Saturday, September 5, 2015

"The 50th Post... Time to review, assess, decide."

"Who'd a thunk it?" My golden anniversary! Fifty posts since the introduction of this blog April 1, 2015. With that in mind, here's a brief end-of-summer summary of this effort. Keep in mind, I'm learning as I go... hopefully.

I'm not quite sure how Google measures views, but I am curious about the total number of views, as well as the number of views by post. I can understand when a viewer clicks on a post, but what about once that reader starts scrolling, reading other posts? I also don't understand the benefits of membership to any blog, so I haven't provided that side-bar feature for followers... that, and the fear of embarrassment of not getting anyone!

Anyway, some highlights follow below, with never-before-seen photos!

MVP (MOST VIEWED POST): Jim Dufour's beautiful B&M Cheshire Branch takes top honors as the most popular post. It continues to hold off all challengers comfortably, even most other layout features which, other than the first one, have been widely viewed also.

LEAST VIEWED: At the other end of the spectrum is the least viewed post entitled, 'Practice Makes Perfect... Really?' from April 26th about my preliminary kitbashing efforts of the Ilchester depot. So to recap succinctly, the most viewed posts on my blog are those of other modelers' work and the least viewed is that of mine. Ouch, but  I can actually see that.

PERSONAL FAVORITE: The April 17th feature on Art Curren is very popular with readers, but it really holds a special place for me. It's personal, it's nostalgic and the writing captures some moments through the eyes of an awkward, star-struck 21 year old.

HONORABLE MENTION: The post from May 31st embodied exactly what I would like all of my construction posts to embody... clear writing, detailed photos and a consistent theme. Architects understand 'Firmness, Commodity and Delight' to be the three ingredients necessary for sturdy, useful and attractive design. It's applicable to model railroaders, too.

MOST IMPROVED: The recent post on modeling the key elements of Ellicott City's structures using 'Selective Representation' started slowly with readers, but is really gaining steam... climbing with a bullet, as they say on the pop charts. It's the type of post that I hope will engage readers and spark some dialog.

UNSUNG HERO: Somewhat unexpectedly, the June 16th post about Sam Posey's 'Playing with Trains' generated considerable viewing and comments from readers. It's just outside the top five all-time and obviously everyone has thoughts about why we do what we do.

PARTICIPATION TROPHY: April 24th's 'Road Trip' post earns inclusion here for having the best 'Rhetorical Question of the Day,' whose answers I rehearsed prior to returning home when my wife would inevitably inquire about my dietary decision making. Alas, despite the prepared answers, she was only interested in knowing if I had had a good time.

So a word of thanks to readers and to fellow bloggers for their help and support. Props to those who have offered comments. And a special shout out to those who have included the Old Main Line on their own blog listings. The blogs of Trevor Marshall and Marty McGuirk especially seem to direct many readers here. I appreciate that very much.
The blog itself has been fun, overall. It's been a creative work of self expression, much as a layout itself is. My interest in building dialog and engagement with readers is probably the equivalent of a layout achieving the point of operations.

Maybe this isn't the format for such engagement or maybe it just takes time. In any case, I'll be back in some fashion after Labor Day, but whatever time and energy I have left after life's mounting daily requirements will most likely be directed to the layout itself. In all honestly, it remains to be seen how motivated I will be to update this blog as regularly as I have been. Have a great Labor Day.


Exactly whom is photo-bombing whom in this canine-only picture?


  1. Hi Jim:
    Congratulations on your 50th post. I have been following The Old Main Line for a bit have a nice looking blog...will add a link to your blog on the White River Division...George Dutka

    1. George - Wow, thanks... I'm honored... I've read every entry of your blog through the years... some several times over... and have worn out the pages of MR from when the layout was featured... I hope that I can achieve a fraction of what you have with the WRD... thanks again - Jim

  2. Congratulations on post 50! Here's to many more.

    I recently stumbled onto your blog and I'm adding it to's blogroll.

    1. Steve - Thanks... I've discovered a number of things when I've been stumbling, my wife included!... but I actually did the 50th anniversary more as a tongue-in-cheek thing... I'll have to check out your blog... cheers - Jim

  3. Hey Jim,
    First off I gotta say i love seeing someone interested in the old main line as much as I am. I grew up around there and while I am young (only turning 20 this year) I have an old soul, or so I have been told! I have a few questions, were you able to find any official line maps? I find it is hard to find images or maps over this section of line, though it could just be my era (1940's war time). Anyways, I would love to hear how you found some of this hidden information, and to see some of the progress on the layout!