State of the Portly Update – Summer 2019

As of today, my glorious summer vacation has begun.  Time to whip out the Hawaiian shirts.  Everyone knows the three best reasons to teach:  June, July, and August.

In all seriousness, I thought it would be useful to do a “State of the Blog” update now that TPP 3.0 has been going strong for nearly a year.  With summer ahead, it’s an opportunity to work on the blog a bit more, and to get cracking on some long-delayed eBook ideas.

With daily posting, I’ve found that readership has gradually increased.  It seems that I get the most views when I have posts ready to go at 6:30 AM, perhaps because they’re in readers’ inboxes when they awake.  I’ve also been sharing links to relevant posts in comments on more prominent bloggers’ pieces, which has really driven traffic to the site.

The daily readership on average has gone from around thirteen per day at the beginning of the year to around twenty-two per day.  The overwhelming majority of readers are from the United States, but I’ve had visitors from all over the world (even one guy from Nepal!).

As far as changes to the site, most everything will stay the same.  I’ll continue to post daily (schedule-permitting), maintaining my average of ~670 words a day (but, of course, focusing on quality, not quantity… hopefully).

One minor change:  I’ll be designating Saturdays as “SubscribeStar Saturdays.”  I’ll give a short “teaser” of the Saturday post on this website, then link to my SubscribeStar page for the rest of the post.  Subscribers will have instant access to these posts.

One of the first posts there will be my 2019 Summer Reading List.  I haven’t done one since 2016’s list, which was quite well-received, and I’m overdue for a new one.

Re: SubscribeStar:  as I start pushing out some longer-form essays and short eBooks, subscribers at the $5-per-month level and above will gain access to those works as they’re published (likely as PDFs) as part of their subscription.

I’m still kicking around the Portly Podcast idea, which will mainly depend on my schedule this summer.

Speaking of, outside the blog I’m running a course called History of Conservative Thought.  I’ve had the idea for this course in the back of my mind for some years now, but decided to offer it this summer at the little private school where I teach.  This first run will be an independent study, but I’ll be sharing some updates on the course as we go through the history of conservatism.  We’re starting, of course, with the American and French Revolutions, particularly with Edmund Burke, as well as the question “what is a conservative?”  I’m quite excited.

On the non-political front, I’m gearing up some more gigging.  I’m also working on some new songs; perhaps I can slam out another EP or a full-fledged album one of these days.  If you want to learn more about my musical noodling, visit my website, or listen to my tunes on Bandcamp.  I wrote an entire song cycle about the rise and fall of civilizations… with unicorns!

That’s it for today.  Back to regular programming tomorrow.

Happy Summer!


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