"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Thursday, January 3, 2013

One Year of Pooh Sticks

One year ago this week I began this blog. I have to say, with all humility, that it really has become exactly what I wanted it to be. From the very first post--

Disney, for those of us who love it, can truly make all the stress and bad and worries of the real world go totally away. It's a haven, a sanctuary, one of the last truly magical places left. I was thinking how great it would be to carry at least a bit of that feeling with us even when we were stuck here in the real world. So that, too, is what I plan to write about, living a happy and magic-filled life no matter where we are and what is happening around us.

I think that's happened. Writing this blog has helped me to concentrate on the good, to seek out the happy for celebration and sharing with whoever wants to visit. One thing that has surprised me is that people do want to visit. I had expected to write this mostly for my own amusement. I knew the lovely and talented Lisa would read it because she's my biggest fan and most steadfast supporter. She also pushes me to write, which I appreciate more than I say.  I thought my friend Jen would read it both because she's a good friend and because she's a huge Disney Geek herself. Beyond that, I didn't expect much. As it turns out, this little blog now gets about 500 "hits" per month. I don't really promote it beyond links on Facebook, so most of them are strangers led to my ramblings by the magic of Google.

I admit to being probably a little over-fascinated by the whole google search finding my blog thing. I love looking at the search terms used. Some make perfect sense, like "Fort Wilderness," some are silly, like "Goofy's Head," and one scared me into changing the way I write. I get found by people looking for poutine recipes, by people interested in the sinking of the Bounty and by people looking for pictures of Uriah Heep. None of these things have anything obviously to do with Disney, much less Winnie the Pooh's favorite game, yet these paths lead to me just the same. I think that's kind of cool.

I looked, out of curiosity, to see which posts got the most hits over this last year, and I was very impressed by the list. It's pretty much the posts I'd WANT the most people to see.  So, here are the ten most popular Pooh Sticks posts, just in case anyone else is as dorky about this stuff as I am.

#10-- Remembering Fort Wilderness---Fort Wilderness posts made the list twice. The place has a loyal following and I posted pictures, which tends to draw lots of hits. My mom will be particularly thrilled this got attention as it features a picture of her 20-something self in a bikini ;)

#9-- Relaxing At Disney---I really don't know what drew people to this. Usually there are key words or subjects that I can tell will garner a lot of searching, but nothing in here sticks out. I'm attributing it to magic, because this is a post about my favorite day EVER in a Disney park.

#8-- Dickens Diary 4...Being Uriah Heep---This one gets hit by people searching for pictures of Uriah Heep. I suppose these are English majors or high school students doing research. I'm glad it made the list because it represents my entrance into the world of theater in 2012.

#7-- C Is For.....Cinderella Castle---Ahh, the ill-fated alphabet blogging attempt. This gets attention because people search the words "Cinderella Castle" a lot and because there are pictures associated. I'm happy to see it because it was one of the posts that was Lisa's idea. She inspires me in ways large and small and sometimes has no idea she's doing it, so it's perfect that this post ended up here.

#6-- Mickey's Toontown Fair Memories (and pictures)---Mickey's Toontown Fair was destroyed this year to be replaced by Storybook Circus, and that put the words in the news. By the way, Jen, I'm still waiting for those dozens of pictures you said in the comments you'd email me....... ;)

#5-- Goodbye HMS Bounty-- This was a late post to get so many hits. It's from very late October and still made the top 5. I used the names of the sailors killed and that generated a lot of hits, and also I just think this story affected people like it did me, which is nice to see.

#4-- F Is For....Fort Wilderness--- It's the bikini picture again. Sorry mom ;)

#3-- Pin Codes and Disney Visa and Free Dining...Oh MY!!!!--- I have to admit, part of me was trying to see how many hits using those three terms in the title would generate. "Pin Codes," "Disney Visa" and "Free Dining" are discussed ad naseum among the Disney blog community. But as an added bonus, in rereading this post last night, I remembered one more reason Jen helped to make our 2012 magical, she alerted me to the discount that made our best vacation ever possible. Thanks, you ;)

#2-- A (Almost) Teen In The Kingdom---Here's another I can't figure out. I'm hoping the word "teen" isn't drawing pervs. I'm again going to credit Disney Magic making my post about having the best son in the world my second most viewed. I wish all the world would read this. John deserves the recognition.

#1-- Disney Is Hiring Heroes---This deserves this spot, it deserves more than a view a day, it SHOULD be read by lots of people. I believe and feel every word of this that much. And it also includes in the comments some of the kindest words from a friend. I'm sure she doesn't remember saying it, and God only knows if she'd say it now, but it made me happy. And still does.

That's a great note to leave 2012 and enter 2013.

SEMPER FIDELIS, Dad, and to anyone else reading, thank you :)

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