one-year anniversary

Today is my anniversary!  Yeah, the blog and I have been together now for exactly one year (hence the paper).  We’ve had our ups and downs and, truth be told, we’re not necessarily in this for better or for worse and in sickness and in health.  Pretty much, first whiff of trouble I get… I’m out of here.  Why do you think we haven’t had any little baby blogs yet?

But I don’t anticipate leaving aliens and strangers anytime soon.  I enjoy it too much.

On November 5th of last year, I posted my first blog entry.  Prior to that day I was writing reports each month and sending them out to everyone who’d subscribed to our mission email list.  Every month I was writing five or six pages of stuff — and having to delete most of it to reach a suitable length for an email.  I was challenged by Ross Kellis to start a blog instead.  I thought and prayed about it.  And what tipped me over the edge was that I wanted to write some kind of Bible studies or devotional thoughts that would allow and encourage discussion; and I didn’t have an outlet for such.  The blog was born.

Asterisks overboard was my first blog post (not necessarily my finest work, but my first post all the same), and was written in the same format as my email reports.  The first post written more in the style of a blog followed the next day — paul’s big mistakes.  And now, here we are at the end of year one.  My regular readers will know I’m not one to write about blog rankings and numbers and the like — I actually never have before today.*  [And, in speaking with a few of you, I’ve found that some would believe my blog is considerably more “successful” and far reaching than it actually is.]  Today, on my anniversary, I thought I’d post a few stats and a list of the “Top 10 (or 12, depending on how you count it) Posts on Aliens and Strangers.”


aliens and strangers


Total Visits = 55,000
Current Average per Day = 177
Average per Month = 4,583
Alexa Traffic Rank = 1,919,581
Technorati Rank = 34,751
Technorati Authority = 122

  1. Most Visited Post
  2. Favorite Corruption of Scripture
  3. Favorite Satire Piece
  4. Favorite (still) Unfinished, Yet Published (anyway), Essay
  5. Favorite Advice for Christians Today and part two
  6. Missionary Full Disclosure
  7. How (not) to Eat With Your Hands — a Photo Tour
  8. Best Top 10 List or maybe it’s this one?
  9. A Post About Dead Animals
  10. How to Study the Bible

Alright, enough of my shameless plugging.  Feel free to do your own in the comments today; I figure it’s only fair.  Which of your blog posts would you most like the rest of us to read?  Leave a link or two.


* However, I must admit I had an unhealthy relationship with site stats and page views for the first 4 or 5 months of this blog; I was looking at that stuff almost every day.  The desire to be admired often leads to prostitution and a betrayal of one’s ideals.  And site statistics quickly turn into popularity pornography.  I’ve got a much healthier grasp on all of this these days.




Filed under blogging, top ten lists

28 responses to “one-year anniversary

  1. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary of thought-provoking, mind-numbing (in a good way), information-laden, highly-entertaining (sometimes), church-convicting, personal-introspecting, blog posts. Reckon what I am trying to say is keep up the good work and great posts. Which ones of mine would I like to prostitute for people to read? All of them. lol

  2. Sean

    Well done on your first year, Brett! I have only been with you a few months but very much enjoy the ride. I am thankful to have your perspective on faith, practice and TZ. Here’s to another!

  3. Thanks for your blog and for your friendship.

    • whoa, whoa… friendship?!

      bernard, i’m just not sure if i’m ready for this. it’s all moving so fast. i mean i’m coming off a pretty serious friendship right now, and i’m not sure if i’m ready for the next one. but i promise it’s not you. it’s me. or it’s neither of us. yeah, it’s timing — it’s just a timing thing. but i don’t want out altogether; let’s just slow it down and see where we end up. i don’t want to force it or say things one of us might regret later. what do you say?

  4. Congrats! Keep up the good work.

  5. Kim

    Congrats! That is really cool. It’s shameful that after reading your first paragraph all I could think about was if Brett and his blog had a baby, what would they name it? lol.

    I’ve truly appreciated the chance to get to know a place and people that I may never actually see. I’m a missionary living vicariously thru all of my blogging friends that are actually out there doing it 🙂

    Speaking of… I am a big fan of sending out care packages (comes from being in the military) do ya’ll accept stuff like that? And if so, is there anything in particular you or the people you serve need? And if all of that is too presumptuous, please disregard.

