Tag Archives: cabbieblog

Statistics 2018

It’s been an eventful year for CabbieBlog. In February I retired promising to write more insightful posts. About then, I invited readers to become patrons, with the incentive of gaining access to extracts from Pootling around London.

[R]egular readers might have noticed that the site’s typography has changed, it was something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. I am using Noto Serif Regular as it is a classic font style that’s perfectly suited for reading longer articles as it was designed for displaying on a website. Contrasting Noto serif font is Montserrat Bold a stylish sans face for use in headlines both displayed in 16pt with 1.6 leading, a combination with abundant white space should make it even faster to read and absorb the information, including this fascinating post. Whether reading on a laptop, tablet or phone I feel the new layout is considerably easier to read.

Here’s the annual blogging statistics for 2018. As before, with the data amassed over the last year, I’ve broken it down into bite-sized chunks with comparable figures for the previous year.

Blog visitors and page views

The numbers of visitors have increased slightly and those willing to loiter around CabbieBlog have increased quite substantially, which is been very encouraging. (Average hit rate per visitor: 2017 – 1.630; 2018 – 1.737).

2017
Visitors – 32,951
Page views – 53,718

2018
Visitors – 34,255
Page views – 59,503

CabbieBlog’s readers from abroad

The slight increase of foreign visitors could be the result of residents of poorer countries gaining access to the web, or that CabbieBlog is getting recognised around the world. The different countries whose residents have viewed CabbieBlog again include Jersey and Guernsey as if they were sovereign countries and curiously the European Union with 1,166 visits, a huge rise from the 308 visits last year, presumably the result of what they are about to lose when we Brexit. The United States leads our curious cousins with 12,851 a substantial rise from last year’s 7,727 hits.

2017 – 131

2018 – 137

Number of comments

The yardstick of a blog must be, how many of its readers decided to metaphysically put pen to paper and comment. To all of you, again a huge thank you for your encouragement or discouragement. Your comments keep me submitting posts for your perusal. Social media is increasingly reactive these days, and a much smaller proportion of people now write long-form posts providing the original material that everyone else comments upon. But at least what comments CabbieBlog receives are intelligent, relevant and insightful. I’m delighted, obviously.

2017 – 76

2018 – 124

Number of ‘likes’

It would appear that some of you have taken to the cyberverse to mark your approval of CabbieBlog in the form of a ‘like’, a huge thank you. In 2017 CabbieBlog was ‘liked’ less than for 2016, but curiously as I write this in mid-February 2019 CabbieBlog has already attracted 12 ‘likes’.

2017 – 38

2018 – 12

Followers of CabbieBlog

I seem to have found a number of followers who were hiding that had previously signed-up for regular e-mail updates. My e-mail updates only include a brief description so many of your will have had to peruse the site to read the full post. I can’t calculate how many times you have taken the trouble to follow these notifications and read my incitful posts, but thanks for following CabbieBlog.

2017 – 174

2018 – 1,252

Posts written

Having promised to produce more during retirement, due to a trapped nerve, I lost the use of my hands, clearly, this restricted my ability to write, and so I resorted to re-publishing old posts. Many are now being read for the first time and I have received many compliments. Before you all start writing ‘get well’ messages I am now on the road to recovery. So the total posts and number of words do not reflect new material. Having said that, included are new 52 trivia posts, published on Sundays.

2017– 157

2018 – 156


Most viewed and least viewed posts and pages

It has to be said that some subjects take on a life of their own while others just sit in cyberspace minding their own business. At the bottom of the table lie many posts with only one view a year, and some I suspect just sit there patiently waiting to be noticed.

2017
Highest post
London’s top secret tower – 2,295
Lowest Post
White bikes – 1
Highest page
Green cab shelters – 4,536
Lowest page
Time Out – 12

2018
Highest post
London’s top secret tower – 1,440
Lowest Post
London Trivia: Bear fight– 1
Highest page
Green cab shelters – 2,328
Lowest page
Time Out – 34


Pages written

Due to having to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) a number of new pages have had to be written.

2017 – 8

2018 – 3


Number of words written

As I mentioned before I have written substantially less this year so the word count includes new material and re-published work. It does not include Sunday’s trivia posts.

2017
Words – 71,809
Characters – 408,300

2018
Words – 71,329
Characters – 415,241


Referrers

If you ignore the search engines (with Google clocking up an impressive 25,311 hits). The next highest referrers are Twitter at 411 and just behind them is Facebook at 347.

2017
Taxileaks – 223
Londontopia – 157

2018
The Hackney Hack – 48
The Telephone Box – 46


Sitting in the back

Now retired there has been no ‘bums on seats’.

2017
Thandie Newton (actor)
Ol Parker (writer, director, producer)


In conclusion

This post is, of course, my highlight of the year. Unfortunately my readers don’t share my enthuiasm. Last year only 13 of you bothered to click on to read Statistics 2017.

