24 December 2016

Waymarks - Five Years in Review



A milestone, or perhaps even a waymark, was quietly passing back in August. This blog had its fifth birthday! … I have to admit that at the time I didn’t even notice. But now the end of the year is here it seems like a milestone worth marking. Consequently I thought I’d take a look back over those five years and share some of the blog’s stats. The arcane mechanisms behind the scenes are somewhat amorphous and unfathomable – but the system does give me an overview of what’s popular and what’s not, and roughly where in the world the interest is coming from. The map at the bottom of the side bar on the right gives a snap shot of where people are reading the blog, but the behind the scenes “stat-o-meter” gives me a more general picture over the lifespan of the blog, hence I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Top Ten wheres and whats of the blog so far:


Top Ten Countries in which Waymarks is read:

  1. United States of America
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Russia
  4. France
  5. Ukraine
  6. Germany
  7. Canada
  8. The Philippines
  9. China
  10. Poland


Top Ten Most Popular Posts Since Waymarks began:

  1. Brunelleschi’s Dome – Florence, Italy

  1. M.I.A. – Second World War Japanese ‘Hold Outs’

  1. Dan Eldon – “Safari as a Way of Life”

  1. Leonardo Da Vinci – Anatomist

  1. The First British Embassy to China

  1. Obsidian Mirror – Mexico

  1. Rinchen Lhamo – ‘A Woman of Kham’

  1. China & The Great War – A Symposium

  1. Retracing Old Shanghai

  1. The Tibetan Gompas of Old Tachienlu

Forlorn and forgotten … Least Read Post:




Waymarks is mostly about travel, books, and history, with a lot of blurring, merging, and overlapping within these categories; but here are my Top Ten personal favourites under those three headings:


Travel:

  1. Walking the Tokaido – Japan

  1. Jungle Trekking in Guam

  1. Haw Par Villa – Singapore

  1. Danza de los Voladores – Mexico

  1. NW Coast by Rail – USA to Canada

  1. Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri – Japan

  1. A Visit to Tula – Mexico

  1. On Top of the World

  1. A Taste for Travel

  1. A Silk Covered Pen Pot from Beijing


Books:

  1. Ring of Fire – An Indonesian Odyssey

  1. Testament – John Romer

  1. The Heart of the World – Alan Ereira

  1. Razumov & the Ile Rousseau – Joseph Conrad

  1. A Paradise of Pages – The British Library

  1. The Dancing Girl of Izu

  1. Chasing Cervantes

  1. Betrayal in the High Himalaya

  1. Parallax – Patrick Leigh Fermor

  1. Reading George Orwell


History:

  1. The Battle of Maldon

  1. China – Between Revolutions

  1. The Transit of Venus

  1. In Search of the "Hamilla Mitchell"

  1. Unexpected Encounters with the Past

  1. No Time For More Notes – A Diary of the Great War

  1. Turner & The Alps

  1. Visiting the ‘Vasa’ - Sweden's 17th Century Flagship

  1. From Cairo to Nubia – Travelling through Time

  1. Rebuilding the Bamiyan Buddhas



I’ve also written quite a few posts relating to my academic research, which can all be found under the research tab at the top of the blog. A couple of posts were inspired by topics which I studied as part of my MA in ‘World History’:






This year marked my 25th anniversary working at the British Museum, and a few of the posts I’ve written over the last five years have focussed on aspects of my day-job:





Similarly some exhibitions I’ve visited have inspired further readings and thoughts which have informed the reviews I’ve written on Waymarks









The Wizard of Oz-like machinery behind the blog also gives me a fleeting glimpse of what search terms have directed people to Waymarks. Quite often these are fairly straightforward, such as “Leonardo da Vinci”, “Horseshoe Crabs”, or “When did WW2 end?”, but sometimes they can be more intriguing and obscure – curiously one of the best (and oddly most frequently recurring) is “Leonardo’s Venusian Man.”

If there are any blog posts which you particularly enjoyed, or if there’s anything you’d like me to write more about, please drop me a line – I’d really appreciate your comments and thoughts.

I’ll be writing more in the New Year, with posts yet to come on topics such as: the Prehistoric Megaliths of Malta; Japanese novelist, Natsume Soseki; Ightham Mote in Kent; Old Saigon & Bicycling through the Mekong Delta; the Red Fort at Tamsui, Taiwan; In Search of Mughal India; the Great Buddha of Lantau; Visiting Teotihuacan, Mexico; and more …

In the meantime, wishing you happy holidays and very best wishes for a wonderful 2017!





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