We have survived another year, and yes, I still count mere survival as a kind of triumph in the precarious realms of metal blogdom. We are a whopping eight years old today — we made our first post on November 21, 2009.
Measured according to other time scales, eight years seems like the blink of an eye. But measured by the lifespan of your average metal blog (or even by some large commercial metal sites), we’re… kind of mature. Not in our behavior, of course.
I continue to be amazed and thankful that we’re still here, that so many good friends are still devoting themselves to writing for NCS on a purely volunteer basis, and that so many readers haven’t yet gotten fed up and purged us from their lives.
As we celebrate stubbornly hanging on for another year, I again want to give special thanks to some friends who have been here the longest and most consistently in 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. They are good dudes, and their fortitude is still to be admired for manning the ramparts of our rough-hewn and ramshackle fortress for so many years.
Another old-timer, TheMadIsraeli, still surfaces when the spirit moves him, and as I look back over the last year thanks are also in order for the contributions of many other fine folks — among them Austin Weber, Comrade Aleks, Gorger, Wil Cifer, Craig Hayes, Karina Noctum, Todd Manning, and everyone else who has thrown stuff my way for publication.
Of course, we are also grateful to those of you who visit NCS and to all the metal bands and visual artists whose creativity is the reason for our existence
And now for the annual round-up of boring statistics. Since we launched NCS eight years ago, we’ve published 9,215 posts, including this one — and 1,280 of them appeared in the 12 months since our last birthday, which is almost exactly the number of posts we made in our seventh year and averages out to 3.5 posts a day, including weekends, which I guess means that on average one out of every four of our posts is half-assed.
And yes, we’ve continued to post something on almost every day, including weekends and holidays, with just a few misses on Saturdays when I was too hungover to think or type without pain.
At this writing, we’ve received 75,325 comments since the beginning, exclusive of spam and not counting the very, very few I’ve deleted because their toxicity exceeded even my pretty hands-off attitude about comments.
According to Google Analytics, as of yesterday we’ve had 432,060 unique visitors over the last 12 months from all over the world, and since this time last year we’ve had 2,013,949 page views, which is 81,415 more than we had the year before.
As another measure of our support, the “likes” for our Facebook page have grown from 26,022 at this time last year to 36,148 as I write this today. Sadly, despite this significant growth we have fallen further behind the likes for the Cheese Whiz FB page than we were last year (286,484 v. 201,838), which is of course the “gold standard” to which we aspire, and an even tinier percentage of our FB followers see what we post as our Facebook overlords continue their relentless efforts to squeeze us for money, not having figured out that it’s like trying to get blood from a stone.
In keeping with data from past years, over the last 12 months less than half the visits to our U.S.-based site (42.48%) have come from people in the U.S., with 6.25% coming from the UK, 5.79% from Canada, and the balance from more than 100 other countries around the world, with Germany, Australia, France, Poland, Italy, Russia, and Sweden, rounding out the top 10, in that order.
A lot of things have changed in eight years, but the fundamentals haven’t: We still only write about music we enjoy and honestly want to recommend; we still don’t take money from anyone; we still don’t take ourselves too seriously; and we still have a knowledgable, respectful, and almost completely troll-free community of readers and commenters. Like Blanche DuBois, we still depend on the kindness of strangers.
To once again paraphrase Blade Runner (which now has a sequel that I somehow still haven’t seen), I don’t know how long we’ll have together… Who does? I hope we’ll still be here at this time next year and I hope you’ll still be here with us.
P.S. Put on your thinking caps, because tomorrow I’ll invite our readers to share their suggestions for 2017’s most infectious extreme metal songs.