11 June 2015

Where do I find two million
people, and where do they live?

There are more than 2 million people in Birmingham … and this site had over 2 million visitors by this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

I passed another milestone within the last hour or two.

This blog has just passed the two million mark, with over two million individual hits by this evening.

To put two million people into some way of understanding figures, this about the same as the population of countries such as the Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia, Botswana or Latvia, close to the population of Birmingham or Manchester, or of Turin, Lyon, Vienna, Bucharest or Prague.

Some years ago, reports said estimates from the Central Statistics Office suggest that the population of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) will reach two million by 2021.

On the other hand, I could point out that over two million Greeks live below the poverty line, or that there are about two million Episcopalians in the United States, about two million Anglicans in Tanzania or Canada, and that up to two million people lined Fifth Avenue on 17 March to watch the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York this year.

When it comes to counting two million internet visitors, I recall that when Tourism Ireland recently reached two million fans on Facebook around the world it was happy to boast that Tourism Ireland had become the biggest tourism board in Europe, and the third most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook, after Australia and Discover America.

I have been on blogger since 10 November 2007. But there were only 13 postings that year. By 2008, it was 183, 272 in 2009, 322 in 2010, 449 in 2011, and 498 in 2012.

That year, this blog passed a milestone on 14 July 2012, with over half a million visitors.

On 23 February 2013, this blog passed yet another milestone with over three quarters of a million visitors. And then, in the most pleasant of ways, on 28 September 2013, I become a millionaire – although not in currency. On that autumn day, this blog passed the one million reader mark. In all, there were 547 postings in 2013.

At the time, this blog had between 800 and 1,200 hits each day, and one summer day the number of visitors in one day passed 1,500.

The number of individual hits or readers reached the milestone of 1.5 million almost a year ago [13 June 2014]. So the climb to 1.5 million readers in less than nine months had been a steep one indeed. Part of this in recent months is explained by the number of attempted cyber attacks on this site since 21 November 2013, when the number of hits passed the 2,000 mark, with 2,004 page-views that day. This also happened to be the day I was the guest speaker at a debate in the ‘Phil’ in Trinity College Dublin, speaking out for Edward Snowden, for freedom of information and for freedom of the media.

There were 510 postings on this blog last year (2014). It took another year before the number of hits or readers on this site reached 2 million this evening [11 June 2015].

Part of that has been caused by continuing attempted cyber-attacks on this site – with almost 3,700 hits a month ago [20 May 2015], almost 2,700 on 3 June and – staggeringly – over 4,300 hits today [11 June 2015].

But to all of you who are genuine readers, let me thank you for your kind support, for your feedback and even if you are anonymous for your potential friendship.