Having noted the other day that I have been blogging for nearly nine years (longer than Granny Buttons!), and had, by that point, racked up in the region of 1,715 posts, I thought I would see how that compares with some of my favourite boat blogs. All the ones I'm going to mention are in my blogroll (to your right) so I won't put links in the text. The main reason they're in my blogroll is so that I can catch up with them quickly and easily, but I do of course heartily recommend them. I looked at the ones I thought were likely to have been the longest established, and who post fairly frequently: Herbie, Halfie, Captain Ahab, and Valerie. I used the crude metric of looking at their archive and plotting their annual number of posts against the year in question, then totalling them up.
What was immediately noticeable is that there was a very strong trend of starting slowly, building to a peak, and then gradually declining, in terms of number of posts per year. If we include Chertsey, to make a total of five, three of those (Chertsey, Herbie and Captain Ahab) fit that pattern exactly: a sustained increase, followed by a sustained fall, with a single clear peak. Chertsey and the Captain peaked in 2010, Herbie in 2009. Halfie had a sort of twin peak, almost identical top post counts in 2010 and 2012 (and scarcely fewer in 2011), While Valerie had a clear peak, in 2012, but a slightly uneven build up to it. The consistency of the pattern however is remarkable, and given that we are looking at a time frame beginning between 2005 and 2007, and ending in 2015, the position of the peak on that time line is stunningly uniform too. It's a shame I can't produce nifty little graphs to show it graphically - but I bet Neil of Herbie can!
The longest established blog in my selection was, to my surprise, as I'd never read that far back, Valerie, with Les's first post being made on March 8th 2005. Over nearly ten years, Les - and now Jaq too - have racked up 938 posts, giving the oldest blog the smallest number of posts.
Captain Ahab may appear to have a claim to have been the longest running but it's hard to tell as he has a number of retrospective posts going back to events in 1971, which he has rather cunningly backdated! I really couldn't tell when the first post was actually made, but as it was unlikely to have been between 1971 and 1985, 2005 seems the earliest possible year, and the first post of 2005 was on April 1st - a good three weeks after Valerie's inauguration. His post total is 1357.
Herbie, like Chertsey, began in 2006, on January 14th - beating Chertsey by two and a half months, and had as of yesterday reached a grand total of 1,277 posts.
The baby of the five, in terms of years, is Halfie - est. 19th November 2007. But guess what - in a mirror image of Valerie's position, the blog with the fewest years under its belt has managed the biggest number of posts - a whopping 2307.
Peak post, by the way, was 184 for Herbie, 186 for Valerie, 297 for Chertsey, 320 for Capt. Ahab, and 396 for Halfie (with 394 two years later). Lowest annual count (excluding this year) is 11 for Capt. Ahab (excluding the backdated years); 27 for Halfie, 32 for Valerie, 70 for Herbie and 79 for Chertsey. For all except Chertsey, this figure occurred in their first year - for Chertsey, it was last year (I hit 100 in year 1).
If only I had paid more attention when we did SPSS, I could produce the graph...