Can you Adam and Eve it? I've been at this blogging lark for FOUR YEARS. When I sat down on a dismal December morning in 2006 I thought keeping a blog might help me get into the rhythm of writing, which then was an essential survival skill if I ever wanted to complete my weighty thesis on time. I envisaged focusing mainly on academic and sociology-type things, hence A Very Public Sociologist (which only makes sense to a small group of social science bods). But almost immediately I bitched about the then general secretary election in the University and College Union, followed it up with the passing of the late and very much unlamented Augusto Pinochet, and then settled down to what became the norm: a mix of sociological musings and political ramblings, with a dash of sectariana.
Not once did I think I'd be at it for long, and if you were one of the tiny handful of people to have dropped by during 2007's summer months you could be forgiven for thinking I'd given up the ghost. But what got me blogging again, what made me return to my keyboard was the amazing idiocy and self-destructive behaviour of the SWP's split with Respect. While it is true I don't have a very high opinion of our Cliffite friends, I ought to thank them for throwing fuel on my sectarian fire and reheating this blog.
Traditionally the birthday is my excuse to treat the readership with so much statistical nudity that it could make one go blind. And this year isn't going to be any different. From December 8th to yesterday AVPS saw 292 posts appear on this here blog, which works out at an average of 0.8 posts a day. Statistically interesting but otherwise utterly meaningless. These posts have attracted 3,513 comments yielding an average of 12 comments per post. Over the total lifespan of the blog that's 8,452 comments with a daily average of 9.5 comments. That may be a long way off from the 300 or so that appear on each update from the winner of the 2010 worst political blog poll, but quality above quantity, right? (At this point I usually do the median, but there's so many books to read and tweets to, um, tweet, that I simply can't be bothered).
Thanks to the powers that be at Blogger for providing a very basic Google Analytics package as standard, I now know what my most popular blog posts are. It only goes back to May but it will do. The five voted favourite by the internets are:
1) The UK's 100 Worst Political Blogs
2) Raoul Moat, Gazza, and the Media Circus
3) Tommy Sheridan On Trial
4) Top 100 Worst Blogs Poll
5) Celebrity Strikebreakers
Had the stats facility been up and running from the start of the year, I am willing to bet good money that the earth shattering exclusive of Lindsey German's resignation from the SWP would be right at the top.
My top five posts in terms of comments received were:
1) Why I Resigned from the Socialist Party (146 comments)
2) Top 100 Worst Blogs Poll (77 comments)
3) The Far Left After the Election (72 comments)
4) Say Hello to Dr Phil (57 comments)
5) The UK's 100 Worst Political Blogs (53 comments)
You want more? You know you do. Here's the year in graphics:
For the blogging year 2009-10 (8th December - 7th December), AVPS achieved a daily average of 663 page loads, 485 visits, and 128 returning visitors. This shows exactly what any self-respecting blogger likes to see: year-on-year audience growth. For 2008-9, the figures for each category were 504, 297, and 69 respectively. 2007-8 saw 218, 157, and 44, and 2006-7 just 67, 45, and 17 (remember, I was an absentee blogger for half that year). This gives an all time average of 364 page views, 246 visitors, and 64 returning.
This is what that looks like as a month by month run down from December 2006 to November 2010:
Cheers to all the blogs and forums that have generously plugged my odds and sods. Thanks to them I now have a very respectable Wikio rating (see top left) which, at one point, climbed to the dizzy heights of 19. In return I'll offer the linky love as promiscuously as blogging decency allows.
Where now? Time, energy and inclination permitting hopefully nowhere! I've got a couple of regular features in the pipeline that may attract a larger audience over the next year. The blog again is in need of an urgent redesign too - I may have given the place a lick of paint in the summer, but I went off it quicker than you can say Kajagoogoo. So a new look is imminent and, I hate to say it, I'm probably going to give adverts a try. Hey, the Labour party embraced markets a long time ago, so why can't I?
Many thanks for sticking with the blog, and here's to the next 12 months!