Category Archives: 2008 in review

WP stats and my latest

Yes, stats coming out of the ears! WordPress itself has published its own 2008 wrap-up, and it is rather amazing:

Yearly Stats

Here are the stats in aggregate for the year!

  • 2,906,086 blogs were created.
  • 3,761,296 new users joined.
  • 35,926,639 file uploads.
  • 13.5 terabytes of new files.
  • 161.1 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters.
  • 62,978,912 logins.
  • 9,402,615,494 pageviews on, and another 6,467,996,032 on self-hosted blogs (15.8 billion total across all WordPress blogs we track).
  • 3,132,606 active blogs and 44,027,035 active posts where “active” means they got a human visitor.

That makes my quick rundown on the past seven days look piddling, of course.

Human visitors over the past seven days went to:

Floating Life

  1. Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — 95 humans
  2. Dispatches from another America 58
  3. The Great Surry Hills Book Clearance of 2005  33
  4. How good is your English? Test and Answers 26
  5. Floating Life and English/ESL in 2008 25
  6. 2008 going, going…. 2009 – 24
  7. Last 2008 in review post: my also-rans 24
  8. Last night I watched Channel Ten! 22
  9. Kevin Rudd as art critic 18
  10. Paul Keating’s Redfern Speech [December 15


  1. East Redfern again 5: coffee shop in Bourke Street 26
  2. Meanwhile in Surry Hills: it’s all on sale 15
  3. 2008 in review: best pics? 9
  4. Summer light 17: Cleveland St Surry Hill 7
  5. East Redfern again 7: wrapped 5

Ninglun’s Specials

  1. Sequel: Art Monthly Australia July 2008 22
  2. 10. But is it art? Responses to the Bill Henson controversy of 2008 17
  3. 05 — Old Blog Entries: 99-04 16
  4. Family stories 3 — About the Whitfields 13
  5. A friend’s new apartment 9
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Posted by on January 3, 2009 in 2008 in review, blogging, site stats


Last 2008 in review post: my also-rans… Goodbye, Journalspace!

Ninglun on Blogspot

This preceded the WordPress sites and followed the sad fate of Diary-X. It also :makes money: – but I haven’t headed for South America with the loot yet. It has had some fitful life over the past year, but as you may see even at its height in 2008 it never went over 1000 visits a month. It did revive for a few days in August – September when my WordPress blogs received an unwelcome vandal.


Google Analytics gives 3,927 Visits  and 4,717 Pageviews for 2008. About half those were to a post on Barack Obama as Antichrist – not a theory I give much heed to. The Blogspot content is mostly here now: see Apparently Barack Obama is the Antichrist (February 2008).

I do wonder whether WordPress is a more effective vehicle than Blogspot, however, when it comes to attracting visits.

Ninglun on Journalspace

This flourished in 2007 when I transferred many of my election raves to it, partly to make the WordPress blogs less ranty. I did like the way it looks, but WP is much better. In 2008, according to Google Analytics, there was a big spike when the vandal attack was on here, as I was really glad to have Journalspace in reserve. I am glad I had after all not deleted it! Views of this blog do count in the Floating Life Sitemeter. Google’s count for 2008 is 235 Visits and 484 Pageviews.

However, Journalspace has just done a Diary-X!

Journalspace is no more.

DriveSavers called today to inform me that the data was unrecoverable.

Here is what happened: the server which held the journalspace data had two large drives in a RAID configuration. As data is written (such as saving an item to the database), it’s automatically copied to both drives, as a backup mechanism.

The value of such a setup is that if one drive fails, the server keeps running, using the remaining drive. Since the remaining drive has a copy of the data on the other drive, the data is intact. The administrator simply replaces the drive that’s gone bad, and the server is back to operating with two redundant drives.

But that’s not what happened here. There was no hardware failure. Both drives are operating fine; DriveSavers had no problem in making images of the drives. The data was simply gone. Overwritten.

The data server had only one purpose: maintaining the journalspace database. There were no other web sites or processes running on the server, and it would be impossible for a software bug in journalspace to overwrite the drives, sector by sector.

