2010 blog year in review

After weeks weeks of not posting a thing, I now discover that WordPress.com has taken over this blog.  Or so it seems.  Perhaps it’s their way of reminding me to get my blogging ass back in gear, but some bot over there has seen fit to mail me a ready-made Year in Review post.  Perfect for a bone-lazy blogger like me who’s been wondering when, if ever, that urge to post regularly will ever come back.

Who knows?  Happy New Year anyway.

Snarky comments  in bold are mine.


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

The Blog Zombie Meter reads: Putrefaction stage

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 5 days for that many people to see it.

I’m sure each would demand his entry fee back.  As for the posts themselves, if you were to print out every post in 10-point and glue each word together, you would have enough to string from the Statue of Liberty’s base up to her armpit.  Aren’t stats meaningful?

In 2010, there were 53 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 374 posts. There were 143 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 30mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

Troll comments deleted: 13.  Spam referral links: countless.  Estimated date WordPress will do something about spam links: whenever.

The busiest day of the year was February 15th with 647 views. The most popular post that day was Are we raising our kids to be wimps?.

Go to freerangekids for the answer.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were cndrnh.blogspot.com, WordPress Dashboard, raincoaster.com, and toytowngermany.com.

See how important it is to comment on blogs and leave links back to your own on forums?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the queen, horses jumping, naked 13 year old girls, swallows, and snake head.

That list is so embarrassing, I almost left it out.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Are we raising our kids to be wimps? August 2009


Europe’s largest-circulation newspaper runs photo of naked 13-year-old June 2008


Queen Elizabeth Foundation email scam reply December 2007


10 things I learned about skating in Holland January 2009


How we nearly tripped over a headless snake that had swallowed a dog whole March 2009

Wow, wasn’t that fun?

WordPress.  The blogging platform that’s so good, it writes your blog for you!

30 Responses to “2010 blog year in review”

  1. January 3, 2011 at 7:06 am


    I came searching for snake heads but found your blog instead!!!!

    Actually…I dropped in via the readomatic space and seen the stats helper monkey and The Blog-Health-o-Meter graphs. This is the second blog I reviewed this evening with all this banter, I am just curious that is all.

    Enjoyed your bold snarky remarks nonetheless!

    Happy New Year!

  2. January 3, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I love that the WordPress bods did this. It’s interesting and as you so rightly say, gives us a post we don’t even have to ponder over and think about. This is the first year they have done this and I hope it becomes an annual event.

  3. 3 G
    January 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I was actually thinking about you and one of your top 10 posts this morning, returning home after dropping my wimpy kids off at their school that would be a 10km across autobahn hike, or two U-bahns to a hike. The BBC had an interview with a mom whose son was kidnapped, at 11, on a bike, with several other boys who were released. He’s never been found. Wisconsin 1989. 2000 (that’s two thousand) kids disappear every day in the US. Many are found. Many are not.
    Happy New Year!

    • January 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Planes crash, yet we still fly.
      I invite you to read through the freerangekids blog to get an insight into how parents, schools, administrators, in fact the entire system is set up so that kids are over-protected and growing up unable to think and fend for themselves. As for my kid, we let her ride her bike to school, a 10-minute ride in good weather which she enjoys. I wouldn’t send her to ride her bike to school 10km away, either, but there are parents who wouldn’t let their kid walk 100 yards without four wheels under their butts and a tonne of steel surrounding them.

  4. January 3, 2011 at 10:34 am

    110,000 readers? I’m jealous!

  5. January 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    What? You mean we were supposed to pay attention to that email from the breathless 30-somethings running this place? Oh.

    Well, I just went to the trash bin to pull my end-of-2010 evaluation out and re-read it, but I’m only on my first cup of coffee for the morning. I forgot what I was doing and deleted it forever. Sigh.

    Maybe you should start a freerangebloggers site. Sometimes it seems like WP is up to the same sort of tricks, setting up an entire system so that bloggers are over-protected and growing up unable to think and fend for themselves. Plinky posts, anyone?

    Ah, shoot. There goes my resolution to be less snarky in 2011. Well… Happy New Year!

  6. January 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    At least you kept it up for a few days!

  7. January 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    @shoreacres (Linda) – Oh gawd, isn’t Plinky awful? It’s blogging by numbers! Fill in the blanks, people. The only thing worse I’ve come across is blogthings, a filler so empty they make Twinkies look like tofu.

  8. January 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    How did everyone get these stats posts? I’m on WordPress and I didn’t get one! I call foul!

  9. January 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Oh Ian, I’m holding my side laughing about your search terms!!! Please keep blogging. Tell me more about Germany, Hamburg, and so on. I’m a has-been expat and miss the faraway life now that I’m here in New Jersey living like a regular American!

  10. January 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Oh this made me laugh! I got 3 of those for 3 of my blogs, but nothing for A Writer Reads. The bot doesn’t read? Don’t tell me so.

