We have survived another year. And when you get right down to it, sheer survival is the reason any of us celebrate birthdays. We are six years old today, having made our first post on November 21, 2009.
Measured by the lifespan of your average Galápagos tortoise, six years isn’t so long. Measured by the lifespan of your average metal blog, a species that tends to fall victim to accelerated decrepitude, I guess we’re almost ready for a nursing home.
For something that has never been a business and to this day relies on purely volunteer effort, it would have been entirely understandable if the vagaries of life had moved all of us on to other things and left NCS behind as just a fond memory. The fact that we are not only still here, but somehow more widely read than ever, makes me shake my head in wonder. We surely have defied the odds, even if we now need help going to the bathroom.
To be sure, among our writers we’ve had some folks come and go over the years, but every year we seem to benefit from new voices. Two friends have been here the longest and most consistently, and I want to thank them for sharing this strange obsession with me:
Andy Synn’s first post was a review of Dimmu Borgir’s Abrahadabra on September 23, 2010. And DGR’s first post was a series of year-end lists on December 28, 2011. I’m so very grateful for their friendship, and for their fortitude in hanging in there as bulwarks of the site for so many years.
I also want to thank Austin Weber, Comrade Aleks, KevinP, and Grant Skelton for contributing so consistently and so well this year. We’ve also benefitted from a lot of other somewhat less frequent writers since we turned five years old, and I thank them, too. (And for the couple of you old-timers who have been scarce this year, I understand why, and I’m keeping the light on for you.)
While I’m in a thankful mood, of course I want to express our collective gratitude to all of you who check out our site on a regular or semi-regular basis, and for those who make extra time to leave comments, we’re especially grateful. I haven’t found the time to reply to comments as consistently as I once did, but I do read all of them, and the feedback means a lot, not only to me but to everyone else whose work I post here.
And of course, we thank all the metal bands (and visual artists) out there who have made our lives so much richer because of their creativity and talent. Supporting music we care about and doing what we can to spread it around remains the site’s main mission.
And now for the annual round-up of boring statistics. Since we launched NCS six years ago, we’ve published 6,652 posts, including this one. We’ve posted something every single day since the site began, except for six days when I was either laid low by apocalyptic hangovers or rudely interrupted by my fucking day job.
At this writing, we’ve received 58,626 comments since the beginning, exclusive of spam, and I’m guessing that now only about a third of those are mine.
According to Google Analytics, we’ve had 537,258 unique visitors over the last year from all over the world, and since this time last year we’ve had 1,784,134 page views, which is about 85,000 more than we had the year before.
As another measure of our support, the “likes” for our Facebook page have grown from 11,943 at this time last year to 17,108 as of yesterday afternoon when I wrote this post. This leaves us only 75,958,347 shy of the FB page for Michael Jackson, who we are still chasing relentlessly and who has been dead for five months longer than our site has been alive. We’ve really closed the gap since last year and we will not give up.
In keeping with data from past years, over the last 12 months less than half the visits to our U.S.-based site (40.16%) have come from people in the U.S. 5.79% have come from the UK and 5.23% from Canada, and the balance have come from more than 100 other countries around the world, with Germany, France, Australia, India, Poland, Sweden, and Italy rounding out the top 10, in that order.
I don’t know how long we’ll have together… Who does? Maybe we’ll still be here this time next year — I certainly hope so — and maybe we won’t. We have done questionable things, and also extraordinary things, and we will do our best to continue doing both for as long as we can — and we hope you will revel in our time along with us while it lasts. Onward!