Sunday, 24 January 2016

The comet has passed and the dust has settled

Top 20 and some feedback...

What an amazing collection of posts formed this year's #Adventblogs and #PostAdventBlogs series. Thank you to all of you who wrote pieces under the theme of "Comet Tails and Coal Dust". I am amazed and delighted at the range and breadth of interpretations, as well as the global interest shown in the series. We ran to over 50 posts and the comet only passed and the dust finally settled earlier this week, so here are some observations and stats about the series.

Every post received in excess of 500 views. We had poems, personal stories, music, history, facts, humour, annual reflections and words of inspiration and encouragement. It is clear from the shares, likes and comments that the series was very popular. I love the fact that, since Alison Chisnell founded the series back in 2011, it has become an annual tradition that is valued by a large number of people around the world (and not just the authors).

As per last year, I will now provide a little more information about the series as a whole.


Total number of views for the series: 15,895 in December and 10,990 in January (for the 20 days of the series) - NB these numbers are still rising daily.

We had people reading the blogs in over 30 countries, with the top 10 for audience numbers being:

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

The twenty most popular posts, if rated by views, are: 

  1. Shine a Light - an uplifting post by Mark Catchlove urging each of us to support those around us - with a total of 1864 views - made up of 1577 views directly to the blog and 287 via LinkedIn (that compares to 1467 views via the blog for the most popular post in last year's series)
  2. Down in the Dirt - a confessional, but encouraging, piece that touches on dark places before finding the light, by Paul Clarke - with a total of 1059 views (made up of 709 views on the blog + 350 via LinkedIn)
  3. Advent Hopes by Simon Heath, the opening post of the series, was a cheerful and witty poem - with a total of 1045 views (made up of 792 on the blog and 253 via LinkedIn)
  4. Do you EnJoy Shopping? - A post advocating the benefits of enjoying life, by Phil Marsland - with a total of 994 views (made up of 714 views on the blog + 280 via LinkedIn)
  5. Beyond Compare - by Fiona McBride in which she ably demonstrated the value of silencing your inner critic and giving something a go - with a total of 937 views (made up of 582 views on the blog + 355 via LinkedIn)
  6. With Thanks to the Coal Dust - a brave and poignant post by an anonymous writer about the pain of miscarriage and the value of a caring and supportive family - it made a big impact on those who read it - with a total of 914 views (made up of 673 views on the blog + 241 via LinkedIn)
  7. Of Nice and Men - a post about personal impact and the benefits of being nice, by Tim Scott (I can vouch from personal knowledge that Tim is one of the nicest people on social media and IRL and is mindful of the impression he makes on others) - with a total of 870 views (made up of 509 views on the blog + 361 via LinkedIn) 
  8. A Challenging Year - in which Helen Green appreciated that things are not always as bad as they seem and came to realise that it is love that makes life worth living - with a total of 858 views (made up of 617 views on the blog + 309 via LinkedIn) 
  9. Each Moment Counts - A moving post about friendship, love, loss and what it is to be human by Brett Fish Anderson from South Africa - with a total of 852 views (made up of 443 views on the blog + 409 via LinkedIn) 
  10. Not All Those Who Wander are Lost - was an annual reflection combined with deeper thoughts on life by Peter Cook who concludes that it is vital to remain young at heart - with a total of 836 views (made up of 561 views on the blog + 275 via LinkedIn) 
  11. Christmas Comet Fragments - provided a wonderful and nostalgic glimpse of a traditional British Christmas, by Mat Davies -  with a total of 782 views (made up of 521 views on the blog + 261 via LinkedIn) 
  12. It's Behind You - is a powerful poem that can be interpreted on many levels, it was written by Amanda Arrowsmith - with a total of 832 views (made up of 469 views on the blog + 363 via LinkedIn) 
  13. Reflected Brilliance and Volatility - An honest post about the occasionally fallibility in recruitment, by leading search consultant Mark Husband - with a total of 809 views (made up of 437 views on the blog + 372 via LinkedIn). Mark Husband is the MD of Cogent Search; he commenced as a humble blogger submitting his own post, but was so inspired by the pieces he read, which were written by others, that his firm the sponsored the series on LinkedIn, which explains why the LinkedIn views rose over the course of the weeks we ran. Thank you Mark. 
  14. Dictionary of the Wind is a wonderful piece of writing by Neil Usher with the ability to inspire using words hitherto unread in the English language - a total of 761 views (made up of 489 views on the blog + 272 via LinkedIn) 
  15. Anger over Fear - a thought-provoking post, by Khurshed Dehnugara, that urges us to consider and appreciate why we and others react as we do - with a total of 758 views (made up of 422 views on the blog + 336 via LinkedIn) 
  16. Awesome Diamonds by Bina Briggs told us about some inspirational people in her family and advocated appreciation for all those wonderful friends and people around us - with a total of 757 views (made up of 415 views on the blog + 342 via LinkedIn) 
  17. Turn Down the Light  - a personal confession by Gary Cookson that he does better in job interviews when he is simply himself (as indeed we all do). It's nearly February, I'm looking forward to finding out which organisation was fortunate enough to hire him - with a total of 755 views (made up of 459 views on the blog + 296 via LinkedIn) 
  18. Comet Tails and Dust Trails by Siobhan Sheridan, who I am confident will become one of the great HR bloggers going forward. She wrote a post that wove together stories, ancient history, modern research and the ability to change your perspective and move with the times - with a total of 754 views (made up of 478 views on the blog + 276 via LinkedIn) 
  19. In For a Penny, In for a Pound - an important post about mental health and how it is viewed in the work place, by Alice Cowell - with a total of 730 views (made up of 524 views on the blog + 206 via LinkedIn) 
  20. Illuminate Your Stars and Let Your Diamonds Shine - an uplifting post by Donna Hewitson that emphasises the value of cherishing and encouraging others, to help them shine - with a total of 686 views (made up of 428 views on the blog + 258 via LinkedIn) 

One of the extraordinary things about the above list is that there are so many new voices, some, like Brett Fish or Mark, were virgins to the series, having not followed it in previous years. Others, such as Paul, had encouraged people behind the scenes, but added their own voice this year - I am so glad to have them with us. It is worth noting that a few, who were former followers of the series, used this year as an opportunity to write their first ever blog (indeed that was partially the theme of Fiona's post). Congratulations, amongst others, to Fiona and Siobhan. The enthusiasm shown towards the posts, and the comments people have left, clearly show how much their writing was appreciated. I do hope that they will continue to write and perhaps start a blog of their own. 

To my mind all the contributors, and not just those in the most viewed top 20, are stars. Without you there would be no series.

In my next update I will provide some information on the wonderful and imaginative ways in which people tackled a challenging theme. In the meantime, I hope 2016 has got off to a brilliant start for you. Thanks to the pleasures of hosting the series, it certainly has for me.

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