This Blog’s Viewing Figures continue to build up – thank you Readers

Breakdown by hour of day for 1st - 20th November. Click on th image for an enlarged view.

When the Blog’s web hosting was migrated to a new web hosting service a while ago the viewing statistics I receive altered so that it has become difficult to compare apples with apples.

You might recall that the Blog was getting 5,000-7,000 “unique visits” per week.  I was never sure exactly what this meant and I got other statistics which reported different figures (against a different definition or description)  so that the best I felt I could do was report the same type of figures each time, which were the ones which have now been lost.

The new figures are reported on a monthly basis and I haven’t had a complete month yet because they started part way through October.

However it’s pretty clear from comparing the other figures, which I still get, that the numbers are keeping up well, indeed there has probably been a sustained increase, even allowing for the likelihood that the recent burst of controversial articles about GWOCGB have also pushed the viewing figures up temporarily. continues………

A change in the webhosting arrangements for this Blog

Demoted to mere Web Designer

This will be of limited interests to most readers but I have decided to change the web hosting arrangements for this Blog so that from now on my Webmaster/Designer (and generally useful geek) Nigel Mackintosh will no longer be acting as web hosting agent.

Not that he’s fallen short in any way but Nigel has been subjected to some unpleasant and threatening earache recently in an attempt to intimidate him into pulling an Article from this Blog which I wouldn’t want him to have to face again, so I’ve made direct arrangements for web hosting, instead of doing it via him.

Nigel is a valued friend and I often consult him and not just about geeky stuff, but he has no responsibility for the editorial content of this Blog at all and no authority to make any sort of alterations to any of its content.  I’m the owner/editor, he’s the helpful geek.

Some of you may be aware that under UK Law a web hosting supplier can be held responsible for content which is deemed to be defamatory along with the author/editor once they become aware of the defamation.  As a result of this some UK web hosting companies have developed a reputation for pulling the plug on a website  just to be on the safe side – as soon as any allegation of defamation is made and without even bothering to check whether there really has been any defamation. This makes UK-hosted websites potentially vulnerable to manipulative and/or intimidatory attack.

I was once threatened with this treatment by Chris Hinds, the Chairman of GWOCGB for something I’d written, which struck me as a bit heavy-handed because I’m always willing to correct any error which is pointed out, but there you go.  I wasn’t on GWOCGB’s official Christmas card list even then so maybe a threatening approach from the outset seemed to him to be the best one to take at the time.  Happily that’s never recurred, possibly because I was able to make him look a little foolish for doing it.

This Blog’s web hosting was therefore transferred out of UK some time ago to avoid the risk of knee-jerk closure by the web hosting company.  But Nigel was still acting as my UK agent and his name was on the Blog as web hosting arranger.  He didn’t actually own the server on which the Blog lives of course, that’s not how it works but he was the fixer-upper.

An unhappy reader of this Blog recently took it upon himself to give Nigel a very hard time, threatening that an array of unpleasant things would happen unless the Blog article to which he had taken exception was pulled by a deadline which he set.  Happily no bolts of lightning descended on Nigel and nothing else has happened either since that deadline expired but it continues………

Ian Duxbury appointed as Deputy Editor of the Blog

Ian, looking even smarter than usual

I am pleased to announce that Ian Duxbury has been conned into – sorry, has graciously accepted my invitation to help out with the Blog.

Ian has been a Contributor for some time and has the badge to show for it!  He also has the necessary qualities of charm, intellegence, sense of humour and gullibility – not to mention girth.

Ian and I will therefore be sharing the editorial role from now on, which is why his Comments will now appear in a green colour, as mine do. Not sure why this happens, it’s a geeky thing.   I must remember to ask Nigel, our trusty Webmaster, some time.

Over 300 Articles – Have you visited the Contents List?

A glimpse of what lies in store

Wingers who have started viewing this Blog relatively recently may not be aware how much worthwhile reading material has accumulated on it and how to access it.

Although some of the articles are topical and become dated many are useful for reference.

This is an on-line magazine so the Contents List covers all the back issues – right back to November 2009 when the Blog started.  Geeks would call it a Site Plan but Contents List is a more helpful description for mere mortals like us normal Wingers.

For example there are series of articles on motorcycling skills, accessory wiring and rebuild projects and many others.

The link to the Contents List is on the right hand side of the screen near the top.  Articles are listed by Category and the List also shows when it was written.

So if you’re new here, it might be worth browsing to see what you might otherwise not realise is there for the clicking.

The Blog’s On Line Shop is now open

Even Harrods doesn't stock these exclusive items!

This Blog now has its own on line shop.  You can go there by clicking on the Blog Merchandise link which is on the Go To list on the right hand side of the screen.

Not that I’m planning to develop the Blog into a commercial enterprise of any sort but since the Blog now has a stylish Badge and many Wingers are fond of badges, I wanted to make it available.

There is also the Friendly Winger badge, which I also wanted Wingers to have the chance to wear, to show their own commitment to friendliness among Wingers, regardless of whether and which club they might be in.

So the Blog’s On Line Shop offers a simple range of badges and embroidered garments using either the Blog or the Friendly Winger  badges.

The garments will be supplied by Storm Embroidery of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, which is owned by Alan Mason who is a Winger himself and has been supplying regalia to the UK GoldWing community for years.  The Blog’s On Line Shop is a way of ordering regalia from Alan and pay him (directly) so that he can make up the order and post it directly to you.

