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.