A happy New Year’s Eve to the readers and followers of An Sionnach Fionn, and as always a big thank you for your support and contributions throughout 2016. It’s been an interesting year for the website, beginning with a massive soar in visitors in January and February, followed by a catastrophic plunge in May and June as Google changed its inscrutable search algorithms. The recovery from that hit has been modest at best though 2016 remains set to be the best year so far in terms of new readers. That couldn’t have happened without the incredible publicity the website gets from people sharing posts and articles on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. All those “likes” and “tweets” really do count, so I thank you for them.
Talking of which, Google Search remains the biggest “referrer” of visitors to An Sionnach Fionn, followed by Bing (and its Yahoo and other offshoots), Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard (a surprising one) and Reddit. Referrals from Irish rather than international platforms have dropped significantly, mainly because of a preference for social media alternatives or interfaces among internet users. Formerly important websites likes “politics.ie”, “republican.ie”, “thejournal.ie”, “broadsheet.ie”, “peoplesrepublicofcork.com”, “boards.ie” and several others now generate relatively little traffic for ASF. In terms of countries, the majority of readers come from Ireland followed by the United Kingdom (including for statistical purposes, the UK-occupied Six Counties), the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. A somewhat eclectic but consistent mix since 2014.
The top articles published in 2016 in order of popularity were:
- The IRA’s Assassination Of The American Leader Of A British Death Squad In Ireland
- Who Won The Irish-British Troubles?
- Improvised Armour, From The British Army 1916 To The Islamic State 2016
- Was A Serial Rapist And Child Killer A British Spy In Ireland?
- Glasnevin’s 1916 Wall Of Shame
- The Torturers And Murderers Of The Royal Irish Constabulary
- An Irish Girl Rebel And The American Poet Joyce Kilmer
- The New York Times Argues That The Irish Are Actually British
- A Name Does Not Grant Legitimacy, Whether It Is Real IRA Or New IRA
- The Reconstruction Of The Ballinderry Sword, A Medieval Ulfberht Blade From Ireland
- The Battle of Hastings And The Irish Exile Of The English Princes
- Antipathy To The Irish Language Is A Legacy Of Colonialism
- When The IRA Busted Britain’s Spying Operations In Europe
- The Fantasy History Of The 1916 Easter Rising
- Beyond The Pale. Irish-Speakers In Modern Ireland
- History Is Written By The Victors, Even When They Lose
- Irish And Celtic Origins In The Late Bronze Age
- The Four Jewels Or Treasures Of The Tuatha Dé Danann
- Dublin, Easter 1916, Their Sympathies Were With The Rebels
- Captain Robert Nairac, Britain’s Death Squad Adventurer
An interesting collection, though some of my favourite posts from the past twelve months were:
- A Catholic Priest And The Message Of British Guns Good, Irish Guns Bad
- Invisible Comrades, Gays And Lesbians In The Irish Struggle
- Irish Human Shields To Protect A British Border In Ireland?
- Imaginary Maps In Fantasy Fiction
- La Guerre Infernale, By Pierre Giffard And Albert Robida
- Bits, Channel 4’s Legendary Computer Gaming Show
- Andrew O’Hehir On The 1916 Easter Rising
Here’s wishing you all a very happy 2017.