Balkan Stories Blog has been out for a month now. As storytelling goes, it’s been an interesting month that brought about a suprise or two. Time for a first look back.

One of things about journalism I like the most is that you learn something new all the time and that you get to meet new people. The meeting part can be a bit virtual with a blog, though. That doesn’t make it any less interesting.

Writing this blog, researching and looking for Inspiration have put me in touch with photographer and director Miloš Milošević whose first feature film I’ve had the pleasure to review here as well as posting a great photo taken by him.

Without setting up a WordPress account and looking for fellow bloggers about the Balkans and a bit of inspiration I might have never discovered the great and interesting blogs by Rayna Breuer and Balkanblogger.

I hope to meet them in what’s somewhat modestly called real life in the next couple of months or so.

An International Audience

A few other people I’d like to get in touch with are some of my readers.

Mind, this blog isn’t a smash hit and I never expected it to be. But for a small private blog and a for free version on WordPress I think it’s doing alright.

Balkan Stories Blog has been read by around 200 people in the first month of it being around.

Me being Austrian, it’s hardly a surprise that most of them are from my home country, Germans being second.

Number three in the country ranking is a very close call. Bosnia has had that rank from the beginning. In the past few days I’ve had a relatively large number of visitors from Serbia and the US so that could change every day.

I’m glad that people living in Ex-YU-republics find my blog interesting. After all, it is them I write about and for.

The relatively big audience from the US comes a bit unexpected – though certainly not unappreciated – and I really would like to know more about who in the US finds Balkan Stories Blog interesting and why.

Also, I seem to have a regular visitor from Russia. Whoever you are, thank you for reading this blog. Which of course, goes for all my readers.

What You’ve Read So Far

I’ve published 17 posts in that first month. Two of them were links to older entries, though, so I’ve been blogging here around every other day. This is a bit more than I had been planning initially.

On the long run I guess I’ll slow down a little. But rest assured: There will be an entry or two every week.

The story that interested you, this blog’s esteemed audience, the most was my declaration of love (of sorts) to the Balkans. The German and the English version combined make up for about a quarter of all page visits here.

Number two is the first entry here, my report about my latest trip to Sarajevo which included a visit to the re-opened National Museum.

The story about Serb nationalist folk singer Ceca stealing the song Djurdjevdan that once stood for the common cultural heritage of Yugoslavia is the third most read entry on Balkan Stories Blog.

Fortunately my loose series of observations and reflections I called „The Language Thing“ also enjoys a bit of attention. See here for Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

What To Expect In The Next Weeks

The next couple of weeks will bring you new stories, a few of which will be about people from the Balkans in Vienna and most likely in German.

I’m also working on a photo essay on the topic. Expect that one within the next two or three weeks.

Also I do have a number of photos from my last few visits to Bosnia I’ll share.

And there will be an analysis of organisations and individuals from the Christian Right trying to initiate a societal rollback in Europe. Croatian organisations play a big part in this loose but highly effective network.

In a way it is a follow up to my reflections on religion serving as a slow acting poison. There also will be a third part dealing with really nasty stuff.

The way it looks right now there may also be the first guest entries on Balkan Stories Blog. I’m very much looking forward to these contributions.

Feedback Is Much Appreciated

A personal note: Feedback of any kind would be highly appreciated.

Writing is a very social acitivity carried out in solitude. Writers want to interact with people. Our aim is to evoke thoughts and emotions and of course curiosity.

This is true both of literature and journalism.

One way to keep a writer motivated is telling him or her what you think about his or her work, how it made you feel, what thoughts it sparked. Especially when that author devotes his spare time to share his or her ideas and views.

So please, feel free to comment on my articles or to send me an e-mail. I would really appreciate it.