please empty your brain below

Thanks for these thoughts, and the mention.

I have been wondering about whether to carry on with a blog. Until last year, my statistics were up sharply every year; but this year seems to have seen a noticeable downturn for the first time.

But the nature of my blog means that, fortunately, it is not "as good as its last post": I have various technical information (some of it mathematical, some of it about how to make Beamer slides, a little slightly controversial) which still accounts for a large proportion of hits even years after posting.

And I am blessed with a few readers who comment, and some who even carry on long conversations.

So I will probably carry on for a little while yet.

I have a blogroll because there are things that I want to read regularly. My top three are Astronomy Picture of the Day and XKCD (not really blogs) and, of course, Diamond Geezer. Now I spend half my time in Scotland, how else would I find out what is really going on in my part of London?
I have never commented and if no one comments then you might feel unwanted. I have been to several places you have blogged and you are the first thing I read every day
Your blog is an important source of news for many things that interest me. It is so well crafted and indexed. Always a good start to the day!
Yours is an exceptionally fascinating blog for anyone interested in broadening their awareness of London life, quietly amusing and discreetly opinionated (and happily free of tiresome political rants).

My only suggestion, if you want to draw the eye of a wider readership, would be a facelift of the website, which to be frank is fairly grimly functional! A brighter layout with more user-friendly archives (perhaps with posts grouped by topic) would be welcome. Keep it up.
When I did this, you were a major source of information I think I linked you in.
Funny, when I set up my blog I didn't even think about the "other" devices it might be read on. Guess I better check if it looks rubbish on a mobile.

Yes I have clicked on many of the blogs listed on your blogroll. Surely it's a very easy way to reach other takes on whatever it is you are interested in.

My blog's not about London so kind of irrelevant to the discussion here.
Every few months I get a desire to update more frequently - I even managed it around Easter this year. It just seems easier to do stuff, rather than do stuff & then write about it.

There are several of us at QMUL (just up the road from DG) that read here to find out what's going on in the area & what new routes are opening up for our lunchtime runs. It's an invaluable service, DG.
You've just given me the inspiration to update my Blogroll, because I do most of my blog reading through the RSS feed on Blogger I forget it's there anymore.

I still miss the community spirit on LiveJournal, 40 or 50 comments and proper conversations going on there. All gone. I guess sticking a cat picture on Facebook is much easier. It kinda was for me, I stopped blogging with a baby, and wish I hadn't.
I have been reading all of your posts from mid 2009 back to the present for a good month now and have been thoroughly enthralled. What you have produced is an extremely valuable resource and the fact that content of this type is becoming ever rarer should be an encouragement to continue.

I'm looking forward to working my way from 2002 back to mid 2009!
Damn, started typing a long comment, got distracted, and lost the lot...

DG is on my blogroll primarily so I can click through quickly for my daily read, but when I do draw attention to a post (usually a canal related one because you do it so much better) there's always someone who says thanks for pointing out such a great blog.

Mine (started in 2006) has been in danger of lapsing into terminal hiatus lately. Partly I think this is because I don't currently have a computer or decent internet connection at home, and posting via the iPad is for me definitely suboptimal. I also, I freely admit, don't have the dedication of DG although I would love to be able to aspire to that.
Can I please express a preference for the 'grimly functional'.
My walking blog is on "hiatus" because I've been so busy recently! I'm hoping to go out for a walk this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to post a little update soon. I don't have many regular readers, but I know from search results leading to old posts that it's worth me keeping my blog there, even if I don't update it enough.
I wonder if there is any common factor about those that survive or those that didn't? Could it be that the high quality popular blogs are surviving?

Only read one blog every day - this one of course.
Quite some effort to do a blog. The subject matter and presentation are probably key-factors on how "popular" the blog is. And then there are the comments...get none and one may wonder if the Internet has stopped working?!...or worse still if no one is interested in what you saying. Get a lot of negative comments...then you know the Internet is working but wonder why bother? Lastly...get positive comments...even ones from people who not always agree with what you say or how you say it but still read, take the time to comment...and value a good blog when they see one.
I'm another vote for grimly functional, which I take to mean refreshingly functional.
I still have the same number of readers, pretty well, but I've noticed that markedly fewer people comment on my blog nowadays. I never used to have a blogroll at all because it would have been unfeasibly long. Now I do, but only of people who have left me comments, which seemed a reasonable compromise.
You are on my blogroll but I don't seem to be listed in your post. Not that my modest blog can compare ....

dg writes: Hi Andy,
Your blog was in last year's list, but you haven't posted anything this July so (according to the rules) I had to take you out. Maybe next year...