It works in the same sort of way as on line shops you are likely to have used for other purposes.  If you are not comfortable with on line shopping you may order these items from him directly by telephone if you prefer; the number is provided on the Blog Merchandise Page, where the Shop is located.

Wondering why the Blog has been quiet?

I’m sorry the frequency of new reading material on the Blog has dropped off this past week or so – the picture explains the reason.

I’ve been re-building a gatepost, or rather helping in a very un-skilled labouring capacity. The old one had been leaning over further and further over the years and had become known as the Leaning Tower of Samlesbury.

I suppose we could have contacted the experts in Pisa to find out it it could have been saved but the decision was made to demolish it and take the opportunity to widen the gateway slightly to improve motorhome access.  No names no pack drill but a Winger friend of mine managed to clip one of the gateposts last year and dislodged its capping flagstone.  Fortunately the damage to his pride was worse that to the motorhome but he hasn’t tried to come to our home in it ever since then.  Just as well he picked the non-leaning post otherwise I suppose he might have finished it off prematurely.

Anyway I’ve been experiencing much harder physical work than I’ve been used to for many a year and stiffening up and aching in places I didn’t know could ache all week.  I’m relieved it’s now weekend and we’re having a break.  The bike’s sitting in the garage looking lonely and neglected but there’s a heavy frost and salt on the roads even though we haven’t had any snow, so that’s where the bike’s stopping.

It’s been a race against the cold weather building the new post of course and it will have to wait for its final rendering coat until the temperatures has improved quite a bit.  The new post has been given some decent foundations so it stands more chance of staying upright than the last one, which didn’t seem to have had any at all.

As you will see from the picture I was allowed to have a play with a jack hammer and I also used the shovel which you can see having a rest leaning against the post – although I wasn’t very successful with either and my contribution was little more than making the tea and cleaning the tools afterwards.  I did however do enough to learn just how physically unfit I’ve become.

But the new gatepost is up and the groundwork is finished, so there’s an enforced break until the cold spell finishes and the new gates are being made.  With enormous relief I can tuck myself into my favourite corner with my laptop on my knee and a cup of coffee to hand  and get back to the important business of boring you lot to death!

Blog Badges now available – and they’re free to Contributors

I have received the first batch of Blog Badges including some , like the picture here, with the word “Contributor” superimposed in red.  These will be presented FOC to anyone who writes a feature article for the Blog from now on as a thankyou.

I’ve also got a few plain Blog Badges (i.e. without “Contributor”) and these will be offered for sale as soon as I can sort out the practicalities of on-line sales.

These badges have come out far better than I was expecting.  The ’tiling’ effect of the bike’s image on the website looked like it would be difficult to do in embroidery.

But Alan Mason of Storm Embroidery in Barnsley has excelled himself and they look really good.  Alan is a Winger himself and has a lot of experience producing badges, polo shirts, fleeces and other regalia for GoldWing clubs.  He doesn’t bother with newfangled things like websites but  if you need any embroidery done he can be contacted on:

01226 231054


Donating to Blog Upkeep

You may have noticed that a “Donate” button has appeared on the right hand side of the Blog screen.

This will allow (but certainly is not intended to oblige) readers who enjoy reading the Blog to show their appreciation by contributing to its upkeep. Likewise Wingers who have sold something by advertising something For Sale on the Blog might like to make a donation.  There are costs associated with running a Blog like this one and the modest amount of paid advertising the Blog carries doesn’t cover them.

Anything you decide to donate will be appreciated, even 50p or £1 will be helpful.

Clicking on the button will take you to PayPal but you don’t need a PayPal account to donate;  you may use any debit or credit card.

In the unlikely event that I get swamped with money, any surplus will go to a good biking cause!

How to use this Blog

Click on the image for an enlargement

This Blog is predominantly a collection of feature articles for Wingers, with occasional bits of topical news or comment on the GoldWing club scene thrown in.  It’s not a personal blog, so you won’t find much about me on it, although I did once get a bit carried away and wrote about my own hip replacement operation.

The Blog seems to have captured the interest of quite a few UK Wingers (and others, but hopefully mostly Wingers) since it started in November 2008 and it is currently attracting very nearly 4,000 hits (unique visits) each week.  So my thanks are due to all of you for making my efforts to do something useful worthwhile.  I’m by no means a computer techie and all credit for the overall appearance and functionality of the Blog is due to my friend Nigel Mackintosh, who also dreamed up the clever backdrop of a tiled image of the yellow GL1800.

There are (as this one is being written) 145 Posts (i.e. Articles) altogether.  They are usually fairly well continues………

Over 2,700 hits per week and climbing!

blog-capture1Last week, from July 20th to 26th,  2,786 unique visits were made to this Blog.  This reflects the steady increase in readership ever since its launch last November.

It’s already got a very much bigger ‘circulation’ than any other UK GoldWing  publication.  For example Wingspan, GWOCGB’s  magazine, might still be in second place but it’s only distributed monthly and its circulation has now fallen below 1,000 copies.  And of course it has a month’s lead time for copy whereas this Blog can respond quickly – the Tram Sunday article and pictures were published the very next day.

The Blackpool Light Parade website gets similar numbers of hits too and that’s currently being updated almost daily, so it’s well worth a regular visit too.  There are some very promising irons continues………

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