Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ten mill down

There was a time when we thought a hundred hits a day was an impossible dream. That was back in the days when there was a referendum to fight for, and Helen was still with us instead of writing her own blog. Seven years down the line - we celebrate the seventh birthday of the blog on 22 April - and with over 11,000 posts written, we've finally made our ten million.

This is encouraging, but not brilliant. It does not in any way reflect the enormous amount of work that goes into the blog.  But then, that's the medium.  If I write for the Mail on Sunday, which I do occasionally, my posts on their site go into hundreds of thousands. I am not stupid enough to believe that my writing has suddenly so drastically improved that it attracts all those additional readers.  As the man said, it's the platform stoopid. The hit rate is not a measure of the quality of the work.

Thus, it is our slowly increasing band of loyal readers who keep us going - quality of readers, rather than quantity, we say. I actually prefer it that way - writing for thinking people rather than drive-by Tories who haven't the brains to realise that their party died a long time ago and all that is left is the smell.

The dross, we are happy to say, can go elsewhere, to small-minded sites like these which daren't link to us in case they learn something. We thank those who have the courage and the decency to link to us, acknowledging our presence, even when they don't agree with us. What a boring world it would be if they did.

Thus, outside the gilded little claque of brain-dead group-thinkers, we have to work hard for every reader and every hit. We don't pander to our readers - we don't court popularity, and we don't go chasing hits.

And despite so many wishing we would go away, and doing their best to make it so, we're still here. As long as we have readers who are prepared to stick with us - and occasionally click the paypal link - we'll stay here. That is for as long as I draw breath, unless someone can think of a better and quicker way of going bankrupt.

Actually, those seven years ago, when parliamentary research was the game, it looked as if there might be hope. But first Blair, then Brown, and then that unspeakable slime Cameron deprived us of a referendum on what became the Lisbon treaty - offering us the ultimate insult of a referendum we don't want for a voting system nobody gives a fig for.

It thus looks all so very different now, as we dig in for a long, slow war of attrition where, if we could bottle and sell our loathing of the political classes, we would be millionaires overnight. But, while we watch and wait for the opportunity to bring them down, life must go on. So far I've made a successful transition to becoming a full-time writer. Sadly, that may be akin to the man who jumped off a 40-storey tower block, crying "fine so far!" as he passed his 39th floor. You never know.

The bottom line is, though, as long as there is food on the table, and Mrs Eureferendum is there to fetch the coal out of the bath to keep the kettle boiling for me tea, and as long as I have readers who come to the blog and appreciate the writing, then I'm like a pig in muck. With that, I'll keep spreading it in the right direction.

Thank you for calling ... ten million times. Hope to see you back!