Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 1st Blogoversary to TGAM

Photo by Tom Haymes
Today I'm playing Barry Manilow's "Looks Like We Made It" as I note my first blogoversary.   As many have observed, most blogs have a very short life span. Caslon Analytics quotes numerous reports, each emphasizing how most blogs disappear well before hitting the first year mark. The stats I most often bump into cite the average lifespan of a blog being somewhere between 90 days to 120 days. And that average excludes half the blogs that are created since they never get past the first post.

I'm cautiously optimistic at making it a full year. 

I have written over 60 posts, earning a modest-yet-respectable 18,000 hits.  I attended my first blogging summit as sponsored by Get Old.  At my year mark, my all-time-high posts are as follows:
  1. Films Featuring Older Adults
  2. More Seniors Than Ever: Population Pyramids
  3. Books on Aging
  4. Label Clothing for Nursing Home Residents
  5. Glasses, Hearing Aids and Dentures Not Covered by Medicare
  6. Daphne and Carmen: Octogenarian Super Models
  7. May-December Romance: Why Is This Joke Funny?
  8. Older Americans 2012 Federal Report
  9. Long-term Care Is More Probable as We Age
  10. Older Adults Who Are Athletes
From where I sit, I perceive an audience who is interested in promoting active aging for themselves. They like posts about people wrestling with Father Time and winning: older athletes, mature workers, love being sweeter the second time around.

My readers are also caring for aging parents, so they need information about  Medicare, long-term care, and how to manage a parents' clothing for a stay in a nursing home. My audience is curious about books and films on these topics.  And because I often include a lot of information-rich links in my posts, I benefit from having easy access to credible sources that I mined months ago. 

Blogging over the past year has given me greater awareness of the following:
  • The myriad of issues that older adults and their caregivers face. 
  • The numerous government agencies, not-for-profit agencies, and private organizations supporting healthy aging.
  • The fierce-and-fabulous presence of Baby Boomers in the blogosphere.
  • The international community supporting elder care by other English speaking bloggers (UK, Canada, Australia, India, etc.) 
As a former college English teacher and a voracious reader, I thought that I could survey the field of healthy aging in a year and feel confident that I have a strong overview.  Ha!

While I do have a better understanding than in 2011, I am in awe.  Healthy aging is a field that is vast, rich and dynamic. I plan on spending the next 30+ years traveling in this landscape. Clearly, I will never be done learning, I will never be bored, I will never cover every inch of this terrain.  The field is interdisciplinary, and people 50+ can be so radically different from one another.

I remember when I first flew into the Houston metro area and saw the enormity of that megapolis. That's akin to how I feel about the enormity of healthy aging.  It's overwhelming and exciting.  I have been most enriched by meeting hundreds of people dedicated to supporting healthy aging. I am invigorated by keeping company with them: health care professionals, social workers, gerontology faculty members, professional and family caregivers, bloggers, lobbyists, medical researchers, government employees, small business owners, etc.  Wow.  Just as I could never meet every resident of Houston, I can never meet everyone in my new field, but I am going to have fun trying. 

Looking to 2013, I expect to continue updating my blog regularly, but I also expect some changes. In the late spring, I will be finishing my master's degree in Aging Studies.  Graduation day will mark nearly three years since I began spending 4 to 6 hours a day studying and volunteering to support healthy aging of the mind, body, and soul.  It has been great to take a broad view of the field as a student and a volunteer, but I will have to make some commitments to a specific role.   

When I started my degree, I kept thinking of the line from Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."   So every day I'm building my knowledge base, every other day I volunteer with older adults, and every week I'm building my blog archives, and we'll see what comes by the end of 2013! 

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2 comments:

  1. Hi Karen: Congratulations, blogging is one of the rewarding things I have ever done. I passed my two year anniversary. When I started I promised myself 1 post every week and never missed. I am now publishing new content 5 days a week and am seeing some great numbers.

    You write good stuff and I would be glad to have you do a guest blog for me at Seniorhousingforum.net if you are interested.

    Steve Moran
    Publisher, Senior Housing Forum, LLC

    ReplyDelete