A Sneak Peek at the redesign

A while ago I posted that I couldn’t write and so was intending to repost some of CabbieBlog’s ‘best bits’. Not wishing to remain idle I have been redesigning the site and I’m super excited about the result.

[T]he current design has been used since the 2012 Olympics and although I still like the layout I’ve always felt that the typography was a little difficult to read being displayed in such a small sans typeface.

New typefaces

For the first time in the history of CabbieBlog, the text font will be a super clear and easy-to-read serif font. So what’s a serif font? Serifs are the little ‘flags’ you see coming off the edges of letters. I am using Noto Serif Regular as it is a classic font style that’s perfectly suited for reading longer articles as it was designed for displaying on a website.

Contrasting Noto serif font is Montserrat Bold a stylish sans face for use in headlines, subheads, and more. This combination with abundant white space should make it even faster to read and absorb the information you find here on CabbieBlog.

You will probably notice as the typeface is now considerably larger – the text size is 16pt – it is more easily read, but importantly the line spacing has been widened to 1.6ems which gives more ‘white’ between the horizontal alignment, thereby giving more white space. The new design adds a feeling of light and openness even though the site features the same amount of information, it’s spacious, easy on the eye and clutter-free.

Free fonts

All this has been made economically possible by Google fonts, this huge resource of over 800 typefaces is available completely free, used along with a little piece of open-source software I have been able to access and use these fonts.

For those still reading CabbieBlog on last century’s technology, you will have noticed your laptop or pc shows the sidebar with headings in the more modern Voltaire typeface above text in Helvetica bold, displayed in grey, which should make this important information more legible.

Once being a typesetter I couldn’t drop the dropped letter, so to speak, which I’ve always liked to see displayed at the start of an important paragraph. The new drop letter is now in grey matching the rest of the page, and importantly those more trendy followers reading my missives on their phone can now see the large drop character displayed, instead of a capital letter surrounded by brackets, which for many could have been confusing.

Check out the archives

With almost 10 years worth of content, CabbieBlog has a huge library of information on London: the archive with nearly 1,000 posts is easily accessible; the large database about the Cabbie’s Green Shelters has been broken up into six sections and for those generous enough to become patrons they have an easily accessible route to their exclusive content.

Please tell me what you think in the comments section below.

Pootling around London

Last month marked 9 years since a blog about the Capital, seen through the eyes of a Licensed London Cabbie, entered cyberspace. At the time I had no idea about the direction the website would go, or even if it went anywhere. Since those nascent days, it has managed to take shape with over a thousand posts and picking up half-a-million readers along the way, and become the oldest blog written by a London cabbie.

[I]T HAS ALSO sneaked into publications as varied as the National Geographical Magazine and Time Out London; featured in a BBC documentary; and seen fit to appear in a book presented to Her Majesty The Queen.

Originally hosted by WordPress, in 2012 CabbieBlog became self-hosted. This decision brought benefits but one very big disadvantage.

When you view a blog with WordPress in its URL, it means the site’s owner enjoys free hosting and complete online security. The problem is that there is a price to pay, and that is advertising, targeted at your readers generated by clever algorithms.

Patron (noun): One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is repaid in flattery. A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson (1755)

Look at CabbieBlog’s URL, to see that WordPress is absent and that it is a self-hosted blog. You won’t find any spurious adverts popping up. In fact, the only income received has been derived from Guest Posts. Unfortunately, one venture committed CabbieBlog to posting a guest post daily culminating in featuring a Leeds hotel. This brought in a healthy income, but more importantly losing regular readers. In fact, one follower from America, putting metaphorical pen to paper, took me to task, threatening to stop reading my missives, and rightly so.

A ghost in the machine

Taking in these criticisms, now only one paid post is published a month with an appropriate footnote indicating that it is monetized content. Despite many offers, anything found on CabbieBlog, including ‘What I’m Reading’ on the homepage is not paid content unless it is stated as such.

Over time the blog has grown from a single project to more like a city travel magazine, with at least 8 posts a month; daily ‘On this day in London’; a Sunday post with 11 clips about the capital; and daily trivia tweets; and for anyone remotely interested, a continually refreshed database of cabbie slang.

If a patron buys from an artist who needs money (needs money to buy tools, time, food), the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates. Ezra Pound (1885-1972) American poet, critic and intellectual.

Having a self-hosted site means all this can be brought to CabbieBlog’s readers, but it comes at a price, both in time, but importantly ensuring the site’s security.

And there’s the rub. Having more time on my hands the extra work isn’t a problem, but security costs. Because of cybercriminals, outlined in last month’s post, Sorry, both readers and the author needs protecting from these malicious viruses. Add to that the site needs backing-up to a trusted cyber-vault.

