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Today, Lebanon Spring blog is one year old, so I will allow for this post to be slightly personal; it’s about me and my blog.

The Inception:

Having closely followed the historical events of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, I felt I needed to put my thoughts down somewhere. A blog was the answer, and Lebanon Spring was the name, which was the first thing sprung to my mind while being surrounded all over by ‘Arab’ and ‘Spring’. As if Lebanon, with all its issues, is not an enough reason to blog…

Ironically, and to my loss, I wasn’t well aware of the Lebanese blogosphere at the time, although I had already heavily started using Twitter in December 2010 during the Tunisian uprising. So I later discovered that some other (and good) blogs had ‘Lebanon’ or ‘Spring’ in a way or another in their names. Luckily, none of them had both at the same time!

The sense of the name-novelty quickly worn away, but I realised that any similarity with my blog’s name could be similar to the cases of malik el batata, malik el soujok, malik el tayouk or malik el falafel (malik is king in Arabic). So I go used to the idea, although I apologize if my blog’s name resembled yours – no pun was intended.

From The First Post to the 243th:

Straight away, on the following morning, I woke to the world buzzing with Bin Laden death. And it indeed was the subject of my first post. As soon as I got the hang of it, I wondered how long will it take me to run out of steam.

Here I am, after one year writing my blog-first-birthday post, and realising that I have 243 posts on the blog, more than 7,500 followers on twitter, and 178 blog subscribers whom I thank one by one (subscribers are readers who subscribed to my Facebook page, RSS feed, WordPress follow or email delivery). I thank as well everyone who read, shared or commented on any blog post.

I blogged when I had to something to say or research, rather than just recyle the daily news which readers can find on main news or social websites. So I hope my content was ‘authentic’ as much as possible.

Ok, a bit of marketing now:

In the first year, Lebanon Spring has been published/ cited/ quoted/ featured in The Huffington Post, The Daily Star, Global Voices Online, Wikipedia, Albawaba.com, Wikileaks Central, Communicate Levant Magazine, LBC Blogs, Beirut.com, Tayyar forum and many other fellow blogs and forums.

I could mention also that the success of some posts exceeded my expectations, and (of course) the rest of the posts!

You could check here a Lebanese politician recommending one of my posts, or a famous Arab Spring commentator and a Foreign Minister tweeting another one. The blog was praised by some journalists, loved by other writers (comment section) or just liked by general readers.

I can’t mention every post here, but I summarised my ‘recommended’ posts on a monthly basis since I started; this is for my reference as well. You can check the 2011 or 2012 posts.

Blog Statistics and Ranking:

For this special occasion, and under the banner of transparency, I decided to share my stats with you, my readers. I am not sure if any other Lebanese blog has done it before, but I think it’s the right thing to do.

Obviously, I am not claiming any ‘top spot’ or title as a result, and I know these stats are very modest relative to the wider lovely Lebanese blogosphere scene. Although I could be factual at the same time and mention that my blog was provisionally ranked a Top 16 Most Visited Lebanese Blog, knowing that only 3 or 4 political blogs existed in the top 15 spots.

Lebanon Spring blog posted 243 posts in the first year of its existence, which attracted 51,000 views from all over the world. This was a reasonable 210 views/post. I am just mentioning to say I never imagined that individuals from 136 countries would read my diary when I first started it. Blogging is really amazing!

Who is my Audience:

Having a Lebanese blog in English resulted, naturally, in attracting visitors from English speaking countries and Lebanon, rather than Arab countries in particular. Top countries generating traffic into my blog were, in order, the United States, Lebanon and the United Kingdom. These three countries on their own amounted for 48% of the total views. Around 84% of my total views came almost equally from Western Europe, North America and Middle East regions.

The highlights of my stats? Surprise, surprise, I have no visitors from Iran or China, and I have one visitor-view from the Bahamas. I know they are less likely to visit again, but I so much wish to meet this Bahamas person. I like the picture that someone was reading my post while chilling on the beach…hmmm.

It’s worth noting that the countries stats breakdown covered the traffic of last two months only, when WordPress at last switched this feature on. Thanks to them.

Statistics Breakdown and Top Lists:

So back to my blog statistics; below is a breakdown of them.

I noticed that a most-tweeted post is not necessarily a top-viewed one. This is because views can come from search engines, other sites and blogs linking it, different intensity of sharing on other social media than twitter. So I decided to show you both lists!

Most Tweeted Posts:

Most Viewed Posts:

By the way, most viewed posts are not necessarily my ‘finest’ posts, hence my previous recommendation for other monthly posts during 2011 and 2012.

Geographical Distribution of Web Traffic – by Region:

Region                Visits             Percentage
West Europe       4,198                28.7%
North America     4,116                28.1%
Middle East         3,981                27.2%
Far East              791                   5.4%
East Europe        570                    3.9%
Oceania              493                    3.4%
South America     234                    1.6%
Russia/ex-Soviet  147                    1.0%
Africa                   92                    0.6%

Geographical Distribution of Web Traffic – by Country:

Country               Visits          Percentage
United States       3,269               22.4%
Lebanon              2,143               14.7%
United Kingdom    1,612                11.0%
Canada                 847                  5.8%
France                  623                  4.3%
Australia               451                   3.1%
Germany               446                   3.1%
UAE                      359                   2.5%
Saudi Arabia          255                    1.7%
Netherlands           254                    1.7%

Geographical distribution map of web traffic origins:

Thanks for reading, following and subscribing, which help me to keep going. I hope I can sustain it, improve my blogging quality and your experience, and happy blogging to all.