|First Blog Post - 10/8/12|
We hit a milestone yesterday as we surpassed 20,000 page views for the blog. I wanted to devote a post to thanking all of you for not only visiting the blog but giving me all the words of encouragement. It has been an amazing journey from early October to today. The picture above was the very first post after the announcement of the blog which attracted a grand total of seven page views the first day. I had just returned from a trip to Africa and had taken many pictures similar to the one above. After struggling for several days with how to set up a blog, upload pictures, etc. I was ready to go and this picture was the best I could do with the caption, "After A Lazy Summer The Lions Are Ready For Hockey."
I have learned a lot in the last five months but the biggest lesson for me is the realization that we are all one big family in the CHL. Because the CHL is an under covered stepchild to the other double AA league, the ECHL, we all have a certain "we want respect" in common. Notice I didn't say one big "happy" family as with any big family there are those you like better than others and everyone doesn't always get along, but we are all part of the CHL family. Whether you are a player, wife or girlfriend of a player, family of a player, fan, front office employee, or media we are all in this together. We love our teams and our players. One of the best things about the blog for me personally has been getting to know players, fans, bloggers, and family from other teams around the league. This just reinforces for me how we are all united and we should support one another.
One of the biggest surprises for me has been the geographical dispersion of those that follow the Allen Americans through this blog. I get management information including country of origin of those coming to the blog and as you might imagine the majority of the visitors come from the US which represents 80% of our viewers. Canada is another 12% of total page views but we have regular viewers from many countries. Here are the top ten countries outside the United States in total number of page views:
3. United Kingdom
10. Czech Republic
I've also learned a lot in the last five months about what is of most interest to you, the blog readers. Without a doubt the most popular posts are those that are personal interest stories whether it is a player or in one instance the wife of a player. They take the most time to complete (16 hours) but are also the most enjoyable to do. The top posts of all time are:
1. Adam Pineault - Player Profile
2. Wendy McMillin - Hockey Wife - Hockey Star
3. Soldiers Of Little Fortune - Life in the CHL
4. Jamie Schaafsma - Player Profile
5. Darryl Bootland - Player Profile
6. Keeping Up With Kerbashain - Player Profile
7. Percussion Concussion - The Drummers Story
It would be impossible to do this blog without the help from lots of people. I first and foremost want to thank Tommy Daniels who has been a mentor, adviser, counselor and coach as this rookie (me) with a big interest in the Americans but little technology and writing skill has had to learn by doing and making plenty of mistakes. If it wasn't for Tommy this blog would not exist. I can always turn to Tommy for help whether it is an idea for a story, information, helping line up players for interviews, and yes to tell me when it might be better to not say something publicly. Tommy has also graciously helped me get the word out about the blog through Twitter and with many interviews during his live game radio broadcasts on KLAK 97.5.
I also want to thank Erik Adams and Bill McDonald for educating me about all aspects of hockey from player personnel, contracts, life on the road, strategy, and scores of other questions I am constantly asking them. Their willingness to share their expertise is both noticed and appreciated.
I want to thank Chip Crail who you can find at chlphotos.com and Kimberly Sauer who you can find at SceneByKimberly.com for graciously letting me use their photos in my blog. The have both gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me out. You will always see attribution to them on their pictures and the are always excellent pictures. There are many other pictures I get from social media, email, etc. which are the best available but poor quality. These are not from Chip or Kimberly.
I want to end this post how I started it by once again thanking all of you that take the time to read the blog. It takes a lot more time than I ever imagined but I get great satisfaction by seeing that more more hockey fans think it is worthwhile to continue to come to the blog. I want to thank those of you that send me comments which range from words of encouragement, to issues you would like me to look into, to differences of opinion, to ideas for future stories. Mary Betz, skmanning, Doug H, Bruce Hadley, Naulty, Erik Govea, Foo & Turtle & Kenneth Flint I give special thanks to you for taking the time to share feedback with me. Let's hope we can get the next 20,000 page views before the season is over.
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