diamond geezer

 Sunday, July 25, 2021

10000000: Sometime this evening, just before seven o'clock, diamond geezer will receive its ten millionth visitor. More accurately it'll be the ten millionth time that an archaic stats package has registered a unique visit, which very much isn't the same thing, but I think still very much worth celebrating.

Ten million visits is an astonishing total - the equivalent of everyone in Portugal reading my blog once. But viewed another way it's not much - on average two busy tube trains of readers a day (or several busy tube trains under current circumstances).

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 thirteen months.

0Sept 2002 
      1000000    April 2008    5½ years
2000000Jan 20112¾ years
3000000Oct 20121¾ years
4000000Apr 20141½ years
5000000Aug 20151⅓ years
6000000Dec 20161¼ years
7000000Feb 20181⅕ years
8000000Apr 20191⅙ years
9000000Jun 20201⅙ years
10000000Jul 20211⅛ years

I can also do that as a graph.

For the first decade and a half the graph was a curve because my readership was (gradually) growing, with the fastest spurt in the pre-Olympic heyday of 2011/2012. But since 2016 it's become much more of a straight line because my readership's levelled out, with each successive million taking about 60 weeks.

That's good because it means I'm not haemorrhaging readers, but also bad because I'm no longer gaining a wider audience like I used to. What I seem to have is a long-standing core readership, cheers, with a few new regulars who somehow stumble here balanced by others drifting away. In a resolutely post-blog era it could be a lot lot worse.

Each time one of these millionaire milestones rolls by I like to look back and analyse which sites my readers have arrived 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. But here's the latest update of my Top 10 linking blogs (2002-2021) anyway...
1) Londonist
2) Girl with a one track mind    
3) London Reconnections
4) Ian Visits
5) Random acts of reality
  6) Arseblog
  7) Scaryduck
  8) Blue Witch
  9) London Daily Photo
10) 853
What's striking is that this list hasn't changed much since five million, just shuffled around a bit.

Londonist takes the top spot thanks to a decade and a half of capital content which sometimes linked here, although not so much of late as the site's currently on a very low simmer. But they have finally dislodged the all-conquering Girl With A One Track Mind which was massive in the mid-2000s, ditto Tom's defunct Random acts of reality and Gunner-tastic Arseblog. Other blogging phenomena which faded away were London Daily Photo (2005-2013) and Alistair's award-winning Scaryduck, although that still gets the occasional update.

Ian Visits is the only blog in the ascendant of late, thanks to his weekly railway news which kindly links here every few editions. Former behemoth London Reconnections rarely posts much more than a list of recommended links these days, but I sometimes squeeze in if I've posted something particularly transport-tastic. Blue Witch is the sole surviving old-school blog in the top 10, currently documenting the ultimate house move, and 853 is Darryl's excellent citizen journalism site for north-ish Greenwich. Thank you all.

But all ten of these linkers have been seriously outgunned by three major social media platforms.
1) Twitter
2) Reddit
3) Facebook
Twitter is easily top of the heap with more than double the clickthroughs of the other two (and three times as many as Londonist). 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 I still don't understand how Facebook is sending so many people here, but that's mainly because I'm not on it.
My five most clicked-through posts since 9 million
1) London fire brigade animal rescues
2) Why is there a cluster of tall buildings in the City?
3) Why do so many flats in London have balconies?
4) Shaun Bailey campaigns in Watford
5) The Percy Ingle bakery chain has closed
Before you get the wrong idea I should say the vast majority of my last million readers didn't click in from anywhere, they rely on force of habit. I've hit ten 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. As far as I can tell at least 90% of you currently arrive off your own bat, not because something elsewhere directed you here... although that's probably how you ended up at diamond geezer in the first place.

Also I know that a lot of you read the blog without actually visiting it, courtesy of my RSS feed, which makes a mockery of attempting to count visitor numbers anyway. I probably passed ten million several months ago, maybe even years back, but just didn't realise.

So I don't mind where my ten million came from, nor that I can't count you all, I'm just well chuffed that you still bother turning up. Thanks to all of you, and here's to millions more...

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