If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Me and my little blog

Well, 2010 is over and the stats are in. If you define success by the number of visitors, or page views, then it's been quite a successful year. In 2010, a total of 13,081 visits were made to this blog, and in those visits 18,387 pages were viewed. I'm not sure how 'visits' is defined, and whether these were 'absolute unique visitors' or just some random tramp leaning on the blog wall on his way home. I use a free stat counter (Sitemeter) to record these things, and being a free utility it is not high on pro features. But it tells me what I need to know, which is whether what I am doing is of the slightest interest to anyone, or not. (Those numbers will be slightly higher in reality. Sitemeter stopped recording me for some reason for most of January and February, and I didn't start recording page views until August.)

Over the course of the year, interest in the blog has strengthened in a very pleasing way. In January, it received an average of 6 visits a day. Five of those were probably me, before I had worked how to get Sitemeter to ignore my IP address. By December, this had increased to 92. The watershed month was October, when I had a bit of luck. I was up early one morning and saw the first reports of the 10:10 climate change film. I was outraged and posted something straight away. I followed this up with further posts, in which I managed to capture quotes and references before they were amended or taken down from their original locations, and I was getting hits from all over the place, and sites I had never heard of. For a day or two, the stats went mental. This led to a number of big-hitter blogs adding me to their blogrolls (thanks to you all, you know who you are) and getting a couple of mentions in the weekly roundups of blogs with a huge readership. The blog has averaged about 90 hits a day since then.

Does any of this matter? In a way, no. I started the blog as a way of getting a few things off my chest and communicating the pleasure and sheer fun of riding a motorbike in the UK. You don't need readers for that. But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that it is very gratifying when people visit the blog, read what's there and like it enough to keep coming back. That is a real buzz. And it's great when people take the trouble to comment. There have been some interesting and enlightening discussions below the line, and no-one has ever really lost the plot. I'm ready to moderate anything I think is libellous or gratuitously offensive (normal offensive is fine), but the only posts I have deleted have been commercial spam.

I'm still rather amazed that this little collection of whimsy, comment and biker chat has any interest at all to the world outside Nowhere Towers, but it pleases me that it does. How it has managed to reach over 800 posts and over 2000 comments is a mystery. So to all of you, thank you for visiting, thank you especially for commenting, and here's to more of the same in 2011.


  1. Well deserved results. It is a big pond out there and there are a lot of people saying the same thing. I put your success down to good writing and variety. We both probably appeal to the same demographic but apart from a certain age thing, I don't really know what it is.

  2. Thank you! I share the rage of a lot of the bloggers, but I am usually too late to the party to say anything new, so I prefer to make my own way, up to a point. Variety, or lack of focus? The latter, probably, if you took the rest of my life as corroborative evidence.

  3. "no-one has ever really lost the plot" - Oh come now, I lost the plot years ago...

    But seriously, a good blog, and as Wrinkled Weasel says good writing & variety.

  4. I come here now and again and find the blog very interesting, especially since I am a fellow Bonnie owner, a 2010 Bonneville SE. I'm about to shock all the Bonneville "experts" by removing the air injection system and all 4 cats. They say it can't be done on an EFI bike.

  5. MD - it's those of us wot have lost the plot that keep things sane. So the voices tell me.

    Anonymous - good move, and it most certainly can! Mine's the 790 carb version, but gutting the airbox and jetting up have improved the bike no end. Removing the AI is a no-brainer; all you get is slight popping on the over-run, which is quite nice and 60s in its way, and your exhausts don't overheat so much. Can't comment on removing the cats, but many have done it. Go and have a look at the Triulph Rats forum (if you haven't already) where there is a ton of info and advice.

    http://www.triumphrat.net/forum.php and look in 'Twin Talk'.

  6. As WW says, well deserved results!

  7. Thank you, Julia, and thanks also for linking to me. You are one of my 'must-reads'.

  8. Well done Richard. It's not easy to attract readers and even more difficult to attract commenters, especially since every professional journalist and commentator now has a blog.

    As WW says it's all down to variety and content.

    Your success is down to communicating with your readers. That's one of the reasons I started because I was fed up writing comments on blogs and nobody acknowledged them. Although it's time consuming answering it's the least I can do if someone takes up their time to comment.

  9. Variety and content. I would go along with that - and a writing style that is intelligent without being smug. I reckon you are 'getting somewhere'


  10. Congratulations on keeping on keeping on.

    I especially enjoy the pictures. The walk on the beach was particularly poignant.

  11. Whew, thanks everyone :)

    SR - I try to respond to all comments (as I know you do), although sometimes it's hard to know when to draw a line and move on.

    Derf - much appreciated, and thanks to you because you were the one who said 'get writing'. It's all your fault.

    WoaR - thank you. About the beach photos: I knew as soon as I had hit Publish that it was a good'un. The target for 2011 is more posts like that and fewer incoherent ramblings. Not hopeful I can do it.

    Bucko - thanks for your encouragement, too.

  12. Variety and content gets my vote, too. And I must include fellow commenters in that: you seem to have pulled "the right sort of people"!

    Always a pleasure to stop by for a read or some intelligent conversation.

    All the best for the coming year(s).

  13. I feel very lucky to have some really great people chipping in here, and I always enjoy the craic. I would thank you for the quality and range of your comments, too. I think you must be the grandaddy of them all - or at least the longest-serving. Take that the right way.


Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

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