Blog stats for 2008

More for my own curiosity than anyone else’s – here are some stats from this blog for 2008:

According to WordPress the blog currently has 577 posts, 95 of which were published in 2008 (compared to 154 in 2007).

According to StatCounter the blog had around 21,700 unique visitors in 2008, compared to 16,500 in 2007.

The two most popular posts are probably this one and this one (which suggests that I should review more things here if I want to draw the crowds in!)

According to SiteMeter 43% of the blog’s readers are using IE7 while 36% are using Firefox. 16% are using IE6 while 4% are using Safari.

Over 31% of readers have an Irish IP address while 24% have one in the UK; France and the US tie after that with 7% each (although there is an 8% segment of unknown origin).

According to FeedBurner the site has 61 subscribers, 44% of whom use Google FeedFetcher.

Ten things I learned in 2008

1) TV3 aren’t so disinterested in current affairs after all. Nightly News with Vincent Browne may not be all its press release promised but it does show a little bit of enthusiasm within the commercial broadcaster to do more than the absolute bare minimum when it comes to news.

2) Come hell or high scandal, Bertie Ahern is the consummate politician. Just listen out for his call in to Newstalk’s Off The Ball if you don’t agree.

3) The young political sector in Ireland still hasn’t quite gotten it right. I wait with baited breath for Rock The Vote’s Obama-inspired campaign for the 2009 local elections. On second thought, given their decision to refrain from saying anything even remotely political for fear of bias, I wonder if they’ll even allow themselves to utter the word ‘change’ for fear of its connotations.

4) Tom Waits loves Ireland and Ireland loves Tom Waits. The gig was great – although not everyone concurs. Here’s hoping he’ll be back again soon (and here’s hoping we’ll have a Waits Christmas in 2009, if my dastardly but long-shot plan can come to fruition).

5) Sometimes €115 for a gig is a bargain. Leonard Cohen put on a spectacular show in Dublin and by all accounts, across Europe. His site had in pencilled in for a return to Dublin in late December 2008 but that disappeared – fingers crossed he’ll make a triumphant return to these shores in 2009.

6) Dublin City Council can do a job quickly but it’s usually badly. I’m not sure if all of these safety issues have been resolved; I’m equally unsure when Dublin city will see the supposed benefits of this deal with JCDecaux (or will the stock “economic downturn” excuse be pulled out to let us all know it isn’t going to happen).

7) Denis O’Brien is now the proud owner of Ireland’s first national, commercial radio network. We’ve had all those RTÉs for so long, I suppose it’s only fair that we have a commercial equivalent, eh?

8) Traditional Irish media outlets finally started taking more advantage of the online world. A lot done, more to do.

9) O2 Ireland were left seriously red-faced when they launched the 2G iPhone just weeks before a 3G version was released by Apple. The embarrassment only grew when their tariffs were compared directly to O2 UK’s prices (which look even better now with sterling nearing parity with the euro). Oh well, there’s always the 3rd generation of iPhone to get it right.

10) Whatever your destination the path will never be as you expected. This is not a bad thing.

Merry Christmas

I hope Santy brought/brings you whatever it is you want.

Last year was all about the Waits – if I get my way next year will too.

So for Christmas 2008, let’s have a change of pace (while maintaining the beauty of it all).

Have a good one.

Ireland gets a new technology magazine with Click

Ireland’s technology magazine market is pretty limited and has been for some time. When new entrants hit the shelves, which hasn’t happened in a while at this stage, they tend to sink without a trace relatively quickly. PC Live! Magazine is the only real exception and the only constant publication available at the moment.

Perhaps it is a lack of enthusiasm for tech. in Ireland. More likely is the huge selection of British technology and gaming magazines on the scene at the moment and the fact that Irish alternatives can struggle to offer any unique content.

Click Magazine is the latest attempt at breaking the genre open in this country and its first issue looks very polished. The design is good, the features seem relatively strong and the focus is broad enough (gadgets, gaming, DVDs, general tech etc.) to attract casual consumers without being so broad as to lose its purpose.

The magazine is bi-monthly at the moment and hopefully its content will mature and develop in upcoming issues. More importantly, let’s hope the producers (Blue Lake, who also own the Game.ie website) have the capital to invest in the publication until it finds its voice and its market.

Michael O’Toole starts blogging

The Irish Daily Star’s crime correspondent, Michael O’Toole, has started blogging and has kicked off with a hell of an introductory post.

Assuming Michael keeps his promise of explaining why crime reporting is “the most interesting, the most frightening, the most exciting, the most rewarding and most challenging of jobs” the blog should provide plenty of insight and entertainment for other journalists, regular readers and media junkies alike.

I’ll be printing off his debut post tomorrow morning and giving it to the first years in college.

Today FM / Newstalk news-room merges

The previously reported merger between Today FM and Newstalk‘s news operations has come into place as of Monday, December 1st, with some notable sharing of staff already taking place.

The previous plan was to bring together the ‘back-room’ news gathering resources of both stations – which share an office block on Digges Lane in Dublin – and to leave both players with their own independent ‘front-of-shop’ journalists; such as news readers and correspondents.

However at least one ‘front-of-shop’ journalist that is already being shared is Conor Brophy, now business editor for both stations as opposed to just Newstalk. It is understood that Brophy will still work for Newstalk in the morning but will switch to Today FM in the evening; effectively meaning he will appear on The Last Word as opposed to The Right Hook during the drive-time slot.

It was anticipated at the time of the merger’s announcement that reliance on freelance staff would be reduced and this is believed to have come to pass. Newstalk as a whole has relied relatively heavily on freelancers over the years, particularly with some of its more prominent shows such as The Right Hook. How the reduction in freelancers will impact upon these shows is yet to be seen.

New Today FM site to go live today

I’m being told that the new Today FM website is due to go live today.

Only time will tell what shape it takes or features it has but the rumour is that it will do some pretty impressive things.

Any change is welcome, though. The old Today FM site is pretty hideous in looks and its content has far outgrown what the template was designed to do. There seem to be a few presenters in there who would jump at the opportunity to do something unique with their corner of the site, too.

Will hopefully have a quick review/run through of the site later on tonight (if it does go live)