On 29th August 2004 I relaunched this site, and have somehow managed to keep it updated fairly regularly ever since. So, time for a bit of back-slapping, some highlights and stuff, methinks:
When I started regular updates a year ago, the site was getting about 10-20 unique visitors a day. Thanks to a few plugs from Tim at Bloggerheads (a b3ta buddy), like the launch plug he did on August 31st (ta, boss!), it was up to about 30-50 a day by the time I installed a decent visitor counter in mid September, and first broke the 100 visitors in a day mark on September 23rd. By the start of November it had made it through to the final round in the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards 2004, which was nice (if, frankly, a tad silly considering how long it had been going at that stage).
Over the year, Europhobia has received in the region of 145,000 unique visitors and 250,000 page loads – the most in one day being thanks to the liveblog of the 7th July 2005 terrorist attacks, which was linked to by pretty much everyone. On July 7th alone, there were 28,500 unique visitors, around 28 times the site’s previous high.
But statistics are boring. Have some highlights instead:
The blog first really came to prominence with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. I started posting about it here (check the Ukraine section in the right hand column for more), knowing tit all about Ukraine or what was going on, posting on little more than a vague feeling that something major was going to kick off. Four days later the mainstream media twigged it as well. In the meantime I’d got my first Instapundit spike, had my first liveblogging experience, and seen for myself how blogs can both raise awareness and create links around the world as I helped relay info direct from contacts who had suddenly materialised in Kiev. A very odd experience, but well worthwhile – I think that’s probably when the bug really got me for the first time.
Then there’s the less serious side of blogging, nicely evidenced by the first Robert Kilroy-Silk: Twat post, with more Kilroy hatred here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (not to mention the piss-take, sort of satirical Stop Veritas blog I set up before this year’s elections, which ended up even more insane than I originally intended it to be thanks to a bunch of maniacs in the comments – top stuff…)
Other than that, a few posts I’ve been chuffed with are in the “Best of” section to the right – the booze and insomnia-addled General Election Liveblog being one of my favourites after the silliness of the campaign (which I also helped cover on the General Election 05 blog, for those who don’t know), while this post on why blogging is shit still keeps getting quoted around the place – and may be worth reading if you’re thinking of taking up this particularly addictive hobby.
Anyway, this is getting tedious. It’s now on to Europhobia Year 2 (even if I did technically start this thing in March 2003) – and hopefully soon some cunt newspaper will offer me insane amounts of cash to come and work for them. (Hint sodding hint, all you journo types who read this…) Despite a few intriguing offers (to take part in a panel discussion on CNN, be interviewed by the BBC, write an article for the Guardian etc.) as of yet I have not managed to capitalise on this bloody thing at all. It annoys me, damn it. Pay me cash, you bastards – or at least give me some freelance work (with realistic deadlines this time, ta very much…)
Oh well, there’s always this coming Thursday’s thank-you piss-up for ambulance workers thanks to donations I’ve managed to collect through the blog since 7th July. So I guess I’ve achieved something, at least, even if it is getting a few people drunk for free. Hopefully there’s also been a bit of entertainment along the way – and I know I’ve learned a shit-load more about all kinds of stuff than I would have done without this thing.
It may be intensely frustrating sometimes, it may be far more time-consuming than you ever plan, it may end up taking over your life if you’re not careful, but it’s worthwhile, this blogging lark, even if you don’t get any dough out of it. Give it a pop, let me know and I’ll try and give you a plug.