I’m delighted - astonished, in fact - to say that, together, we’ve reached the 300th posting on this blog. It’s taken almost four years to get here, and a lot has changed in that time. I’ve just spent a pleasant and sobering couple of hours contemplating exactly how much has changed, in fact.
Four years ago, I was presenting The Nightshift on BBC Radio Newcastle and had the doubtfully bright idea of starting a blog which would relate to, and expand on, the ground covered during the programme. (It’s name arose as a result of a chance remark by fellow-presenter Gilly Hope.)
After a while, I was instructed not to mention the blog on-air because it wasn’t an official BBC blog. I kept on writing it, though - and have maintained regular postings through all the changes that have occurred since those days, which seem so very long ago now.
Of course, four years really is quite a long time in cyberspace and I think one of the reasons my BBC days seem part of a distant and unreal past is that, since my retirement, all our lives have been somewhat overtaken by the overwhelming digital media revolution that crowds round us and gathers pace all the time.
It’s now possible to add sound and video to a blog; posters can be followed - and contacted - on Facebook and Twitter. Blogs without these facilities (in other words, blogs like this one) are now regarded as rather old hat, like black-and-white tv in an age of full colour HD.
So, in its four years and 300 postings, Truckshunters has inadvertently fallen behind the times. A long way behind the times. And I’m not really sure what to do about it.
I’ve tried to master the intricacies of Facebook. Every time I receive an email telling me that someone has left a message on my Wall, I log on and instantly get lost. I still haven’t even found my Wall and therefore apologise to everyone who has ever left a message on it.
My desultory and dispiriting experiences with Facebook mean that I haven’t even tried to hook myself onto Twitter.
So I’ve set myself a target. I am determined to overcome my pathetic ignorance of these two socially and digitally essential means of communication. But because I’m old and hoary, I’m giving myself plenty of time to get to grips with them.
If I’m not tweeting by the time I reach 77, I’ll give up.
(Incidentally, if you want to see the blog of a truckshunter who has managed to keep up with blogging developments, you could do a lot worse than look at Mietek’s (in Canada). You’ll find it at scurvytoon.blogspot.com.)
In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in some of the statistics relating to this primaeval and outdated blog. They certainly interested me…
In the 47 months since posting number 1, there have been 300 postings, which is 6 - 7 a month or 1 - 2 a week.
The blog has been looked at 20,403 times. Last month, 1,287 people read it. 54 people looked at it yesterday, including people in the USA, France, Germany and Russia.
Most truckshunters - 13,961 - live in the UK but there are 2,017 in America and 1,318 in France.
Perhaps more surprisingly, at one time or another, the blog has been read 365 times in the Netherlands, 337 times in Germany, 189 in Russia, 108 in Canada (that must be Mietek), 106 in Iran, 87 in Mexico and 85 in Slovenia. Would the Dutch, German, Russian, Iranian and Slovenian truckshunters please make themselves known!
The statistics I have to hand exclude blogsters whom I know to exist in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and several other countries besides. Blanket coverage!
89% of blogsters use the Windows operating system while (disappointingly) only 7% use a Mac. Interestingly, 39 people have read the blog on an iPad. I don’t know anyone with an iPad. Step forward, please.
A few weeks ago, I started to index the blog, too, though I’ve only got as far back as blog 245, which was posted in January this year.
Since the beginning of this year alone, we’ve covered almost 150 identifiably different subjects, which include 16 ‘editions’ of Life in France and four of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know.
Forgotten Heroes covered since January have included Admiral Collingwood, Emily Davison, Gladstone Adams, Tom Taylor, William Mills, William Wouldhave and Henry Greathead
We’ve looked at various local words and expressions - twice.
We’ve marked National Procrastination Day and St Cuthbert’s Day.
Even Bishop Auckland has had its moment in the truckshunter sun - three times.
And there’s a lot more besides.
So...a VERY big Thankyou for keeping the faith; for staying with me for all this time; and for contributing so freely and imaginatively via the Comments box or through email. The blog would certainly not be the same without your active input and participation.
You amaze me. You really do.
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