Islay Weblog Five Years

Amazing how time flies, I can still remember the first post I've written on this blog, it was on Saturday 15th of April 2006. Back then I decided to start the blog to post news and background information as an addition to the Islay Info website. The first version of the blog ran on Geeklog which was later followed by glFusion.

In the last five years I've posted 1,739 articles, that's an average of 0,95 posts per day. On average I spend one hour per blog post which means I've been blogging about Islay for 72 days non stop, quite a stunning figure if you think about it. In the last five years the blog received almost 6 million hits. In the first months of 2006 the blog saw around 200 to 500 distinct monthly visitors and recently this figure has risen to more than 13,000 distinct visitors per month. I won't bore you to death with too many stats but there is one more stat I'd like to share with you, the top ten viewed stories: Continue reading.....

Story Title Views
Soldiers Rock - Islay's Sea Stack 26,136
Last Stop on Your Journey to Islay 19,134
Avon Skin So Soft Body Oil 15,412
Islay's Avonvogie Abattoir Open for Business 10,566
Islay Nature Report 13 - Red Deer 9,526
Isles of the Hebrides DNA Project by Linda Heron 9,368
Islay Nature Report 14 - Barn Owls 8,020
Islay & Jura Distillery Leaflet 2008 7,306
BBC Springwatch live from Islay 6,521
Brown Trout Fishing on Islay 6,422

Continue reading.....

Looking back it has been a very rewarding time and many readers sent me kind comments and even participated by sending pictures and/or texts for which I'm very grateful. One of the highlights in this period was to win the ForArgyll awards in the categories "best blog" and "best community website", another one was the many people I got to know in the process which is wonderful. Without sounding like I just won an Oscar I'd also like to thank the people that signed up on the forum or participated in another way. A special thank you goes out to the staff of the Ileach Newspaper, they have always supported me and gave me permission to use some of the Ileach's articles on my blog, which is one of the reasons why the blog became a success.

Looking forward I can say that I'm going for at least another five years of Islay Blogging although I will slow down on the amount of blog posts. This is due to the fact that I notice lately that it's becoming harder to find something interesting to write about each day because I've covered so many topics already, and I also want to maintain a certain quality of writing. Perhaps the most important reason for slowing down a bit is my wish to spend more time with Manuela and our wee daughter Annika. For now it means that I will blog about Islay three or four times a week on average, exactly the amount of posts I had in mind when I started this blog five years ago.

I would like to make one last appeal to you as a reader. I would appreciate it very much if there would be more people, especially locals, who would be willing to write some articles on the blog every now and then. I think it would make the blog even more valuable for readers and potential visitors of the island. Please drop me a line if you're interested or share your comments/views in the Islay forum

Thanks everyone, it's been a great five years!