The number of articles in 2012 went down from 104 to 98 compared with 2011, but that was more or less as expected. I don't have enough time to write more than 1-2 articles a week on average. Obviously I had more spare time in the first part of the year (I wrote 13 in January and 14 in February 2012), while only 2 in July (I was abroad for 3 weeks in July and August). The number of unique page views is as of today (2 January 2013) 173 391, as compared to 95 537 on 8 January 2012 (counting from August 2009), so the blog is well visited, even though it is not updated as regularly as one could have wished.
Most of my blog visitors come from the United States (57 116), UK come second with 11 762 visitors, while Germany is third with 11 218 page views. Now for the main statistics - the most popular articles...
Top ten counting from August 2009 to January 2013
- 20.05.2012: HH Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark (5061 page views)
- 26.10.2011: Princess Tatiana of Greece is pregnant (1473)
- 02.09.2012: Confirmation of Marius Borg Høiby (1039)
- 25.07.2010: Countess Ruth of Rosenborg has died (944)
- 16.11.2010: UK: Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton engaged to marry (931)
- 23.02.2012: Royal birth in Sweden (879)
- 30.11.2011: 'King' Leka of the Albanians has died (864)
- 21.02.2012: HM King Harald V of Norway's 75th birthday (845)
- 23.01.2010: Cimetière de Passy, Paris, France (791)
- 29.01.2012: More on Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Twitter account (698)
Last year I was still amused that the Countess Ruth article still topped the statistics, but fortunately it has been passed by 3 other articles during 2012. The first to take Ruth down from the throne was the article covering the false pregnancy news - as it later turned out - about Princess Tatiana of Greece, the spouse of Prince Nikolaos, the third child of former King Constantine. The number of views really took off when the postscript was added on 12 March 2012, telling that she was not pregnant at all. A somewhat embarrassing story, and I can only wish I had been more critical when I wrote the article back in October 2011, although I guess most readers would agree with me that Billed-Bladet should take most of the blame!
Thankfully enough, the number of views almost exploded when I wrote about the names of Princess Athena, the second child of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark. But why the article became that popular still puzzles me. Anyway, 5 of the 10 most read articles were written in 2012, which means I did something right during the year... When I look back on my contributions in 2012, I feel most satisfied with my articles on Crown Princess Mette-Marit's Twitter account, Painting in Canada and the many cemetery articles (there are many more to come!). On the other end of the scale, I was not too happy with my article on the names of Princess Estelle of Sweden, published on 25 February 2012. It started well, but then I made a mess (among others) of the rather easy task of giving examples of other Bernadotte descendants who were named Estelle (but not necessarily as a call name). As I don't remember all the Bernadotte members by heart, I consulted Ted Rosvall's latest edition of Bernadotteättlingar, but didn't read the relevant pages well enough, and couldn't even turn the page to find the last example, and I was duly corrected... I just have to laugh it off and try to being more focused in the future...
US elections 2012
As I am very interested in US American history and politics, I was very ambitious in writing several articles on the primaries in January, but it all stopped in February. I just didn't have the time to follow it up on my blog, but used my Twitter account instead. I wrote on my blog on 3 January 2012 that "It is of course far too early to predict who will win the election in November, but as of now I think the chances of Mitt Romney becoming the next US President is greater than that Obama will be re-elected", stating the weak economy as the reasoning behind my view point. I made all the necessesary reservations, of course. During the spring of 2012 I gradually changed my mind, as I came to realize that Romney had even more weaknesses than the president had. The voters, or at least the small majority, didn't manage to identify themselves with the GOP candidate, and he wasn't especially liked by the right wing of the Republican party either. Most in the know predicted the presidentical race to be close, and it was, but most of the time President Obama was leading the polls in the most important states, so it shouldn't really come as a big surprise that he won. Still, considering the bad state of the economy, I find it somewhat amazing that Obama actually pulled it off.
The US political dynasties still fascinate me. It is interesting to note that yet another Kennedy - Joe Kennedy III - was elected to the House of Representatives. One of the more moderate Republican voices in the Senate, Scott Brown, lost the election against Elizabeth Warren, but might get a comeback later in 2013 as John Kerry's senate seat becomes vacant.
It will be interesting to see how Obama will perform in the next four years. There are many aspects of the 2012 election and the candidates which could be interesting to discuss further, but I will leave it, at least for now. There are so many other blog topics worth discussing as well. It is safe to say, however, that considering the many biographies I have read on American politicians during 2012, I must say that my interest in US history and politics have deepened even further during the year!
I have already touched on my reading list. My sparetime has become rather busy due to family obligations, organisation work etc., but still I have managed to read quite a few books, mostly biographies, during 2012. My most valuable reading time is on the metro (T-bane) on my way to work and back again, which explains why I use my Kindle device for most of my reading, as it is most practical. I have planned for a long time to write a longer article about my reading list and my impressions of the various books I have read, as it could be a nice exchange with my blog readers, but it has to be done later. The best biograophy I have read in 2012? Not exactly a new title, but Donald Rumsfeld's Known and Unknown from 2011 was very impressive. On the other end of the scale, Senator Marco Rubio's An American Son. A Memoir, was a big disappointment. Not well written - too superficial, too many repetitions. I know that autobiographies written when the author tries to position himself for a possible office - Rubio was mentioned as one of several possible VP candidates for Romney before Paul Ryan was picked - comes into a category on its own and should be judged with that in mind. I also know that many consider Rubio to be among the favourites to win the GOP nomination for presidency in 2016 (yes, it is very early still!), and although I understand that his Cuban background could work well with the Latino voters, I would be surprised, almost disappointed, if the Republican party should elect a politician with so little substance. Give me Governor Susana Martinez or even former Governor Jeb Bush any time...
Best novel? It took a while for me to discover Tess Gerritsen, but her crime novel The Surgeon from 2002 was excellent. One of the best crime novels I have ever read, and I have read a lot! Her latest, Last to die, is also recommendable.
I love traveling, and although I couldn't add a new country to my list, my trips abroad was very enjoyable also in 2012. I have already written about my visit to the island of Tjörn back in May, while I have just started to write about my US visit in July/August. I will have to come back to my two trips to Norwich as well. Then later I have to go further backwards to write about other trips in Norway and abroad. And of course there will be new trips...
There will be lots of topics to write about and discuss in 2013, I am sure. In Norway the general election will take place in September. Exciting! The forthcoming royal birth in the UK will give lots to write about, and hopefully the process to the change the succession law will go well in all the countries Queen Elizabeth II is head of state of. There will be a royal wedding in Sweden in June, and the Romanovs will celebrate their 400th anniversary. I can't promise that the number of articles will be higher in 2013 than in 2012. I expect, however, that the majority of my articles will cover genealogy (including cemeteries) and royalty. Anyway, thanks for stopping by! And once again I wish you all a very happy new year!
Photo: Outside the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston with the Lincoln monument, July 2012. Inscription: "Abraham Lincoln created the state of West Virginia by proclamation and signature / West Virginia joined the Union June 20, 1863".
Updated on Thursday 3 January 2013 at 08:05 (link added to Painting in Canada article).