1½million: Sometime this morning, probably just after nine o'clock or thereabouts, diamond geezer will receive its million and a halfth visitor. Actually that's not quite true, it'll just be the million and a halfth time that my slightly ropey stats package has registered a unique visit, which isn't the same thing at all. And not in the slightest bit correct. Thanks to the relentless rise of the RSS feed, considerably more people read this blog than visit it. But I can't count my feedreaders accurately, so I'll have to stick to counting visitors instead. And there have been one and a half million of them. Blimey, gosh and wow.
Of course one and a half million is nothing really, not when spread over seven years. It's the equivalent of one in every five Londoners looking at my blog, once and only once, at some point between 2002 and today. It's one visitor every two and a half minutes, which is nothing to be sniffed at, but pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It's crap, really. But still wow.
So it's time once again for an update of my regular 'league table' of top linking blogs, ordered by volume of visitors clicking here from there. As usual I've also included details of the 'highest climbers'. I was going to include the highest climbers since my last update (at 1¼ million), but the chart's hardly changed at all since then so I've gone back to 1 million instead. It still hasn't changed much.
Nearly a quarter of my Top 30 consists of blogs that are long dead, but nothing's ever come along to demote them. At least two of the remaining blogs delinked me several years ago. Three of the rest don't have a blogroll, they just linked to me in posts (in one case only once). The only new entry since 1 million visitors is at number 26, leaping into the list with the power of a major publishing company behind it. Other than that I'm increasingly convinced that this 'linking chart' is an irrelevance, whereas it used to be a touchstone dynamic summary.
I assembled this list by updating a spreadsheet, and one thing that struck me was how little the number of incomers had changed since last time. Half a million extra visitors may have turned up since April last year, but only a tiny proportion of them have come from these top linking blogs. Links from other people's blogs used to be crucial for gathering an audience, and now they're almost an irrelevance. You have a blogroll? Nobody cares, not like they used to anyway.
In 2009, people are more likely to create brief transient links to a blog in their status updates. Murmurings on Facebook, mutterings on Twitter, that's where bloglinks appear these days. I've totted up the statistics and, if I'd included them in the list, both Facebook and Twitter would now appear just outside the Top 20. Give it a few more months and they'll be considerably higher. Short snappy mentions can bring in the punters, a handful at a time, and they all add up.
But I've still got a blogroll of my own because I believe it's important (even if you RSS-ers can't see it). About half of my 20-strong blogroll are extremely long established, and the remainder are more recent and fresh. About half of these bloggers I've met in real life, which was nice, and the other half are joys yet to come. And about half are in my top 20 linking blogs, and the other half aren't. No matter. I'm more than grateful for my million and a half, so thank you all for linking and clicking. But I'm not convinced it'll be worth cataloging this list again when, or if, two million rolls around.