This is the time of year when many of us make resolutions which is just a fancy way of saying we’re setting goals for ourselves. Some of those goals may be lofty aspirations that involve a long-term plan. I don’t do well with long-term goals. Maybe I’m impatient with myself. Maybe I have a need for immediate gratification, but having a to-do list of small, attainable goals gives me the sense of accomplishment I need to stay motivated. When I began Good Humored last June, my goals were to have fun and to see if readers, other than my friends and family, would read my stories. The first time I got a “like” on one of my posts was from I’m on the Bandwagon. Shortly after that I started getting new subscribers.
In the fall, I received a few blog awards. Most recently, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of fellow bloggers who have given me the Kreativ Blogger Award by Elyse , my third Versatile Blogger Award by Kirsty Ballard and the 7X7 Link Award from Emerald Garden Lady. These awards are a great way to broaden my blogging horizons and I’m honored that they have chosen me. Since I received all of these awards in the same week, I’m combining my award acceptance responsibilities. To fulfill the requirement for sharing information about myself, new readers who are interested in Paprika trivia can check out these facts about me. I won’t torture long time readers by asking them to read the list again. As for sharing this award with other bloggers, take a peek at my blog roll and visit the blogs that are my favorite reads. As I “meet” some of my new subscribers, I’m sure I’ll be adding more, so check back often. For the 7X7 Award I have to provide links to seven of my previous posts. I’ll do that in a separate post coming soon to a screen near you.
With new subscribers and a few blog awards under my virtual belt, I was once again in the market for a goal. I set my sights on trying to get 5,000 overall hits by the end of 2011. This was completely random, but it was a nice, even number. It was a close call, but on December 29th, I met my goal. I was thrilled. While I was contemplating what my next whimsical milestone would be, an amazing thing happened; my post “L’What” was Freshly Pressed. To make that just a bit sweeter, I realized that I was “Pressed” in the same week with two of my best blogging buddies – Lisa of Main Street Musings and Kate from Views and Mews with Coffee Kat. I guess the editors at WordPress were hanging out in our neighborhood of the blogosphere.
For my non-blogging readers, being Freshly Pressed means that the editors, or story wranglers as they call themselves, have selected your post to be featured with about 9 others on their home page for 24 hours. Being promoted on the home page introduces new readers to your blog; readers that might have otherwise never come across it. WordPress identifies 5 criteria that make a post eligible to be Freshly Pressed, but the selection process is shrouded in mystery.
While I was busy responding to comments from new readers, Oregano amused himself by doing some calculations. He has a degree in statistics and thinks math is fun. I’ll never understand that side of him.
“Since they choose 10 posts each day, you have a 1 in 80,000 chance of being selected on any given day. In theory, based on 800,000 posts daily, you would be guaranteed to be Freshly Pressed after 80,000 days of blogging.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad. If someone sticks with it, they have a really good chance of being selected,” I said.
He knows I have notoriously poor math skills so he continued his explanation. “The average human lifespan is 80 years or 30,000 days. If you blogged every day of your life, you’d still be 50,000 days short of guaranteeing a spot on the Freshly Pressed page.” To add insult to statistical injury he said, “You’re over 40 so, potentially, you only have 15,000 more days ahead of you.” That was a cheery thought.
After doing a bit of research on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website, I discovered that being Freshly Pressed is roughly the statistical equivalent of being struck by lightning. With my luck, I’m surprised I got the better of those two options.
The experience was surreal! My stats kept going up and comments poured in. They basically fell into 3 categories:
*French speaking readers who found it amusing that Bruschetta, Oregano and I couldn’t pronounce L’Occitane. They kindly offered lessons in the French language and regional dialects.
* Readers from non-French speaking parts of the world who learned how to pronounce the word by reading my post and watching the video.
* Readers who shared stories of their own personal pronunciation dilemmas with words like chipotle, quinoa, Jake Gyllenhaal, Au Bon Pain and Worcestershire sauce to name a few.
One of the most fascinating side effects of being Freshly Pressed is having the opportunity to discover new blogs and readers. As I work my way through the comments, likes and new subscribers, I am realizing that readers from every continent except Antarctica, have visited my blog. It is mind boggling to think that the words I type while sitting in my pajamas are making someone on the other side of the world laugh. Frankly, I’m humbled if I can make someone laugh when they’re in the same room with me. The events of this past week have so far surpassed any goal I had set when I began writing this blog that I now find myself in a position to develop another capricious goal. Does anyone know a scientist in Antarctica who could use a good laugh, or perhaps, a literate penguin with internet access?