    • yeah, that’s a great question. what would be the name of a little baby blog of mine?

      for now i’m going with “anklebiters and offspring.”

    • oh, and thanks for the kind words and (in advance) the care package. we’ll hold you to that.

      i think maybe one of my posts in the next week will be a little “what you can do for us” piece. some small things to put in care packages and a bunch of prayer requests. and you are the inspiration of said post. i may have a very special christmas.

      • Kim

        Awesome! I really can’t wait to read it!

        And I like the name… the only lame name I could think of was Tots and Trots. Think yours is better 🙂

  6. Well, happy anniversary sir! I will say that I enjoy checking each morning with my coffee and reading what you have to say. You certainly do a good job organizing this blog and you write very well. Keep up the good work! (No really, I mean it. That little sabbatical you took was unacceptable). 😉

    • thanks, janie. i’m always excited when talented writers give me compliments. and i can think of nothing i’d rather people do while reading my work than drink a nice cup of coffee.

      next sabbatical: february. but maybe you could guest post for me…?

      • Okay…bracing myself for February. How does one guest post? I’m not sure your readers would appreciate it…and my topics are somewhat limited…but I’m game.

        • simple — as long as you don’t mind deadlines. once i know when i’m going to be gone — for how many days / weeks — i’ll ask you to send me an essay on some certain subject. or maybe i’ll get you to suggest two or three ideas and let me pick. you’ll get your finished post to me in an email, and i’ll paste it into wordpress and schedule it to be published on one of the days i’m gone.

          i think i may try to do some kind of theme in choosing guest authors — i’d actually not thought about it until today when you mentioned sabbaticals. yeah, so maybe my author theme will be “friends from camp wiregrass,” “people who’ve lived in china,” or “war eagle!” interesting, though, because now i have to choose a theme in which you’ll fit. a creative challenge of sorts… fun.

          • I like deadlines. And I like being given topics so that I have stretch my brain in different directions. So you give me the assignment and I’ll do my best. How’s that?

  7. randy morgan

    count me among the horde of faithful followers, brett. i appreciate your cynicism, value your perspective, and enjoy our occasional conversations. i, too, have become convinced that the size of the audience does not speak to their acuity or our brilliance (jesus was apparently not concened with the size of his audience – john 6:66). so thank you for confessing your early struggle with stats (“popularity pornography”?) and for persisting through the questions. i, along with the rest of the horde, wish you a happy anniversary and eagerly look forward to the coming year.

    • first, randy, i need to correct a small error in your spelling. because these faithful followers of mine are in chains and locked away in my basement, i believe that 1) makes them a HOARD, not a horde and 2) means that you obviously are not (yet) one of them.

      secondly, thanks for being one of my brilliant readers — and for not using capital letters on your blog.

  8. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I only have about 50 weeks to go until mine! Your family is beautiful!

  9. JMF

    I always enjoy your writings, bro. You are one of about three blogs I read on a daily basis — and Jay is taking a sabbatical. So that makes you (by far) the prolific and voluminous writer in ChurchofChristdom (everyone appreciates being labeled).

    Like Jane (who has a really cool last name), I enjoy your writing style and skill. I mentioned to you that one of my new year’s resolutions was to improve my writing, and reading your writing certainly helps.

    My fav post of yours (thus far) had to do with how you’ve been unsuccessful at explaining the concept of sin to your new countrymen. I still find that fascinating, and talk about it often with others.

    • just out of curiosity… the three are jay, myself, and whom? but are you sure my blog is actually even included in church of christdom? you know i rarely use kjv-speak.

      and whatever happened to your blog? have you been writing on it? i’m not getting anything in my feed reader — but then again i’m not positive it made it into google reader from bloglines.

      • JMF

        My blog + laziness = no new posts. I simply don’t have the patience to keep posting until people get interested.

        I read anything Patrick Mead writes, and I like StuffChristiansLike. Jay keeps me plugged into to COC stuff and deeper scripture study, you keep me abreast of the larger Christian community as a whole, and Mead posts about completely random, awesome, and fascinating topics. His older stuff about history, etc. is amazing.

        • i think if you don’t just really enjoy writing, then keeping a blog going would be really tough. especially in the beginning when there’s not anyone reading.

          and patrick mead does answer some pretty interesting questions on his blog.

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