: Sometime this morning, before seven o'clock, diamond geezer will receive its eight millionth visitor. More accurately it'll be the eight millionth time that a slightly ropey stats package has registered a unique visit, which totally isn't the same thing, but still very much worth celebrating. Eight million visits is an impressive total - the equivalent of everyone in Scotland and Wales reading my blog once. But viewed another way it's not much - on average one packed tube train of readers a day, which isn't even 0.01% of the population of London. What I do know is that my audience is coming faster. The first million took five and a half years, the last million's taken fourteen months.
What I've traditionally done, each time one of these millionaire milestones rolls by, is look back and analyse which sites my readers arrive from. In particular I like to draw up a league table of top linking blogs, ordered by volume of visitors clicking here from there. This used to be hugely important, back in the era when blogs thrived solely because other blogs linked to them, but times change. Blogs no longer have a fraction of the traction they enjoyed a decade ago now that social media is king, because the ability to drive traffic has shifted away from those who generate their own content towards those who merely digest the content of others.
So my regular linking league table includes a range of websites broader than mere blogs, in particular three social media services that didn't exist when I started out, and which now dominate beyond expectation. My apologies if they've shoved your website down the table since my last league table in February 2018. I've also reduced the table from a top 20 to a top 10, sorry, because pretty much nothing is happening in the teens any more.
For the first time the top three are all social media platforms, with Twitter at the top of the heap. I don't tweet about my blog much, and nor do many others, but my bot account @diamondgzrblog automatically tweets each new blog post to a small daily audience and that's helped rack up the clicks. Reddit hasn't been anywhere near as excitable of late, now that most of its tube geeks have been siphoned off into a minor subreddit, so its second place is mostly a reflection of past supernovae. And goodness knows how Facebook is sending so many people here because I'm not even on it, and the data never tells.
Girl With A One Track Mind, Gunner-tastic Arseblog, Tom's defunct Random acts of reality and the award-winning Scaryduck are only here because they were massive in the mid 2000s and nothing else has come along to dislodge them since. Londonist is no longer a blog but still occasionally links here, although I get most visitors when they retweet one of their old posts for the umpteenth time. I expect über-transport site London Reconnections to nudge up a place next time, which Blue Witch manages this time, both confirming the staying power of old-school blogging. Some of us carry on writing stuff because we want to, even if it's harder to be heard above the social media buzz than ever before.
But the vast majority of my last million readers didn't click in from anywhere, they rely on force of habit. I've hit eight million by being reliable rather than clickable, because there'll almost certainly be a new post to read every morning which hopefully you'll want to read. So I don't mind where my eight million came from, I'm just well chuffed that you still bother turning up. Thanks to all of you, and here's to millions more...