Blogger counted 1,008,213 visitors since I moved this blog here,
Statcounter counted 1,000,086 page views since installed on Jan 23st, 2008
and Flagcounter counted 992,871 visitors since installed on June 21st, 2009.
They all have different ways of counting, starting points and results, but it's clear that Defence and Freedom has reached the one million page views mark.
This blog was created in late May 2007 (and moved to this place after a few months). Initially, I merely wanted to write about a couple topics which grew to a list of dozens, and then the whole thing got a life of its own.
Attention was gathered by 2008, and the niche was apparently carved out real quick, as page views didn't keep growing much.
Some more statistics about Defence and Freedom:
Published comments: 4,963 (including mine)
Posts: 1,260 (including unpublished drafts)
That's on average one post every second day (approx.) for six and almost a half years!
Some of the all-time popular blog posts are popular for ridiculous reasons: The one about drilling gun barrels was linked in a South Korean forum and keeps being visited again and again. The blog post about Gaius Mucius Scaevola is often visited straight from google, apparently by people searching for him and not looking for a milblog at all. Luckily, the blog post probably has what these people are looking for.
I saw many mil blogs appearing, some rising and many dying. Quite often there wasn't even a decent "goodbye" post - they just ceased to publish as if something had happened to the author (which indeed happened in at least two cases). I kept posting for more than six years, albeit at wildly varying monthly rates. There are usually even scheduled blog posts during my vacations.
Content-wise, this blog developed along the four main themes laid out in this blog post. I updated the blog subtitle accordingly a while ago:
This is blog about the defence against external threats and about the defence of civil liberties. Most topics are about the art of war, military history or military technology.
Comments were always activated, and thankfully the long-time trolls finally gave up their trolling after about two years of blocking their BS.
It's about time to make confessions:
(1) I'm a lazy book author, and my book draft is still not complete. I would only need a week to complete it to a state which I'd dare show a publisher IF I wasn't lazy. There are a few annoying content issues, too; some gaps which still need to be filled. The problem is I didn't develop satisfactory content for all planned chapters yet.
(2) The drop in page views per month or quarter post-2011 was in part because of a drop in blog posts per month or quarter and in part because of a drop in average quality of the blog posts.
The best fifth (in my opinion) of the blog posts of 2012/2013 were more often about refining what was written earlier or about looking at it from another angle than about 'new' ideas. The reason may be that I simply don't find much inspiration in military history and military technology any more. I have reached a kind of saturation point about military history and technology. Rarely do I still find any source with something that's news to me. Indian and Black African pre-modern military history are the biggest blind spots left and that's likely only going to be interesting once modern India becomes more interesting to Central Europe.
Some more about the initially mentioned niche: Quite obviously, I occupy more than one niche:
(1) A German milblogger writing in English, giving a (not representative!) German perspective to people who cannot read German.
(2) A milblogger who's also a moderate pacifist (= non-interventionist, but interested in defence). Plenty people assert that they're serious, mature and wouldn't lightly cheer for war. Yet when the professional warmongers drum up for the next militarised great power game or hype up the next phony threat, all too often the very same people play along with great enthusiasm. I'm quite uncooperative in this regard and that's very very rare amongst milbloggers.
(3) Military theory. Almost nobody is publishing military theory thoughts in blogs, and even less do so without it being part of their job. Attempts to advance military theory is quite stymied among people in uniform (and at times outright embarrassing), so I still feel the bar is low enough for me to contribute.
I can't tell how this blog will go on in the future.
I suppose months with 30+ posts (34 in Jan 2011) won't happen any more, though. About five heavy lifting blog texts with much substance are the maximum per month. The "fun" or otherwise simple blog posts can easily range from five to 20 in a month without becoming exhausting.
I'm sure I wouldn't quit or let the blog fall asleep for more than a month as long as I could do a goodbye post. That would be bad manners in my opinion.
Last but not least: Thanks for the attention.
You have no idea how many hours or 'work' you visitors provoked with it.