Over 5 years ago, during my happy years on the Site Board, Brenda Anderson, then Executive Director of Site, led the Board through the fascinating “Insights Discovery” programme, a personality profiling system inspired by the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Insights fuses modern psychology with centuries’ old wisdom to assist individuals and groups reach deeper levels of understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. In this way it helps enormously with interpersonal relationships both at home and in the workplace. I know a lot people hate this stuff but I loved the entire process! It profiled me as an “inspiring motivator” firmly in the red/yellow quadrants of the insights wheel but, crucially, it did highlight my Achilles’ heel – “loses interest when the initial challenge has gone” and “tasks can be left undone if something more interesting comes along”. Knowing how challenged I’ve been with consistency I’m proud to report that this blog has now been live for a full two years during which over 90 postings or 100,000 words have been uploaded and accessed by just shy of 20,000 visitors.
Brand New Look
Regular readers will notice that the blog has been given a makeover, a brand new skin. This has been done with the assistance of Simon and Billy at DotDash and I think they’ve done a super job. In line with the tagline “A blog about destinations and matters related to the Meetings Industry” posts have now been organised into 3 categories – Destinations, Meeting Matters and Viewpoints. While I am writing predominantly for professionals involved in the meetings and events industry, many of the posts have more general resonance and relevance and I especially welcome those readers who stumble randomly across this blog – so please introduce yourselves via the comments box and keep in touch! And, regular readers, please sign up to receive the blog directly into your mail box.
Reaching across the Globe
If ever proof was needed of the incredible reach of digital media then the demographic statistics from this blog could be used in evidence. In two years this blog has been accessed (and hopefully read) by readers in 116 countries including Chad, Lesotho, Djibouti and Azerbaijan. While it has appealed principally to an Anglo-phone readership (Ireland, US, UK and Canada are 1,2,3 and 4 respectively) the remaining 6 countries from the Top 10 are all non-English speaking (Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium in that order). Overall I’m delighted with the geographical reach that has been achieved as it matches well the global ambitions of my parent company MCI and, in particular, our destination services division Ovation Global DMC. Ovation is all about connecting people and places and I’m proud to contribute to this with the padraicino project.
Top 5 Posts
I’m delighted to note that the shelf life of an average post is way beyond the post date. Some posts attract significant numbers of readers within 24 hours while others seem to draw readers on an on-going basis and constantly appear in the top 10 rankings. My post on walking the Camino in Northern Spain gets readers all the time and has been syndicated on other blogs. The top 5 blogs by number of readers are:
- Walking the Camino – 5 reasons you should do it
- 5 key ingredients for a successful incentive travel programme
- Ovation Trophy 2012 – the Prologue
- How do you market a destination? It’s all about emotion
- The all new Las Vegas
It’s nice to see that the top blogs are drawn from all the categories – destinations, meeting matters and viewpoints.
Have another look …
Some posts, too, that I’m particularly happy with don’t manage to gain the readership that I think they deserve. Sometimes it’s the randomness of timing and distribution but the lesson here is that it’s all about the reader and what he or she engages with. Content is not intrinsically good, it’s only good when it’s resonant and relevant. Having said that I would like draw readers back to three posts which, inexplicably to me (!), gained less than 50 readers each. “The Tasting” from May 2011 is a quirky post set at the beautiful Beau Rivage in Lausanne. It’s a whimsical piece of creative writing involving 3 middle aged men and a beautiful young Brazilian girl who are conducting a tasting in advance of a Gala Dinner. More recently “California Dreaming” from late November 2012 seems to have gotten lost in the pre-Christmas rush. It’s a destination post on LA and Santa Monica and includes some thoughts on the stunning Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Finally I’d love readers to look again at “Muddy Waters, Headhunters and very Tall Buildings”, a destination post on Kuala Lumpur and environs. I think it sets out the very real appeal of Malaysia as a destination for meetings and events.
How do you say “Padraicino”?
So welcome to the all-new Padraicino blog. In case you’re wondering about the name or how to pronounce it here’s the short explanation. Padraic is an Irish name meaning Patrick. There are 2 regional pronunciations of which I favour the Galway one with the silent “d”. I usually break it up like this for people:
1st syllable PAW like a dog’s paw.
2nd syllable RICK like a rickshaw.
So PAW – RICK.
The “-ino” then is a typical Italian diminutive coined by a dear Italian friend, Bruno Carrera, to distinguish the smaller and younger Padraic from another older and wiser Padraig (yes, with a “g”) amongst our group of friends. Being Italian Bruno employed the Italian pronounciation with the hard “C” (“Porrichino”) but when you simply ad “ino” to Padraic you get, in English, “Padraic – chino”. I use the English spelling and the Italian pronounciation.
Padraic Gilligan is Vice President of Industry relations at MCI and Vice President of Ovation Global DMC, MCI’s destination services division