Flavors of Brazil - its very first birthday. It was a year ago today that I posted the first article on this site - the first of what would turn out to be almost 300 posts in the following twelve months. In that article (click here if you'd like to read it) I wrote of what I hoped to do with the newborn blog, and what I wanted it to be.
I began Flavors of Brazil primarily for personal enjoyment and because I was passionate about the subject - the fascinating and relatively unknown world of Brazilian gastronomy in all its forms, from traditional dishes cooked in farmhouses, to snacks and drinks available from street-side vendors, to the creative gastronomy of cutting-edge chefs in the metropolises of this nation of 200 million souls. I didn't know how long I would stick with it, or if anyone would read the blog, but what has happened in the past year far surpassed whatever amorphous expectations I had at the time.
In the year of its existence, Flavors of Brazil has gained 61 followers and approximately 90 subscribers through its feeds. According to the fun and colorful Flag Counter gadget (on the right side bar at the bottom of this page) which has been up and running on this site for about six months, I've had visitors from 149 countries and territories. Just under half of those visitors have been from the USA, but other countries which have high visitor counts are Brazil, UK, Canada, Australia and France. For the past three and a half months, Google's blogging service, Blogger, which hosts this blog, has been recording all visits to Flavors of Brazil and providing me with some very interesting data. Over that period, the blog has received approximately 20,000 page visits and currently is averaging about 250 page visits per day, or 7500 per month. And the average is increasing every month. The blog-rating website Technorati ranks blogs in terms of what it calls "authority", meaning trustworthiness, accuracy and popularity. According to Technorati, among the 11,783 food blogs that it rates, Flavors of Brazil ranks 296 - that is to say it's in the top 3% of food blogs in terms of authority.
One of the most interesting statistics that Blogger offers is visit counts for individual postings. When I'm writing an article, I have absolutely no idea if it will be popular, if other sites will link to it, if search engines will refer to it, and it's been a constant surprise to me which articles have received the most visits. The "champion" article on this site, mostly surprisingly to me, turns out to be an article I posted on the humble snack esfiha. This samosa- or empanada-like filled pastry has had almost twice as many visits as any other article on Flavors of Brazil. Don't ask me why because I don't know. On the other hand, I know exactly why the number-two article, about the giant Amazonian fish pirarucu, received so many visits. A French website called Secouchermoinsbete.fr (Go to bed less stupid) put a link to that article on its site and lots of people decided to learn about the pirarucu in order to sleep more intelligently.
I want to thank everyone who has visited Flavors of Brazil, who has read the articles, and particularly thank those who've commented on my postings. It's very gratifying to know that there's an audience for this blog, and I hope you all find something interesting or informative when you visit. Now that the blog is up and running, you can count on a second edition of this "Happy Birthday" article on October 15, 2011. Muito obrigado, todos!