AS I do every year*, I present to you a round up of the inner workings of this blog and, because things round here are changing, that other blog I started too. The statistics of the blog provide endless amusement and fascination. Some people really do look at seriously strange stuff online.
This year things really took off, with certain posts reaching a far wider audience than I have previously encountered. At the very end of 2008, visits to a post I called Weird Science spiked so dramatically I thought something had gone wrong - visits increased overnight by 9,200%. It wasn't even a proper post. Hits subsequently crashed, but it was a sign of things to come and, curiously, Weird Science remains the most viewed piece of writing I have ever produced.
In January 2009, things began well with Baby is Born. Has Special Powers, a piece that was, at that point, an uncharacteristic style of article for me to write. It was a response to a newspaper article claiming that the world's first "cancer-free baby" had been born. One of the themes of the article was recently repeated in How to live to 100, a piece I wrote over at t'other blog.
Things spiked again in February courtesy of Gail Trimble, the super-brainy captain of the winning team (subsequently revoked) of University Challenge.
Things largely went quiet again until May, when I became involved in the Simon Singh libel campaign, attending this rally in support of him. A trio of posts - In the name of nerdiness, Nerds united - the Blogosophere erupts to the tale of Simon Singh and Nerds rejoice! - proved popular, although their figures pale in comparison to things written elsewhere - and rightly so. I will explain why in my second review of 2009.
Later in the year I set up a second blog, LH&S, to accommodate less personal, more political, scientific or essay-like writing, to keep this blog about me. The catalyst for this change was the longest piece I have ever written, Is Kazakhstan the "Seat of Satan"? No. Grow Up. Despite this, that essay on Kazakhstan was the second most popular entry of the year until very recently (it brought traffic from the UK Skeptics forum and Undermind.co.uk), when my review of U2 in Sheffield overtook it. The new blog meant I was free to be more personal here, and I thoroughly enjoyed presenting The Masquerade Ball, Nightmares and Graduation to you.
I also was pleasantly surprised when, via Twitter, Rob Dougan endorsed my review of his album (in A Turquoise Chord) and subsequently promoted my travel entry Here I Go Again.
Over at t'other blog, things are all very much anew, but my dad commended me on For the benefit of humanity, which meant a lot.
This year I had visitors from the UK, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, India, Spain, France, Norway, Portugal, Finland, Italy, South Africa, Denmark, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Austria, Japan, Hungary, Singapore, Indonesia, Sweden, Malaysia, the UAE, Romania, Russia, Estonia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Bahrain, Venezuela, Greece, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Serbia, Switzerland, Thailand, Egypt, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovenia, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guam (brilliant!), Ukraine, Tunisia, Iran, Vietnam, the Isle of Man, Ghana, Oman, Fiji, Peru, Chile, Pakistan, Lebanon, Cote d'Ivoire, the Philippines, Jersey, New Caledonia, Croatia and, for the first time, the Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It's the modern equivalent of stamp collecting, and makes for a very exciting map.
I apologize for all of the threads I promised to write about and never did. Maybe next year, maybe not.
It thus remains for me to let you in on the psyche of the average Internet user. The following selection genuinely brought Internet users here. Some of them are slightly concerning.
Gail Trimble (hugely popular, usually with the word photos, sexy or cute)
Permutations involving Kazakhstan, Satan, Astana, Bayterek, Occult, Symbolism, Illuminati, Masonic (including Astana alien invasion)
The ever popular Johnstone River Crocodile Farm (the post to which this appplies is now 2 years old, and still ignites controversy)
Simon Singh (and libel, chiropractic etc.)
Melbourne vs Sydney
Just like last year... sexy Sue Barker
U2 secret gig
English Cheesecake Company + "trustworthy"
New Hits '96
Babies born with special powers
The Swan on cowbells
British Guardian newspaper Scythians were Turkic
Can mutations be done causing special powers?
Cloudland Nature Refuge Australia
"Darth Vader Christmas Stephen Fry"
Dr Alice Robert's boyfriend pictures (?)
Devil's footprints, Wendover, Bucks
Find diagram to show cva patients how to shave
Genghis Khan song atomic bomb
"Gunge, gunged or gunging"
History of the poppadom
Is there anyone in the world with special powers?
In the jungle, the mighty jungle: Simon
Lyric of the song Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise
Murder of Miranda Downs on Buckhams Beach, Cairns, Australia (?)
Bruce Parry jumping over cattle
Rob Dougan wine (here's Rob's vineyard: La Pèira)
Simon Says... show me two fingers
Simon Says... nudist
Snow leopards have symbolic meaning for turkic people of Central Asia
Step by step Hangi with diagrams
U2 tour: why didn't they play Pride (in the Name of Love)?
What do you say at a climate change rally?
and, finally, the most surreal:
"What are the milestones of Australia's evolution into what is now its modern day pharmacy practice?"
See you in 2010
*Except 2007 - I blame the jetlag