The list of potential causes for this disaster is a short one. It includes a catastrophic failure by the operating system (OS X Server, in case you’re interested), or a deliberate effort. A disgruntled member of the Lagomorphics team sabotaged some key servers several months ago after he was caught stealing from the company; as awful as the thought is, we can’t rule out the possibility of additional sabotage.

But, clearly, we failed to take the steps to prevent this from happening. And for that we are very sorry.

So, after nearly six years, journalspace is no more….

It’s said this couldn’t happen on WordPress which is backed up all over the place…

Like a rock

We run hundreds of servers in three datacenters (Dallas, San Francisco, San Antonio) with instant copies of all your data and uploads in each. This allows us to serve your blog very quickly, and also if something catastrophic were to happen, like California falling into the ocean or Dallas being hit by a meteor, your blog would be okay.

Sad about Journalspace though. Thanks for being there in August/September.

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Posted by on January 2, 2009 in 2008 in review, awful warnings, blogging, site news, site stats


Floating Life and English/ESL in 2008

As last year, my blogs experienced a degree of what I called then “end of year droop”, which last year looked like this:

NewYear2 NewYear3

My 2007 Sitemeters

Now let’s see what 2008 has done.

u2008a u2008b

My 2008 Sitemeters with tables

Where did they come from?  Which blogs did they look at?

I will tell you more over the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 1, 2009 in 2008 in review, site news, site stats


2008 going, going…. 2009 – a year of living dangerously



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wollongong whiteshirt3r251887_1036501

mccain1shepard-fairey-barack-obama gaza-children

The last image is Gaza on 10 December 2008. 28 December, ironically, is Holy Innocents Day in many Christian churches… My other images recollect the big silly season story of last January, 13 February, the Henson controversy, going to Wollongong with Sirdan, the Australian Liberal Party, World Youth Day, and the US election – just a sampling of 2008 as I saw it. And I didn’t mention the Olympics, the Sichuan earthquake, and so much more… Quite a year.


Fact: people I know are beginning to lose their jobs… The economic turmoil is far from over… Personally I see much uncertainty and possible change, not all good… Obama? Poor man, I say; what a job he has! And Gaza*, unfolding right now? Whatever the complex issues here, it is very very ugly. There is no doubt that even if Israel achieves whatever “victory” it seeks what they will also have achieved is an upsurge in Mumbai-style terrorism world-wide….

So, Happy New Year?

The folks at sent subscribers a New Year email which reads in part:

So what are the options? The Year of the Global Recession. It’s not very sexy, but it is pretty likely. Or what about The Year Of Enough? I recently read an inspiring tome of the same name by John Naish that’s all about being satisfied with what we already have. There are worse words to use in 2009 than "enough".

How about 2009 – The Year of No Fear? The older I get, the more I realise that we all have stumbling blocks that are in the way of us getting what we really want. Some of them are put in place by others, but most by ourselves. We’ve all got them, and the quicker we can jump over these blocks, the quicker we can get to where we really want to be, wherever that may be. Do I sound like Oprah yet? Good.

So there you go, I officially declare 2009 as The Year Of No Fear.

Who’s going to join me?

It’s a nice thought.

I leave this New Year post with a cartoon Len from Texas had on his blog recently.


But you may also like to visit Worldman: 2009 is ahead. Now there is an optimistic soul whose optimism is based on experiences most of us would find dire!


* I recommend Robert Scheer on Gaza.

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Posted by on December 31, 2008 in 2008 in review, awful warnings, personal


The top fifteen posts for 2008 – up to 30 December

Here are the posts from all the blogs to attract most individual hits in the past year. Naturally English/ESL wins.

