20,000, at last

It is commonly suggested that in North America at least, size matters! The larger the number, the longer the length, the heavier the tonnage, large is lovely. The more the merrier in our neoliberal economic world. So how do you react to the number 20,000? Is this a truly large number?

With most people I immediately went to the Jules Verne classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The great nineteenth century novelist was gifted with a large imagination. The book was widely acclaimed on its release and remains so; it is regarded as one of the premier adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works. The connection between number and title are immediate — the distance and depth conveyed by the number 20,000 create endless mysterious, fictional possibilities.

The Toronto Star just reported that 20,000 customers of Canadian owned Scotiabank could default on mortgages given rising interest rates. If you are included in this number it may not console you to know that Kathie and I bought our first home in 1997 with a down payment of just $20,000. I dare you, try going to the bank with those dollars now, especially if you need assistance with a $750,000 home purchase (a recently posted Canadian average selling price). So I repeat, is the number 20,000 really that large?

The new Wembley Stadium (1990) in North London seats 80,000 persons now, down from the original 125,000. It seems today’s overfed sports and concert fans need wider seats. 80,000 is a larger number, but is it really that large? Do you know how many cells are contained within the average human body? Tip: it’s more than 20,000; it’s more than 80,000. It’s between 5 billion to 200 million trillion cells, give or take . . . Now that is a large number.

So why am I so excited about the number 20,000? Well WordPress sent me a congratulatory note the other day advising that I have had more than 20,000 views on my blog.* Specifically, my serendipitous blog has received 20,095 views from 10,661 Visitors; these visitors viewed (though not necessarily read) one or more of 144 Posts, a series which has garnered 71 followers, all this activity generating 161 Comments.

To me, this is a great accomplishment for a site which started as a place to place material for posting on social media. (See my first post Articulate Objection, May 22, 2021 as an early example). The Take Note blog continues as a place for reflections of all sorts and conditions. I trained as a classical organist, love jazz, enjoy reading and more recently writing, politics and photography. I use much of my time presently following stories about the climate crisis and a just economic transition. I write on spirituality in the broadest sense. Most importantly, I love to laugh and love helping others do the same.

Now 20,000 is hardly viral, but the attention given by curious souls has well exceeded my expectations. I recall my late friend and colleague, Chris Lind noting some fifteen years ago that everyone is publishing blogs; but who actually reads them. WordPress provides excellent analytics, offering daily, weekly and annual counts of both views and visits (one visitor may view several pages while visiting). I am also aware that some trolls or spammers have invaded my blog space (I don’t know anyone in North Korea) at least not yet. As they say however, all views are good views. Right?

I am delighted that there is sustained interest in what I have shared — every performer needs an audience and every author some faithful readers. Many of my blogs are read months, in some cases years following publication. My celebration of the ministry of Dean Robert Willis’ Garden Congregation has been viewed over 2,700 times; it continues to be viewed every single day, without exception.

My project is not a commercial venture. WordPress keeps pushing me to commercialize and even monetize my collection. Sorry, not interested. I am so glad however that folks arrive at Take Note Ken Gray (if you don’t include the words “Ken Gray” you’ll get a Hamilton car dealer) and find something of interest from a veritable library of topics. I sometimes think I should narrow my scope of subjects, but such refinement reflects neither my nature nor my eclectic personality. If it feels like I go madly off in all directions, well this is how I operate and it’s what I enjoy. And if these statistics are correct, you my loyal readers enjoy them too. Good on you, and thanks for reading, following and commenting.

*An earlier post, at 5,000 views seems now so long ago.

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