Wednesday 3 June 2009

Anniversary Narratives: Growth

Maja’s post from yesterday certainly had resonance, as it was only while I read it this morning that it that I realized that I had to write a post today. This site was really begun as a sort of experiment. We had no idea whether we could meet the demands of providing content on a regular basis, and importantly we had no idea whether anyone would actually be interested in reading it! A year after we began, I am happy to report that both goals have been achieved.

I am always impressed by the writings of my fellow editors and contributors, and extremely grateful for those who have provided guest pieces as well as our thoughtful commentators. Part of what makes our site unique, I believe, is the ongoing dialogue that occurs below a post, between contributors and readers.

These readers have gradually grown in number as the months pass. I have to admit that one of my weaknesses is checking our counter statistics. It is not only fascinating to watch our readership grow; I am also constantly amazed at how our readers come from all parts of the globe. Our last 500 visitors have come from Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Poland, Australia, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Norway, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, the Ukraine, Thailand, Australia, and Russia. Our counter software provides a little map with pushpins for groups of visitors, and I love to click on individual pins to see where exactly that person is from, be it Funchal in Portugal, or Beltsville in Maryland (US).

As our readership grows I become increasingly optimistic that we can start to achieve some of our wider goals. To bring empirical research on the psychology of fiction to the public in an approachable way, along with related theory and discussion, and perhaps most importantly, bring attention to important charities and groups that are using these theories and this research to bring about change in people’s lives.

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