Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Fascination With Flags

I reckon most bloggers write primarily for intrinsic rewards: it feels good to write, and the satisfaction of writing is its own rich reward. Some bloggers garner tons of followers and maybe even make a living at blogging, but I'd venture to guess that most of us are satisfied with the simple pleasure of contributing content to the stream of human consciousness. 

That said, a little feedback or interaction never hurt anyone--in fact, it's like icing on the cake. 

So although I say I write for the joy of writing, I admit that I am thrilled to know that people all around the globe have stopped by for the unique blend of Philosophy and Special Effects we call PhilosFX. I love travel, geography, and culture--so naturally, I love the way flags represent distinct countries around the world. Flags are fascinating! 

Thanks to my Flag Counter application, we have the following statistics regarding PhilosFX visitors:
  • People from 187 of 242 countries have visited, including countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.  
  • We've collected 250 different flags, including those from the states, provinces, and territories of the United States and Canada.
  • There are 55 countries whose citizens have yet to visit PhilosFX, including some I'd have trouble locating on a globe, such as Kiribati, Niue, and Svalbard. Others, such as North Korea, lack sufficient Internet access.
  • Some 47 countries have a single visitor representing them. These are often small or remote countries with little Internet footprint. The most recent of these counties were Malawi, Nauru, and Mayotte.

The global dispersion of flag markers is illustrated in the screen capture figures shown below.

Mercator Projection map of the world showing 187 flags, one for each country with one or more visitors to PhilosFX

Close-up of flags in European and the Middle Eastern countries

Close-up of  Flags in several Central America and Caribbean countries.

Why does this matter? Where are we going? Here are some flag-related goals for PhilosFX
  • Of course I would like people from all 242 countries of the world to visit and enjoy PhilosFX. I want the list of "never" countries to shrink to zero from 55. This is a measure of the breadth of the site's reach.
  • My counter shows the 48 countries with the most visits. As a measure of the site's depth, I'd like to see the 48th ranked country garner even more unique visits. We are currently at 27 and rising!
  • My home country of the USA accounts for 63% of the 30,000 unique (non-repeat) visits. I want to sustain the trend that over a third of all unique visitors are from foreign countries around the world. This reflects the site's global appeal. 
  • All visitors from all countries are most welcome here! Visit, read, comment, and--if you like what you see--share. This most important measure reflects the quality and impact of the site's content.
BOTTOM LINE: PhilosFX has enjoyed about 134,000 visits total, about 30,000 of whom were unique visitors. That means that about 104,000 people have visited this site more than once. While I am fascinated with flags, I am particularly grateful for the global networked community of people who create and consume blog content.

Thanks for stopping by!