Terrible Twos

Another year down and another year older.

It’s hard to believe that je parle américain is beginning its third year, but here we are. When I started this project two summers ago, I never imagined it would turn into what it’s become. It was supposed to be a therapeutic but fun way to get myself out of mild funk I was in back then. I was bored — listless — and I just needed something productive to do. It’s evolved into a platform for railing against French bureaucracy, a soapbox for advocating for social change, a classroom for lecturing about history and language, a stage for dramatizing vignettes from my daily life with my husband and even a virtual press for publishing my first ever creative writing in French!

How far we’ve come together…

Last year on June 19, I celebrated a year of leaps and bounds, and this year has been no exception. Things have cooled down to a more manageable simmer since February, but last fall and winter witnessed a roiling boil in readership. December ended with 7,199 views, accounting for a whopping 15% of je parle américain‘s exposure since its creation 18 months earlier …

December 2012And then, there was that day in early January 2013, when I got 200 views in just one hour! Turns out that somebody (or should I say “some bodies”?) wanted to know all about “the estates general 1789,” which led them to my article about Bastille Day. I suspect some college history class was looking for a CliffsNotes version of the French Revolution to prep for an exam … that, or it was just a computer glitch. I prefer to think it was the former, though.

200 view spike
What the … ?

Thanks to all the HIST321 students at Generic University for playing a major role in the busiest week je parle américain has ever seen …

2013 First Week

I haven’t been able to keep up such a remarkable pace this year, but things are still chugging along. Since its debut, in fact, je parle américain‘s 219 posts have been viewed over 74,000 times, of which over 50,000 have been since last June 19. That’s pretty healthy, I’d say.

Most interesting to me — the geography nerd that I am — is not how many people read je parle américain, but where they are. Not surprisingly, my readership is concentrated in the United States and France, but over the last year, someone in almost every country on Earth has read something I’ve written …

No big surprise that I don’t have any readers in Cuba, Iran, or North Korea, but I clearly need to work on a marketing plan for Equatorial Africa, Central Asia, and Greenland.

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition …

It’s not just about the stats, of course; it’s also about the look! je parle américain underwent yet another facelift in November 2012 to create what I hope has been more readable and user-friendly format: a cleaner font, a lighter, more contemporary color scheme, simpler navigation. In truth, the blog really has undergone a drastic aesthetic evolution. Since its inception, the “look” has gone from this:

old logo
summer 2011

… to this:

old logo 2
fall 2011

… to this:

new logo
fall 2012

Fashion always changes, right?
Who knows what je parle américain will look like next June.
Stay tuned!

The Social Network …

je parle américain‘s story isn’t just on the pages of www.jeparleamericain.com, though. The blog also has a social networking presence on Facebook. In fact, there used to be an account where you could even be “friends” with the blog. It quickly became redundant of the fanpage, so I shut down the “friends” account earlier this spring. These days, if you want to be “social” with je parle américain, you need to be a fan. If you’re not already a one, now is definitely the time to become one! Why? Because everyone else is doing it! je parle américain has more than doubled the ranks of its fans since last summer, going from around 150 to 319 in a matter of months!

Just click the image to go to the Facebook fanpage. Don’t forget to click “like” on the fanpage to become a fan!

It’s definitely worth the click. Not only do fans get updates in their Facebook news feeds whenever a new post is published, I also share interesting articles, photos, and musings that never make it to the pages of the blog itself. You don’t want to miss out on that, do you? Now …

Do you tweet?

So does je parle américain! I’ve been tweeting for the blog since July 5, 2011 but, like the blog’s Facebook presence, its Twitter voice has gotten much more active during the last year. It’s not just for announcing blogposts either; like the Facebook fans, Twitter followers also get interesting little tidbits and photos that never make it to blog. To follow je parle américain on Twitter, just click on the image and click the “follow” button …

Note that the Twitter ID for the blog is @jparleamericain: no “e” after the “j”!

So, yes … it’s been a good year for je parle américain both on the blog and off the blog. As je parle américain begins its third year, I’m looking forward to an even more informative, inspiring, and amusing year ahead. The success I’ve had and the success to come, though, I really owe to you: my readers. Some of you are very vocal in your support: “liking” articles, posting comments, and subscribing to the blog. In fact, there are currently 98 of you who get email updates every time a new post is published. (Anyone want to be lucky #100?) Others of you are less apparent in your support, but I know you’re there, keeping me motivated to continue sharing every time you click a link and cause an uptick in the numbers. It’s not just about the numbers, of course — as I often say, good writers write for the sake of writing — but being read is definitely the icing on the (birthday) cake! So …

Thank you for supporting je parle américain,
and thank you for coming to the birthday bash!
Stick with me in the coming year, and let’s see where we go from here …

© 2013 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

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