As of 9:37, this site is one year old. My, how time flies.

There have been a total of 4763 entries and 9611 reader comments (not counting those on the old Blogspot site using backBlog). That’s a lot of content!

The critics seem to agree that, of all the sites out there, this is one of them:

“LOTS OF GOOD STUFF!” – Glenn Reynolds, InstaPundit

“A warblog that’s worth reading!” – Glenn Reynolds, InstaPundit

“He’s good. Read him.” – Stephen Green, VodkaPundit

“Highly intelligent and articulate.” – Economist Brad DeLong

“Definitely not an idiot!” – Kevin Drum, CalPundit

“A member of the blogosphere elite!” – This Week with C.J.

“Some pocket-Reynolds.” – Aaron Haspel, God of the Machine

“A wicked, wicked man.” – Meryl Yourish

I’ve had 270,000-odd unique visits and 419,000 page views as counted by SiteMeter* since opening for business. That’s hardly meteoric–Glenn Reynolds was getting 1.76 million monthly visits by the time InstaPundit was up this long. Kevin Drum was getting 300,000 monthly visits and had over a million total by CalPundit’s first blogiversary. Daniel W. Drezner had well over 300,000 visits by the time his eponymous blog turned one–but it’s certainly much more than I’d have predicted. And with virtually no help from Google, which still doesn’t seem to realize I moved off of BlogSpot last April. (I get seven times more traffic from MSN and twice as many visits from Yahoo as from Google, despite Google’s overwhelming popularity. Most of the Google hits seem to come to this throw-away post on Dear Prudie, likely the blogspot archived version.)

The site has evolved somewhat over the year, with the quantity of posts gradually tapering off but the length trending upwards. The quality is something you can judge for yourself. As Steven Taylor has noted, we beta tested our blogs on each other before going live:

In some ways we’ve both been blogging for years, sending e-mailed news stories back and forth with commentary since 1998 (and many an “indeed” was shared well before we knew who InstaP was), but I think he would agree that blogging for a broader audience is more fun.

Indeed. I’m still doing essentially what I was doing then: Reading things I would have read anyway, giving a quick take on it, and hitting “send.” The only real difference is that instead of one or two people reading and commenting on it, 1000-1500 are part of the interaction.

The blog has changed my reading habits somewhat. A year ago, I read InstaPundit and the Daily Dish a few times a week and a handful of other sites every now and again. I was mainly reading print sources and their online offshoots. I also watched a lot more television news and punditry. Because blogging on what I’m reading is now almost always in the back of my mind, I’m now getting a lot more of my information from “linkable” sources. And because blogging is by its nature an interactive process, I’m reading, or at least skimming, dozens of sites a day. Overall, this has been a positive shift–I get more information, quicker, and with a much more diverse critical interaction. I’ve largely lost patience with television news and had essentially stopped watching it altogether until getting TiVo in October, which makes it easier to record multiple programs and fast forward through the bloviating guests with the memorized talking points.

I’ve also quit worrying about whether any particular thing I was writing about was going to get linkage. With the exception of the quite popular Blog Chicks Pix, I’ve been rather unsuccessful at predicting what would amuse or interest people. Often, what I think is a rather profound, original post–or a particularly clever joke–gets no reaction at all while the most offhanded comment will get fifteen links and an InstaLanche. So, I largely just write to amuse myself or organize my own thoughts on an issue and hope that my readers will find enough of what I’ve written to be worthwhile to keep coming back.

Thanks again to all the folks I mentioned at the six month point, everyone on the Top Referrers list, the reciproll, and all the regular readers and commenters.

*I didn’t install the counter until February 4th but was getting hardly any traffic at the beginning.

FILED UNDER: OTB History, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Steven says:

    Congrats on the milestone and on the success of the past year.

  2. Mark Hasty says:


  3. Kevin Drum was getting 300,000 daily visits

    Wow. I didn’t know that. His traffic has gone way down since then. Did you make a typo? Or did Kevin actually have that much traffic? I’ve only been reading him for about 5 months.

  4. Oh…and Congratulations, James!

  5. James Joyner says:


    And, yeah, I did a translation error: The post said 10,000 daily visits, which I calculated as 300,000 monthly visits, and typed as 300,000 daily. How you’d have 300,000 daily visits and only a million after a year. .

  6. Jay Solo says:

    Woohoo! You started less than a month before me. I actually keep thinking you started just after me, for some reason, and were good enough to get popular even faster.

    Being a Top Read and a Heavyweight in a year is something to be proud of indeed.

  7. Tom Royce says:


    Congratulations again on another milestone! Been reading you since early on, and still a huge fan. I have a question for you.

    In the last couple of months I have gone to RSS for a most of my blog reading. How does this effect your hit counts? I used to check your site 3-5 times a day, but now skim the RSS and read the articles that jump out at me.

    Congratulations again on a fine job!


  8. James Joyner says:

    Thanks, Tom.

    As I understand it, the RSS feeds aren’t picked up in the SiteMeter numbers unless you actually click on over to the page in some fashion, since that’s where the counters are. My site host’s stats pick them up, though, which is one reason why the totals they provide are substantially higher.

  9. I am STILL getting referrers from the Blog Chicks Pix.

    You are truly evil.

    I’ll link you on Monday. Nobody reads blogs on the weekends.

  10. jen says:


    Happy Blogiversary.

    As with Meryl, I still get the occasional hit from the Blog Chicks Pix post too. And I’m thankful for the traffic you send my way when you link me for the Beltway Traffic Jam.

    You have a very good blog – good content that’s easy and fun to read.

    Keep on keeping on, friend.

  11. hln says:



  12. michele says:

    A testament to how often I read this site: Whenever I pass an OTB, I no longer see it as Off Track Betting, but as Outside The Beltway.

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Mac Swift says:

    Congrats on the aniversary!

    I think I know why you’re not getting any hits from Google though. I use the Google bar, and when I go to OTB I noticed that you don’t even have a page ranking. That suggests that Google not only did not index your site, but may have banned your domain as well. That’s extremely odd. You may have to get in touch with them to straighten it out.

  14. JW says:

    Many congrats as well. Much learned, scholarly material with the occasional snippy Britney post. What’s not to like?

  15. goldie says:

    Congrats James, the beltway is always a daily visit of mine. have to keep up to date with international goings on 🙂

  16. Katewerk says:

    I didn’t know that blogs existed until I ended up at Scrappleface from a Best of the Web link. (became a steady reader out of interest in Mark Helprins oped pieces a long time ago.)

    That’s where I clicked on OTB and after a while found myself coming back more and more frequently.

    Congrats on your first year, and thanks for your generosity with advice and linkage, as well. I know I’m not the only “newby” who appreciates it.

  17. Congratulations. You’re the best all-round newsy blog out there–but you knew that.