I don't want to spend too much time navel-gazing, but one year ago today I started this blog, and I wanted to say a few words about that.
- The Olympic Experience and Athlete Development took a look at the COC's "Top 12" qualifying standard for the 2004 summer Olympics, and whether it really robs developing athletes of valuable experience.
- Own The Podium — What Are The Chances? assessed the likelihood that Canada will finish first in the medal table at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- 28 Sports: In or Out? predicted that baseball and softball would be voted off the summer Olympic programme.
- Medal Predictions Part I — Debunking Bernard and Busse showed that the highly publicized Olympic medal predictions of two economists are not based on economics at all.
- Medal Predictions Part II — The Per-Capita Olympics discussed the much-abused metric of medals-per-capita, and presents a fairly simple alternative.
- FINA Gets Their Way. Man Dies, unlike most of the above, didn't include any data analysis, but I was pissed off about FINA's tactics over the 2005 World Aquatics Championships.
- Doping News: No Rules for the Relays? was another angry post, this time about the Jerome Young ruling.
- Is Athlete Protest Dead? generated some interesting comments and deserves a follow-up, which I am working on.
Last week I had my first week with more than 200 unique visitors, according to StatCounter. That's a pretty small number, of course, but it's progress. The graph at right shows the number of unique visitors, and the number of returning visitors, for the last 24 weeks; I didn't keep track before that point.
When you're creating a new web site, it's a good idea to give the title a Google, to make sure that nobody else is using it, and to catch any unintended meanings. If you try that, you'll find that the first hits that don't refer to this site are talking about amateur porn. That fact did not escape me when I named the blog; I thought of it as a kind of inside joke. When I started tracking visitors, I didn't see much evidence that people were coming to Now That's Amateur looking for nude shots of the girl next door … until recently, that is.
In the last few weeks, I've been getting quite a few visitors looking for this image, which puzzled me for a while. There has been a steady flow of visitors from Google image search; so I knew that a fairly large number of people were finding my Dilbert cartoon in their query, but I couldn't deduce what that query might be.
I think, though, that I may have figured it out.
There have been 103 legitimate comments (not spam) in a year. You can assume that half of those have been by me. One of my readers told me that I would get more comments if I wrote more things that weren't obviously true; I suppose that I could take that as a compliment. Actually, 103 is not quite as low as it sounds; there were only six in the first three months.
The post that generated the largest number of comments and the largest number of individual commenters was WR ≠ PB.
I recently changed my template, so that it doesn't look exactly like this any more. I'm also changing over to comments by HaloScan. (For a while you will see an "Old Comments" link and a "New Comments" link, while I manually transfer all of the old comments.) I have been wanting to change over for a while anyway, because I think that it's a better system than Blogger's, but something special happened recently that spurred me to action.
Starting next week, my posts to Now That's Amateur will be cross-posted at CanSport.com. CanSport.com is a web site devoted to year-round coverage of top-level amateur sport and provides daily news, information, and commentary about Canada's elite athletes. I'm really excited about the opportunity to be the first blog on CanSport.com and I hope that we'll see more comments from the CanSport audience. The HaloScan commenting service will allow comments from both sites to be seen by all readers.
Finally, thanks to all of you for reading! I really appreciate the chance to discuss sports with some old friends, and I have enjoyed making a few new ones through this blog. If you've got any general comments about the blog, this would be a good place to leave them (click on the New Comment link below).