Two Hundred and Counting

I’m putting this post up mostly to mark a couple of milestones for myself. It’s my 201st, almost on my second anniversary with this blog, which I began as an experiment on September 17, 2005. I didn’t tell anyone–not even Google–about it until I’d put up twelve posts. With a newcomer’s enthusiasm, I averaged four posts a week for the first three weeks. I guess everything slows down as it gets older.Today is another anniversary, marking one year since I installed a page counter on the blog, and I have to say that I’m flabbergasted to have logged just 75 shy of 30,000 page loads in a single year. Now I realize that there are blogs out there that rack up that much traffic in a day, but I’m still chuffed at the response. 

Of course, not all of those hits are “legitimate”: my posts on St Vincent’s Parish in Redfern still drag in a lot of traffic from Philippine readers looking for issues relating to Catholicism and not Aboriginal art. And I suspect that I’ve disappointed a lot of Billy Joel fans who are looking for lyrics and guitar tabs and wind up reading about Nabarlek and the Lajamanu Teenage Band instead. (Wouldn’t it be cool though if they weren’t disappointed, and instead went to MySpace and found Nabarlek, or Chris Jones, or CAAMA there?)

I’ve had clicks come in from over 100 countries on every continent except Antarctica. This past week someone in Egypt came looking or information on Tommy Watson at the Quai Branly, my regular reader in Malta checked in, as did someone from Bulgaria. Indian Googlers came to read about the Barunga Statement and the Holmes a Court collection; Turks were interested this week in Desert art. Truth be told, about 60% of the traffic comes regularly from Australia, with another 15-20% from the United States. But a steady 10 to 15% comes from the most unlikely and far-flung places, indicating that there really is a worldwide interest in Aboriginal art. After a year, it still boggles my mind.

And speaking of mind-boggling, from the Palm Island decisions through the Senate Inquiry to the Intervention, I’ve had more than enough to write about. And my unexpected excursion to the Territory for a chance to visit two dozen art centres gave me so much to think about that I’m still trying to chronicle two weeks of travels three months after my return! Sometimes I wonder how many of those centres will be around when I make my 300th post in another year’s time. 

I hope that the answer is all of them will be prospering. That, having apologized to the nation for the Stolen Generations, Kevin Rudd will also have taken up the recommendations from the Senate Inquiry to support art centres in recognition of their contributions to the Australian economy. There’s a popular bumper sticker in my hometown that says “Won’t it be a wonderful day when teachers have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a new bomber?” Maybe the Territory will also get its teachers, and doctors and nurses. I can dream, too, can’t I?

Thanks to all of you who come to read week after week, and thanks especially to those who have written back. 

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