  1. Studying the Gothic, or Emily Bronte? 12,257 individual views in 2008 — English/ESL
  2. Physical journeys and Peter Skrzynecki’s poems 11,085 — English/ESL
  3. How should I write up a Science experiment? 8,346 — English/ESL
  4. Workshop 02 — NSW HSC: Area Study: Imaginative Journeys 4,543 — English/ESL
  5. Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — 4,037 — Floating Life
  6. Friday Australian poem #17: Bruce Dawe, 3,978 — Floating Life Apr 06 ~ Nov 07
  7. Sarah Palin — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress 3,193 — Floating Life
  8. Physical journeys and Peter Skrzynecki’s poems updated 2,516 — English/ESL
  9. Assimilation, Integration, Multiculturalism — policy and practice 1 2,263 — Floating Life Apr 06 ~ Nov 07
  10. On the awkwardness (and fatuity?) of discussing religion 2,180 — Floating Life Apr 06 ~ Nov 07
  11. Sequel: Art Monthly Australia July 2008 1,917 — Ninglun’s Specials
  12. John Howard: bullying expert extraordinaire 1,893 — Floating Life Apr 06 ~ Nov 07
  13. Six suggestions for Imaginative Journeys 1,771 — English/ESL
  14. Workshop 010: HSC Advanced English — "Brave New World" and "Blade Runner" 1,690 — English/ESL
  15. Scaffolding 1,532 — English/ESL
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Posted by on December 30, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging, site stats


Australian poetry on Floating Life

Over the past couple of years I have offered, sometimes weekly, quite a few Australian poems. You can find them via the WordPress tag “Friday poem”, but I thought I would set them out in order here. I began in 2007 on my first WordPress blog, and continued with a new series in 2008. There were a few other relevant entries which I include in this list.


  1. Two Australian poems of World War II – Judith Wright “The Company of Lovers” and Kenneth Slessor “Beach Burial”
  2. Oh, they’re so young… Judith Wright “The Company of Lovers” again
  3. Reading the Bible – Judith Wright “Bullocky”
  4. New: the Friday Australian Poem: #1 — Henry Kendall 1841-1882 — “On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury”
  5. Friday Australian poem # 2: "The Poor, Poor Country" by John Shaw Neilson
  6. Friday Australian poem #3: A D Hope, "The Death of a Bird"
  7. Friday Australian poem #4: Judith Wright “South of my Days” and “Woman to Child”
  8. Friday Australian Poem #5: Judith Wright "For a Pastoral Family"
  9. Friday Australian poem # 6: Mary Gilmore, "Nationality" and "Old Botany Bay"
  10. Friday Australian poem #7: Henry Lawson “Faces in the Street”
  11. Friday Australian poem #8: Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971) “Five Bells”
  12. Friday Australian poem #9: Charles Harpur (1813 – 1868) “A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest”
  13. Friday Australian poem #10: John O’Brien “The Old Bush School”
  14. Friday Australian poem #11: "Because" by James McAuley
  15. Friday Australian poem #12: David Campbell "Men in Green"
  16. Friday Australian poem #12a: not a poem! Follows up on #12.
  17. Friday Australian poem # 14: "The Australaise" by C J Dennis
  18. Friday Australian poem #15: Les Murray, "An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow"
  19. Friday Australian poem #16: Banjo Paterson "Fur and Feathers"
  20. Friday Australian poem #17: Bruce Dawe, “Homecoming”
  21. Friday Australian poem #18: A B Paterson "The Geebung Polo Club"
  22. Friday Australian poem #19: Vance Palmer (1885-1959) “The Farmer Remembers the Somme”


  1. Australian poem: 2008 series: #1 — Marian Spires "War on Language" (2003)
  2. Australian poem: 2008 series: #2 — Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971) "Snowdrops"
  3. Australian poem: 2008 series #3 — anon. "Botany Bay"
  4. Australian Poem: 2008 series #4 and #5 — two for the price of one: Paul Buttigieg “Black Bastards” and Eric Bogle “Now I’m Easy”
  5. Australian Poem: 2008 series #6 — Henry Kendall “The Last of his Tribe”
  6. Australian poem: 2008 series #7 — Melinda Kendall “Lost in the Bush” and “Fairy Meadow”
  7. Australian poem: 2008 series #8 — Indigenous poetry
  8. Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — A B Paterson "The Angel’s Kiss"
  9. Australian poem 2008 series #10: Peter Skrzynecki "Summer in the Country" (2005)
  10. Australian poem 2008 series #11 — George Essex Evans “To a Bigot”
  11. Australian poem 2008 series #12 — Judith Wright recycled for Anzac Day
  12. Australian poem 2008 series #13 — Roland Robinson (1912-1992) “The Drovers”
  13. Australian poem 2008 series #14 — Rosemary Dobson (1920 – ) “A Fine Thing”
  14. Australian poem 2008 series #15 — John Shaw Neilson "The Orange Tree"
  15. Australian poem 2008 series # 16: cheating slightly… Bai Ju Yi “On West Lake” – Translated 1994 by N J Whitfield and M Q Xu
  16. Australian poem 2008 series #17: "Australia" — A D Hope
  17. Australian poem 2008 series #18: YouTube – Poetry Clip: Robert Gray “A Bowl of Pears”
  18. Australian poem 2008 series #19: You Don’t Get Me — Lachlan Irvine “The Thousand Yard Stare”
  19. Australian poem 2008 series #20: “Middleton’s Rouseabout” — Henry Lawson (1896)
  20. Australian poem 2008 series #21: Adam Aitken “Louis De Carne’s Diary”
  21. Australian poem 2008 series #22: Kenneth Mackay OBE "The Song that Men Should Sing" (1899)
  22. Australian poem 2008 series #23: George Essex Evans “The Women of the West”