  11. January 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    After checking your email address you registered the blog under at wordpress.COM if you cannot find it then contact Staff using this link and ask for it to be emailed again. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  12. January 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    As you know I have had major computer problems. Now that I have my computer back and rebuilt I can access my email again but couldn’t find this report in my email or the email spam filter. I’m toying with the idea of requesting one but I’ve never been fixated on stats. It’s interesting that the graphic I see above with the indicator in the dark green area is identical to every other one I have seen on other member’s reports. lol😀

    Best wishes to you and yours. may 2011 be a great year for you and your family too.🙂

  13. January 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    To answer your question Mr. Ian…No, I am not a bot but my ex could muster up a good argument otherwise I am sure!


  14. January 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    @ Denim – Whoops! I thought I’d deleted that comment. I made it in haste, you know.

    @timethief – all the best to you and yours, too! About that green-o-meter: everyone gets a WOW! You’re doing great! because if WP.com told them they were lazy like me and haven’t posted much in a half-year, there’d be no end to the flack.

    But I wonder what they tell people who have only 100 hits total? Something like: A Fung Wah bus can carry 50 people and luggage. If your blog were a Fung Wah bus…

    @Melissa Romo – If you just type in Hamburg or Germany into that lil’ search box over there, there’s enough to keep you occupied for a day in Jersey, I guarantee it.🙂

  15. January 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I didn’t get one of those messages either. Maybe they were just sent to inconsistent posters to lure them back into the fold?

    Happy New Year to you and yours Ian xx

  16. January 4, 2011 at 7:35 am

    @G You claim that “2000 (that’s two thousand) kids disappear every day in the US.”

    Could you please provide proof of this number? And by proof, I mean statistics from the FBI or other reputable source? This number is absurdly high.

    I won’t deny that kids disappear, whether through kidnappings or other causes, but to think that any given child, say your child, is on the verge of disappearing everyday only serves to (1) raise children who have no street skills or smarts (and are, hence, more likely to do stupid things once they reach an age when they really are on their own), and (2) exhaust the parental mind with worry.

    Statistically speaking, so few of these happen that it’s pointless to worry about it, beyond taking simple safety precautions, like teaching kids where they live, how to judge character, and whom to ask for help.

    I might point out that right now Americans are overly worried about the threat of terrorism on airplane — relatively speaking the number of Americans in America (or enroute to America) who have died as a result of terrorist activities in the last 10 years, per capita, is tiny–9/11 included. Since 9/11 we’ve spent more money on security theater and it, realistically speaking, hasn’t made us any safer.

    And actually, all this attention on air security theater has made life in the US more dangerous. People who find security theater too annoying or time consuming are driving on trips where they might have once flown–and the basic fact is, it is far safer to fly than it is to drive. More people are killed every year on the streets and highways than are killed in airplane crashes — and this has been consistently true for several decades, including 2001.

  17. 19 G
    January 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Gosh, TQE, as I said: I heard that number on BBC. So perhaps you should check with them for their statistics.
    But here- took me less than thirty seconds with google fu:
    800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year, or an average of 2,000 children reported missing each day;

    I guess you can feel better knowing that my “paranoia” is warranted.

  18. January 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    G, there’s something wrong with that statistic–and thanks to you pointing it out, I won’t trust the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. I think they pump up the numbers to scare the hell out of people and to ensure Congress keeps on funding them.

    Here’s why: First, my gut reaction is that 2,000 missing children is a lot. That’s 83 an hour — and given how US news media reacts to missing children when I hear about it, it tends to go into hyperactive overdrive. Consequently, I think the number of 2,000 is outrageously high and anybody with a basic statistics education would know this. So when I think about how one gets to the number 2,000 per day, I start to suspect this number includes both kids who are missing long term, as well the short term missing kids– the ones who go missing for 15 minutes in the grocery store (which is to say, not really missing), or take the long way home from school whose nervous Mommy calls the cops if the kid isn’t home within 60 seconds of the scheduled arrival time. In other words, I want to know what is included in the phrase “reported missing” Since I don’t see where NCMEC gets its numbers, I decided to do some additional casual surfing to see what I can find about crime involving children or other missing people.

    I find, for example, that “In 2008, among students ages 12 -18, there were about 1.2 million victims of nonfatal crimes at school, including 619,000 thefts and 629,800 violent crimes (simple assault and serious violent crime)” (See http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2231) — Now I realize that this number excludes students aged 5 to 12 — but if I think about it, I can tell you two things: 1) the number of thefts is underreported, wildly–but that’s to be expected; and 2) the violet crimes number is probably pretty close to accurate — underreported for sure, but probably within 50,000 of the correct number — which still leaves us under 700,000. Personally I doubt that more children go missing than violent crime in schools. (There’s another flawed assumption in the sentence I quoted, but I will leave it up to others to figure out what it is.)

    Another item I found, this one at the FBI (http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/occv_110810), reports that in November 2010, a three day sweep found 69 children who were victims of being forced to be prostitutes, along with “885 others, including 99 pimps, were arrested on state and local charges.” I’m sure the FBI worked diligently on this–and I would guess that, at most, they found only a fraction of the children who have been forced into prostitution in the United States. Now of those 69 recovered children, I’m sure some were missing/kidnapped children, but I’m also equally sure that many were being prostituted by their parents — because not all parents are as wonderful as others. Try as I might, though, I don’t see numbers coming up that remotely support the notion of 2,000 children going missing each and every day.

