“Cipher Mysteries” blog statistics: 300 posts, 11 pages, 1000+ spam comments, PageRank 3 home-page, 41 readers (via FeedBurner) and 15,000+ visitors. Thank you all for the 181 on-blog comments and the hundreds of off-blog emails I’ve received: these really help make this whole thing worthwhile! 🙂
And thanks to an extra 600-visitor surge over two days (from an unknown US-based mailing list’s link to a Stumbleupon link), the blog had more than 3000 visitors during the last month: at the current rate of growth, it should get 75,000 visitors by the end of 2009 (which would be nice).
I’ve also recently started rebuilding the site infrastructure, by moving the stats over from SiteMeter to StatCounter (which has a better API, better reporting and no tracking cookies, though how you make .htaccess allow the StatCounter .js file to be “Accept-Encoding: gzip” I don’t yet know), and by modernizing the icons & transforming them into CSS sprites. Unfortunately, I then got tangled up with irritating browser-related CSS sprite issues. Even so, blog pages are now about half the size they were before and get served up much quicker, which is rather pleasant. 🙂
The main web-tools I used to achieve this were: (1) a free web page speed analysis tool from WebSiteOptimization.com (very handy for blogs with multiple plugins!); (2) a very nice CSS sprite generator on website-performance.org; (3) the CSS Compress WordPress plugin which (very handily) gzips your blog CSS files; and (4) the WP Super Cache plugin, which is (unsurprisingly) a super-duper HTML cache for WordPress. All of which I highly recommend! 🙂
But enough of the blogophile jargon-fest: what can I glimpse looming for 2009 in my polished obsidian mirror? Whither goest the next 100 posts?
Whereas 2008 was (as predicted) the year of the Voynich novel, and 2010 looks to be the year that the Voynich enters the academic mainstream, 2009 looks to me very much as though it is going to be an odd, transitional sort of year – a period of behind-the-scenes activity, which astrologers would normally recognize as a “12th house” (just below the horizon, shortly to rise with the ascendant) kind of vibe. In a strange way, it feels to me as if a future king/queen is preparing his/her entrance on the scene – as if all we have been doing is tamping the road surface for them to drive over it at great speed. Sorry: as predictions go, that’s as close to Nostradamus as I get. 🙂
Regardless, I look forward to being pleasantly surprised by whatever transpires in 2009, and I hope it turns out to be entertaining and interesting for you too! 🙂