Tag Archives: cabbieblog

Statistics 2020

Two days ago I received a message from WordPress informing me that: ‘Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 12 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.’ The missive reminded me that CabbieBlog has been publishing a minimum of two posts a week since its inception, and at the time of writing (January 2021) had over 1,629 posts published online and, remarkably 1,170 scheduled posts.

Starting with the defunct platform ‘Blog’, then moving to Google’s Blogger, after a year I changed my allegiance to WordPress. Although my remaining with WordPress is waning as they are turning over to Gutenberg Block Editor which obviates the need for coding, favouring a new ‘simpler’ system.

All this means that CabbieBlog in its various incarnations has been freely available for nearly 13 years.

Never content with CabbieBlog’s appearance, I’ve again changed the typeface to 13.5pt Lato, with a line-height of 1.6, described by its designer as “[the typeface has] a feeling of warmth, while the strong structure provides stability and seriousness”, which seems, in my mind, to describe a London cabbie. Lato is a sans-serif typeface designed in 2010 for a Polish bank by Łukasz Dziedzic. When it came to paying for it, the bank said it was too expensive and Dziedzic was left with a type family that he didn’t know if it was marketable. So he released it in 2015 under a SIL Open Font License. The name ‘Lato’ is Polish for summer, the name perfectly fits this warm-feeling sans-serif. As of August 2018, Lato is used on more than 9.6 million websites, including Starbucks and Miss Vogue, it is the third most served font on Google Fonts, with over one billion views per day.  CabbieBlog’s headings are now displayed in Raleway Extra Bold, which perfectly complements the text.

The site has also added extra content in the sidebar for those who quaintly still read CabbieBlog on a laptop. These include ‘In my opinion’ – weekly London quotes; ‘Frequent fares’ – CabbieBlog’s most popular posts; ‘Regular passengers’ – those of you who have checked out CabbieBlog the most; and ‘Blogs worth hailing’ – a basic blogroll. Also, I am uploading a weekly cabbie image to Flickr.

In addition, a donation ‘like’ button from Ko-fi should anyone feel the need to drop CabbieBlog and a couple of quid.

So with more information than is reasonably necessary, here are the annual blogging statistics for 2020. 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

Difficult to gauge, for instance, CabbieBlog has 172 followers on Bloglovin’ so none of their views will be recorded, but according to my basic counter the numbers of visitors has increased, but those willing to loiter around have decreased.  CabbieBlog has attracted a number of regular readers, which, I suspect have found their way from BeetleyPete, which is very encouraging. (Average hit rate per visitor: 2019 – 1.8117; 2020 – 1.6118).

2019
Visitors – 22,994
Page views – 41,659

2020
Visitors – 28,403
Page views – 45,781


CabbieBlog’s readers from abroad

The different countries whose residents have viewed CabbieBlog again include Jersey (at 24) and Guernsey (at 25), as if they were sovereign countries in their own right and curiously the European Union with 11, a huge drop from the 497 visits last year, presumably the result of us being released from their clutches. The United States leads our curious cousins with 5,544 a rise since last year’s 4,773 hits.

2019 – 117 individual countries

2020 – 137 individual countries


Number of comments

The yardstick of a blog must be how many of its readers decided to metaphysically put pen to paper and comment, and this year, despite, or because of COVID-19, has seen exponential growth. I suspect my decision to become hosted by WordPress has also brought more contributors. To all of you, again a huge thank you for your encouragement or discouragement. Your comments keep me submitting regular 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 the comments CabbieBlog receives are intelligent, relevant and insightful. I’m delighted, obviously.

2019 – 94

2020 – 169


Number of ‘Likes’

When you have a super, intelligent and engaging blog which is blessed with visitors that clearly repeatedly like to Like, you are in a favourable position. The Likes are on a huge upward trend, again a huge thank you for touching the ­­­Like button at the foot of every post.

2019 – 79

2020 – 359


Followers of CabbieBlog

My e-mail updates only include a brief description so many of you 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 inciteful posts, but thanks for following CabbieBlog.

2019 – 1,248

2020 – 1,315


Posts written

Most of this year’s output has been new material, although Wednesday’s Weekly Whinge first appeared on the Journal page. In addition to the total posts, 52 London in Quotations (which, of course, are not original) has been published amounting to more than 2,000 words.

2019– 156

2020 – 209


Most viewed and least viewed posts and pages

It has to be said that some subjects take on a life of their own, Goswell Street Road, for instance, was picked up by Reddit in early December, while others just sit in cyberspace minding their own business. At the bottom lie many posts with only a few views a year, and some I suspect just sit there patiently waiting to be noticed.