There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. George Washington (1732-1799) First President of the United States of America

A few years ago some clever Silicon Valley entrepreneurs saw this shortfall in supporting creativity and launched Patreon, whereby patrons can encourage creators, but importantly for CabbieBlog, producing a modest income stream to make visiting the site safely accessible for all.

Now those wishing to support CabbieBlog may commit to investing in maintaining this popular site. For just $1 – or for those on this side of The Pond, the price you contribute is equivalent to one copy of your daily newspaper – contributions are taken at the beginning of each month, which may, of course, be cancelled or amended, at any time.

As a bonus, for your support, each month two long-form posts from my book Pootling around London: Manor House to Gibson Square, a travelogue about riding around London exploring the Capital’s traditions, tripe and trivia, whilst undertaking The Knowledge will be published on CabbieBlog exclusively for patrons.

Each post will include an in-depth article about a single ‘run’ on The Knowledge: the journey; notes and observations from the present; facts and urban myths; historical accounts of places on the route; and the occasional insight into the process of gaining The Knowledge.

Much of the narrative is taken from personal observations and experiences at the time, but also included is the occasional anecdote about fellow Knowledge boys.

They were a sign of patronage, a sign of having so much money that it had to be squandered on objects with no purpose except to be beautiful or interesting. Jenny Zhang, Sour Heart (2017)

Statistics 2017

Here’s the annual blogging statistics for 2017 and the goals for this year, which, incidentally will be CabbieBlog’s 10th year in cyberspace. According to research, there are over 2 million blog posts published daily (MarketingProfs), and while the average blog post takes 3 hours 16 minutes to write (OrbitMedia), having spent all that time working, the median average time spent reading an article is a mere 37 seconds (NewsCred).

[S]O, GIVEN that, I’m mighty pleased you have reached this far in what is CabbieBlog’s most self-regarding post of the year.

I have now retired after pushing my cab around London for twenty-two years. Decisions made in private by senior managers from Transport for London have reduced the once finest taxi service in the world into a profession only the desperate would now wish to enter. With a vastly reduced income combined with the 18-hour gridlock on London’s roads, I felt it was time to go.

Surprisingly many are still interested in becoming a London cabbie for at Christmas and New Year CabbieBlog always sees a spike in hits on anything I’ve written about The Knowledge. Clearly, my ‘Back of my Cab’ is not likely to be updated, nor will I be writing for the black cab company, Radio Taxis as they are now no more, swallowed up by German company Gett.

Relieved of my obligations will, in theory, give me more time to research and write posts. Anyhow enough of my ramblings, all you want to do is get on with digesting the figures from last year.

As before, with the data amassed over the last year, I’ve broken it down into bite-sized chunks with comparable figures for the previous year.

Blog visitors and page views
The numbers of visitors have decreased slightly and those willing to loiter around CabbieBlog have also decreased proportionately, indicating that I need to make the site more interesting. (Average hit rate per visitor: 2016 – 1.701; 2017 – 1.630).

2016
Visitors – 33,072
Page views – 56,276

2017
Visitors – 32,951
Page views – 53,718

CabbieBlog’s readers from abroad
Many of you might not be foreign, but simply ex-pats longing to reminisce about the good times spent sitting in the back of a London cab. The different countries whose residents have viewed CabbieBlog include Jersey and Guernsey as if they were sovereign countries and curiously the European Union with 308 visits, first it isn’t a country and therefore WordPress haven’t given it a flag. The United States leads our curious cousins with 7,727 hits and Germany follows with 927.

2016 – 133

2017 – 131

Number of comments
The yardstick of a blog must be, how many of its readers decided to metaphysically put pen to paper and comment. To all of you, a huge thank you for your encouragement or discouragement. Your comments keep me submitting posts for your perusal. Astoundingly Dave seems to be the keenest by posting a comment 2 hours 58 minutes into this New Year. The people who leave comments on blogs have changed. In CabbieBlog’s early days most of the people who left comments were also bloggers, adding to the discussion. Today most of the people who leave comments have no focused online voice, they solely want to comment on what others have written. Social media is increasingly reactive these days, and a much smaller proportion of people now write long-form posts providing the original material that everyone else comments upon. But at least what comments CabbieBlog receives are intelligent, relevant and insightful. I’m delighted, obviously.

2016 – 39

2017 – 76

Number of ‘likes’
It would appear that some of you have taken to the cyberverse to mark your approval of CabbieBlog, a huge thank you.

2016 – 2

2017 – 38

Followers of CabbieBlog
For those of you who can’t be bothered or don’t have the time, to check out my missives, you lot would have signed-up for regular e-mail updates or get a heads up from an RSS feed, Bloglovin’ or WordPress, whose simplicity allows thousands to read this blog without ever visiting it. As far as you’re concerned I’m no longer writing a continuous story, I’m generating atomised blog posts – which makes a complete mockery of attempting to count visitor numbers accurately anyway. I can’t calculate how many times you have taken the trouble to follow these notifications and read my rantings, but thanks for following CabbieBlog.