I for one like your layout/colors because it is easy to read. I have had to drop other blogs because they changed font or size or layout.
One blog I used to read now only offers the first 3 lines of type and you have to click through to read more. Too much effort for someone with painful wrist arthritis.
Another blog changed its layout and it now loads so slowly I have no interest in going there anymore.
Keep up the good work. I like full sentences and thoughtful paragraphs and your topics are varied yet usually fit into a general theme.
Thanks for keeping us on your list - we struggle with things like a blogroll and lost many of our readers once we finished the buses.
I must confess my personal blog (moribund for a few years) never had a blogroll because I always felt they had as much use as links pages that websites had in the late 1990s (i.e., just a list of links.)

Back when I still had a links page, I looked at the usage figures and quickly culled it.

There's been similar studies on sidebars over the years - it's not always that websites are getting rid of clutter to be mobile friendly (you can do that with a mobile design), but they're usually getting rid of clutter that no one uses.

For what its worth, I don't think the blog is dying. It's just that there was a period when everyone and his dog "had" to have one, but often did very little with. That's no longer the case, and what you get bubbling to the surface are some very good ones, that have lasting power. As long as you can come up with the content anyway - and I'm sure that DG knows very well that the blog is a content eating monster ;)
A few years ago, when I asked "Have I missed anyone out?" I got a dozen valid additions in the comments, and a few more by email.

This year, zero.

(unless anyone's got any more)

(dead dead dead dead dead dead)
Yo DG! Planarchy was resurrected for one day to celebrate the Tour de East London...and I still link. So technically I qualify I believe even if almost certainly was just for that one day.
Yay, that's +2.

Jon, I may have added you twice :)
My blogroll plug-in is set to show a random set of links from a longer list.
So if you visit my site one day you might see DG (or any other site) as one of the five chosen ones. Come back the next day and you won't.
That doesn't mean the site is suddenly out of favour, just that I try to share the available links around.
It's quite a popular plug-in as well. So depending on the methodology you used it's quite possible you are under-stating people who link to you and over-stating those who don't any more.

I'm not sure, BTW, I agree that blogging is in long-term decline.
What's happening is that there are a lot more platforms now. Somebody who might have written a book review as a blog post a few years back is probably putting it on Goodreads or a similar site now.
Wow that bbc article is how I discovered blogs. I read your blog regularly and through your blog roll found Blue Witch, Z and D4D
Thank you, Sarah - and DG, I've never kept to a rule in my life, especially a self-imposed one. You're going on my blog roll.
I'm not interested in the subject every day, but the quality of the writing and the fact that I am interested most of the time keeps me checking back every single morning. You're very appreciated DG as you can see from all these comments.
When you make this posts I usually find a good few new blogs to follow that I had not come across before so thank you.
I withdraw my comments about the grim functionality and inadequate archiving. I read your blog in my RSS reader and had only had too quick a glance at the website: I see now that the posts are in fact interestingly grouped for reference - and the layout is functional but not grimly so!
Thanks for the explanation DG. I've only been managing a post or two each month (unlike your prodigious output) and often post at the end of the month. I did a post earlier this evening, so perhaps I might now be listed?
I actually added you to my blogroll after reading the equivalent article last year, and was looking forward to my mention, but my layout put the blogroll so far down the page you probably missed it...

I've re-arranged the 'widgets' now,so I hope that's acceptable.

Your blog has been invaluable in my explorations since I moved to London 2 1/2 years ago.
To be fair, Adam, some people have their blogrolls far further down the page than that.

It's actually quite difficult, these days, to spot blogs that link to your own, so I have to rely far more on people pointing theirs out.

And we're now 6 up on this morning :)
Ah, good to see the old school blogger's trick of putting a popular blog on your less popular blog's blogroll, and then commenting to make it obvious (and hopefully get a reciprocal link), still working well ;)
I really daren't click on any of the links on your blogroll ... the one and only time I did it (Girl with a One Track Mind) I lost many hours, if not days, of my life reading it ... so now I leave well alone
I've noticed that blogger nowadays creates a mobile friendly format automatically so no need to change the sidebars and other embellishments of the main blog.

I still (mainly) use a ten minute formula to try to post something (most) days. A picture and some words.

Keep on.
Thanks for doing this (again). I'm intending to visit a bunch of the references you've made, as a kind of safari project.

& btw Accidental Londoner doesn't mention you, but is worth a hop.
I'm not sure whether it counts as a blogroll but I do include you on my 'about' page as one of my favourite blogs. I've not been blogging much over the last few years but I'm trying to get back in to it and you've provided me with inspiration for some of the posts I'd like to do about my home city.
You're always on the blogrolls of my short-lived and/or rarely-updated London-related blogs, and this year, for once, mine did actually meet the July update requirement! Don't hold your breath for it to survive onto next year's list though…
Glad you wrote this, a reminder to export my feedly to OPML and advertise it on the blog. Good review of the state of blogging too.
I've still got you on my bloglist! Granted I haven't posted much this year but I'm still updating it from time to time.
Keep up the good work.
I guess I'm in the second wave of UK bloggers - having started Disgruntled Commuter in 2005, now Town Mouse. Not quite one of the long running bloggers but surely qualifying for veteran status. Help, that's almost 10 years of posting 5+ times a week...

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