Appalachia Blog

Who Reads the Blind Pig?

Earlier this week Jim Casada said he wondered if I took into consideration the demographics of folks who read Blind Pig & The Acorn when I write my daily posts.

Analytics are fascinating to look at, although I must admit I don’t often look at them. I have paid enough attention to them to know Jim was right on the money when he said the majority of my audience was over 50.

When you think about what I write it definitely makes sense that older folks would be most interested in it.

Here’s a quick peek at the demographics of my readers over the lifetime of the blog (2008-2022).

Age range of blog readers

  • 18-24 – 8.08%
  • 25-34 – 15.07%
  • 35-44 – 14.64 %
  • 45-54 – 17.67%
  • 55-64 – 22.94%
  • 65+ – 21.60%

So easy to see almost 62% of my readers are over the age of 45. Which again is what one would expect.

When taking a gander at the analytics the thing that always surprises me is that more men read than women. The break down for the life of the blog is: 39.7% Female and 60.30 % Male.

I likely should pay more attention to the analytics and plan accordingly, but I rarely give any thought as to whether someone will like what I write or not. Of course I hope they do! And of course I don’t want to make anyone mad or upset, however I just write about what comes to my mind and spills out through my fingertips as they type.

Back when I first started blogging I was interviewed for a website and one of the questions was how I decided what to write about. I had a hard time explaining my thought process. Obviously my writings are all related to Appalachian culture and heritage in one form or another, but when it comes to what I post on any given day I just share what feels right to me. The best explanation I could give the interviewer all those years ago still holds true today. It’s like I have a little circus juggler in my mind throwing up several ideas over and over until suddenly my eye catches one of them and says “Yep that’s the one for tomorrow.”

Last night’s video: Dorie Woman of the Mountains 12.

Tipper

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49 Comments

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 18, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    I enjoy your blog and either by reminiscing over the content that I can relate with in my own life, or learn something new. I enjoy your videos too. Thank you for all you do Tipper in sharing the Appalachian life with us. It truly is a celebration!

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 18, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    If I had to guess, I’d be guessing that all of your readers have some roots in Appalachia. They may just be baby roots from having visited for awhile or they may be deep tap roots having lived all or a great deal of the their lives there. Others may have never been at all, but have family who grew up there and have told stories over the generations. No matter what the draw is, Blind Pig & The Acorn has filled a very important part of our lives. I, for one, am very grateful for the few minutes of “home” you bring into my life every day.

  • Reply
    lindah
    April 16, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Tipper, it is a pleasure, pure and simple, to read your blog every day and follow along on your channel. I am an 80+ married woman and thinking I might like to retire some day, but dear hubby has no interest in retirement at this point. I must say that I miss the older days in many ways. I treasure the community I find amongst the commenters. That kind of community is so missing in this modern age it seems. Being reminded of stories from my parents and grandparents warms my heart, too. Reading thru the comments today, it would seem like your posts are a blessing to just about everyone. Keep on listening to that “juggler;” you’re doing a terrific job. (BTW, is “juggler” a code word for Holy Spirit?)

    • Reply
      Tipper
      April 17, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      Lindah-thank you! Yes I’m sure my juggler is sent from God 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    April 16, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What you’re doing is great!!!

  • Reply
    Jane ODell
    April 16, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. Your posts are always timely and heartwarming! The Appy is certainly proof of that! ❤️

  • Reply
    Barbara N Gantt
    April 16, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    Interesting information. I recently was on our local town FB page. I read a post and saw a name that I didnt recognize. It said we had two mutual friends. One of them was you. Im in Vermont so was surprised to see that another person was on your FB as a friend. Being from NC. I love reading your post and watching the videos. Have a blessed weekend.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 16, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Tipper, as someone in whose profession data was such a critical element, I’m always intrigued by it. But one of the fundamental elements of data analysis is to understand the elements which affect the data accuracy. What is the source of your age data? I’m really interested in knowing both the source and how you accessed it.

    It’s been well over a decade since I signed up for your daily e-mail notice that I don’t recall what information was collected then, but if age or even age range was collected, I sure don’t remember it. But then there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t remember!

