2016 – Time to reflect, a year in summary

I am a retired college professor based in Nova Scotia Canada, live in a little village just outside Truro and collect vintage and antique clocks that I repair and maintain. I also write about horological areas of interest and of interesting clocks and clock stories that I encounter on my travels.

In the spring of 2015 I decided to write a blog about clocks. The first few months were a struggle to decide what material would be of interest to those who not only collect antique and vintage clocks but those few with just a passing interest. As the months went by I began to realize that the world of clock collecting and repair is incredibly vast and I discovered that there is a lot for me to learn. As I expand my knowledge of clock and collecting and repair I am also realizing that there is a lot I do not know.

This blog has given me an opportunity to profile my own clock collection, walk the reader through the challenges of restoring and repairing my clocks and the learning I have gained from the experience as well as talking about horological areas of interest.

My office showing clock repair tools
My office showing tools and my work area

Let’s review 2016.

Some statistics. As I write this article my blog has exceeded 17,000 views, 33% of which are from United States, 17% are from Canada and the remainder are from around the world including the United Kingdom, Australia, Romania, Germany, India, The Netherlands, South Africa, Malaysia and 80 other countries, even 5 visitors from Cuba (and I thought they did not have access to the internet). I receive between 40-50 comments per month on average. The top 5 articles this year were:

  1. Mauthe Mantel Clock
  2. Daniel Dakota Wall Clock
  3. Sessions Westminster A Mantel Clock
  4. Forestville Mantel Clock
  5. U.M. Muller Box Clock

As most bloggers know the key to building a successful blog is not only attracting new visitors but keeping existing ones interested enough to come back.

As most bloggers know the key to building a successful blog is not only attracting new visitors but keeping existing ones interested enough to come back. My visitors view an average of 1.8 articles per visit and I have 50-60 views on a typical day. I am now receiving as many views per month as I did in the first 8 months of the blog. My goal is to to provide enough stimulating content so that visitors want to return. I post 8 articles a month, usually spaced 4-5 days apart, on various topics of interest. I also attempt to appeal to all facets of clock collecting and repair from profiling my own acquisitions and experiences restoring and repairing my clocks to articles of general interest usually with some historical horological context.

Time side spring is removed
Servicing an American clock, removing the time mainspring
Centering prior to drilling
Bushing a movement using a centering tool

I have welcomed all comments and inquiries. I have received a number of fascinating comments from people who typically ask me how much their clock is worth, particular problems they have with their clock, information about the history of their clock and suggestions for improving my workflow. I answer all questions to the best of my ability but I make no pretense that I am a trained professional though my general knowledge of clock collecting and repair is growing exponentially. I have also received comments from those who more knowledgeable than I am and I welcome their expertise and perspective. I especially welcome the wisdom and insights from popular commenters such as JC and Catalin at Blog Timbrofil.

$_57e
Regulator weights

If you are a regular reader you will continue to see a number of what I hope are interesting clock articles in the months to come

Now it is time to look to 2017. My intent is to write interesting articles about clocks in general as well as continuing to profile my modest but expanding collection of antique and vintage clocks. I also intend to explore special areas of interest particularly my growing fascination with lantern clocks and crystal regulators. If you are a regular reader you will continue to see a number of what I hope are interesting clock articles in the months to come.

Stay tuned and if there is an area of interest you would like to see me to explore, drop me a quick note.

Thanks for your support.


6 thoughts on “2016 – Time to reflect, a year in summary

  1. Ron, I wish you that 2017 to give you inspiration to write useful new articles, more and more visitors on blog, and many satisfactions from your great hobby. I will surely continue to follow your work! Happy New Year! Catalin

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  2. Hey Ron! Thanks for the shout-out! I really enjoy your blog, and clearly you’re doing much better with yours than I am with mine. I’ve had my blog for several YEARS, and my all-time page views is only around 29,300, and I believe only 66 comments total. My main problem is consistency. It takes me a long time to edit photos and write my blog posts, so people have time to forget I exist, or they might assume I’ve given up on the blog. I have MANY posts that I want to write and post, but I seem to be constantly busy with other projects. You’ve also given me some ideas/inspiration for discussion topics.

    I want to write about the pitfalls of internet buying, highlight some of my new purchases, and I still have several tutorials I want to post. I also have some interesting client projects I worked on, and I have clock projects I want to start building (a few reproduction cases).

    I wish I had the budget to even think about a lantern clock. From what I’ve seen, any half decent example starts at around 2,000$. There are a LOT of fakes, reproductions, bad conversions, and decent conversions (with Victorian fusee movements). Lantern clocks are a bit of a specialty, so be very careful with what you buy. I chose to get a cheap Smiths lantern clock (with a quartz movement) as a placeholder until I can stumble across the real thing. It barely even resembles the real thing, but I can pretend.

    Happy New Year! 😀

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    1. Thanks JC. I tend to get a fair amount of email, stuff you never see on my blog because some people don’t want to put themselves out there. I don’t mind because I answer them anyway.I enjoy your blog but as you say, you have to keep at it and be consistent. I would really like to read your thoughts on internet buying because I have also had some unhappy experiences.

      Have you thought of breaking your detailed articles into small parts to tease the reader into wanting more? One method I use is that I automatically schedule my articles in advance. For example the next 7 articles are scheduled through to February. That way I can write a bunch of stuff when the mood suits me and not be concerned about meeting a “deadline” every few days.

      Have a great New Years.

      Regards
      Ron

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      1. I really should pre-write a number of articles in advance, but I normally tend to write the articles around the photos, and without knowing the exact photos I want to use, or the exact order, it’s much harder for me. I’d have to have the photos figured out ahead of time.

        I could write a lot of text-only posts, and just sprinkle-in vaguely related photos (or have no photos at all), but I find that those posts are less appealing (as much for myself as for my readers). I just like lots of photos. I’m a very visual person. It’s also why my shitty camera is driving me nuts, as most of my photos are starting to be out of focus.

        Buying online can be wonderful or it can be a complete nightmare and a huge financial loss. I’ve been screwed out of probably close to 1000$ or more over the past decade. When you break it down annually it’s not so bad, but it can be quite heartbreaking.

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        1. A good camera is a must. Having said that I use a 10 year old digital camera (Olympus E330) for most of my photos. Once you find a way to write that works for you you can develop a certain rhythm.

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