It was only a few short posts ago that I did my 500th post on this blog.
And now, it seems that according to the stats that I have reached a
cumulative mark of over 50,000 visitors as well.

That's not great by internet standards at large. But as Gary Denness was
kind enough to tell me a few months ago, what really matters is not the
count but how many people stick around and actually read the stuff.
Which made me feel better, and I really thank Gary for being such a good
sport and picking up my spirits.

Talk about a kind of watershed. The numbers "5-0" seem to have hit me in
several respects over just a short period. 500 posts, 50K visitors, and,
as it happens, coming up on 50 percent of my usable disk space here at
Opera, which hosts the blog. It almost has the ring of Fate to it, all
those 5-0s at once.

The bad news lately is that my overall daily visitor count has been
declining. A month ago, and for the few months prior to that, I was
getting an average of 120 visitors per day. But since about the
beginning of November that has slipped. First it went down to a 100
visitor average, and then over the past few days has gone down to about

Panic sets in. I guess my feeling all along is that the more people I
can get here with the regular blog posts, the more people there are who
might possibly stick around and read the fiction. I never really
expected at this point in my life to be writing private-eye fiction and
doing a blog. But that's what I do now, and I take it as seriously as I
would have had I been writing my dissertation in anthropology. So it
matters to me.

More and more here I think of this as a blog, but also a kind of
magazine. I try to put a wide variety of stuff up to attract people —
and there's no doubt too that my mind just kind of tends toward that
kind of diversity anyway. Nevertheless there have been a few types of
posts that I avoid here.

And a short while back I decided to quit doing the celebrity babe lists.
I felt those had run their course here. But there's no doubt that they
were very popular. And my own analysis is that the declining visitor
count is due to that.

Everybody might not be interested in that kind of thing, it is true. But
it seems clear that some are interested, and I want to keep those people
happy, too. I have to think of the benefits to the blog as a whole. And
I simply cannot afford nor do I wish to ignore a whopping one-third of
my readership.

So I think there's only one option at this point. Yeah, you probably
guessed it…

Holly Madison to the rescue!