Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my blog! So put on a party hat and join me in looking back on the past year.
It was a year full of posts about maps, writing, history, videogames, fiction, and everything in between. We’ve had 84 posts and 125 comments in total, but the most stunning statistic of all is 21,413 pageviews, 17,455 of which have been generated in the past 6 months. There has been pretty rapid growth in readership in the blog recently, but if you look at the statistics, it’s clear that the most significant factor in the increase in the blog’s popularity came from one source: The Hunger Games.
I didn’t anticipate how much my post on the map of Panem from the Hunger Games would dominate all other posts, with 8,461 total pageviews, which is over a third of the total pageviews. By comparison, the next most popular post has just 574 pageviews. I could also see that a major source of referral traffic was the google search for “map of panem”, and at one time, my blog was the top result for that search term (though I checked it just now, and it has fallen to the second page). This goes to show what a massively popular book and movie franchise The Hunger Games is, such that the release of a new movie in the series, Catching Fire, could galvanize thousands of people to search for the map for the dystopian world of Panem.
And now, here are the top 15 most viewed posts (apart from the Home Page) from the past year, with “Mapping Panem” sitting at the top.
Along with The Hunger Games, videogames were a huge driver of web traffic. The maps from Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization V, and to a lesser extent, Super Mario World, were all popular posts. Beyond this, maps from works of fiction also attracted many readers, as maps from Narnia, 1984, Game of Thrones, and Neverland were all in the top ten. But readers also enjoyed reading about historical curiosities as well, such as border irregularities and the world map of Al-Idrisi from the 12th century. Astronomy was appealing too, with popular posts pertaining to the world of Star Trek and the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
One of the major themes of the blog, writing fiction, has become less prominent over time, and none of the posts pertaining to writing ended up in the top fifteen. I’m happy, though, with the shift towards cartography, because it is such a rich area for discussion and attracts interest from a diverse range of readers. The danger with writing about writing is attracting only other writers, when I also want to be bringing in potential readers, those who are intrigued by the subject matter of my book but not particularly by the craft of writing itself.
Speaking of my book, The Map of Daggers, the pace has slowed but progress continues. I’ve now written over 64,000 words, or 221 pages. Plot-wise, I’d say I’m about 3/4 through the book. But I know that once this draft is complete, it will be the beginning of the long process of editing and revision. I’m trying to pick up the pace, but it is more important to let it flow organically than create a rushed product. Hopefully by the end of year, the novel will be complete and ready to be enjoyed by fans of fantasy and cartography alike. Stay tuned for updates.
And, as always, happy mapping!