So today the blog turned eight. Time flies when you have fun – or as is the case for this particular blog, when you get to watch the most tense security environment Europe has seen for a generation or two from a front row seat.
I would like to take time to thank all of you readers! It certainly wouldn’t be the same without you. As to who exactly “you” are, the majority of you last year came from Sweden, with Finland being a rather close second, followed by USA, France, the UK, Germany, Norway, Canada, and Australia quite a bit further down the list. A special shout-out to my single readers in Madagascar, Sint Maarten, Congo-Brazzaville, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Gabon, the Falklands, Guyana, Mayotte, Kiribati, Tajikistan, St Lucia, and Bhutan (no guessing how many are correct and how many are creative VPN-users).
The number of page views rose nicely (38%) compared to 2020, with everything HX obviously being a big fan favourite. The most read post was still not HX-related, but my take on AUKUS. This was followed by a bunch of HX-related material, before it was time for two posts on another acquisition program: the new sniper rifles for Finland (and probably Sweden). My interview with brigadier general Frisell and colonel Norgern of the Swedish Defence Material Administration was without doubt the post that featured the most unique details of any blog post last year – HX is studied in such a detail by more or less the whole Finnish media landscape that few details can be said to be really breaking.
A big shift visible last year was that the number of comments jumped from a rather steady baseline that in fact hasn’t changed much despite the growth in readership over the year. 304 in total in 2020, to a whooping 1,174 in 2021. While I welcome the discussion and have received quite a few hints and correction through the comments over the years, the amount at this stage is slowly starting to reach the point where more moderation might be required than I have time for. For the time being the comments stay open, though I am going to have to make some kind of decision on the future of the comments at some point during the not-too-distant future.
I would like to end with a big Thank You to the large number of people who in one way or the other have helped me during the past year with answering questions, giving hints, and generally being nice people! You are too many to mention all, but I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the people involved in different aspects of HX – including both Finnish authorities, manufacturers, and other.
That was all for this anniversary post. Normal posts will continue soon, and unfortunately I have a feeling that the situation in Europe will provide plenty of topics during the upcoming year.