Saturday, May 17, 2008

Te Deum Laudamus blog hits another milestone - 140 countries!

Milestones are a little interesting to track. I remember when I first began writing this blog on a regular basis, there were barely 20 hits weekly. Today, there are about 300 visits daily (about 550 page hits daily), with a little lighter activity on the weekends. This pales in comparison to the thousands of estimated hits Fr. Z is worthily getting (me contributing to his daily hits with my own regulr visits), but my modest number remains for me, very humbling.

You may have noticed in my sidebar a tool called Neocounter with scrolling country flags, which was down as of a few minutes ago (a little buggy alien in the window says NeoCounter will be back soon). NeoCounter indicates that as of today, there have been people from 140 different countries around the world who have come to Te Deum Laudamus. There are actually many more. I did not add NeoCounter until much later in the blog's life. Sitemeter shows that there have been over 154,000 visits (341,000 page hits) since I installed it some months after the blog began. NeoCounter reflects just over 1/3 of that.

Some indicate nothing more than a single hit, while others reveal lots of traffic. I am pleased to see people are using the BabelFish translating tool since I installed it. I don't know if folks are finding the social bookmarking tool useful or not. I don't know if there is anything else I can do to be helpful to readers, but drop a comment if you have ideas.

Quite honestly, some are stray hits meaning someone may have been googling something unrelated to Catholicism and stumbled on this site. Among the most interesting for me to see are those who are using sexually explicit search terms only to land smack into Fr. Perrone's homily on chastity or Father's frank admonition about "sex for seniors". The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly playing traffic cop in some cases. We pray these folks start using the internet for virtuous reasons.

Not to worry - I can't tell who is coming into my website, but statistical counters enable me to see which posts or topics are popular, who is sending me traffic, and where my traffic is going and what city, state, country is represented.

Many have Te Deum Laudamus bookmarked, and there are many more hits coming out of google searches with distinctly Catholic search expressions. An example are vocation related hits with expressions such as, "traditional nuns", or "traditional Catholic priests", or "traditional monks", or "nuns with habits". Related to that are outclicks to the traditional orders I've linked to where I hope these folks find what they are looking for.

Of those that are returning regularly from other countries, I am humbled by the fact that readers across the world come to check out what is going on at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, Michigan and in general on this blog. Most striking and most humbling to me, are people who visit from countries where persecution is rampant and being publicly Catholic is risky business. We Catholics in the west take for granted our ability to go down a few blocks to any choice Mass when Catholics in some countries risk their lives for an underground Mass. We have no idea what our brethren in other places go through to go to Mass and little do we realize that martyrdom is not something that is limited to long ago, but is a daily threat to Catholics in distant places. Pray for them and the next time you feel inconvenienced to worship God in the Mass think about them and offer it up.

I pray daily for all of my readers - those who come regularly, and those who happen to be passing through with no intent to return. Please keep me in your prayers, as well, that God gives me the graces to serve those share an enthusiasm for the faith, whether it is long-standing, or newly sprouted.

Thanks be to God for the web which can connect us all for good, or for bad, depending upon our choices.

Welcome all to Te Deum Laudamus!

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