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

- George Washington

Saturday, 16 April 2011

50 not out

Yesterday, I noticed that the number of followers of this blog reached the half-century. So, hello and welcome to D Ford, a fellow biker from Arizona.

I'm not sure how reliable a measure of support and interest this is. I do 'follow' a number of blogs, but I find the most convenient way of keeping abreast of posting in the blogs I want to read is through Google Reader. That comes all neatly in bite-sized chunks to my Google homepage every day, and I generally only visit a blog's page if I want to leave a comment or view an image or video which Google Reader can't handle. I only see the blogs I 'follow' on the dashboard when I log in, and I spend almost no time there. Perhaps others do it differently.

But anyway, as a very rough measure, it seems that this blog is steadily growing in readership. There are currently an average of 227 hits a day. This time last year, it was 22. When I split the blog into bike stuff (the Soul Mover blog) and current affairs/other (this one) back in May 2010, I had four followers. Today I have 50.

(For those who weren't around at the time, I grew uncomfortable with writing a blog which was expressing despair at the Labour government in one post and talking about piston rings in the next. I imagined each 'half' of the content was putting off the other 'half' of the readership, and losing me readers as a result. I spilt the blog into two as an experiment, but feedback suggested that people preferred it the way it was, so I left Soul Mover as a single holding post and moved everything back here. I may use Soul Mover again one day, so I am keeping it live.)

From the moment I first put finger to keyboard in an 'anything for a laugh' moment back in June 2009 and said
Having just gone through Blogger's Krypton-Factor style set-up process (Think of a name! Think of a title!) I now have a blog. I will no doubt regret the hasty decisions I made on the way in (if I can remember them at all - what was my name again?) but the die is now cast. If you read this, and I doubt very much that you will, welcome and thank you for stopping by. It's been a pleasure
I have been amazed that anyone would a) visit at all, b) find anything of interest and c) make the effort to write a comment or reaction. I'm still amazed.

Anyway, introspection over. Thank you to everyone, old and new, for reading this tripe and posting comments. Without comments, it would be like shouting in an empty house.


  1. "I only see the blogs I 'follow' on the dashboard when I log in, and I spend almost no time there. Perhaps others do it differently."

    There are blog widgets you can add that display followers on the front page, if you want.

    But I confess, I've not really got my head round the idea of followers on blogs either. It makes more sense on Twitter. I did wonder if it was a way for those who didn't have their own blog to have a sort of 'blogroll'..

  2. I, for one, am pleased with your success. You write well and you write considerately. I am not so balanced so it is good to come and read what you have to say.

    I have around 150 followers but it took a very long time to get there. I'm not sure it is an accurate representation. My daily visit count varies from 700 to 1000. Highest ever was 1400 and I was pleased with that, but only a fraction comment. I think I'd be happier with fewer visitors and more comments. The post is only the beginning; it's the comments that educate.

    Anyhoo, keep going! It's a genuine pleasure to read your stuff. Now that I am nearly a biker myself, I will visit your other site as well.


  3. I'm probably not a representative sample, because this is the only blog I follow...and I only signed up to that a) as a way of showing some visible enthusiasm for the blog and b) to get a cool picture next to my comments.

    In general, though, I prefer not to set internet preferences or use any kind of content filtering or targetting: instead, I regularly visit favourite sites directly and randomly pick up anything else that catches my attention. It tends to mean I only spend time on t'internet when I have time to spare, rather than having a live stream of things I feel I perhaps ought to just take a quick look at...

    Anyway, in my case it is a measure of support - and you're very welcome to it. Keep up the good work!

  4. PS: Captain Ranty - welcome to the only way to travel. Hope you enjoy two-wheeled addiction...

  5. @ Julia - I already have the 'followers' widget on the front page - slide your eyes to the right. It's not so much the followers as the blogs that I am following. I do as Endo says, and sign up as a follower to show some support for the blog's owner or attitude, but I don't use my 'follow' list for anything. In fact, I have just had a clearout of it following some recent developments elsewhere, and there were blogs in there I can't remember joining! Google reader is a far better way of keeping in touch, and in this it is much more like Twitter than Blogger and its 'followers'.

    @ Captain - thanks for the kind words. I'm a bit like a mirror image of you: I know my stuff is fairly restrained, so I visit yours for the stuff I might say but don't :)

    @ Endo - thank you too. The only blog you follow; now there's an honour! And I completely second your last comment. welcome to the Dark Side, O Captain of Rantiness.

  6. XX I have been amazed that anyone would a) visit at all, b) find anything of interest and c) make the effort to write a comment or reaction. I'm still amazed.XX

    Well, since Isiah Fartwell and Maz Harris disapeared, you are the only one that covers motor cycles plus the view that bikers have opinions about other things than Brembo brakes as well.

    A good mixture, in "family" friendly surroundings. Like a bikers pub without the beer.

    Can't beat it.

  7. Thank you. As to your last comment, see next post.

  8. It's your eclectic mix of subjects that have a vague common thread running through them. The 'curiosity' about what will surface next; and, whether I'll agree or disagree with a particular posting.

    Oh, and you always take the trouble to respond.

  9. :)

    Thanks Joe. The 'mix' is broadly whatever comes into my head that I think may be worth posting. There's no plan.

    I took a leaf out of Subrosa's book on the response thing. She never fails to respond to a comment, however briefly, and regards it as common courtesy. I do, too. The only time I don't respond is when I feel I have nothing worthwhile to add to a comment.

  10. "Shouting in an empty room", yes I can identify with that one m8! However it is good to see your mix up of stuff and it does remind me that the bike needs to be brought back into fettle for the season (well as long as my hands will last this time).
    Following and stuff like that is a lost art to me, as far as I know wordpress doesnt do it and it all gets too complicated for my tiny brain!, quite a lot of the time I fire off comments and forget to tick the e.mail me replies box as well, so errrm...where is that box here then???

  11. I like Blogger for its 'email replies' box. Useful because you can never remember what you said or where you said it. That's the one drawback on AR's site. If you comment there, you have to remember to go back, find the post, and read all the updates and repsonses, including all the ones you read the first time because there is no 'new comments only' feature. Blogger is, for once, better than that. And don't get me started on the sites that accept your comment and then email you a link to another site so you can 'subscribe' before your comments can be accepted - and then CONGRATULATE YOU on subscribing! Grrr.


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