End of year blog stats

My blog site is hosted by WordPress and whilst it is not one of the most visited sites around; the WordPress end of year review of the site shows that I got 5,400 views during the last twelve months.  I haven’t been as prolific this year publishing 19 new posts and uploading 463 pictures; this is short of the 46 posts and 702 photos I made in 2012 when I started the blog.

The primary aim of the site is to get me out taking photographs of areas near where I live in the Wirral in north west England; with my other travels being posted to the secondary pages on the site.  As well as taking the photographs I like to research the story behind the images so it’s interesting to note that on the busiest day of the year which was October 31st with 209 views; the most popular section of the blog site that day was ‘About the Wirral’.

The posts that got the most views on the blog site in 2013 were:

  1.  Liverpool Anglican Cathedral posted in January 2013
  2. On Bidston Hill posted in March 2013
  3. Thingwall to Landican posted in May 2012
  4. On Four Bridges – around Birkenhead Docks posted in August 2013
  5. The ‘Friedrich Ernestine’ on the skyline at Cammel Lairds posted in September 2012

The most commented on post in 2013 was Liverpool Anglican Cathedral posted in January.

Visitors to the site came from a total of 72 countries in all.  The top five were:

  1. The United Kingdom – 3561 visitors
  2. The United States – 492 visitors
  3. Australia – 453 visitors
  4. Netherlands – 131 visitors
  5. Canada – 129 visitors

Whilst another substantial number of visitors came from mainland Europe (including 34 from Russia) the blogsite saw people from as far as Africa (South Africa, Malawi and Nigeria), Japan, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, several of the Arab states, Turkey, Israel and seven countries in Central and South America including Brasil, Mexico and Argentina.

On 31 December it is usually the time to make New Year’s resolutions.  For 2014 I am looking to have a better work/life balance and hopefully I will make more time to take photographs and publish articles on my blog as this has been a bit of a struggle in the past twelve months.  In starting the site in 2012 I dusted down my old photographic kit and got out and about taking photos of places and events.  I’ve updated my kit in the last couple of months and I hope to get to use my new camera a lot more next year.

I will end by saying thank you to everyone who has taken the time to follow my blogs and photographs in 2013.

Best wishes for 2014.

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Liverpool Santa Dash 2013

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Another belated post as I catch up in uploading my photos.  On 1st December the tenth Liverpool Santa Dash saw increased entries taking part in what is now the U.K’s biggest festive fun run.  The event is open to runners, joggers and walkers and everyone has to take part in the Santa suit provided.  As well as the main 5K Festive Fun Run, there is a 1K Mini Run for under 12s which takes place immediately afterwards.  There was a sea of Santas waiting by the start at Liverpool’s Pierhead.

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This year the event organisers were targeting 10,000 runners in a bid to reclaim the world title for the biggest number of Santas taking part from Las Vegas.  Last year, the US rivals beat Liverpool by just 714 runners despite a record turnout of 8,500.

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Olympic champion Beth Tweddle and Everton FC legend Joe Royle got this year’s event underway from the starting point outside the Cunard Building on Liverpool’s Pierhead.  Big Brother’s Craig Philips along with former X Factor star Chris Maloney started at the head of the crowd.

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The run raises money for charities.  The official event charity was Claire House children’s hospice, with supporting charities Walking with Giants and Liverpool Unites for Alder Hey children’s charity.  The Santas made quite a scene as they made their way up Water Street from the river.

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In keeping with the footballing traditions of the city around 500 participants are able to wear blue Santa outfits for those staunch Evertonians who just wouldn’t be seen in red.

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Everyone can take part and many got in to the spirit of the event which included dogs dressed up in outfits, some pushing prams with babies in and others taking part in wheelchairs.

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Some people were dressed in very different attire including one man in a kilt.

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The Santa Dash is not just for hardened athletes most people were just out for a good time supporting worthwhile charities and having time for a good chat with friends.

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Some couldn’t resist taking their own photographs of the event as they went round.

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There was a sizeable crowd viewing the event from all sorts of vantage points.

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The local Batala Liverpool Samba drumming band were on hand on the last corner before the finish to spur the participants on.

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With such a number of competitors taking part many of the city centre roads were closed to traffic.

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A key part of the route is the Churchill Way flyover that took the runners from Dale Street up to Islington on the other side of the city centre.  It was quite a sight to see so many Santas thronging the flyover.

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The runners were greeted by a very tall reindeer at the finish outside the Town Hall in Dale Street.

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After finishing and collecting their medals it was a long walk back to the car, train or bus to get home.

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Liverpool was hoping to reclaim the world record of the largest gathering of Santas from Las Vegas who hosted their own Santa dash on 7 December.  Liverpool last had the title in 2010.  A party from Las Vegas flew into Liverpool to witness the event.  The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Gary Millar was joined by Carolyn G. Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas, at both the start on the Pier Head and the finish line on the balcony of the Town Hall in Dale Street.

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Despite Liverpool’s bumper turnout of 10,299 runners, the city narrowly lost the title for staging the world’s largest Santa dash once again to rivals Las Vegas who kept the crown again this year with 11,201 participants in their fun run.  Representatives from both cities welcomed singer Shania Twain, who served as “grand marshall” at the Las Vegas dash when the numbers of entrants were revealed.