2016 – 130

2017 – 174

Posts written
This should be posts published rather than posts written, as sometimes (about once a month) a Guest Post has been uploaded.

2016– 105

2017 – 157


Most viewed and least viewed posts and pages
It has to be said that some subjects take on a life of their own while others just sit in cyberspace minding their own business. At the bottom of the table lie many posts with only one view a year, and some I suspect just sit there patiently waiting to be noticed.

2016
Highest post
Ten Surprising Facts about the London Black Cab – 1,575
Lowest Post
A Sign of the Times – 1
Highest page
Green cab shelters – 3,997
Lowest page
National Geo – 3

2017
Highest post
London’s top secret tower – 2,295
Lowest Post
White bikes – 1
Highest page
Green cab shelters – 4,536
Lowest page
Time Out – 12


Pages written
Once in a while, I’ll get round to writing a page that remains visible permanently and not buried below the three weekly posts. This year I’ve broken CabbieBlog’s most read page Green Cab Shelters into six digestible chunks which have obviously increased this year’s tally. Here are the number pages I’ve been bothered to write this year.

2016 – 2

2017 – 8


Number of words written
I endeavour to keep posts down to 500 words – we’re back now to the aforementioned attention span of 37 seconds – this I usually manage to achieve, unless I come over all animated about the article’s subject matter. The rise in this year’s word rate derives from now publishing an extra post every Sunday.

2016
Words – 64,792
Characters – 375,629

2017
Words – 71,809
Characters – 408,300


Referrers
If you ignore the search engines (with Google clocking up an impressive 24,763 hits). The next highest referrers are Facebook at 603 and just behind them Twitter at 561. This year, reflecting how more engaged my colleagues are, now that the trade is being subsumed by the avalanche of private hire, Taxileaks reached the top slot. Unless CabbieBlog is mentioned in an article somewhere else that trends next year, I suspect this will continue.

2016
Londontopia – 373
Taxileaks – 267

2017
Taxileaks – 223
Londontopia – 157


Sitting in the back
I devote a page of CabbieBlog to my bums on seats and in the past, I’ve enjoyed the company, among others, of John Hurt and Barbara Winsor. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recognise most sportsmen, or women, so they are not so faithfully recorded – although I did once see Boris Becker in the back. This year will be the last CabbieBlog is seen on London’s roads, so my final ‘Bums on Seats’ falls to one of our most talented actors and her screenwriter husband.

2016
Nobody of note
I’ll keep a better lookout next year

2017
Thandie Newton (actor)
Ol Parker (writer, director, producer)


In conclusion
This post has certainly taken longer than the mean average of 3 hours 16 minutes. For me, it is, of course, the highlight of my writing year. Thank you for continuing to support CabbieBlog and for having the tenacity to reach the end of what must be the year’s most tedious post.

Sorry

First, an apology. For the past week, you have been deprived of your regular CabbieBlog missives. The reason is a web shell – no me neither!

According to the urgent email I received, this is “a scrip that attackers upload to compromised web-servers in order to gain remote access . . . to execute arbitrary commands, send emails, create phishing and malware”.

[S]O THERE you have it, international criminals have decided that our blog is so influential they, or their algorithms, have taken the time to infiltrate our little corner of cyberspace.

This incursion has entailed rebuilding the site, a frustrating and time-consuming process. It has caused you to receive notifications as old posts being published as if they hadn’t been seen before, and to my regret, some of your comments have been binned. Again I can only apologise again.

All this leads to a rebuilt site and a means of preventing another occurrence, and the costs involved.

In a few weeks time, I’ll be inviting you to support CabbieBlog by making a monthly donation.

For $1 a month (sorry the £ doesn’t exist on the web), you can become a patron through the Patreon portal, a proven safe way of giving donations.

In future, CabbieBlog will still have twice-weekly posts on anything relating to London, and the Sunday ‘London Trivia’ will continue to be accessible to anyone with an interest in the world’s greatest city.

But, as a bonus, I’ve written Pootling around London: Manor House to Gibson Square, a travelogue about riding around London exploring the Capital’s traditions, tripe and trivia, whilst undertaking The Knowledge. Chapters are soon to be published fortnightly available only to Patreon subscribers donating $1 a month. Every 2 weeks the long-form post will include an in-depth article about a single ‘run’ on The Knowledge: the journey; notes and observations from the present; and historical accounts of places on the route.

For 71p per month (at current rates) you can support CabbieBlog and help keep the blog on the road for another 10 more years. If in the future, you wish to opt out, this may be done at any time, and I’ll not hold it against you.

Unless, that is, you’re an international cyberspace criminal.