See also

Neos; 02 — a poem.

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Posted by on December 29, 2008 in 2008 in review, Australia, Australia and Australian, OzLit, poets and poetry


Best reads of 2008

I notice I began the “best read of 2008” category this time last year, so anything from now will be a “best read of 2009” – and I do have one lined up. But today, in order of time from 26 December 2007, here are my 2008 choices. They aren’t always the latest books, as my choice is determined by Surry Hills Library and by what I may from time to time get at a bargain bookshop. Go to the linked posts for details.

1. Travis Holland, "The Archivist’s Story" (Bloomsbury 2007). Fiction.

2. Brian Leung, “Lost Men”. Fiction.

3. Conservative but informative and very entertaining: James Franklin on "Corrupting the Youth". Nonfiction.

4. Anita Brookner, “Latecomers”. Fiction.

5. Frank Welsh’s Great Southern Land: A New History of Australia. See also here and here. Nonfiction.

6. Anne Holt, “The Final Murder”. Fiction.

7. Gregg Hurwitz, “The Crime Writer”. Fiction.

8. Like a benign psychotic episode: East/West imagination in "Kafka on the Shore" (2005) – Haruki Murukami. Fiction.

9. When a blog is good enough to be a book – Riverbend’s “Baghdad Burning”. Nonfiction.

10. Denise Mina and “Tartan Noir” — “The Last Breath”. Fiction.

11. Sharp yet gentle satire in McCall Smith’s parochial epic: "The World according to Bertie". Fiction. See also here.

12. I like Norman Davies – essays “Europe East & West”. Nonfiction.

13. James Lovelock, “The Revenge of Gaia”. Nonfiction.

14. Anna Kavan, “Guilty”. Fiction.

15. David Day, “Conquest: A New History of the Modern World”. Nonfiction.

16. Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist. Fiction.

17. A Life of Unlearning — a journey to find the truth — the book – Anthony Venn-Brown. Nonfiction.

18. ::: Alexander McCall Smith ::: “The Careful Use of Compliments”. Fiction.

19. Believe Me, It’s Torture: Politics & Power: Hitchens – an essay online. Nonfiction.

20. George Monbiot, “Heat”. Nonfiction.

21. River of Heaven by Lee Martin – Random House 2008. Fiction.

22. Rich Merritt, “Code of Conduct”. Fiction.

23. The Sourcebooks Shakespeare series.

24. John Dominic Crossan, “God & Empire”. Nonfiction.

25. Unheroic, super-intelligent gay fiction: Samuel R Delany’s "Dark Reflections". Fiction.

26. One of 2008’s top reads: Tom Perrotta “The Abstinence Teacher”. Fiction

27. Last episode of SBS’s “First Australians” and a must see anthology — the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature.

28. Adrian Murdoch, “The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate”. Nonfiction.

29. But I have been reading comics… – Mike Dawson, “Freddie & Me”. Fiction.

30. Lawrence Potter, “This Book May Help You Understand the World”. Nonfiction.

31. My last Top Read of 2008: Damian Thompson, “Counterknowledge” (Atlantic Books 2008). Nonfiction.

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Posted by on December 26, 2008 in 2008 in review, Best read of 2008, book reviews, reading, Top read