Thursday, November 27, 2014

Posts and their popularity

Guess which posts are the most popular? Seriously, go ahead and guess.

This blog has a built in traffic monitor that tells me how I'm doing and how many visitors look at each post. I have a curious nature so every once in a while I check it and see what's what. Have to mention that I'm not the type of blogger who monitors my blog traffic too often or one who maybe hopes to eventually slap some adds over there on the right side and earn some revenue, although come to think of it, if I did I could get more genealogy stuff! No, I'm happiest and think the blog is doing it's work if a new-to-me cousin contacts me out of the blue. And that happens regularly enough so all's right in my blog world.

Posts that get pretty good traffic are the ones picked up by other blogs or Best Of articles. Then everyone has to click through to see what's of interest. That's pretty cool but it's a once in a while thing and a novelty that keeps me amused for a moment or two. These are not the posts that get the most traffic.

What totally floats my blogging boat is knowing what terms people Google and are looking for that brings them here. I hear that "genealogy" is the second most searched term, after porn, and I'm willing to bet that you already knew that;)

Overwhelmingly, people are seeking out information on and Googling DNA. And toping that group of posts is Neanderthal DNA. People must be fascinated by the concept that our origins have a different path than what they might have thought. I was somewhat amused when the topic of Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens interbreeding first hit the mainstream press how a good number of people had a freak out. Postings to social media revealed a deep dislike of such a thing! All I can say is: LOL.

The second term that brings a crowd is Haplogroup. There's nothing like a hearty discussion of what percent Neanderthal each of us might be, but after that Haplogroup is what attracts attention. I get it because it still fascinates me to think of some millennia-ago ancestor traversing continents, mating with other travelers, and little by little, moving on.

I think that the popularity of personal DNA testing is a transformative thing in our world. This self-knowledge at our deepest levels is a powerful tool that we're only starting to comprehend. And I think and anticipate that it will bring even more changes and some in ways we can't even imagine now. We struggle with it. We push it away and then draw it back to us. We Google and then click away. But more and more of us are using the personal DNA test and liking that we can. We understand more about how DNA works as we go along. What seemed a steep learning curve a couple of years ago is becoming common knowledge very quickly. The numbers of people tested continues to climb, companies offering services expand their offerings, and slowly the price still continues to come down. We want to know increasingly more about ourselves.

Imagine what you and I might have said 20 years ago if we were told that anyone, anyone at all, could spit into a tube and a month or two later find out who we match based on a common ancestor. Not to mention the Neanderthal thing;)

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