    BTW, I seriously doubt if whatever data you’re using is anywhere close to four significant figures in precision (which is what you provide). That is a pet peeve of mine which traces its way back a half century ago when the overwhelming majority of my engineering calculations were performed with a slide rule. You could read a slide rule to three significant figures. Most of our dealings with the real world aren’t better than that.

    But with spreadsheets, scientific software and hand held calculators, you can spew out a long string of numbers, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, the use of even four significant figures is far more precise than the underlying data.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      April 16, 2022 at 3:56 pm

      Don-data is fascinating…till it becomes overwhelming to me 🙂 Pretty much every website one visits collects surface level information, like age and gender, to create analytics. A lot of companies offer a virtual private network (VPN) service to prevent users from being tracked. A quick search will turn up lots of options and information about getting a VPN.

  • Reply
    Randy
    April 16, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Demographics are fun to look at sometimes, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you say, “I just go with whatever my fingers feel like saying.” Whatever the demographics represent, you are an award winning writer now so you are definitely doing it right! Congratulations on your Appy win!!! It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person!

  • Reply
    donna sue
    April 16, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    I have always been an old soul, even in grade school I wanted to live my life like generations before me got to live. I feel like I missed out on all the fun things that everyone else got to experience – part of that is because I always felt I was born in the wrong year (although I know God doesn’t make mistakes, and He put me right where He wants me), and I always felt I was born in the wrong part of the country (west coast vs Appalachian Mountains – but there again God put me where He planned for me to be). I am still an old soul, but once I got out of my 20s, I started really enjoying where I am at now – wherever that might be in this country or world, and living in the moment of time I am in. I love your posts as you write them – whatever God leads you to at that moment. They are not written for an attention-getting type of production, but they are written from a deep love of your heritage and daily life happenings. When I write my comments, I just start writing with nothing preplanned. I write from my heart and not my mind. I know I get very long winded and rambly. My sister reads what I write sometimes, and she says it sounds just like me when I talk – long winded and scatter brained – thanks Cindy!! I think you do not need to change anything, Tipper. Very obviously, what you have been doing for the last fourteen years is what you are supposed to be doing! God has blessed you immensely with faithful subscribers, the ability to work from home now on your passion, and world recognition in the way of a prestigious award (Appy 2022!!). Don’t rock the boat and change anything. Just be your wonderful, free-flowing, spontaneous self and you will always have all of us by your side!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Bob Louis
    April 16, 2022 at 11:42 am

    These blogs are of interest well beyond those who have lived in Appalachia. I am a 74 year old tax lawyer in Philadelphia and I enjoy reading them every morning.

  • Reply
    dee
    April 16, 2022 at 11:39 am

    I was surprised that more men read your blog than women but I can see that your posts would bring back sweet memories to them also. I’m going to be in that 80’s group soon so I can relate to a lot of the stories told even though I don’t always comment the stories bring back precious memories of family I deeply loved. I have made the same statement that Pinnacle Creek made regarding the young people of today, “walking along a dusty road with visiting cousins was more fun than their Playstation and texting”. Although I think I said it was more fun visiting cousins than going to Disneyland. We’ve taken our kids to Disneyland and it was a fun day, but it could not compare to the fun and fantastic food I enjoyed visiting cousins.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    April 16, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Well, I’ll admit to being guilty as charged. I’m a 68 year old male and I enjoy reading your blog every morning. Just keep listening to that little circus juggler!

  • Reply
    AWGRIFF
    April 16, 2022 at 11:11 am

    I subscribed several years hoping I could add something to your blog. It turned out that I learned way more than I ever could contribute. Don’t change a thing.

  • Reply
    Terry
    April 16, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I am one of those in your 62% readership • an old dude soon to be 85 • and enjoy going down memory lane almost everyday! I have nothing but good memories of my Appalachian childhood experiences enjoyed with family and “people in the holler”. You take me and many, many others to an amazing time in our lives. Thanks, Tipper • I truly enjoy the stories that still touch my yesterday’s memories. As so many others, those “hills and hollers will always call my name”!

    • Reply
      PinnacleCreek
      April 16, 2022 at 12:36 pm

      This post really touched me, “hills and hollers will always call my name.” It really is as if there is something that pulls you or draws you back to where your roots were firmly planted and your heart remains.

