Hits

I’m not one of those bloggers who desperately chases hits. Of course, it’s nice to have people read my stuff and I have a daily number that I like to get to (and which is a very modest number, so I usually do), but should I fall short, it’s really not the end of the world.
If I was one of those bloggers who chased hits, I would have given up years ago. It’s simply not working.

I am one of those bloggers who like stats though, and so when I stumbled upon a plugin which offered me my all-time stats, I was never going to say no. So I said yes.

I’m not really sure what “all-time” entails. I know for a fact that it can’t include the early years of ballacorkish.net and 6000 miles… because I wasn’t even using that software back then (also, the numbers really don’t match up). So there’s no indication of how long this is over, which would be helpful. But let’s not get antsy over what is, after all, a free bit of software.

What was most interesting for me was the map. How cool is it that people all over the world have read my blog? Well, I say “all over the world”, but I haven’t reached everyone yet. Because, despite there being absolutely loads of visits to the blog, I am apparently yet to have a documented hit from any of these ten nations, listed in order of population:

North Korea – 25.537m (well, ok)
Niger – 20.671m (infamously mentioned here)
Chad – 14.450m (disappointing from my African brothers)
Turkmenistan – 5.662m (flag with a carpet on; amazing.)
Guinea Bissau – 1.821m (see Chad)
Solomon Islands –0.599m (hey! 600,000 readers can’t be wrong, guys)
Western Sahara – 0.513m (excuse: political upheaval/no internet)
Greenland – 0.056m (2.166 million km² of potential readership)
Falkland Islands – 0.003m (I’m actually surprised at this)
Svalbard – 0.003m (despite constant mentions of Norway on here)

The first visitor from each of these countries/territories will add their homeland to this list of places who have visited 6000 miles… just once:

Iran
Sierra Leone
French Polynesia
Martinique
American Samoa
Tajikistan
Djibouti
Togo
Bhutan
San Marino
Tonga
Benin
St. Martin
Cape Verde

Some impressive French overseas territory representation there. Bonsoir, Rodney. Bonsoir! 

I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this, save to ask that if you are going to any of these places in the near future (North Korea – lol), a quick visit to 6000.co.za would be much appreciated. I’ll also be doing my bit to lever few mentions of outstanding counties into my posts over the next few weeks in a shameless attempt to dominate the globe.

Information is king

Cash used to be king, then thanks to Bill Gates, content was king for a while, but we’re now in the information age and information is now king having deposed the other two in a bloodless coup.

And I, for one, welcome our new factual overlord.

Further evidence of this monarchical shift is the daily stats on 6000 miles…, your favourite go to blog for all things… well… for all things. We can like to do eclectic.

Here’s a prime example – which were the pages that people looked at most on here yesterday?

fullscreen-capture-2016-11-03-083653-am-bmp

The big news in SA yesterday was the State Capture Report. Everyone wanted to read the 355 pages for themselves, seeking possible confirmation that our President had been acting improperly, unethically, in a corrupt manner, and generally taking the country for a ride for the benefit of himself and a few of his cronies. (Confirmation was duly provided.)
The website of the office of the Public Protector was overloaded, so I helped out by uploading a PDF of the report on here. And lots of people viewed that post. I would count this is an information post.

In second place yesterday was people accessing the front page of the blog. Simply typing “www.6000.co.za” into their URL bar and looking at what was on offer there. It’s loads. Loads.

Third place goes to the SARS minus number post. Also helpful information. SARS is our taxation service, and once you’ve submitted your tax return, they drop you an email with a number in the OWED TO YOU box at the bottom. Often this number has a minus sign in front of it. But who owes whom in that case? People are confused and thus that post, which explains all, is regularly up in the daily top 3.

Fourth, more reference material. For the morning and evening rush hours, the barriers at Kenilworth station in Cape Town remain closed for a prolonged period of time. But what are those times? I posted them, and people regularly click through to find out.

Fifth “Stop Zuma“, probably related to the State Capture thing and this tweet, bizarrely suggesting that the DA’s election campaign from 7½ years ago could now be considered a raging success (if you conveniently ignore its repeated failures and the unfolding national disaster in the intervening period). (And the fact that Zuma has actually not been stopped.) (But otherwise, sure.)

More informative posts at sixth and seventh. Helpfully sharing which towns the two or three letter codes on Western Cape numberplates belong to. And those all-important Level 3 Water Restrictions for drought-stricken Cape Town.

The remainder of the Top 10 is filled with yesterday’s post in which I was tacitly described as being “very obviously common” and “probably something perfectly frightful like a Primitive Methodist”, Tuesday’s sharing of those wondrous aerial photographs, and -perhaps somewhat unexpectedly – images of a land crab from September 2010.
Nice, but uninformative.

My point stands though, in that while far less than half of the posts on here are “reference” or “information” posts, those posts still fill a disproportionate number of slots on my daily most popular post rankings.

People like to know things.

Maybe I should go full reference? After all, that’s what Wikipedia did and I believe that they are ever so popular.

