Sometime in the last day or so the WordPress stats page advised us that the Webner House blog hit one of those even-number milestones that human beings tend to find worthy of note.  We’ve now passed more than 400,000 individual views of this humble little blog in our remote corner of the internet.

That’s not a big number when you consider Webner House has been chugging along on a pretty much daily basis for more than 7 years, with precisely 6,442 rants, screeds, sad announcements, photos, Penny Chronicles, bad poems, clumsy attempts at humor, and other posts during that time period — 6,443, as soon as I hit “publish” on this self-congratulatory bit of tripe.

400,000 views over a period spanning almost the entire Obama presidency is a paltry number by internet standards.  The Drudge Report and MSN, for example, get 1 billion hits in a single month.  At our current pace, we would reach one billion hits in a little over 18,125 years.  It’s a worthy goal.

400000-miles-1When I saw we hit 400,000 views, I searched Google for photos representing 400,000.  There are a lot of pictures of odometers hitting 400,000, and when I thought about it I realized that our family blog is a lot like an old, dependable car.  Vehicles that make it to 400,000 miles aren’t the flashy, expensive cars that men buy when they’re experiencing mid-life crises.  No, vehicles that make it to 400,000 miles are the basic, everyday sources of family or work transportation that have suffered some battle scars during their years of service.  They are the battered pick-up truck, or the dented station wagon with the scratch on the side, or the Honda Accord that still has a faint but familiar sour smell after one of your kids spilled milk in the back seat years ago on a hot summer day and didn’t tell you until you got back into the car and the spoiled smell made you want to gag, but you really liked the reliability of the car so much that you scrubbed the back seat and aired it out and used air freshener and took it to the car wash for a shampoo and couldn’t quite completely eliminate the smell, but decided you were willing to live with it.

This blog is kind of like that car for me.

A Small Price To Pay

Today I got a notice from WordPress.com, the website that hosts the Webner House blog, provides the software that allows the easy creation of postings, and keeps an archive of our blog running back to the first posting in February 2009.  The notice said it was time to pay for another year of our family’s little contribution to the internet.

The price?  $20 for 10 GB of space.

What a bargain!

I don’t pretend that the Webner House blog means much in the grand scheme of things.  It’s not setting public opinion or providing essential insight into modern culture.  But it is fun.  I long ago told Richard, who set it up and presented it as a Christmas present in 2008, that the Webner House blog was the best present I’ve ever received.  It allows me to vent and satisfy my nagging writing Jones, it makes me feel like I haven’t totally lost touch with the modern world, and it provides a forum to give an occasional shout-out to people and things that make my life better.  And I like it when I hear from EJ, or am challenged by Winship, Doug, or Marcel.  If you can’t defend your opinions, maybe you shouldn’t have them in the first plact.

As I’ve mentioned before, blogging is great because it allows Joe Everyman to have his say.  It is the First Amendment and Speakers’ Corner writ large, where technology means that anyone with a computer can conceivably reach anyone else with a computer and voice their views.  Their position may be rejected or approved, be treated as enlightened or idiotic, but at least it is made public and, potentially, heard.  And that is a great thing.

All of that for only $20?  Rarely, if ever, will you find more value for the buck.

Five Years In The House

A few days ago the Webner House blog celebrated its fifth anniversary. Our first post appeared on February 1, 2009.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years. Five years ago President Obama had just been inaugurated and began his first term in office, and the Affordable Care Act was just a gleam in his eye. Five years ago Eric Mangini was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and there have been three head coaches since then. Five years ago no one had heard of a Tea Party, or George Zimmerman, or Ted Cruz. For reasons like these, five years seems like a long time.

During our five years we’ve published 4,718 posts that have generated 289,076 views and 4,082 comments — all of which were welcome. We’ve made some new friends and found some blogs we like to check out, too. We’ve written some bad poetry, taken some bad photographs, and followed the Chronicles of Penny.

It’s been a fun five years. What better way to commemorate it than to post David Bowie and Arcade Fire performing the song of the same name — a song which begins one of the great rock albums ever recorded: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars?

Happy Halloween!

IMG_1564Happy Halloween to all of our Webner House readers!  And what better way to start our scariest holiday than with Edgar Allan Poe and the classic first verse of The Raven:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Quoth the raven:  “Nevermore!”

We’re No. 722,981 (Or No. 1,765,985)!

URL Metrics somehow tracks all of the websites in the world and then ranks them by number of visitors, pages read, and trends, among other measurements.  The information helps companies decide where to place their internet advertising dollars.

IMG_4561So, where does the humble Webner House blog rank, according to URL Metrics?  In a pretty humble position, actually.  URL Metrics places our blog at number 722,981 in the United States and number 1,765,985 worldwide.  In short, we’re not exactly setting the world on fire, here.

Even more embarrassing, URL Metrics somehow calculated our “value per visitor” metric (whatever that is) at $0.06, and our overall “estimated worth” at $1,378.79.  Our value to our readers therefore is less than the value of the loose change you would find behind the average American couch cushion.  Whoo-hoo!

There is some good news, however.  Our 90-day trend lines apparently are positive.  We’ve moved up 9,396,814 slots on the worldwide rank and more than 10 million slots in the crucial “daily page views rank” metric.  I think that basically means we’re kicking the butts of millions of recently abandoned websites across the globe.

Thanks to all of our patient and loyal readers for sticking with our little six-cent venture!

“What Is Webner?”

Our Word Press blog website provides us with lots of information, including reports on what searches people conducted that ultimately found our little blog.  One of the more common searches apparently is “What is Webner?”

IMG_3077What is Webner, indeed?  I thought the answer would be obvious:  Webner is the name of that charming and witty family that originally hails from Ohio but now is spread across the land.  It turns out, however, that the answer is not quite so simple.  We know, already, that there is a somewhat hardscrabble Webner Park located next to an expressway in Revere, Massachusetts.  There’s also a Webner Place in Palm Coast, Florida, near St. Augustine.  It’s a short, palm tree-lined street on which several houses are for sale, in a subdivision where every street starts with “Web” — the other street names are Webster Lane, Webster Place, Webb Lane, Weber Lane, Webwood Place, and Webelo Place.  (Pretty clever!)

More intriguingly, there appears to be a computer product made by Cisco called a “Webner.”   Apparently it’s a kind of hardware system called a “driver.”  I’m not sure exactly what that is, but it definitely sounds good — like a piece of cutting-edge technology that is part of the world-changing communications revolution, a device that spurs people onward and moves things forward to an ultimate, satisfactory resolution.  I can just imagine an IT nerd taking a look at a complicated computer set-up, running a scan with a complicated, beeping diagnostic tool, removing his glasses, rubbing his eyes, saying “I think we can fix this problem by installing a new Webner” and then calling someone on his iPhone 8 prototype and saying:  “We need a new Webner, stat!”

Of course, if you type “what is Webner?” into your Google search engine, after the inevitable Wikipedia “Weber” entry, the first thing you see is “Webner House.”  If that’s how you’ve found us, welcome!