  • Reply
    J
    April 16, 2022 at 10:48 am

    I’m in the 25-34 category but been reading since I was in 18-24, lol. I’ve always known I’m in the minority, but that’s just fine with me 🙂

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    April 16, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Friend Jim Casada introduced me to this blog a few years ago, and now I feel like I know a lot of you regular posters. I would love to sit down and chew the fat with you and with Tipper and her family, but time and distance are not on my side. Glad to have Blind Pig as the next best thing. although i love and miss the hills, sunny Florida is good for old bones.

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    April 16, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Tipper,
    I’m a 69 year old male, I live in eastern N.C. and grew up on a rural small farm. My wife and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary this year. My community all lived much the same as people in Appalachia with the same foods, language and Christian beliefs. I left the farm and worked in industry for 42 years. My work required some travel around the country and Europe. I’ve never tried to change who I am or what I believe. Most people I interacted with in work respected this.
    In this crazy social/political climate we live in your blog and videos are a welcome reminder that most people still believe right is right and wrong is wrong no matter what propaganda the national media spews out.
    My wife and I have visited the Appalachian areas many times and love the area and people we’ve met, even though we’ve never lived there it feels like home when we’re there. Please continue with your blog and utube videos as you have been doing. Yours and Donnie Laws are my two favorite Utube channels.
    God Bless You for the work you do.

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    April 16, 2022 at 10:19 am

    I guess as we age we grow older and wiser. The young people don’t know what they are missing, bless their hearts. To grow up in Appalachia with good kin folks around, surrounded by God’s Beautiful Creation is such a blessing that makes me thankful and aware of these blessings. Happy Easter, my friend. Jesus paid it all for us, Praise His Holy Name.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    April 16, 2022 at 9:42 am

    Not surprising. — most young people today have no idea what the “real world” is like! Thank you, dear Tipper, for preserving it for us old folks who remember it!

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    April 16, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I have always lived in the Appalachian region except for maybe 7 years. I missed it deeply finding other areas so very different. I love the seasons, the people, the culture, and even the simplest day to day happenings in the region. Most of all, I am so very pleased with the way you present all that is Appalachia in such a positive way. Until your blog, I honestly never read or saw anything that painted a true picture of what I already knew. Living away for that period of time made me so appreciate the friendly homefolk, the 4 seasons, every single tree, borrowing from neighbors, country stores. I could go on and on.
    Maybe the younger folks are more conditioned to appreciate a different type of life. Some are just trying to figure out what to do with their life. I know the young in my crowd are more apt to appreciate fast food and convenience. I guess there is just no way I can ever convince them that walking along a dusty road with visiting cousins was more fun than their Playstation and texting. Oh well, we don’t need for everybody to think like we do or our mountains would soon be as crowded as New York City.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 16, 2022 at 9:38 am

    I’m in the over 75 category and will soon be in the over 80 bunch. I’ll read your blog as long as you continue or as long as I can read whichever comes first. Even if I am familiar with the topic it brings back memories. I also learn a lot from the comments,
    Is there a way to see how many states and countries are represented by your readers?

  • Reply
    Randy
    April 16, 2022 at 9:35 am

    This comment does not fit in with today’s blog but I thought of Tipper yesterday and her writing about planting by the signs. I have just commented on the old ways and I thought about my grandparents and others thinking and trying to plant a lot of the things in their gardens on Good Friday. They thought this was the best time to plant.

  • Reply
    Charles
    April 16, 2022 at 9:26 am

    I’m 65, an old saying is” Best first said”, love your way of mind to paper !!!

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    April 16, 2022 at 9:18 am

    You do a good job picking out what to write about. I enjoy it all. Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Rebecca Hebert
    April 16, 2022 at 9:17 am

    DON’T. CHANGE. ANYTHING.!
    (Please)

    Love, Rebecca (Deep East Texas)

  • Reply
    Philip
    April 16, 2022 at 9:16 am

    I am a CNA at Mission Hospital. I try to arrive at work 30 minutes early each day, not only to get “ready” for work, but to check my emails and read your blog each morning. It was thru Jim Casadas book “A Smoky MTN Boyhood that I learned of your blog and I’m so glad I did. By the way, I am a 54 year old Male reader.

