Blog Trends: November 06

The craziness of the election caused me to neglect my usual summary of the “most-read blogs” these past few month. But as life returns to normal, so does this regular blog feature.

It’s gratifying to know that my little blog is being more widely read all the time. Statistics show that, on average, 120-140 people stop by my website each and every day. And a fair number of those visitors head straight to the blog. (To those blog-only readers, I’d remind you: the rest of the website is pretty interesting too. Happy )

I was hit by an epiphany the other day. I don’t have to just rotely list the blog entries that get the most hits during a month. (Heck, it’s my blog, I can do anything I want…) I can instead talk list noticeable trends on the blog. So, that’s what I’ve done here, and that’s why I’ve renamed this entry. What follows, then, are some observations about the blog trends for the month, not just a recitation of the most-visited stories.

I should say, there are some entries that continue to get a lot of hits each and every month, and may-well permanently be at the top of the list forever. (All the more reason to talk about “trends,” not “most popular” entries). For example, my posting about the “five phantom fouls” from last year’s NBA Finals consistently continues to be the single-most-read blog entry; month in and month out. Which is weird to me, because I haven’t thought about the issue in a long time. I’m too busy savoring the Mav’s current 11-game win streak, and the emergence of Erik Dampier (where did that guy come from?!!! And what happened to the old Dampier? Not that I want him back…).

Another entry consistently near the top each month is my blog on Dan Fogelberg. Nice to see he still has a lot of fans out there. And, no, I don’t know how he’s doing healthwise. I just go by what I read on his website too.

Buck O’Neil died last month. And, ever since, folks have been stopping by to read this entry about him. It’s not a “top five” pick, but it’s jumped up noticeably. Which pleases me. Because Buck deserves to be remembered.

So does my friend Ed Upton. And, for reasons I can’t rightly figure, this eulogy of Ed has been getting lots of notice the past few months. It’s not at the top of the list, but somebody is reading it, and more than I’d expect. Maybe Ed’s friends are passing it along to other friends, I don’t know. But Ed was a good friend and mentor to me, and deserves to be remembered too.

And rounding out a list of blogs about specific people, a notable number of folks stopped by to read this entry on Judge Merrill Hartman. Since he is in the last weeks before his retirement, it seems good and right that folks are reading about him. He deservers our thanks for his years of service, and for his witness of how to serve the community.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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