Hard News by Russell Brown


The Interesting Party

Yes, I'm tired. It's been a huge year. I've worked in a new medium; learning new skills and a new rhythm to my working week, and I've met a lot of new people. Not that I'm complaining. At Media7, I'm doing work I feel good about with people I like, and I'm getting paid. I'm very grateful to be in that position.

And they like us up there. From next month onwards (we're at Artisan Winery for three more weeks in January before returning to the Classic) Media7 is 47 minutes in duration. We'll have the opportunity to run discussions longer and to try new features. The fact that we can experiment rather than be locked down to a format is a big plus for me.

I've really enjoyed working with Phil Wallington, from whom I've learned a lot (he can be found giving away all our production secrets in an OnFilm interview here), Simon Pound and the Media7 laydeez, in whose company I am proud to be counted as an honorary girl.

It has also been an honour to have served on the trust board of NZ On Screen, and to have spoken at events as disparate as Webstock, the Autism New Zealand conference and the Auckland Central Hero Debate.

And then there's this little website.

Google Analytics presently shows 1,169,014 visits to Public Address in 2008, and 3,558,983 pages served. The average 3.04 pages per visit and, more particularly, the average six minutes spent on site per visit, suggest a very engaged readership.

Our biggest day was November 10, the Monday after the New Zealand general election, with 7482 visits generating more than 33,000 page views. The seven days from the fourth to the tenth was also our biggest week.

Just over 80% of visits came from New Zealand users, but there were about 50,000 visits each from the UK and the USA and 45,000 from Australia, followed some way back by Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong. The Top 10 was rounded out by China, the source of 3621 visits, including 11 from Urumqi in the far northwest and a solitary visit from Lhasa.

(By way of comparison, Wyoming, the US State that least likes Public Address, sent us 28 visits, and California racked up nearly 10,000.)

On the local front, we had eight visits from Piopio in January and the buggers never came back. I'd wager that David Haywood has somehow caused them offence.

But those are just the numbers. They don't account for the richness of the culture here. I'm as spellbound as you are by some of the things people write on Public Address -- not just the bloggers (and I'd like to note that we welcomed aboard Graeme, Hadyn and Emma this year, all of them stepping out of the crowd to join the masthead), but so many of you. Have I told you lately how amazing you are? The quality and vitality of the discussions here is the achievement of which I'm most proud.

I'd like to make more of the best reader comments (I like the way Josh Marshall does it on TPM) on Public Address. In my big year there wasn't much time to think about enhancements to the site, but that's one thing I'll be doing with my downtime (don't expect a lot of bloggage from me in January). I'll do the stuff I'm usually too focused on feeding the beast to do; finally updating my blogroll for example.

We'll be doing more with Scoop in the coming year. Fiona and I recently become small shareholders in Scoop, and the business has just completed a first, modest round of capital-raising. I'll be at Foo Camp and Webstock in February. And the words "Great Blend" might please some of you.

This web of activity makes me look more organised than I really am. I'm not the guy with the electronic diary and the giant contacts book (note to self: work on Address Book contacts during downtime) but what I can do, what I've always done, right from 1983 when I worked at Rip It Up, is throw an interesting party. That's what this is.

By all means, keep visiting through the summer. There will likely be posts from most of us in January (Damian, for one, is in Thailand with his new underwater camera) and you are invited to file your own dispatches on the Current Status: Holidays thread. But for now, it's thanks for everything and goodbye for 08. Let's have another party next year.

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