  • Reply
    Joe Mazurek
    April 16, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Just proves older men are very smart and in tune about the important things in life…

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      April 16, 2022 at 10:38 am

      I can think of one old man that’s certainly not!

      • Reply
        Sanford McKinney
        April 16, 2022 at 6:24 pm

        Yeah, Ed, I can think of an 80-year-old who lives here at this address that’s certainly not!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    April 16, 2022 at 9:02 am

    As you know, I am a 79 y/o alleged guitarist/songwriter.singer, a lover of old cars, old motorcycles, old airplanes, old dogs…a history nut and a jack-of-all trades who loves hanging out in the Smokey Mountains….and am a daily reader!!!

  • Reply
    Kevin Knight
    April 16, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Tipper, the jist I get from your readers is “Don’t change anything.” One of my sayings is “If it aint broke, don”t fix it.” There are reasons for you getting the award and the way you format your blog is why. Tipper knows best. God bless.

  • Reply
    GoodGriefLouise ( Bill )
    April 16, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Here’s another 65% male reader over 70 YO and I have been following you now for over a year. Wish I had found you sooner. Personally, I like not knowing what you are going to expound on from one day to the next. In all the short time I have been a reader I can’t think of one topic you have entertained us with that would have even remotely made anyone upset or mad about. Write what you like and know, and we will love it regardless of the content. Except maybe physics. I would probably fall asleep. Ha! Ha!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 16, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Your approach has proven itself. As one who has been accused (with some justice) of over-thinking things, an analytical approach would not work at all for most of what you do. As Mr. Lawson has posted already today, that “from the heart” is – I think – the central key to the ‘community of interest’ you have created. While Appalachia is the lens, the subjects are much about the fellowship of the human condition.

    I am a surprised by the near 60/40 split male/female though. That is a mystery. Wonder how that identity is made? My wife reads BP&A most every day but has yet to ever post. However, if the gender id is independent of posting that proves nothing.

    There could be lots of ideas as to why 64% or so of your readers are 45+ years old. Part of it I’m sure is that with the years we like to remember the good times of the past. And part of that is, I think, a growing realization of what is most valuable; such as faith, family, friends and memories. Due to no fault of their own, younger folks are still ‘making their way’ and focused on it, as indeed they must be more than us ‘old hands’. We know things they cannot yet. Their time will come.

  • Reply
    Randy
    April 16, 2022 at 8:36 am

    Tipper, I am one of the over 65 year old males that looks forward to reading your blog each morning. I am as country as you will find anywhere. I can relate to many of your blogs, especially the ones about the old ways of doing things. Me, my family, and neighbors have done and still do some of these things. One of my best friends from Rocky Bottom, SC tells me I was born a 100 yers too late because of how I love the old ways. Please don’t change anything, if it ain’t broke, don’t try fixing it.

  • Reply
    Matt Laminack
    April 16, 2022 at 8:27 am

    I read your blog most everyday and often click on posts that were from a few years ago to catch up on what I’ve missed. I also watch your videos on youtube often. I’m 39 from northeast Alabama. I’m an old soul. What you write about and your videos draw me like a moth to a lantern because i can relate to, or long to experience so much of what you share. And for that, i am grateful. There’s not much in this world that appeals to me, so to have this as a place for the things that do is much appreciated. God bless you all.

  • Reply
    Rita Speers
    April 16, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Tipper,

    I too, was surprised to see some of your stats on who reads your blog! Although I don’t read all of the comments you receive, I did notice that many were written by men and not just your fellow writers and educators. I was not surprised to learn that most of your readers are older though. I’ve just turned sixty-nine (and that’s a shocker to me! )

    You trigger so many memories of days gone by…either our own, or memories of stories told by parents and grandparents. You have a unique way of reaching back and bringing forward the simple things that matter!

    In the job I retired from (I worked as a Sgt. of Corrections and trainer in the jail for my local Sheriff’s Dept.) I trained a lot of young men (mostly). They ranged in age from as young as 18 and on up. I could really tell which ones had working parents and were kept by their grandparents from an early age. The ones whose grandparents kept them had so much more knowledge! They could have a conversation on so many topics using phrases that left some of the other officers baffled. You could tell they were raised following their Papaws around and benefiting from all of the skills they taught them. (Yet they could help me with my newest smart phone and explain modern phrases & tech to me!)They could also talk at length almost to the point of getting misty-eyed about their Mamaw’s good cooking and preserving. I wonder if your smaller percentage of younger readers have also had the benefit of being close to their grandparents or great grand parents or were raised with their standards and ways. It’s a very interesting perspective to think about!

