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5 Years of

Five years ago, on 15 May 2001, I started writing this weblog.

Subject matter started with a forward of something odd from the Forteana list — ‘Why Finns are sick of illnesses named after them’. In terms of subject matter, I started the weblog to reduce the amount of forwards I was passing on by email to other groups — hence the preponderance of forteana posts early on.

Nowadays, by contrast, I try to write original ramblings^Wresearch for the main part of the site, and the occasional “fresh bits” I unearth elsewhere are kept separate, posted to the link-blog at

However, the real reason I started the thing was to act as an experiment in using WebMake as a blog platform — at least, that was the excuse. It worked quite successfully, for what it’s worth — but in mid-August 2005, I eventually accepted that there weren’t enough hours in the day to maintain a weblogging CMS, and its templates, as well as everything else, and that I didn’t really need to test WebMake’s abilities any more, and switched to WordPress. I’m glad I did; WP is a great piece of software.

So what’s been the biggest hit on, by far? Here it is: . Lots and lots of Google Image referrers, MySpace hotlinkers, etc. etc. ;) It’s a top hit for a GIS search for [kittens], I think.

Random stats, based on April’s logs:

  • About 81247 hits were received during April to the RSS 2.0 feed (the default), 9921 to the Atom feed, and 7795 for the RSS 1.0 rendering. That indicates that format-wars-wise, people just use the default. ;)
  • Assuming the RSS reader apps average out to 1 HTTP GET every 30 mins (as Bloglines and Apple’s reader do), that means there are somewhere around (98963 / (30 * 24 * 2)) = 68 subscribers.
  • In terms of the old style browser-using readership — there were 44926 hits on the front page using web browsers.
  • AWStats claims 2700 visits per day, from around 33000 visitors per month. I find the latter figure hard to believe.

After the front page and the feeds, the scraped RSS feeds at come second, Threadless beating out Perry Bible Fellowship by a little bit.

Top stories last month, based on hits:

  • — Single-Letter Google Hits
  • — the Scam (still attracting comments from scammees!)
  • — really outdated stats on GMail’s spam filtering accuracy
  • — Automatically Invoking screen(1) on Remote Logins
  • — Google Calendar
  • — A Gotcha With perl’s “each()”
  • — The Life of a SpamAssassin Rule
  • — Phishing and Inept Banks
  • — RSS Feeds for Events in Dublin
  • — BT DSL’s Daily Disconnects

Technorati says there are 514 links from 105 sites. I still don’t know what the hell that means. ;)

Update: I’ve remembered that, before I started blogging at, I kept a diary at Advogato, which dates all the way back to March 2000!

Also, here are some pretty graphs from the graph-top-referers script:

The several slashdottings and a Boing Boinging are quite clear ;)