I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who makes time to read The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. Some of you have been muddling through my stuff for quite a while now. Some of you found your way here via The Outdoor Blogger Network; some of you were pointed this way by friends and some of you were invited in; some of you stumbled across this blog by sheer dumb luck and liked it enough to subscribe, and most of you probably wonder sometimes just what the heck is going on around here.
As away the old year passes, I’ve been pondering an appropriate year-end wrap up. A “Best of 2011” post crossed my mind but a lot of bloggers do those. I thought about posting a list of resolutions I plan to stick to in the upcoming year but I write fiction, not lies. In the end I decided to bring 2011 to a close by looking at my Search Term stats (provided by WordPress) to see just what sorts of things attract readers to the shores of Fish in a Barrel Pond.
I was just as surprised as you by what I found and, like you, I also sometimes wonder what the heck is going on around here. Thank you all for stopping by, whatever the reason, and the very best to you in 2012.
We might as well just get it out of the way. The number one search term that brought eyes to these pages in 2011 — with more than twice the views of number two — is just what fans of Fish in a Barrel Pond would expect: Gordon Ramsay! That’s right, Gordon Ramsay. Celebrity chef, television personality and all-around nice guy, Gordon Ramsay. Maybe he Googles himself a lot? When I Google Gordon Ramsay, “Eugene, Purly and Chef Gordon Ramsay” comes up on the first page. Who’d a thunk it?
At number two is my pen name, along with my real name. I suppose it narrows down the search and distinguishes me from a venerable old Catskill dry fly or the greatest high school football player of all time. Still, it seems a bit suspicious.
The third most common search term that brings people here is “tenkara flies”. “Tenkara rods” is number five, so we will deal with them together and get to number four in a minute. I got
drunk creative last year and decided to have a little fun with the ancient angling method, tenkara, which seemed to be taking the fishing world by storm. Unfortunately, my post “Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Rods” languished, attracting very few readers. My follow-up “Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Flies” kind of sat there, too, quickly losing its relevance when Steven Tyler stopped wearing dry fly hackle in his hair, but I had amused myself and that was the important thing.
Then, one day, I noticed referrals coming in from the message board at tenkarausa.com. I followed the link and discovered my tenkara posts had attracted the attention of someone for whom English was not their first language and had created a bit of confusion. One commenter went so far as to suggest I was simply ignorant and therefore not worthy of a laugh. Imagine that. Maybe my posts weren’t as funny as I thought, but ignorant? I signed up to comment over there and did my best to assure the folks at tenkara USA that it was all in fun and to defend myself. I did my best to smooth things over, letting them know I make fun of pretty much everything, and things settled down a bit, but I think they’re waiting to see what I have to say about fancy shadow casters and mincing dry fly purists. Give me time, I’ll get to them.
But the tenkara thing will not go away! Now I am getting referrals from the message board at tenkara.ru! I can’t read Russian and while Google does an okay job translating, it does a terrible job of interpreting so I don’t really know what they are saying. If you speak or read Russian, I’d sure appreciate some help with this one. My tenkara spoofs show up on the first page of results when I Google “tenkara” and, yes, I am amused.
With numbers three and five out of the way, we can get back to number four on the list of search terms that bring folks to this blog: “otter poop”. Yes, otter poop. Originally posted as a reward for readers who made it all the way to the end of ” … teach a man to fish … ” I don’t think many of the people looking for a picture of otter poop actually got to the end of the story to collect their reward so I will save everyone the trouble and post it here (even though you really ought to go read the story anyway):
Number six on our hit parade is “testament of a fisherman” which leads folks to my post “Testament of a Fisherman, Deconstructed“. Do words written nearly fifty years ago still ring true? You tell me.
I’m sure miniature pond enthusiasts are disappointed when they search for “barrel pond” and expect pointers on home landscape ideas, but that is the seventh most popular search term in my stats. “Yellow mushrooms” comes in at number eight, leading to — what else? — a photo of yellow mushrooms on one of my posts, somewhere around here. Numbers nine and ten in our countdown are related, at least in the context of this blog, with both leading to the same post.
A search for “running man” could, I suppose, bring up Richard Dawson or a former Governor of California but, along with our tenth most common search term, “bear poop” it will bring you to my post “Running Man” and, lucky you, this photo of bear poop:
So, there you have the ten most common search terms that bring visitors to The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. I am not sure what, if anything, they mean for me or my blog — other than disappointment and befuddlement for potential readers — but what of the dozens and dozens of other terms people have used to find their way here? Is there any useful information to be gathered from them? I will let you decide.
Many people have searched for “beaver baffles” and ended up here; a search for “jet sled” might just bring you this gear review; two dozen people looked up “bear spleen” and were directed to this story involving my good friend Eugene, and quite a few folks searched for “weasels”, “chickens”, “weasels and chickens”, etc. and were directed to my post “Weasel in the Chicken Coop” which, while not very helpful is quite graphic.
It is interesting that, despite my best efforts to be a semi-serious writer, going on and on about fly fishing, anglers, and the natural world around us, so many of the views this blog gets are due to a celebrity chef, pictures of poop, and
fishing with a stick and a string the ancient Japanese fishing method, tenkara.
Like the song says, any love is good love so I’ll take what I can get. I am pleased that The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond has become so many things to so many people and I am looking forward to more visits from more readers, even if they are looking for (#28 on the list) a “monkey with a gun!”
Many thanks to everyone who reads this blog! Maybe in 2012 we’ll finally figure out just what the heck is going on around here.
Happy New Year, y’all!