Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Four by four

Our topic today is not four wheel drive vehicles, but rather the fact that this blog is now four years old and also that today sees the publication of the fourth edition of the book. In the preface to the new edition I write about the various ways that the book has been received and I won’t repeat that here, except to say that for me the blog and the book have become increasingly intertwined. It is beginning to feel as if the book develops an unfolding life of its own as I write the blog, whilst this new edition incorporates numerous examples and idea drawn from the blog posts in the intervening years.

Writing this blog has become something of a labour of love. I try to make sure that, unlike some blogs, there are frequent and regular postings – normally one a week – so that there is always something fresh on offer. I also try to include in each post copious links to a wide variety of media sources and, to a lesser extent, academic works. I don’t know how many readers follow these links but at any rate I feel better-informed as a result of digging around to find them. Typically, I think of a topic on Friday morning, ponder it during the day and write the post on Friday evening (yes, my life really is that exciting). Most posts take two to three hours to research and write.

Each year since its launch I have provided an annual update of the readership statistics, and in this last year these have seen a large upsurge, especially in the last few months. The year-on-year readership figures are:

Year 1: 3367 (all time: 3367; last month of year: 390)
Year 2: 3688 (7055; 390)
Year 3: 10,745 (17,800; 985)
Year 4:  24,282 (42,082; 6376)

The international profile of the readership has stayed about the same, but the biggest increase has come in US readership which has quadrupled in the last year, whereas UK readership has doubled. Thus all-time page views by country are:

United States
United Kingdom

All this is very gratifying, but I would love to know more about who is reading and what they think: there are very few comments left on the posts, so do consider leaving one to let me know.

The last year has seen huge shifts in the geo-political landscape, with the Brexit vote in the UK and more recently the result of the American presidential election. Neither of these things had happened when the text of the fourth edition was finalised, making the blog especially important in keeping things updated, especially as regards chapter five which is where most of the overtly geo-political discussion takes place.

In the run up to the EU Referendum I wrote several posts on the topic. But with the consequences of the vote being likely to take several years and to involve numerous twists and turns, I made the decision to create a new Brexit blog. This reflected my own passionate involvement in this issue, but a recognition that it could swamp this blog, which has and will continue to have a much wider remit and also a different, more opinionated, writing style. But I do hope that those who read this blog and who share my own interest in Brexit will go regularly to the new blog, which is also frequently updated.

So far as this blog is concerned, my aim is to continue to range over a wide canvas that takes in anything and everything that is relevant to organizations, responding to the main news stories and occasionally, things that are happening in my life. Looking back over the last year, topics have ranged from chocolate to dentistry, the rise of Uber to the fall of British Home Stores, press freedom in Turkey to espionage fiction, steel tariffs to the frustrations of air travel, public sector pay to The Waltons. There is even a short story about leadership.

The point being, I suppose, that in writing about anything and everything that is relevant to organizations it becomes clear that anything and everything is relevant to organizations. That is, indeed, my view of organization studies (which I also sometimes post about) but, of course, it’s also the case that it is great fun to try to write sharply, concisely and, I hope, sometimes provocatively about anything under the sun. I expect to continue in the same vein in the coming year. I fear there is sure to be plenty more political turmoil, but hopefully there will be time for some lighter topics, too, such as death which, I see, is the tag of eight previous posts. I hope that those, apparently many, people who regularly read this blog will continue to do so, and that it is as enjoyable to read as it is to write.

1 comment:

  1. Your post inspired this one
    I also puzzle about the readership on my own blog - particularly the large Russian contingent (right now the overwhelming group). I suddenly had a malicious thought - roman script is, after all,very difficult for eyes used to cyrillic....there is a possibility that a few of these russian readers are part of the group we have been told is monitoring social media and feeding the results to its masters?

    Anyway, I very much enjoy your blog - and the hyperlinks......


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