Silky Road: Four years and beyond

Four years of history to the Philippines and the world

"Yabure sou na shiruku no haato kimi ni atte kidzuita yatto."
(from Silky Heart)

On December 15, 2016, this history blog commemorates its fourth anniversary. To help spread the news and celebrate the occasion, use the hashtag #TYFH. The road we have taken is not easy. It can well be compared to a silky road. Silk breaks easily, and therefore, one must be careful in every step. It is also a road full of trials and difficulties. Yet, we have pushed through these past four years. The humbled author would like to take this rare opportunity to express the deepest gratitude to all who have read and shared this simple history blog. Witness what we have achieved together!

From December 2012 to December 2014, this blog has received an average of 182 views every month. This means an average daily record of 6.1 views. Evidently, this is no great number. The foundations of this blog is nowhere near a strong background, and the author basically began from scratch. In efforts to improve readership, he recreated the blog, from appearance to content.

This is how the blog looked like in 2014.
Photo courtesy of Internet Archive.
Updates were also posted not only to document the progress done by the blog itself, but to encourage the readers that they have become patrons of something good. As efforts of this blog's lone author stepped up the following year, average views per month increased to 589 by December 2015. This means an average daily record of 19.8 views. With this reception, the author was heartened to raise a goal for this emerging history blog: 1,000 views each month. Of course, this was no easy task. When you begin small, a small increase would appear big (especially in terms of percentages). For instance, average monthly views from 2014 to 2015 represented an increase of 223%. However, when you begin to grow, the question becomes the capability to sustain the momentum (padayon).

This is how the blog appeared as of 2015.
Photo courtesy of Internet Archive
Initially, it seemed that the goal set was too ambitious. History is one of the disciplines garnering less attention in the Philippines. In addition, there are more popular, although less detailed and more trivialized, websites dabbling with the same field. Among them would be Indio Bravo (ranked 1 among Filipino history blogs as of 2016), Views from the Pampang (ranked 2), and Filipino Genealogy Project (ranked 3). Evidently, the Young Filipino Historian has a lot of catching up to do (marami pang kakaining bigas).

This is how the blog looks like today (2016).
Nevertheless, as of December 15, 2016, the blog has exceeded 50,000 views. This means a monthly average of 1,042 and an average of 34.2 views each day. This represented an increase of 77%. Of course, this may seem a small feat in the world wide web. Still, as the blog continues to generate traffic, it is ranked 5th among local blogs (according to Blogtopsites), and 6th among Filipino history blogs (according to Top Blogs Philippines) as of 2016. It is projected that this history blog would top off 75,000 views by 2017 and 100,000 views by 2018.

50,000 views reached

As of  2016, this blog has ranked 5th among local blogs
Photo courtesy of Blogtopsites
Speaking of rankings, this blog began from rock bottom. That is, level zero. However, as the audience continued to grow and traffic crawled upward, it was seen necessary to track how this blog fared out there. Therefore, by 2015, the author has installed tools from Blogtopsites (a ranking website since 2004) and Top Blogs Philippines (a ranking website since 2006) to fulfill this purpose. These ranking websites feature thousands of blogs and have been doing their respective functions for a number of years. This is how this history blog ranked from 2015 to 2016.

Ranking of this blog according to Blogtopsites (blue) and Top Blogs Philippines (red)
From September to December 2015 (when both ranking websites began tracking regularly), this blog had an average ranking of 49 overall. Meanwhile, from January to December 2016, the average ranking rose slightly to 47.5 overall. This is a 3% improvement. The ranking is nearer to 1, the better. On the positive note, this solidifies the blog's position among the top 50 blogs out of thousands tracked (around 4,800 for Top Blogs Philippines and around 10,000 for Blogtopsites). It also shows that despite being less established (all three history blogs mentioned earlier are older than the Young Filipino Historian and no pun intended), it proved to be a rising star among blogs in the Philippines and the world. Still, this shows that there is more work to be done.

Average ranking of this blog in terms of relevant searches in the past three months
Google also possesses tools which proved helpful in tracking this blog's progress. One webmaster tool is the Search Analytics. During the first quarter of 2016, the blog had an average ranking of 9.1, and 8.3 during the second quarter of the same year. The ranking is nearer to 1, the higher the site is in terms of relevant search items. In the final quarter of 2016, this history blog has an average ranking of 7.5, an 18% improvement throughout the year.

