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Any friend of Isaac is a good friend of ours

It’s been a little over a year since St Stephen’s “new” web site went live: the first post was on April 3rd, 2011 (entitled “Fiat situs interretialis”, in case you missed it). The site has come a long way. Since then, there have been 462 more blog posts, including musings by the Rector (and by Isaac) from the Newsletter, announcements of Women’s lunches and Blood Drives, photos from Bishop Vaughan’s consecration and the Cookie Walk, and Collects for Sundays and Saints’ Days.

In addition to the front page, which is our blog, there are over sixty other pages, describing our liturgy and our beliefs, our various outreach programs, our Christian Education programs, and our Parish Life activities. There are photo galleries of Cookie Walks, Garden Parties, and the children’s Crêche service. There are also archives of past sermons and Newsletters in PDF format.

The site has accumulated over 24,000 “views” (every time someone looks at a different page or blog entry, that counts as a “view”). That’s about 1,500 views per month, or 50 views per day, with significant surges in November and December of 2011. The busiest day was December 4th, 2011: over 3,000 people visited us from Facebook, with 1,800+ views of the Cookbooks page, and 1,300+ views of the Cookie Walk Silent Auction listing. Or at least that’s what the statistics say. Isaac thinks there was something dodgy going on.

But in fact, thousands of visitors find our site from Facebook (over 5,000 so far). All of our blog posts get cross-posted to the Church’s Facebook page, and to Isaac’s Facebook page (he’s actually got more friends than the Church). We’ve also gotten a lot of visitors clicking through from the Diocesan web page, Holy Trinity Seminary, and sites such as the Prayer Book Society and the Secker Society (which tracks parishes using the 1662 BCP). Recently we got several visitors from Bishop Chad Jones’s blog: he posted vast quantities of photos from Bishop Vaughan’s consecration.

In turn, a number of visitors have clicked through to other sites from our web pages: The Diocese, Joseph Richey and Dr Bob’s, St Barnabas in Picayune (Fr Filkins’s parish), and the University of Michigan’s searchable, online version of the KJV (including the Apocrypha).

People have found our web site as the result of some rather unusual searches. There are the usual searches, of course: variations of “St Stephen’s Anglican/Traditional Episcopal Church Timonium Mays Chapel Baltimore”. But 72 folks were searching for “sic transit gloria mundi”, which Fr Hawtin used in his article on Steve Jobs; 37 were looking for the Chorister’s Prayer (we have a Latin translation of the standard Royal School of Church Music prayer); a dozen or so folks were researching the Coverdale Psalter; and a handful of folks were looking for the picture of a Star Wars storm trooper crying into his drink, thinking “those were the droids I was looking for”. They’ve also searched for “ganging beer”, “bissextum”, and “hidden life with thee”.

We’ve only gotten a handful of comments on posts we’ve made, although a handy program called Akismet has protected us from over 26,000 spam comments. So why not visit our site, and leave a comment yourself? Or visit us on Facebook, and become a Friend of Isaac.

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