Except that popularity isn’t why 6000 miles… exists. And it’s a good job too, to be honest. So I think that I’ll just keep sharing the good stuff, passing comment on silly people, venting my spleen on occasion – and making that all important information available where necessary, in an effort to make your day just a little bit better.

Don’t like it? Feel free to demand a full refund.

Blog Name Change

After carefully considering the media reports of the stowaways on the BA54 flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow, I have come to the conclusion that I obviously need to rename this blog to more accurately represent just how far I actually am from civilisation:

Sky News:

Stowaway Plunges To Death From BA Plane - Google Chrome 2015-06-19 112725 AM.bmpGuardian:

Stowaway fell to death from plane on to London shop after 8,000-mile flight  UK news  The Guardian - Google Chrome 2015-06-19 114633 AM.bmp

Henceforth, 6000 miles… will be known as Oops, my mistake. Apparently, it’s actually more than 8000 miles from civilisation…

I’ll sort the URL as soon as I get the new domain name registered.

It seems that the plane must have taken a 2500 mile detour. As some wit remarked:

The deceased probably would have survived the standard length journey.

It’s actually 5645 miles from Joburg to London Heathrow (and 6022 miles from Cape Town).
Flightradar24 reports that the flight in question left JNB at 21:17 and landed at LHR at 07:02. That’s 10¾ hours (allowing for the 1 hr time difference), meaning that if the distance was “over 8000 miles”, the plane must have been supersonic for more than 95% of the journey. Pretty impressive for a 747. (Actually, pretty impossible for a 747.)

Please note my neat sidestepping issues of desperate emigration, airport security and any other serious and awkward issues that this story raises.

UPDATE: The Independent as well

Stowaway falls to death from wheel of South Africa flight over London, another is in hospital - Home News - UK - The Independent - Google Chrome 2015-06-19 121637 PM.bmp

And the BBC:

'Plane stowaway' body found on Richmond roof - BBC News - Google Chrome 2015-06-19 041702 PM.bmp

“Churnalism”.

There’s no business like snow business

This blog isn’t, as I have been forced to point out several times, my job. For me, it’s a hobby, it’s mostly enjoyable and it allows me to speak my mind when no-one else will listen. Quite regularly, no-one listens on here either, but that’s not the point. When people do listen, it’s also provided opportunities to meet and engage (digitally, at least) with a huge number of interesting people in many different places, with many different viewpoints. I like that.

Also, it doesn’t provide much income – there are google ads dotted around (up top and to your right) and occasionally, people get in touch wanting paid links or sponsored posts. I can choose to be very selective with these, because I know that the blog isn’t my source of income, and I’ll always tell you if I am endorsing a product in exchange for cold, hard cash of course.
It doesn’t happen very often, but if it does no harm, why would I not want to earn a bit of beer money?

Anyway, the thing is that it’s always nice to see how many people come and visit the blog and it’s always interesting to see what they read. But yesterday, things went a bit mad.

I thought that could see it coming, with Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s “will we get snow?” posts (here and here), doing brisk business, for want of a better term. But I had no idea what was going to happen this morning, when I posted a couple of screenshots from the webcam at the Upper Cableway Station just before 7.

A couple of influential retweets and Facebook shares, a mention or two on local radio, some decent SEO and suddenly:

bang.

Totes ridic. Put simply, it was the biggest day this blog has ever seen, in all of its 7½ year history. And not “only just” either. I got over 10 times the average daily traffic and more than 3 times greater than the previous best ever. And I thought that was big. Which it was.

Before yesterday.

For just a few hours, I was almost a bit 2oceansvibey. All that remains now is to see how many (if any) of those lovely people are going to come back and see me again or not – and if there’s enough money in the kitty for a beer at the end of the month. Which is today.

Your following options once again, should you have missed them before: facebook, twitter, rss

6000 miles…

Great story, nice numbers.

American owner of a diving camera which was lost in Hawaii in 2007 has been traced after it was found last month on a beach in Taiwan.

The waterproof Canon camera was spotted by Douglas Chen, an employee of Taiwanese airline China Airlines, while he was strolling along a beach at Taitung on Taiwan’s east coast.

Inside the barnacle-encrusted camera was a still-intact memory card with photos of owner Lindsay Crumbley Scallan’s Hawaii visit still visible.

The memory card was still intact, enabling the owner to be traced
It was through the memory card that Mr Cheng was able to identify from where the camera had actually been lost.

He then went out of his way to trace the camera back to its owner, who lives more than 6,000 miles away in the US.

She had been diving in Maui during a summer break when she lost the camera.

And now his employer airline has offered her a free trip to Taiwan to pick up her camera.  Nice work, China Airlines.
image

This brings me fresh hope that one day I will get my cellphone back after I lost it doing a brief but memorable chance meeting in Newlands with a gentleman who decided he would like to take it in exchange for hitting me in the face.

That was a few years before 2007, and I doubt that my phone would have been chucked into the sea at any point – Newlands is quite a way inland after all – but I suppose there’s always a chance that it will find itself on a Taiwanese beach at some point and I look forward to hearing from Mr Cheng and his airline chums when that happens.