2019
Highest post
London myths debunked – 2,295
Lowest Post
Queen of Hell – 1
Highest page
The Knowledge – 4,536
Lowest page
Time Out – 12

2020
Highest post
London myths debunked – 2,282
Lowest Post
Site Unseen: Gwynne House– 15
Highest page
13 Survivors – 1,491
Lowest page
Privacy Policy – 15


Pages written

This year no new pages have appeared on CabbieBlog.

2019 – 0

2020 – 0


Number of words written

My average output of about 1,500 words written each week has been increased as a result of finishing my book, giving me more time for the blog.

2019
Words – 80,757
Characters – 468,385

2020
Words – 84,748
Characters – 489,994


Referrers

If you ignore the search engines, with Google clocking up an impressive 20,200 hits, social media referrers are Twitter at 513 and, surprisingly, as I havn’t an account, Facebook at 740.

2019
Spitalfields Life – 46
The Hackney Hack – 12

2020
Diamond Geezer – 162
The Telephone Box – 12


In conclusion

This post is, of course, my highlight of the year. Unfortunately my readers don’t share my enthuiasm. Last year only 46 of you bothered to click on Statistics 2019, with not one person viewing this incisive post from June to August.

Statistics 2019

It’s been another eventful year for CabbieBlog.

You have probability noticed yet another change in CabbieBlog’s appearance. As I mentioned previously hosting for all these keystrokes and pictures with CabbieBlog, now in its 12th year in cyberspace, comes at a cost.

A domain name to find your work on the internet; the purchase of back-up support should the site become corrupted; a speed optimization plugin, a selection of typefaces; Patreon as a means for any fans to support the work; the yearly purchase of an SSL certificate to give the domain name an https prefix required by Google in its rankings; and updating PHP, the programming language used to maintain WordPress required for the second time in a year. Added to that protection from hacking, viruses, and malware. This entailed the removal of someone’s nasties inserted within my missives last year, an expensive and a problem which, believe it or not, got CabbieBlog banned from the internet.

Now, excuse me, but with all that protection the site should have been as sound as the Bank of England. Not so! More malware had been inserted by the back door into CabbieBlog.

So with all those excuses, and in part as an apology for the site’s more basic appearance, I have reverted to CabbieBlog’s second incarnation (the first was a defunct platform now no longer lamented), which will be similar, but different.

So with those caveats here are the annual blogging statistics for 2019. As before, with the data amassed over the last year (taken from both sites), 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 has decreased, but and those willing to loiter around CabbieBlog have increased quite substantially, which is been very encouraging. (Average hit rate per visitor: 2018 – 1.737; 2019 – 1.8117).

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

2019
Visitors – 22,994
Page views – 41,659

CabbieBlog’s readers from abroad

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 497, a huge drop from the 1,166 visits last year, presumably the result of us being released from their clutches. The United States leads our curious cousins with 4,773 a fall since last year’s 12,851 hits. The total number of countries who checked into CabbieBlog appears to have dropped this year, but as I’m collecting data across two sites, I might have missed the occasional visitor from a foreign land.

2018 – 137

2019 – 117

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.

2018 – 124

2019 – 94

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’, again a huge thank you for increasing that number by over six-fold.

2018 – 12

2019 – 79

Followers of CabbieBlog

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.

2018 – 1,252

2019 – 1,248

Posts written

Much of this year’s output is re-publishing old posts. Many are now being read for the first time and I have received many compliments. So the total posts and number of words do not reflect new writing. Having said that, included are 52 new trivia posts, published on Sundays. For years my Journal has lain undiscovered as a page. As an experiment, starting January 2020, every Wednesday I’m publishing the The Weekly Whinge partly from my Journal along with new material; in addition, taken from my old site, will be London in Quotations, published every Monday.

2018– 156

2019 – 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.

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

2019
Highest post
London myths debunked – 2,295
Lowest Post
Queen of Hell – 1
Highest page
The Knowledge – 4,536
Lowest page
Time Out – 12


Pages written

Last year due to having to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) a number of new pages had to be written, this year no new pages have appeared on CabbieBlog.

2018 – 3

2019 – 0


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, I have also recalculated the words written on Sunday’s trivia.

2018
Words – 71,329
Characters – 415,241

2019
Words – 80,757
Characters (with spaces) – 468,385
Characters (without spaces) – 386,545
Paragraphs – 2,335


Referrers

If you ignore the search engines (with Google clocking up an impressive 19,103 hits). The next highest referrers are Twitter at 443 and behind them is Facebook at 255.

2018
The Hackney Hack – 48
The Telephone Box – 46

2019
Spitalfields Life – 46

The Hackney Hack – 12


In conclusion

This post is, of course, my highlight of the year. Unfortunately my readers don’t share my enthuiasm. Last year only 47 of you bothered to click on to read Statistics 2018.

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)