Another year over, and as many look forward to the year ahead, I am left pondering a mixed year that has passed by.

Around 1.2 million people visited the blog this year, and the most popular articles published this year are:

  1. Watch the Space Station Fly Over London on Xmas Eve
  2. List of London’s 2013 Bonfire Night Fireworks
  3. Best places to photograph London Underground’s heritage steam train trips
  4. Photos from inside an abandoned tube tunnel
  5. Public Tours of HMS Illustrious Next Weekend
  6. Google celebrates the London Underground with a Doodle
  7. A visit to the Dr Who museum in East London
  8. Photos of empty London on Christmas Morning
  9. The abandoned Post Office Railway to be opened to the public
  10. Photos – Inside the Crossrail station at Bond Street

That list excludes a few perennial favourites published in the deep past that will be a constant source of visitors searching for secret tube stations and the like.

Despite that list, I suspect I will still get emails from PR agencies asking me to write about perfume, credit cards and holiday insurance. Sigh.

Fortunately, there are PR people out there who do understand, and I wont deny that I enjoy some of the site visit opportunities that come from them. It’s still “work”, but such  enjoyable work.

It’s enlightened self-interest. I get to see things I enjoy seeing and you the reader hopefully get an interesting article to read. More of that and less of the fluff!

Away from blog, in terms of the digital existence, the biggest change has been the sheer frustration that Google has become over the past year.

I run a number of websites, and the headaches in trying to have separate accounts for different websites is legendary — and deeply annoying. When a person has to log into their YouTube account using a Yahoo email address because of the account conflicts within Google’s systems, something is wrong.

From shutting down their RSS reader and frankly capricious whims in how they treat websites, the company has ceased to be a decent provider of services and turned into a generator of gritted teeth and snarling.

A curious improvement was the enforced need to buy a new laptop this year. At last bloated websites such as Buzzfeed and Huffpo don’t try to crash my web browser any more. And I have loudspeakers again for the first time in a couple of years.

The ability to watch a live television broadcast on iPlayer a few minutes after it started has been a revelation. No more panic’d rushes to finish work at 8:50pm to give time to settle down for something to watch on the dot of 9pm!

Sadly, it has been less positive personally, with a financially motivated downsizing of the accommodation earlier this year and now the need to look for a new job in the new year as well.

That may lead to a turn around financially, but it will probably mean a drop off in the blog, for a while at least. Shall have to see how that pans out.

There is the perpetual desire to write better in-depth articles for the blog, but that is very dependent not so much on having the time, but not being too mentally exhausted to think clearly at the end of the day.

There seems to be a finite amount of writing a person can do in a single day, and I often hit the mental block in the evening that says the brain has run out of juice.

The daft thing is that there are more opportunities to write content now, but few of them pay anything, or pay miserly amounts. The same with photography, which despite my struggling camera I still get regular emails from commercial organisations expecting me to hand over photos to them for free.

A person can’t live on “brand awareness” or weblinks, we need money!

Hopefully I’ll see more of the filthy lucre with whatever my new job ends up being.


Happy New Year


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  1. Kevin says:

    Hope the new year brings you good things 🙂

  2. ediFanoB says:

    Thank you very much for another year with informative and inspiring posts.

    Have a good start into 2014 and fingers crossed that you will find a new job soon.

  3. On the Google/YouTube problem, they’ve kinda solved this by forcing you to use Google+. if you do, you can manage multiple YouTube accounts from one Google account. It’s faffy to set up, and highly annoying that you actually have to do it using Google+, but it does the job. I have two channels that used to be on separate email addresses and now are combined.

    This may/may not solve your problem anyway.

  4. Simon says:

    I’m not sure I follow the Google/email thing. I also run several websites, but this has never forced me to register more than one Google account. Why would it? I wonder what I’m missing here.

  5. Janet says:

    Thank you Ian for all your posts I have learned a lot from them.

    I hope 2014 brings you health, wealth and happiness.

  6. Chris says:

    Another fantastic year, Ian. This is my favourite blog bar none, and I really hope you can keep up the good work in 2014.

  7. Guy says:

    Hi Geeky,

    Wishing you great success with your plans for 2014. Think you live near me now as I see you in Sainsburys. 😉


  8. Phil says:

    Thank you for your What’s On In London and Blogs, which I only discovered earlier this year. I am sure it requires a great deal of effort and it is much appreciated. I am sure that you will be quickly successful in finding new employment and I would like to wish you health and happiness in 2014.


    HAPPY NEW YEAR! Good luck with the job search – can’t help but think you must be multi-talented!

  10. Mark says:

    Thanks for all your interesting material. Best wishes for 2014

  11. Stephen Watson says:

    Thank you for this blog Ian which I discovered this morning and has already fascinated me and ‘foxed’ me to read numerous articles!

    I hope 2014 works out for you and that you find what you are looking for.

    All the best.

  12. Gordon Ross says:

    Why not have a PayPal donate button? It’s not going to bring in mega-bucks, but it would be a way for us regulars to show our appreciation?

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