    Please just keep on juggling and catching things to write about. You are much appreciated!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 16, 2022 at 7:58 am

    I like the visual of the circus juggler. Tipper, you are Appalachia, you live and breathe Appalachia right down to your soul!
    Thank you for representing us!

  • Reply
    Carolyn Louise Rains
    April 16, 2022 at 7:54 am

    I read your Blind Pig and the Acorn each day. I’m 76 years and proud to be a female❣️
    I was raised the first part of my life in Bristol Va/Tn. We moved to Utah with an Army contract. Moved back to Northern Alabama in my early 20’s. Dad wanted his girls to marry southern boys!
    I love the mountain music and play the Dulcimer.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 16, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Jim Casada is definitely a deep thinking feller and it’s not surprising your readers are mostly over 50, but men reading more than women is surprising. However, as a general rule, I like what fellers like as far as talk, vehicles (I drive a Tacoma truck) , and survival tips. I can’t stand fake fingernails, harlot barn paint, tats, clothes cut way to glory land, and gossiping hens. (It’s too much as I feel my fists clenching.) I say rock your blog just Tipper’s special way cause it sure appeals to anybody with a lick of sense. My people are Surratts from Surry County, NC and Wilsons of WYTHEVILLE, Va. Then there’s a bunch of mother’s folks -Cherokees from WV named Shrader in the mix…For all I know I could be my own grandpa. If you ever watched THE ARTHUR SMITH SHOW OUTA CHARLOTTE…

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    April 16, 2022 at 7:38 am

    Tipper,
    Perhaps our experiences growing up is the dominate factor in why we “older” folk show more interest in the content of your blog? I expect many of us who can relate to the culture and lifestyle you cover have long since abandoned it and now depend on the “supply chain” to provide that which we once provided for ourselves, family and neighbors?
    It appears, looking back, that most people who were skilled in providing for themselves tolerated the great depression much better than those who had adopted a different lifestyle?
    Could it be that the “Victory Gardens” of WWI and WWII will come back into existence if the “supply chain” situation doesn’t improve?

  • Reply
    Glenda G. Page
    April 16, 2022 at 6:54 am

    I read your Blog every day and learn every day. Please don’t stop doing what you are doing…from the cooking to reading the books. If I am correct, this is the 2nd one. The younger generation could learn a lot from you and I dare say that your girls could probably appeal to that generation. Dorey was so interesting yesterday and her descriptions seem to enable the listeners to ‘see’ what she saw. God Bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    Starr Lawson
    April 16, 2022 at 6:49 am

    Tipper, I am a married male, age 76 and I read your blog every morning after I read my Bible Devotional. I can trace my ancestry back to 1740 in Stokes County, NC. I read your blog because it is personal and comes from your heart. Do you think one of your girls will continue the blog when you receive your eternal rest?

    • Reply
      Tipper
      April 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

      Starr-thank you! I’m not sure but hopefully someone will 🙂

  • Reply
    Jimk
    April 16, 2022 at 6:15 am

    Tipper,
    As one of the 65+ male readers, I find your topics a nice distraction from the madness around us these days. The farms around me turn into subdivisions and the inhabitants don’t understand the phrases and customs of our community. So you allow me to remember how things were here when I grew up. Keep on doing what you do best.
    Thanks for your enthusiasm !

    • Reply
      Martha Justice
      April 16, 2022 at 8:19 am

      Keep those ideas juggling ! I enjoy everything you post. HAPPY EASTER , JESUS IS ALIVE ❤

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 16, 2022 at 6:11 am

    That is an interesting demographic. Where they live would be another. Myself for indtance both sides of my family came directly to NC one from Scotland one from England. Both settled in Mecklenburg area. Both cane in the 1600’s. Then both migrated to FL. I lived in Cherokee county for a good while I can’t wait to come back. 30 days now!!

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