Greenland! Bah! My biggest failure. Does anyone even live there? This is a map of my blogging world. If the country is colored, someone in that country has read my blog. Or at least they’ve landed on my blog. How many actually read it? I need better analytics to answer that question.
Last week, I read a blog-post that showed a similar map. The blogger was further along than me. He had Greenland! But his map also showed a similar white-spot in the middle of Africa. I asked him if he was bothered by his lack of success there. His reply: “I’m not after world domination, just yet.”
Well I am.
Everyone needs a hobby. Something to motivate them, something to obsess over. Right now, for me, It’s my blogging map. So I wonder: why hasn’t anyone from Greenland viewed my blog? It’s a big country–I thought–massive. Almost the same size as the whole continent of Africa. Way bigger than the United States. This got me googling Greenland.
This is what I learned. Maps lie. As it turns out, the world map, the one I grew up with, the one WordPress uses to show where our blogs have reached, is spatially inaccurate. The continent of Africa is fourteen times bigger than Greenland even though they’re portrayed as the same size on the map. I have no idea how this happened. Maybe they initially took one of those maps, drawn by explorers in the 1700s, and never updated it.
Still, no page views? Google tells me that Greenland, over 800,000 square miles only has 56,000 people. It’s about as populous as the University of Central Florida. 0.0007% of the world’s population lives there. No wonder no one has visited my page.
And what’s that island just to the east of Greenland? No page-views from there either. It’s Svalbard. I’ve never even heard of Svalbard. 2,667 people live there. It’s a “Norwegian archipelago.” Right, I had to look that up, too. An archipelago is a fancy word for a group of islands. I’m not sure why Svalbard isn’t counted as part of Norway, but in the WordPress world it’s not. 2667 residents. Do they even have internet in Svalbard?
No one has ever visited my site from Mongolia either. Mongolia is a good sized country, a little smaller than Greenland. They have thirteen million citizens. Aren’t they interested in what I have to say? Do they care about mental health or running or parenting or blogging? These are some of my search tags. Does nobody in Mongolia care about the Hair Wiz–I get two or three hits every day from people looking up the Hair Wiz. Some even leave comments.
In truth, I’m shocked by who reads my blog. When I created it, I thought it would appeal to a dozen people, all in the eastern United States. People just like me. Middle-aged men. Parents of teens. India holds my third highest readership. India is an exotic country, a half a world away. I’m not sure how my blog would be relevant to residents of India. I’ve read some Indian blogs. None of them seem all that relevant to me.
I’m consistently amazed by how much of the world speaks English. Because I’m getting page hits, that means people are searching on my keywords (Hair Wiz). And because people from eighty percent of the countries in the world are making these searches, it seems that most of the world has at least two languages under their belt. Only a quarter of Americans speak a second language and the majority of those are from families that emigrated to the United States in the past two generations.*
I’d be curious to see the maps of bloggers from other countries. Are they as skewed towards United States readership as mine? Over half of my page-views come from within the U.S. I personally read some international blogs, and it seems like most of the readers, the ones who leave comments anyway, are from the U.S. as well. Is WordPress skewed to American readers because it’s an American platform, or is blogging more of an American pass-time. If you asked me to name the most narcissistic nation, I’d say it’s the United States. And what could be a more narcissistic hobby than blogging: Here, let me tell you all about myself.
I’ll continue my quest to conquer the world. I’ll even use clever tricks like putting Greenland and Svalbard in my keyword tags. And once I get those missing Euro-nations under my belt, I’ll set my sights on Africa. I have a lot of work to do there.
* I actually made up the statistic about when dual language speakers came to the United States. But of all the Americans I know who speak a second language, they only do so because they or their parents came from somewhere else.