Celebrating 100

I am taking a moment here to say that this is my 100th blog post! You may find it hard to believe that many stories have been written about things around Sevierville, but WordPress analytics keep track of the statistics, and here it is—the 100th story in a year!

A blog is basically a website. I started this blog as a creative outlet almost a year ago. I wanted to give it a try for at least  a year to see what could happen. Surprisingly, it has been a lively time!

Some people have wondered why I created this blog Out and About in Sevierville. One reason is that I follow two bloggers in nearby Knoxville who do wonderful things for the city. I thought that our town deserved that too. First, Alan Sims writes Inside of Knoxville. He was originally the ‘Knoxville Urban Guy,’ then changed the name of his blog to give it more focus. After seeing him on the streets of Knoxvegas, I was able to attend two of his workshops and meet for coffee to do some trouble shooting later on. He has been a great mentor.

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This picture was taken with Alan Sims, (The Knoxville Urban Guy) blogger for Inside of Knoxville. His workshop was last spring. Here is a link to his blog on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/InsideofKnoxville/

I also follow Cynthia Moxley and her blog,  the Blue Streak. To me, it is the ‘gold standard’ for a social blog. I look forward to every post that she makes, for it will be sure to entertain. She attends nice events around Knoxville and has a delightful writing style. I was thrilled to meet her last month and we were even included in a picture for her post on an event. What a thrill!

Here is a link to that story.

http://bluestreak.moxleycarmichael.com/2017/04/05/all-that-jazz-and-all-that-fun/#comment-797016

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This post will be number 100. Although my blog is small, and we live in a small town, the overall views are cumulative and add up over a year. I categorize and ‘tag’ every story so it can be found on this website, and Google, forever. If you like a story, share it with friends because it gathers a lot of momentum and can help that group or business. The best thing you can do is ‘share’ a story on Facebook.

Below is a screenshot containing the top stories of the year, ranked by number of views, located on the right.

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Bebops Frozen yogurt is in first place because several people ‘shared’ the post on Facebook.  It went viral. Second place was Harriet Berrier’s retirement festivities, part 1. Her story was so grand that I had to break it into two parts. Loralei’s boutique is in third place and remains quite popular. People continue to look at that blog post every week.

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I didn’t realize so many countries looked at the blog until I saw the graphic above a few nights ago. Internationals may find it from my Instagram page. I have a friend from Carson Newman University who lives in Taiwan, thus explaining the second place in country views. (Hi, Sandra!)

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Google Analytics allows bloggers to watch views in ‘real time’ after a story has been published.  The screenshot above shows three people viewing the story live at that time. The map on the right shows their location. It is interesting!

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Oddly enough, my blog had activity from Russian hackers after the presidential election. The only reason that I knew this was because the Knoxville Urban Guy mentioned it on his blog and described how to check other WordPress blogs for the same. The screenshot above shows some crazy messages that they left for me. I secured the hacker messages and suffered no problems, but the situation made me shake my head!

With this blog, I want to support charities, non-profits, small businesses, events, and happenings in our town. I narrowed the focus down to Sevierville because the whole county is too big for a lone blogger to handle. Sevierville has turned out to be more than enough!

I am a quiet person so the blog has forced me to be more outgoing in order to cover a story. I have benefitted greatly from the project due to the people I have met and the activities that I have witnessed. Just covering the KaTom cooking classes and local restaurants has made me see myself a bit of a food writer. As a result, I have signed up to attend the Southern Food Writing Conference next month in Knoxville…and Blackberry Farm. A dream come true to go there!

For a shy person, I have met a lot of people while out and about in Sevierville. 

Volunteers, mayors, a sheriff and his workers, a state senator, business people, artists, city ‘movers and shakers,’ Sevierville Commons people, a moonshiner, chefs, friends, teachers, musicians, people in the media, a former student who works in television in Los Angeles, fans of Frank Allen’s Market, the State Farm guy, SCHS and SPS legends, and those fighting to make a better world.

Sevierville, it has been my pleasure! 

I’ll leave you with a collage of  pictures from the first year of Out and About in Sevierville. 

We have a great little town!

 

See you soon…out and about in Sevierville!