I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to read one of my postings, post a comment, link to my blog, agree with me, disagree with me, sign up as a follower, click on an ad or any combination of the aforementioned, over the past year. It was at the beginning of March one year ago that I started taking writing for this blog seriously. Over the past 12 months, my writing has morphed from strictly looking at the political scene to examining world energy issues, government debt, real estate, macroeconomics and other issues that I hope people find interesting and relevant. My hope is that I can offer a slightly different viewpoint than what is found in the mainstream media and I generally try to select stories that are either ignored by the media or take a slightly different tack when approaching widely covered stories with background information that is not widely known.
I have learned a great deal over the past year, particularly in how to research various topics and where to find information to back up my opinions. I rarely use media reports as reference material since they are either lacking in detail or are outright erroneous. I always try to go to the original source of the material, most often government websites which are actually goldmines of data at no cost to the reader. Each of my postings takes at least 2 hours to write and research and sometimes I research 2 or 3 at a time and start putting my thoughts on "paper" on all three topics as I go. On top of the time taken to write and research each posting, I spend quite a bit of time each day perusing the newspapers of the world, linking to my blog where I feel that the information that I have to offer increases the knowledge level of the individuals who take the time to click on my link. It is that increase in knowledge that I hope to impart to those who take the time to even skim through one of my postings. It is also my hope that voters will be better informed of the issues when they vote in their local and national elections.
Just in case you were wondering (and you probably weren't), here is a graph showing how the monthly hits to my blog have grown over the past year:
When I started out, I wondered if anyone would take the time to read yet another blog in the rather over-crowded blogosphere and whether it was worth the effort to "work for free". I can say now that it definitely is.
My hit counter tells me what country and municipality my readers are living in but gives me no other information so your privacy is safe (with me, anyway - I can't speak for the "internet police"!). Having travelled to dozens of nations in the world, I always find it interesting to see where my readers live; to that end, here is a chart showing the top 10 reader nations for the past 10 months:
In closing, thank you all once again and I hope that you will continue to read my blog and let me know if you agree or if you think I'm way off base. I have certainly learned that one has to develop a thick skin but if I can't take the heat, apparently I should get out of the kitchen!