Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary ANZ LitLovers!

Two years ago on July 19th 2008, I started this blog.        

Since then I’ve written  420 posts or so and there are over 2000 comments from friends old and new.   The blog has had 66,000 hits or thereabouts, with (as you’d expect) most of my viewers over the last six months coming from Australia (6,607) followed by 5,852 US viewers (which I didn’t expect).  After that my visitors mostly come from the United Kingdom (1,471), Canada (1,177), India (457) and New Zealand (312).  There are apparently also occasional viewers from places like New Guinea, Botswana, Rwanda and Mongolia but I think some of them might have stumbled onto the blog by mistake.   But then again, these visitors could be OzLit-starved expats or adventurous souls seeking something different to whatever books can be accessed in New Guinea, Botswana, Rwanda and Mongolia, so who knows?  

 My preoccupations (as shown by the number of posts written in different post-categories) were:    

  • Australian literature 183
  • Awards and prizes (mainly Australian and especially the Miles Franklin) 64
  • Book news 52
  • British literature 42 American 23 Irish 23 Canadian 10 and New Zealand only 5 (an embarrassing admission, but I’m aiming to redress this).
  • Classics 45 (distorted by my 20 posts about Ulysses)
  • Modernism 20 and Postmodernism 18
  • Non fiction 36 (Biography/Autobiography/Memoir 28)
  • Opinion 16
  • Reviews 251 (24 about books from publishers, 107 from libraries and the rest are mine). Audio book reviews 25.
  • This Reading Life 60
  • Titles beginning with ‘S’ 40 and Authors beginning with ‘M’ 37 or ‘I&J’ 37 (distorted by 20 posts about James Joyce)
  • Ulysses 20

It’s been quite interesting for me to browse around the stats for various posts to see what was most popular, but I’ll spare you the navel-gazing! Suffice to say, I thank all my readers for the steadily growing profile of this blog and especially those who comment: I would have given up long ago if not for you!  It is your willingness to take the time to join in the conversation that reinforces my hope that this blog will become a useful and entertaining resource for lovers of Australian and New Zealand literature and also another place for us to find each other. Thank you!


Responses

  1. Congratulations! Here’s hoping the blog will be around for years to come!

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  2. Happy Second Anniversary!

    I hope the next year is even better! Thanks for a great blog!

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  3. […] Happy Anniversary ANZ LitLovers! Celebrate by clicking that link, or this one to the announcement of the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award Shortlist. […]

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  4. well done on two years ,having discovered your blog this year I find it a great insight into aus and nz lit ,heres to many more years ,all the best stu

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  5. Happy Anniversary Lisa! Congratulations on an excellent (and very prolific!) blog. Looking forward to your future reviews & thoughts. All the best. John@LD

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  6. Congrats, Lisa. Keep spreading the oz-lit word! I don’t know what I would do about keeping in touch with Australian literature if it wasn’t for the internet in general and your site in particular.

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  7. Congratulations! And thank you for educating me on literature from your part of the world!

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  8. Congratulations Lisa. A great milestone. I’m always impressed at how well researched and thoughtful your posts are. Thanks for all your hard work.

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  9. Happy Anniversary and congratulations. I don’t know where you find the time to post as often and as well as you do but I hope you keep it up.
    Cheers.

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  10. Well done Lisa. It’s been a treat geting to know you (better) through this blog. And thanks for your generosity in helping and encouraging me when I started blogging a little over a year ago. It’s been fun sharing blogging and books.

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  11. Congratulations Lisa. Your hard work and efforts to promote antipodean literature, are impressive. Linking people and maintaining the dialogue is a very good thing.

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  12. Congratulations, yes: long-lived, prolific (amazingly so), and capable of giving me the kick I needed to start a blog of my own. And writing about various other things, Ulysses and so forth: so.

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  13. Thank you so much everybody – I do love the way blogging has linked us all together in our love of books:)
    Lisa

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  14. A very happy blog anniversary to you Lisa!!!!

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    • Thank you for your good wishes – I have to confess that this week, of all weeks when I should be paying attention to my blog, I am distracted first by the series final of MasterChef and then by Lateline and the election!

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  15. My congratulations as well — and I do like that you and I are trying to do our little bit to illustrate why some of the literature from the Old Dominions deserves attention.

    And I love that while I am distracted from my blog by the Open Championship, you are sneaking away to the series final of the MasterChef.

    I’ll be scouting out appropriate fish and chip places tomorrow.

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  16. Spot on, Kevin, and what we need next is to widen the circle with a blogger from India, and one from South Africa, and one from Sri Lanka, and ……

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  17. Your blog is very interesting and always worth visiting. Many of your articles are very serious and a unique resource. Your hit rate is similar to mine. Do you get lots of review copies sent to you nowadays?

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  18. Thanks, Tom – I try to mix up the serious efforts (usually classics) with more recent releases because that mirrors my reading. Since late last year I’ve had a few review copies sent to me, (less than 30 as I write this) but only a few have been unsolicited – they have mostly been at my request. I buy an awful lot of books myself, but every now and again there’s something on an award shortlist that I haven’t got or can’t find locally and so I email the publisher and ask them if they’d like that title reviewed on the blog.
    So far, they’ve always responded generously. I only do this with books I like the sound of, so I haven’t yet had the awkwardness of writing a critical review in this situation. (Not that I’ll hesitate if it turns out that I don’t like the book – I’ve built what reputation I have on frank and fearless reviews!)
    I’m not keen to have publishers send me books unsolicited; I’ve seen other bloggers stressing about the pressure to read them when they’d really rather be reading something else, and then feeling guilty about not keeping up with posting etc. I am determined not to let that happen to me. I do this for *fun*!
    What about you?

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  19. Yes, I get a lot of review copies. I like to be mailed first and then say yes or no. I don’t read all the review copies I get, and if I don’t like a book I receive I just don’t review it. I reserve my “bad” reviews for books I’ve paid good money for.

    Publishers are used to sending copies out for review and know that only a few will result in a review so I don’t feel bad about receiving books and never reviewing them.

    I don’t review books for the sake of it – if a review copy is uninspiring, I give up on it and mail the publisher with a few comments. Its important for my own integrity that my blog remains a blog of my own enthusiasms. I can always tell if I’ve veering from this principle because writing become a chore rather than a pleasure – at this stage I abandon such a review.

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    • What do you do with the rejects, Tom?

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  20. And a very happy anniversary I hope it is too! I don’t know how you find the time to read AND write about all these books!

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    • Thank you, Janine, I’m just doing what I’ve always done, just doing it in public! (But you know, I’ve always admired the way you find the time, when you’re doing major research work!) Lisa

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  21. Writing occasionally about music for an online magazine, I never know what to do with the free samples I don’t review. Usually I say thank you in my head to the person who sent it and put it away with the rest.

    Here, this dude’s PR company sent me an EP earlier this year and I didn’t get to write a review, so let me salve my conscience with a link to his myspace: http://www.myspace.com/blopezmusic A Tucson singer, with (as his press kit points out) a smell of the Jeff Buckleys in his vocal swoon and flutter. The Killing Moon cover earwormed me for days.

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    • I think it must be much harder to write music reviews than book reviews!

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  22. Congratulations!

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    • Thanks, Iris! Good to hear from you:)

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  23. I’m not sure which one is harder. My guess is that it depends on the person doing the reviewing.

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