For this first week of the New Year, IBS Impact is once again participating in the common December-January blogger tradition of highlighting popular posts and interesting blog statistics from the year just past.
This blog reached readers in 131 countries and territories during 2016, which is an annual record just short of the cumulative 133 for the five years WordPress has made country statistics available to individual blog owners. Both the number of visitors and total number of hits increased by almost 230% over 2015, also records, largely because of this blog’s coverage of the May 2016 release of the Rome IV international diagnostic criteria, despite half the number of posts published this year.
While, predictably, the top 5 countries this year are ones where English is an official or major secondary language, total blog hits span every continent, underscoring that IBS is a global problem, not the common, inaccurate stereotype of it as a nuisance disorder caused by overindulgent North American diets and lifestyles. A list of the top 25 better reflects the diversity of countries of origin represented, which appears to change somewhat every year. It is hoped that the vast majority are legitimate visits, even from those who might not have been searching specifically for information about IBS, and not simply potential spammers. In order, the countries are:
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
9. South Korea
10. Saudi Arabia
Below are the top 10 individual posts that received the most hits during 2016. The #1 post on the Rome IV criteria was published in early June of this year, and the number of hits on this important topic is about 9 times that of the #2 post. The #2 post, on functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS being classified as service-connected disabilities for U.S. military veterans, was originally published in 2011, soon after the inception of this blog, and held the top spot consistently every year and cumulatively from 2011 through 2015 until the release of the Rome update in May 2016.
Most of the posts in the list were first published in 2011 through 2015. However, they continue to attract attention because they address topics that are of ongoing concern to people with IBS. Perhaps longtime readers can refresh their memories and newer readers will discover something interesting and useful. In order, the posts are:
1. New Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Unveiled May 2016, June 9, 2016
2. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders/IBS Considered Presumptive Service-Connected Disabilities for U.S. Gulf War Veterans, August 12, 2011
3. New Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Will Include Individualized Clinical Profiles, October 11, 2015
4. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), July 30, 2012
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and a Debate on “Can’t Wait” Cards, November 25, 2012 Please note that the blog originally linked in the above post as a basis for discussion no longer exists on WordPress.com. However, the ideas raised and the invitation by IBS Impact for readers and the IBS community to continue to discuss related concerns are still valid.
6. Education Laws and Resources for Students with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), August 27, 2013
7. Public Restroom Access and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), February 21, 2012
8. Massachusetts Enacts Restroom Access Act, August 20, 2012
9. Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) Updates in Maryland and Maine, May 10, 2013
10. Representative Joyce of Ohio Co-Sponsors HR 2311 for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders, June 28, 2016
This blog was begun in July 2011, a few months after the launch of the main IBS Impact website, and a bit over a year after the inception of IBS Impact itself. It is intended as a supplement to the many resources on our main site, one that can be updated relatively quickly with time-sensitive news, advocacy and clinical trial opportunities, as well as providing well-researched, scientifically reputable information on IBS and commentary on broader issues affecting the IBS community that may not be widely discussed on other sites. It is meant to be useful to a broad readership: people with IBS and related conditions, both those who may have lived with IBS for some time and those with recent onset or who are new to IBS sites online, family members and friends, health care and human service professionals who may interact with us, and the general public. We are pleased that it continues to fulfill this role.
IBS Impact wishes everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and productive New Year and looks forward in 2017 to advances in awareness, advocacy, research, treatment and community support systems that benefit the worldwide IBS community.