So 2007 draws to a close, my second full year of blogging (Euroblog launched in July 2005 – this is the 666th post since then), and it’s time to reflect a little about where this blog is going and what I might manage to make of it in 2008. But for whom am I actually writing? That’s a very hard question to answer.
First of all some stats – these are all from the WordPress Slimstat plugin that I reckon is more reliable than ClustrMaps. Since 20 May 2007 this blog has received 50027 individual visitors; there were 4172 last week. Weekly numbers are between 3000 and 4500 depending how often I post. A good few thousand of those visitors are thanks to Google (due to the different language versions of Google it’s tricky to come up with a total, but that’s the main source of new traffic). The other top referrers since May 2007 are 419 from Mark Mardell’s blog, 143 from Taurillon, 120 from B4L. In short few people get to this blog thanks to syndication…
So who are all of these readers then? First of all there are the people who use this blog to discuss tactics to pass the Commission entrance exams, the concours. I’m not sure whether these people read anything else, but they are very welcome to use my blog as a forum. Beyond that there are the people who are friends offline, and read the blog to see what I’m up to – some of them comment, and I’m sure there are others that do not. Thanks to all of you – you know who you are! 🙂
Then things get more complex. There are regular commenters, some of whom write about EU politics, and this blog is reasonably well linked from other EU politics blogs, although the most well known pro-EU blog – FisfulofEuros – does not seem to know this blog exists. On the UK politics front things are even more patchy. Apart from Paulie (Never Trust A Hippy) I cannot remember the last time any Labour blogger either linked to this blog or commented. I’m definitely very far away from the Labourhome / Recess Monkey / Kerron Cross cabal. On the Tory side it’s different – I seem to very easily draw the ire of Devil’s Kitchen and other bloggers that are definitely not on the left.
So what can I deduce from all of that? Somehow I have hit upon a recipe for the blog that works for a reasonable number of readers who keep on coming back to read more. But as this post has shown I have little clue who those people are. Essentially I’m writing for myself – this is my space, with my ideas, and it’s fun to try to develop those ideas and make them public. At least when I post about EU matters it seems to provoke more debate than other things… So in 2008 I’ll try to keep that as the focus of what I’m writing. But please do comment on this entry if there are things you want to see more or less of. Equally please do let me know who you are and why you’re a reader.
as neither of us are in the office for chats on these types of issues any more, I’m reading it to keep my mind active on things I care about that don’t involve nappies! More of the same is good (though I will never agree with you on the church schools issue…) Happy New Year by the way.
Hi Jon, Just added you to my new feed reader. Keep up the good work.
Jon – I know you’ve seen this before (you commented, after all).
Being part of a circle-jerk of Labour bloggers is no use to you at all.
Jon, good questions. I follow at a lot of EU blogs, but I read yours, which is one of my favourites, with great interest.
Considering British public discourse on the European Union, it is heartening to read your critical and sane views.
Plus, your blog is part of an emerging European public sphere, where various topics are discussed across national borders.
More EU blogging!
I don’t know if you’d really get more movement from it. Since you seem to attract a lot of attention for blogging about the concours, blogging about similar things (e.g. finding your way through Brussels) might be good. You’re in a good position to do so now.
Please carry on writing. I have lost touch with British politics since I have been living in the UK about ten years ago so it is interesting to read about it with a pro-European view.