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Best of 2010.

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Following a tradition I started last year I went back through all articles of 2010 and tried to select those that were either most-read, most-viewed, most commented on or just my personal favourites. If you don't come here regularly, this is maybe a good place to get an impression what this website is all about. (Or, you could view this as the narcissistic part of my personality...)

 - I created a Facebook application with basic functionality of the CISV friends website in February 2010. To this day more than 2700 programme participations were registred. Unfortunately a) I don't have much time to extend the features b) Facebook itself removed the glorious tab feature and c) so far there's no official interest to develop this further, so it will have to remain an experiment with limited functionality.
- An obituary to the Peace Education Circle.
- What defines a Hockey Player?
- How about hiring a Central Information Officer - a post that received some great comments whether CISV has data it should be using for its benefit. Another post followed up with the topic with a video showing a TED talk featuring Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web.
- Cheap, short, national: Is Germany's KiD-camp a model for other NAs? 24 comments set the record for 2010.
- Discussing a work model right in the middle between volunteers and paid staff, I tried to coin a new term: Paylunteering. (I got a complaint from Sarah/USA here, because when I posted it, she was just in the process of drafting a similar story for the IJB letter...)
- After an enlighting visit to Lissabon I dedicated two articles to the success story of once tiny CISV Portugal. Luisa, the Portugese trustee, then told me at AIM, that she received a lot of compliments for their work during AIM by those who read the article. Nice!
- A little less enthusiastic is my complaint about people who unexpectately quit theit volunteer jobs in CISV.
- Just before AIM, I thought we need to talk about sex.
- Two articles tacle CISV's impact on the environment: One about the motion to create a new taskforce, and one that reviewed a great issue of IJB Thinks, about CISV and Carbon.
- My take on CISVs tagline (and the motion suggesting a new one) got mixed reviews (i.e. comments)
- Trying to be objective even though my good friend Lene had lost the run for president, I analyzed the IEC elections.
- After my experience at AIM I claimed that CISV had lost its orientation and got stuck in Limbo.
- Officers vs. Chairs is still a very much up-to-date look at the conflict between paid staff and volunteers that run the organisation.
- A rant about the fact that we still talk about "race" in CISV.
- Instant Creativity got 8 "Likes" on facebook, just like the silly picture of Martha I posted (should I be worried?): The record in 2010. And while I'm at it: South Africa received more comments on facebook than any other post there (and more than on the website itself).
- A comparison between GAP's and CISV's logo redesign got Luca/ITA started - I don't think anybody ever contributed so much in the comment section.
- In an interview, Moni/CRC, the former chair of the leadership training committee shares her interesting views on creating a "department" in CISV.
- Many people contributed to my suggested list of tasks for a new educational officer.

In the end it's hard to judge, what you people enjoy reading, because most of the time it just happens without any feedback. There's been a whole bunch of artciels that I wrote after quite some time reseraching and fiddling with the words, and of which I thought they were meaningful. But no comment, no like, no e-mail nothing. As an optimist, I still think people enjoyed them and they will reveberate throughout our organisation some way or another - but maybe, it's just me who liked the topic and everybody else thinks I'm insane or worse: boring. I guess I'll never find out.

A few facts from the website's statistics in 2010: FTB gets an average of around 700 visitors a month, with a peak during - you guessed it - AIM: 1200 crazy people in August alone. Most readers live in Germany (AIM host!), USA and the UK. The most popular article is one from 2009 (CISV logo variations) - which strangely peaked in August as well - followed by Organic Food (also 2009) and Sex in CISV (which is probably a result of search-engine driven visitors - I hope.) The site that refers the most visitors besides google, facebook and such is Kaisa's nice little blog called CISV Suomi, which unfortunately is only in Finish. Windows and Mac users  break even and surprisingly 117 people tried to read the blog on their tiny iPhone-screen in 2010. A little depressing is the fact that more than 70% spend less than 10 seconds on the website. Bah! Enough numbers to apply the label statisic nerd to this post...

Thanks again to those who contribute in the comment sections and those that sent suggestions. You make this website come to live and add a great deal of content. Please don't hesitate to comment even on posts that are older - it doesn't go un-noticed. And remember: Your comment is my crack!

Finally, a reminder that you can follow all posts either through an RSS-Reader, by e-mail, on Twitter or on Facebook. If you don't want to miss a comment, subscribe to the comment feed.

Best of 2009

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CISV from the Balcony exists for a year now, and I've been enjoying writing posts, reading your comments and following the discussions. Today I spent some time picking out the best posts of 2009 - I chose from most comments, most viewed and personal favourites. It may be a bit of self-adulation, but some of you may not have checked this blog regularly or just disovered it recently, so with this list, you can cherry-pick the most interesting stuff:

- Two retrospecitves on logos: The CISV logo and the AIM logo.
- A book that describes the story of a boy discovering his homosexuality after being a JC.
- Lot's of graphs can be found here, but the bubble ones are the best: Here and here.
- IJR statistics that shed an interesting light on JB Canada and Sweden.
- A visit to the websites of Great Britain (that still looks the same) and Uruguay.
- An attempt to quantify the "motivational effect" of hosting an AIM.
- Discussion on the regions here and here.
- Doris Allen's original proposal to UNESCO.
- On issuing certificates and the overall value of volunteer work.
- A look back into CISV Argentina's devastating development after the economic crisis in 2001 - with an excellent comment explaining the details and recent events by Maru/ARG.
- Starfish or Spider - an artictle that was also published in IJB thinks.
- Debating "Social Entrepreneurship" on the basis of lemonade.
- Has CISV secretely rebranded?
- An interview with Adam/SWE, formerly national secretary.
- Discussion on whether it's ok or not that CISV USA aren't hosting Youth Meetings (much).
- A suggestion to measure an NAs strength by a Balcony Index (BI) - which received more than 25 comments to date, including a series of formulas to calculate an even more refined one.
- A guest post by Sarah on how her CISV education doesn't always support her professional career.

All of the posts are still open for comments - so if you have something to add, please do so: You will be noticed - on the front page ("Recent Comments") and through the comments feed (RSS).

Thanks for everybody that contributed to this site in 2009 - you make the Balcony alive!

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