All entries for Thursday 23 November 2006

November 23, 2006

Who do you think you are?

Who reads this blog? Well, you clearly do. But who are you?

I’ve been playing with my hit-counter and finding out an awful lot about you. The civil libertarians will just love that!

First up, you’re a technologically advanced bunch. Only 61% of you are using Internet Explorer. I’d recommend joining the 32% using Firefox! In fact 10% of my readers are on Firefox 2.0, which only came out this month. Well done to the one guy using ‘Konqueror’ – you really are cool…

Only 91% of you are using Windows.

98% of you have English as your first language (which is handy).

Over 90% of you have broadband (that means more video and audio then…)

31% of you got here from Google.

Your favourite entries this month were about the Muslim veil, oral sex, the Queen’s speech, and the Leamington Bar and Grill, an entry which I wrote over a year ago but which is quite popular on the search engines! Lucky I wrote them a favourable review – I reckon I must have given them several tables full of customers!

You read pretty damn quickly! On average it takes you 3.06 seconds to read each post which is very clever of you! (I suspect people read the first three words and give up).

If I write a serious, intellectual post, you’re much more likely to read something else on my blog. But if I write something flippant, you’ll probably carry on browsing elsewhere… My most flippant entries this month have been my review of Borat and an old one about BBC Radio 1. Which probably says more about the attention span of Vernon Kay fans.

63% of you are reading this blog for the first time ever. The rest are regulars.

Top referrals this month have come from Google, Technorati, Cardiff Journalism School, Bloggers4Labour, Adam Westbrook, BBC News, Counterspin, Dave Sheffield, Blamerbell, Facebook, The Stage magazine, Iain Dale, the Student Radio Association and The Times (in descending order).

I have more readers from Israel than from Palestine.

Two of you are reading this via satellite (I didn’t realise I had such a following in the Tora Bora caves!)

You’re reading this in Khorasan and Bakhtaran in Iran, Tamil Nadu in India, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Primor’ye in Russia, Al Qahirah in Egypt, Ar Riyad in Saudi Arabia, Cundinamarca in Colombia, as well as Bahrain, Guam, Tanzania, Panama, Bosnia, Monaco, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Croatia and Fiji.

All of which is a fantastic advert for Google Analytics which is probably the most interesting thing you can do with you blog.


The smoking ban is going to put thousands out of business

Cardiff Central MarketThe smoking ban comes into effect on April 2nd in Wales, and small businesses are saying they’re not ready for it.

While larger hotels and restaurants are backing the ban, and expect to do quite well from it, places which have traditionally attracted smokers could lose a substantial number of their customers.

In Cardiff’s Central Market, the Bull Terrier cafe is one such business. Around four in every five customers go there specifically to smoke, but from April, they will have to go elsewhere.

I spoke to the cafe’s manager Sam Maher and asked her about the future of her business once the smoking ban comes in:

The Welsh Assembly aren’t willing to offer financial assistance. In Sam’s words “they don’t care, they’re not bothered at all”. So while many food outlets will see their custom increase thanks to the smoking ban, places such as this which have for decades attracted people because of smoking, look to have a fairly bleak future.


The real future of newspapers

An old edition of the Newbury Weekly NewsLast week I wrote a slightly controversial article titled You’re Buggered, Deal With It. It was a post aimed at those who deny the reality of the declining newspaper industry.

Well today I heard from Sarah Radford, who seems to be one of those at the forefront of Newspapers 2.0 (to use a very hackneyed phrase). She’s an online journalist at Newbury Today which was recently named the best weekly newspaper website by the Newspaper Society.

What interested me most about the site was that the newspaper behind it – the Newbury Weekly News – is one of the few independents left in the country. Most local newspapers are owned by one of the conglomerates like Trinity Mirror or Newsquest. So it’s refreshing (albeit not surprising) to see that it’s the independents who are being the most forward-looking and innovative.

And why?

Well, probably because they don’t have to worry about shareholders. If the success of Newbury Today proves anything, it’s that newspapers and stock markets should only meet in the business pages, and shouldn’t be the overriding business model.


Nick Clarke

Nick ClarkeThe presenter of Radio 4’s The World at One Nick Clarke, has died of cancer aged 58.

I never really heard his programme – I’ve only recently started switching between Radios 1 and 4 – but from the number and level of tributes to him, it’s clear he was a journalist to aspire to.

Tony Blair, Margaret Beckett, Jack Straw and all of the names from journalism have paid tribute, only half an hour after his death was announced. Listening to a special edition of The World at One this lunchtime, their respect for Nick makes it pretty clear he was a fearsome journalistic opponent who didn’t go in for some of the ‘nasty’ tactics of his fellow broadcasters.


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