Social media
One key factor in the growth of any website is the utilization of social media to convey your message. The Young Filipino Historian's foray to the social network happened on October 29, 2014, when the official Facebook page was launched. Ever since, the page has exceeded 800 followers. This represented an average growth of 4% every month.

Facebook page of the Young Filipino Historian as of 2016
Statistics provided for this blog show that Facebook is the largest referring site for this blog. From 17% in October 2015 and 23% in October 2016, views from Facebook amounted to 31% as of December 2016. Google followed with 5.3%, then Wikipedia with 0.5%. In addition, statistics provided by Facebook show that from 64,000 impressions in October 2015 and 185,500 impressions in October 2016, the page has reached a total of 230,000 people as of December 2016. Despite this seemingly fair amount of impressions, it fell short of the initial goal of reaching 250,000 by the end of the year. Nevertheless, the target for 2017 is to reach 500,000 impressions. While the success in Facebook seemed well, the influence of the blog is not confined in the largest social network.

Twitter page of the Young Filipino Historian as of 2016
On October 27, 2015, the official Twitter page was launched. Ever since, the page has only 5 followers at most. It also posted almost insignificant contribution in terms of views, which amounted to 0.2% of the total. However, there are signs that this blog would have better performance in Twitter in the near future. For instance, some tweets began to be noticed by profiles such as Heneral Antonio Luna and HISTORY HIT. On the whole, the author seeks to increase social media influence by 2017.

Philippines and the world
On June 1, 2015, after recognizing the fact that it was read in 35 nations worldwide since February, the author gave the title International to the blog. To date, this history blog is read in more than 75 nations besides the Philippines. In less than 18 months, the global reach of the blog doubled.

World map showing the internationalization of the blog (nations in blue)
Outside the Philippines, most views come from the United States (19.7%), Russia (4.4%), Germany (1.5%), Canada (1.3%), and Saudi Arabia (1%). Meanwhile, in terms of social media, most followers other than the Philippines come from the United States (2.8%), Saudi Arabia (1.3%), Canada (0.9%), Australia (0.8%), and United Arab Emirates (0.6%). The Philippines contributes 59.1% of the total views and 89.5% of the followers of this blog. On April 6, 2015, the author gave the title national to this blog for having reached Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This is less than six months after the blog began tracking its national extent in November 2014. Exactly two years later, in November 2016, this is the extent of the blog.

National reach of the blog compared between 2014 and 2016
Darker areas mean more followers
Popular history
Not all articles in this blog receive equal tomi, meisei, chikara. Also, not all articles stand alone. To date, this blog has published some 75 articles, and it is recommended to read them all. Nevertheless, the following is a list of the most popular articles and series this blog has published so far.

Articles (constitutes 21.9% of all views)
1. The coup that never was? Antonio Luna and the First Republic
2. Mutiny Philippines: Andres Novales and his attempt at empire
3. Heneral Luna: historical liberties and inaccuracies
4. Marcos pa rin? The winner of the 1986 Philippine elections
5. Japanese involvement in 19th century Philippines

Series (constitutes 30.7% of all views)
1. Mutiny Philippines (December Coup, January Mutiny, Andres Novales, Antonio Luna)
2. Alternative Parties in the Philippines
3. Minorities during Martial Law (Cordillera, Muslim, Lumad)
4. history-ph update (excluding the State of the Blog Address)
5. The First Evangelical Church in the Philippines (Part 1, Part 2, Final)

Who to thank for?
With all these accomplishments on the books, the real driver of any success is the team who worked together to achieve it. Who is this team? Our team is composed by each and every one of you. Yes, it is ultimately for the readers that the lone author of the Young Filipino Historian strives to write. What then is the composition of our foundation? With the help of statistics provided for the blog, we can have an idea about it. In terms of gender, 62% were male and 38% were female. In terms of age, 2.7% are below 18 years old, 51.5% are 18 to 34 years old, 21.3% are 35 to 44 years old, 12.6% are 45 to 54 years old, 6.9% are 55 to 64 years old, and 4.2% are 65 years old above. For all the readers and followers, the author would like to convey his utmost thanks. May you continue to patronize the Young Filipino Historian, the leading Filipino history blog. Let us make history together.

Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?
(Ecclesiastes 8:7)

Silky Road: Four years and beyond Silky Road: Four years and beyond Reviewed by Al Raposas on Thursday, December 15, 2016 Rating: 5

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