    Looking further, back at the the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “1,229 alleged incidents of human trafficking were reported to the task forces from January 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008.” (see http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=550) — granted we are talking about adults here, and I would expect fewer numbers of missing/trafficked adults than children, but if only 1,229 alleged incidents of human trafficking were reported over a 19 month period, there seems to be a much greater disconnect between missing adults and missing children than I would expect.

    Therefore I suspect that the BBC has been duped by the NCMEC — and the BBC was too lazy to try and verify these numbers. I don’t actually know how, or where, to look up the consolidated numbers of reported missing children in the United States–but if somebody does, I want to know (1) what is the definition of reported missing; (2) how many are missing for more than 4 hours; and (3) how many children went missing where there is criminal activity at play. (I wonder, for example, how many “missing children” are actually custody fights between divorced parents — I don’t have enough information here to know.)

  19. January 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Oh wait!

    I just found numbers of missing persons, from the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC)– with very interesting numbers:

    1990 – 663,921
    1991 – 705,175
    1992 – 801,358
    1993 – 868,345
    1994 – 954,896
    1995 – 969,264
    1996 – 955,252
    1997 – 980,712
    1998 – 932,190
    1999 – 867,129
    2000 – 876,213
    2001 – 840,279
    2002 – 821,975
    2003 – 824,699
    2004 – 830,325
    2005 – 834,536
    2006 – 836,131
    2007 – 814,967
    2008 – 778,164
    2009 – 719,558

    Notice that although in some years the number exceeded 800,000 (the magic number), this number is measured as follows:

    The National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC’s) Missing Person File was implemented in 1975. Records in the Missing Person File are retained indefinitely, until the individual is located or the record is canceled by the entering agency. The Missing Person File contains records for missing who:

    * have a proven physical or mental disability (Disability—EMD);
    * are missing under circumstances indicating that they may be in physical danger (Endangered—EME);
    * are missing after a catastrophe (Catastrophe Victim—EMV);
    * are missing under circumstances indicating their disappearance may not have been voluntary (Involuntary—EMI);
    * are under the age of 21 and do not meet the above criteria (Juvenile—EMJ); or
    * are 21 and older and do not meet any of the above criteria but for whom there is a reasonable concern for their safety (Other—EMO).

    See: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic/ncic-missing-person-and-unidentified-person-statistics-for-2008#10

    For scary news article, see http://www.examiner.com/missing-persons-in-national/heart-wrenching-2010-missing-person-s-cases

    I think it’s pretty imperative that people who read/listen to the news do so with a careful ear and decide for themselves if the reporter is presenting all the facts accurately or if something seems fishy. Clearly 2,000 missing children a day is a fishy number — and the source, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in this case, is biased toward inflating the numbers.

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      I thought that 2,000 kids a day going missing was a wild exaggeration, too. If the BBC couldn’t be bothered to make the distinction between missing children and all the others lumped in with them, they ought not to have reported the number at all.

  20. January 5, 2011 at 2:33 am

    I don’t know about this particular study, but I do know a bit about “missing children” reports.

    Regular folks assume that this is the number of stranger kidnappings: crazy guy runs off with your baby at the hospital, abductions on the way home from school, etc. Every parent’s worst nightmare, basically.

    “Missing children” reports include everything from stranger kidnappings to parent kidnappings to the (far, FAR more common) Johnny-came-home-late-Mom-freaked incidents.

    The majority of kidnappings are done by parents. Stranger kidnappings are incredibly rare. Horrific, and not to be ignored, but incredibly rare.

    The media will never tell you this, because you’re certain to read any news report that promises to tell you about 2,000 missing children. Heck, you’re certain to read any news report about a SINGLE missing child! They turn up in the news about…wait a minute…not 2,000 times a day…

  21. January 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    And I thought MY commenters had a way of hijacking comments!

    By the way, there are some major glitches in the stat report. It claims the busiest day on raincoaster.com had 4 visitors, which is off by three zeros and change. I’m sure they only sent these to people whose blogs ended up in the Wow zone because you’re right, people would wig out and start self-cutting (how 2002!) if they got a blog-o-meter that had them in the “Who Gives A Shit” zone.

    Also, shoreacres, WordPress is not run by 30-somethings. With two exceptions that I know of, WordPress ie Automattic is run by 20-somethings.

  22. January 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm



    I am in that zone and your right, what would they say!!!

    I would run off for a little self-cutting but I am much too chicken for that but I will attempt a few paper cuts!

  23. January 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I just want to continue the hijacking briefly by pointing out that I will buy G, the commenter who noted that the BBC said that 800,000 children go missing every year in the United States, the book, “How to Lie With Statistics”. It’s a great primer on understanding statistics and thinking critically.

    I’ve posted a blog entry, Thinking Critically About the News, where I explain how G can claim a copy of the book.

  24. November 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d
    like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    • November 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Just like my waistline when I’m not cycling. It expands in a very short period indeed.🙂

      I appreciate suggestions, but just in case yours include paid-for posts, ads or promotions of any kind, sorry, this blog is trundling along well without all that.

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The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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