-year mark: a look back, around, and ahead

footprints going up a cinder cone

footprints going up a cinder cone

Milestone alert:  Climbing the Cinder Cone is now 2 years old!

As other bloggers will attest, maintaining a blog is its own little climb up a cinder cone – it takes time and effort, but not at all unpleasant, with nice scenery (the things I’ve learned) and some great companions (you, dear readers). It’s been a journey with some successes, some stumbles, some surprises. Thought I’d take the opportunity to share some of the behind-the-scenes information about this diminutive blog.

In a happy coincidence, as the Cinder Cone is having its second birthday, it also just passed the milestone of 4,000 all-time “views”. Yes, some blogs get that in one day, but this isn’t one of those blogs! And the Cinder Cone only passed the 3,000-view milestone in October. Therefore, it has gotten 25% of its views in just the last four months.

The blog post that is most responsible for the surge in views might surprise you, seeing that it has no “likes” and no comments: “Can you enlist in the military if you have ADHD?”  Since shortly after it was posted in September, it has consistently been the leader in daily views. That post now turns up on the first page of a Google search if you use appropriate search terms. (I tried it myself!)

Other Cinder Cone topics that have gotten more than 100 all-time views include: SSI payments; the SPECT brain scan at the Amen Clinic; the link between nutrient imbalances and mental disorders; diagnosis jargon; and EMDR therapy.

Moving forward, we’ll see how many other topics I can find with equally broad appeal. (It turns out I don’t have a great track record for predicting which posts are well-received and which ones land with a thud.) Requests and suggestions are welcome ….

Meanwhile, here are some subjects for posts that you can expect to see:

  • Special needs trusts
  • Health insurance for young adults
  • ADOS evaluations
  • Regional center
  • Employment assistance from the Dept. of Rehabilitation and other facilities
  • Employment prospects
  • Dealing with suicide threats
  • Alternative therapies, such as neurofeedback and TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation)
  • Follow-ups on previous posts

It’s possible we could also get into discussions about medications, post-secondary education, and so forth. For now those ideas are in the background, because I think other, more prominent sites do a thorough job on those topics already.

I’m also interested in interviewing experts, service providers, and so forth. However, I’m holding back on that until the Cinder Cone gains more readership, to make it more worth the time of an interviewee.

On the subject of readership: I so appreciate everyone who has signed on as a subscriber! Hopefully, few of you regret it (“Let’s see, where is that ‘Unsubscribe’ button?”)

The “dashboard” of a blog shows the blogger many interesting things, including which nations the blog’s views came from. Even this niche blog has been viewed by readers in 53 countries on six continents! (And maybe some day researchers in Antarctica will stumble across it accidentally.) In descending order, the top countries for views are the US, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia, Republic of Korea, and the Philippines. The Cinder Cone has subscribers on 3 continents, from many different walks of life, which is also very cool.

To support the blog, a little over a year ago I started a Facebook page for Climbing the Cinder Cone. It serves two purposes: to notify followers on Facebook that a new post has been published, and to share links to relevant items from other organizations and individuals  – much like the “Worth a Click” feature on the blog’s sidebar.

The Facebook page doesn’t seem to have caught on very well; most items on it do not get any “likes”, comments, or shares. Maybe people really do read them, or maybe they scroll right past them. Whatever the case, I’ll keep maintaining the page, at least for a while.

So here at the two-year mark, there is not much call for resting-on-laurels. The “community” the blog aspired to has not yet formed. Certainly, there are a lot of folks living with or assisting atypical teens and young adults, and they are the target audience. Maybe they are too busy and exhausted dealing with the reality to read about it! (I can definitely relate to that.)

For the future, the trick will be to keep trying to improve and expand the blog’s contents and presentation. Hopefully that will attract more readers, supporting the ultimate goal: helpful information finding its way to the people who need it.

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About janet565

I've lived in the Inland Empire of Southern California since 1982. Born and raised in New Jersey, I've also lived in upstate New York and in Oregon. My profession involves maps and geography, which is usually very interesting. My hobbies are pretty boring - none of them involve tigers (or ligers) or jumping out of aircraft - so they do not bear mention here. I hope you find the blog useful, and wish you well....

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