Pete Fraser: The Joy of Stats

Posted on March 7, 2011 by

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A slightly different kind of entry today thanks to the fact that, after two short years (one of which contained very little in the way of contributions), this blog received its 10,000th visitor.

I have no idea, not having access to anyone else’s blog stats whether that’s a lot or a little, nor do I care especially (although the fact anyone reads it at all is, if I’m totally honest, rather nice). I started writing it when I realised that, not having been in education or a job that involves the written word since 2002, I was afraid that anything I may once have possessed in the way of expressive ability in written form might well leave me, drop by drop though neglect; an idea that seemed at the very least to be a shame.

I knew that if I tried to keep a private diary, I’d give up the moment I couldn’t be bothered, it felt inconvenient to write or I felt uninspired and, for the first year, I hardly went hell for leather in terms of making an effort on here. Since the new year and my informal commitment to the One a Day Project, however, contribution has been much more regular and, despite not managing to contribute actually once a day, it’s felt comforting to get my thoughts into writing far more often than it’s felt dispiriting or a chore.

In terms of actually being able to write, not much seems to have changed since my first entry in January 2009; I suffer from the same shortage of descriptive vocabulary, lack of flow and concentration when writing and relatively narrow sphere of genuine knowledge that I always have and still feel at my most confident when writing about either music, or my own direct experiences, as opposed to current affairs or anything in the wider cultural sphere, where ignorance of the subject makes me fearful of commitments of opinion, even if they concern a subject I’m itching to discuss.

Anyway, as a kind of summary, and cause it seems like the most interesting way to see how, if at all, these direction-less scribblings have impacted on the wider world, beyond my friends (who I can only assume make up the vast majority of my regular readership), here are the top ten search terms that have directed people to this blog since it began:

adebisi shank 278
ao leuk 124
koh phangan 53
koh tao 40
khao san road 33
salad hut 31
ko tao 24
ao leuk koh tao 21
alice grant 21
pete485 17

So, as it’s fairly plain to see, those unrivalled musical marvels, Adebisi Shank have been my biggest single benefactor by a country mile, contributing nearly half the web searches in the top ten, probably on account of the fact that a full six entries have been more or less about them. In any case, I’m glad to be in on the ground floor in terms of bigging them up to the world, as anyone else with a pair of ears is likely to be doing as they gradually take over the word of music in the coming years.

The second most striking element of the top ten is that seven of the places are taken up by searches about southern Thailand, with the higher figures going to those searches about more obscure, less written-about places, generally. This all goes towards my theory that, despite being one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, finding detailed information about Thailand online is a strange and patchy affair. Whilst I’m glad to be one of the few out there evangelising about the other-worldly wonders of Ao Leuk bay on Ko Tao, I also think it’s rather nice that the world has generally left the indescribable undescribed, whilst also giving such small bolt-holes another few valuable years of glorious anonymity before the beauty seekers descend en masse and the whole place gets turned into a luxury resort.

The final two results go to the bafflingly under-appreciated Alice Grant, a person whose name should, and hopefully soon will be, spoken across the land in the hushed tones of reverence and respect and finally, Pete485 my name, followed by area code my first phone number, which serves as the URL of this blog.

So, until 20,000, let’s leave it at that.

Pete Fraser

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