2015: A Year in Review

2015inreviewThis is a combined review, reflecting and acknowledging that the last few months of 2015 have seen very limited activity here on XBOP.

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The reality has been such that the combination of work, church and other activities necessitated time away from the computer screen, and thus time for blogging became a lower priority. Some drafted articles were more time-sensitive in that allowing them to remain in draft status for 2-3 months also decreased their value and worth.

2015 XBOP Reviewed

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In the above graph, I cannot show January, since the twelve-month span for the actual graphic includes January 2016 instead of January 2015… In this month-to-month view, the horizontal line that the months of February, March and June all cross equates to 1,000 views. The table below includes statistics captured for January 2015 as per that Monthly Review.

2015 Months
Month Views Visitors
January 1177 896
February 1231 717
March 1001 713
April 716 527
May 745 484
June 1271 725
July 650 455
August 527 399
September 540 395
October 518 400
November 409 309
December 361 281

The following structure/model follows the 2014 Annual Review which was modelled on the WordPress JetPack Annual Report – 2014. The latest equivalent – WordPress JetPack Annual Report – 2015 – is available here.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. The busiest day of the year was February 22nd with 206 views. The most popular post that day was My 10 Favourite Worship Songs of the 1970s & 1980s. In comparison, for 2014, a New York City subway train held 1,200 people and XBOP was viewed about 6,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. The busiest day of 2014 was October 18th with 193 views. The most popular post that day was ProPresenter + OS X Yosemite = ?. Added to this analytical summation, I can also include a key metric in that 2014 saw me publish 97 articles versus 104 for 2015. As part of including this metric, it is important to note that the 104 articles (similar quantity of content produced) was in spite of the fact that August, October – December became periods of inactivity. Had I maintained the momentum, I would have well and truly hit the milestone of 10,000 views.

Back in 2014, seven out of my Top 10 articles were new content added that year. In contrast, the Top 10 list for 2015 saw three articles from the year added to the list. It is difficult to compare 2013 to the other more recent years because back then, articles did not yet make full use of the Read More tag/feature, and thus views to the home page/archives may have counted towards articles fully published there. The conclusion/take-away that the WordPress review mentions is that my writing has staying power! Perhaps… Perhaps also, the lack (is that true?) of new content in 2015 failed to appeal sufficiently to make the Top 10 list.

The #1 article for 2015 was Apple Watch Product Review from May 2015. In 2014, four of the articles shared the topic of ProPresenter/church presentation software. The next most popular category/topic for 2014 was then Christian worship songs. The remaining articles in the Top 10 list to round out the topics covered included Chadstone, my car lease, and the perennial Home Page/archive. For 2015, the most popular category/topic remains ProPresenter/church presentation software (4 articles, one of which was a 2015 addition) followed by Christians worship songs, with three articles. It should be noted that for 2015, there was a slight reshuffle and the third article is a new addition to the list; previously not in the 2014 list. Was mentioned at the start of this paragraph, Apple Watch makes it’s impact felt on the list, and the other final new entry represents the Family section of my website.

The expected social media channels of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to bring in visitors to XBOP, as I would expect given the way  all three channels are integrated whenever new posts are published at XBOP. The experimental June twitter campaign created the blip in the 2015 statistics above; it stands out even more given the months following saw the opposite inactivity play out.

For 2015, Australia became the #1 destination for website traffic, slightly outdoing the 2014 frontrunner – the US. For 2015, Malaysia, the UK and Canada all contributed substantially as the other top 5 countries where I received visitors from.

The final comments and analysis for 2015 try to make sense of the last five-six months where a prolonged period of inactivity ensued. Every month, even though no new content was generated, XBOP continued to receive visits in the order of 400-500 per month, and a steady flow of 400+ visitors. Combined with the insights from the sources of website referrals, and the out-bound clicks, it would appear that XBOP has found a niche amongst christian worship/presentation software.

2015 Life Outside XBOP

This section provides a brief account of the events that took place outside of XBOP, some of which have content pending for inclusion here.. It provides an insight into just how busy the year has been and a partial explanation for my absence in the later half of the year. A final wedding in September is owed a case study write-up, two short courses spanning Alpha mid-year and then the Mental Health First Aid over Septemeber – November. A weekend trip to Sydney with family spawned into the recent eight-day Christmas holiday cruise to New Caledonia (Mare, Isle of Pines, Noumea). The September – October period also saw the successful Operation Christmas Child campaign run its course. That in itself also led to the February 2016 Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip. Perhaps there has been a pattern? Events in 2015 have overflowed to trips in this first part of 2016. Life group and church have been constants – highlights include Worship Night and the Cell Retreat in November. Further, via the Going Public short course which I did not attend, I have participated in the ‘aftermath’ street outreach events, and this has been a real testimony to God’s glory even with the context of the last year of political crisis ensuing at Clayton Church. Christians 20/30 events featured throughout the year, with my outgoing contribution a combination of the charity event organisation in collaboration with my Operation Christmas Child ministry at Clayton Church.

In terms of work, Telstra project challenges have evolved. I was highly instrumental in getting two Industry Solutions projects through the key Business Case funding milestones. This enabled me to move off one to focus 100% on the other. The work itself has been a constant demand on my time, but fortunately balanced by a team of dedicated colleagues who make it a world of difference in terms of work/job satisfaction. Work in terms of Terra Firma has had to take a secondary priority to the Telstra/client focus, and even though I have worked an extra month+ this year, given everything mentioned above, I would like to think that it all balances out.

In summary, 2015 has been crazy, busy, productive but it has also shown that God remains in control, above it all and His glory prevails. God has become ever more so integrated and real in my life, and this journey which I have followed in His footsteps, and knowing He has been carrying me at various times this year, will continue to play itself out in 2016. At a recent Christmas/end-of-year celebration, a conversation on how the future looks for me led the observation to be made of me by the person I was conversing with: that the way I talk about the future and even the past/present, it is clear that God has developed in me a deep purifying and grounded faith – that He is in complete control of my destiny and that my life is a testimony to walking by faith, trusting His Word. To God be the Glory, great things He has done throughout 2015. May 2016 be an even greater expression of His love, faithfulness, joy, hope and peace.