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7 years, 500 Posts, 750 followers, 1000 comments, 750,000 visitors….

March 13, 2017 Leave a comment

When I started this blog as something to keep me occupied until I found another job after our life affirming round the world trip, I could never have realised just how important it would become to me.

This post is my 500th since April 2010. In the intervening seven years of writing about all kinds of weird and wonderful things, my site has been visited more than three quarters of a million times and well over 1000 people have taken the time to respond to my ideas. I’ve met some really wonderful people from all over the country, people I now consider to be good friends and who I would never have met if I hadn’t picked up my digital pen…

Through writing this blog, I’ve also learnt so much, researching sometimes tangential subject areas to better assess what it is I’m trying to say. I’ve also been lucky enough to have had my work published in “proper” hard copy magazines which, along with requests to use my drawings and ideas for research projects and in other articles, has given me immense satisfaction.

All of which is really quite remarkable and very humbling. Although my post rate has fallen over the last few years and my target of five posts a month has been well and truly missed many times, the need to write about things that interest me is always there and whether anyone reads my words or not, has never really been the point anyway.

So a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit, comment, share and like. It’s all very much appreciated.

Not sure where the UK will be in another seven years time, still dealing with the monumentally stupid decision to leave the EU I suspect, and I can’t even begin to think about how old I’ll be then. But I think I can be confident in saying that the arts, architecture, music and culture in general will all still be going strong, creating pleasure, annoyance and confusion in equal measure as they always have done.

So presumably there will still be lots for me to write about in 2024, not least of which will be the Olympics, que some gratuitous graphics and shameless Olympic related JoeBlogs post links, link 2, link 3). I hope you can join me along the way…

PS.… I’ve just realised that if you divide the 500 posts across the 84 months that make up 7 years, the average per month is very nearly 6 posts… So I am still on target, which is nice…

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Expo in The Manchester Modernist: Video review

February 12, 2015 4 comments

Writing the last post on Expo ’58 has reminded me that I didn’t post my regular outburst of shameless self publicity by informing you that those lovely people at the ever excellent Manchester Modernist have once again been good enough to include one of my offerings in the current issue of their redesigned and relaunched magazine…

A relaunch that was possibly thanks to the unqualified success of its recent crowd funding campaign. So a huge thanks to everyone who contributed in whatever form…

But don’t just take my word for how good the magazine is… Why not watch this very complementary video review by Stack

 

And just in case you missed it.. mine was the piece towards the front all about Basil Spence’s stylish British Pavilion at one of the most successful of all such Twentieth Century events, Montreal’s Expo 67. This piece was a reworked and greatly expanded version of an original post here… (which also had lots of photos)

Expo MMM_BS_2

Copies of the magazine are available to buy either singly or via annual subscription here

Humanity, Quality & Scale. Sir Basil Spence describes his work….

February 4, 2014 2 comments

I don’t know how long he spends surfing the net and not doing any work, but my good friend Mr. Wong has unearthed yet another gem…

My favourite architect talking about his wonderful work. Taken from a 1973 film short from a series called “The Pacemakers”, it’s something of a revelation.

The intro graphics alone were well worth finding and seeing, so evocative are they of 1970’s design, all that brown, olive and orange morphing into stylised silhouettes…

As for the film itself… I would so liked to have met Sir Basil. He seems so enthusiastic and earnest about his work, describing in eloquent words and beautiful sketches his belief in all things architectural and the “fire in our bellies” that drives us all… My favourite quote has to be “The illusion that you are still in the country… is ludicrous..” his counter to the critics of his Knightsbridge Barracks tower, and the argument about building near a park, but in the heart a major capital city..

This reminds me that of the many pieces I’ve written about Basil Spence, this one, Sir Basil & the Unknown Print… Part II elicited a rather scathing response from a former employee of his, in which he accused me of making things up and generally bad mouthing the great man. In my initial response, I took umbrage at his attitude and stood my ground. Having now watched this film however, I realise I was speaking out of turn and so I’ve gone back and corrected the tone of that original post, removing any suggestion that Sir Basil was either vain or difficult. The softly spoken, enthusiastic, considered (and let’s face it, rather posh) man in the film is very obviously neither of these things…

One final point to note is at 4.50 minutes, when the work of my friend William Mitchell up at Swiss Cottage gets a few seconds air time…  A beautifully sculptural piece from the early 1960’s that formed the walls of a sun terrace sadly now been destroyed. But that’s another story.

In Celebration of my 400th Post…

January 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Joe Blogs 400 copy

(with apologies to Forbes Magazine and Warren Buffett)

Half a Million People can’t be wrong…

January 23, 2014 3 comments

Blog screen grab_21.01.14Funny old thing the internet, it does things you just can’t predict…

There I was worrying that only posting five or six times a month might be affecting my visitor numbers when .. bang, totally out of the blue, a post I wrote back in August 2012 on Underground Guerrilla Signs has gone berserk… Again.

Last Monday alone, very nearly 30,000 people stopped by to have a nose. Why now though?  I’ve looked around the net to see what the generator might be for nearly 70,000 people reading the post over the last four or five days, but there’s nothing tangible I can find. Definitely a mystery for Arthur C. Clarke…

Anyway as you may have guessed from the title and the screen grab above, amazingly this sudden rush means more than 500,000 people have now viewed this site since my first post in May 2010…

And as this is my 398th post, I reckon there’s a distinct possibility I’ll get that total to 500 also. That’s the great thing about the 21st Century, there’s always more stuff to muse about…

The only down side to all this traffic is purely a graphic one, in that for the past year or so, my previous (not at all tardy) daily average of around 250/300 views, now looks like hardly anything at all, and will do for the next few weeks, as the big blue bar moves inexorably to the left…

How many visitors?…

June 22, 2013 2 comments

Mr. Happy_trimI know I said I wouldn’t do this again, blow my own stats trumpet so to speak, but as you scroll down through the top post, check the visitor counter just below the calendar on the right…

Over 400,000 of you lovely people have stopped by to say hello and share my musings.

Thank you all very much, that’s a huge number and I feel very humbled…

Was that the quickest 12 months ever? (Lets hope 2013 lasts a bit longer…)

January 7, 2013 1 comment

Regular visitors to my site will have noticed a distinct paucity of posts over the last 3 weeks or so, in fact I managed only 5 throughout the whole of December for which I can only apologise. This was caused in equal measure by a very busy end of work year, excessive socialising over a pretty excellent Christmas and New Year and a very well earned holiday in Denmark with my Little And.

Still that only means I am now fully refreshed and chock full of ideas for things to write about… So I hope you’ll visit again to find out what’s occupying my scattergun mind over the coming months…

It’s always a cliché to talk about how quickly time flies, but 2012 did seem to go by extraordinarily quickly. It feels like we only had about 9 months worth, so I for one am hoping for a rather more sedate 2013.

Those lovely people at WordPress.com have prepared a rather fetching annual report of my Blog Stats for 2012, which is very nice of them. Feel free to click the link at the end and take a look if you fancy it, but the key points (for me) are that nearly 300,000 people viewed my musings over the year including a mind boggling 15,852 views in a single day…

I have to admit that I’m not overly confident that I’ll be able to increase on these numbers in 2013, but unless I write it, I’ll never know…

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 290,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report…

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