Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pardew's Guardian: A Global Phenomenon !!! (Er, Not Really ...)

Let me just start by saying if you read this blog, you must understand my sense of humor. And please know that I don't do this full-time. I just love football (soccer, calcio, futbol) and have the temerity to think that I actually have something coherent to say about the Beautiful Game. Every post is made either before or after my (many!!) working hours and the multitude of nights spent on the fields coaching youth soccer. That's why there are so many gaps in-between the relatively few posts. But thanks to programs like ClustrMaps (see map above, with red dots in varying size representing hits), you get to know who (or whom ?!?!) are the people actually checking in. And I am pleasantly surprised to say that there are at least 97 countries of the 210 or so nations that exist on Planet Earth that have checked in, at some point, to view the blog. Even online users from notoriously Internet-unfriendly nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia have found their way to PardsGuard. That's a bit humbling, not in the sense that I have anything particularly insightful to say, but considering that people's time is precious. If you have, say, 20 minutes a day to spend online, would you actually come to James Clark's blog ??? Didn't think so! Thank goodness, I am linked from many West Ham sites in England and I also have U.S. soccer media advocates in my corner like John Harkes and Max Bretos who might humor me because they are such good guys and actually send on a link or two to their connected friends. The reason I say at least 97 countries is because 2 of the hits at ClustrMaps are listed as "regions" rather than specific countries (designated by "quotes".) Here is the breakdown of PardsGuard visitors, as of December 7:
At least 2,100 hits: United States
At least 1,000 hits: United Kingdom
At least 100 hits: Canada
At least 75 hits: Germany
At least 50 hits: Ireland
At least 25 hits: Italy, France, Australia, "Europe," Holland, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Greece, Hungary, Belgium, India, Sweden
At least 10 hits: Denmark, Israel, Indonesia, Switzerland, Macedonia, Croatia, Argentina, Singapore, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Portugal
At least 1 hit: Russian Federation, South Africa, Bulgaria, Romania, Finland, Chile, Serbia, New Zealand, Malta, Japan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Peru, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Austria, Morocco, Estonia, Colombia, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, South Korea, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Taiwan, Luxembourg, Vietnam, Iceland, Philippines, Senegal, Latvia, Qatar, Ecuador, Jordan, Gibraltar, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Montenegro, Lithuania, St. Kitts & Nevis, Honduras, Guam, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, "Asia/Pacific Region," Cayman Islands, Malawi, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Uganda, Nigeria, Moldova, Ghana, Kuwait, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Slovakia, Fiji.
While an impressive geographical list of the Earth's inhabitants have checked in here, the total numbers still pale when compared to the viewers drawn by the truly great USA-based blogs like Soccer By Ives and The Offside Rules. Kudos to those guys. They have talent, time and access. We are just nibbling at the edges. Cheers, James