My most popular posts

I enabled WordPress Blog Stats on this blog I think in August last year, and since then it has been monitoring how popular my posts are, carefully excluding my own visits to my blog.

Up to about a month ago the most read post had only about 800 hits. That was in fact Do not read Adrian’s blog any more, which was read mainly in the last week of last November. But over the last month the situation has changed radically.

My post from early February Why is Easter so early this year? has become a real hit, with 2675 hits so far, and a peak of 231 views in one day on 20th March. Probably around 2000 of these have been the results of various searches including “easter” and “early”, and that is not surprising because my post comes up number 5 on a Google search for “easter early”. But I expect that from now on this post will be viewed a lot less as this year’s Easter fades into the past.

But this post’s popularity has been dwarfed by the unexpected success of Pope Benedict, Bible scholars, and the Antichrist, which I discussed here. This has attracted 6310 hits, but the vast majority of these were on just two days, 2nd and 3rd March. When this post dropped out of the latest links page at Spirit Daily, it quickly lost its readership. Indeed my statistics show over 6000 referrals from this site.

Meanwhile The Maltese Cross, or the Christian one? has crept up into third place with 951 hits. I think a lot of these are the results of searches for “old bailey”, “blind justice” and similar. This leaves Do not read Adrian’s blog any more back in fourth position among my posts with 840 hits, followed by Augustine’s mistake about original sin with 746 and Mark Driscoll: “I murdered God”, “God hates you” on 618.

What will be my next hit post? Not this one, I’m sure. I could say that it is for you, my readers, to decide. But in fact it is not. The only way a post on this blog can get near to 1000 hits is apparently if it somehow comes to the notice of people who don’t usually read this blog, through a search term or an interesting link on a popular site.

Smenita yet again

I was thinking of posting some profound thoughts for this post number 200, as I tried for my 100th post (which for some reason became number 101 here in WordPress). But I couldn’t think of anything, so instead you get this item of trivia:

Smenita is back yet again! I thought we had seen the last of her, with the completely new Blogger software package. But it was not to be, she has struck again tonight. At least she is not cruelly eating comments as she did last year, but being benign as she was in January:

Smenita doesn’t seem to be the problem she used to be. In the past when I typed in her name Blogger didn’t recognise it, and gave it to me again for word verification. Now Blogger does recognise “smenita” and accept the comment, and repeats the same word verification.

But how long will she be around this time, and when will she next turn up? Does Lingamish’s Institute for Smenitalogical Studies need to be reopened? At least, the Blogger folks need to tweak their random word generator so that it doesn’t get into loops like this.

At least I don’t have this problem any more on my own blog now that I have moved to WordPress. I do see some repeats in my list of verification words, which are Bible names, but it doesn’t get stuck in a loop like the Blogger one. At least, not yet!

Not banned in China

One bonus of switching from Blogger, hosted at, to WordPress, hosted on my own site, is that my blog is apparently no longer blocked in China. I discovered this by testing this blog’s URL at (which I found from here via a link in the WordPress documentation, but see the cautions in the comments on that blog entry), which gave the result “Your URL is available”, whereas for both my old blog and Better Bibles Blog the result is “Your URL is Blocked!” And I know that they really were blocked, because a friend who was in China couldn’t read them.

Meanwhile my ClustrMaps map shows that I do have at least one reader in China. But then I was getting the same result with my old blog, so maybe that one reader is a censor. Well, I hope he or she finds this blog interesting, but in a positive sense and not one which provokes a ban.

New blog takes shape

As Lingamish rightly pointed out, the design of this blog was lacking something. It was in fact the WordPress default template based on Kubrick. This is a nice clean design, but not very interesting and overused. So I have at last got round to finding something different, an impressive (I hope – I didn’t take it) picture of a large qaya – not the church in the foreground, but the mountain behind it. I also chose a new theme, Ocean Mist 1.2 by Ed Merritt, and edited it to show my chosen picture, and so that the blog name and tagline appear on the picture instead of above it. Lingamish, I hope you now consider this “cool”.

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Welcome to the new "Speaker of Truth"

Welcome to this new version of my blog “Speaker of Truth”, hosted on my own website and powered by WordPress 2.1. I have imported all of the posts and comments from the old version, hosted and powered by Blogger. The old version of the blog remains accessible but is closed to new comments.

For the moment I am using the default WordPress template, but I intend to change to something more distinctive soon.

Not much to say

Things have been quiet here for no particular reason – indeed so quiet that Lingamish has been able to catch up with me in the Technorati blog rankings. Should I do something about that? Actually the rankings seem so arbitrary that I don’t think I’ll bother. I have been quiet partly because I have actually being working quite hard for a change, and had a nasty cold last week.

But also I have been quiet because not so many interesting topics have come up recently. For this perhaps I could blame Adrian; as I predicted, his now almost commentless blog is not nearly as interesting as it used to be, and no longer provides me with plenty of material for posts here. But then his first post when he returned was wise advice on not blogging for the sake of it but only when we have something worthwhile to say. So perhaps I should be thanking rather than blaming him.

Well, as I don’t really have anything worthwhile to say now, I will leave it there except to quickly mention two things. I will be away on a business trip from 31st January to 17th February, and so this blog will probably continue to be quiet for that time. I am also planning to move this blog to a subdirectory of my own website, which I am currently moving to a new provider, and this means I will also be moving to the WordPress blogging software. I’m not yet sure when this will happen, maybe not until after my trip, so watch this space for further announcements.