I’ve been looking through the stats, and ignoring the home page, and the separate parts of a linked series of posts, these are the top ten posts of 2014 (not all of which are from 2014). I’ve also adjusted the order to allow for when in the year the post was published, but these are all originally in the top 12 posts).

Some stats

During 2014 I have written 112 posts. 241 posts (out of the 334 posts plus four pages available) have received at least one hit over the course of the year. The top ten (list below) account for over half of all traffic across the blog.

There’s a small gap in the stats too, I got hacked in late November and lost a couple of days worth of stats, I rolled back to a previous version and re-posted a couple of articles with fresh IDs from my local copies. Over the course of a year this isn’t that significant, but it does mean those two articles won’t show the same level of hits that they ought to have had. All the numbers quoted below are from a snapshot taken on 23rd December, although I don’t think they’ll change that much in a week over the holiday period).

Top Ten Posts in Reverse Order

10 – A215 On Reflective Commentaries


First published in January 2014. This was my attempt to reflect on being reflective. Somewhat meta, but I think, reflecting further on refelection on reflections after reflecting for more assignments since the original reflecting on reflection that it is a broadly accurate view of the marking guidance for OU tutors.

9 – A215 Creative Writing Assignments so far


A round-up in April of where I’d got to on the creative writing course now that I’d tried all three of the taught styles and had to make a choice of which one to use in the fifth assignment, and for the end of module assessment.

8 – Book Review: The Stress of Battle by David Rowlands (Part 1)


This is the beginning of a five part synopsis, which David Rowlands himself has commented on. His opus on Operational Research is out of print, and so I summarised it to make it more accessible. All of the five parts are in the top 15 articles, but I’ve only counted part one in the top ten. Originally published in December 2013.

7 – A215 Creative Writing is done


Written in July to mark the results from the Creative Writing course I did with the Open University. I also tried to summarise the course as a whole here in case other people thinking about doing it stumble across my blog when searching. I’d certainly recommend the course to other people looking to strengthen their writing ability, although I would also recommend getting a group of other writers to share work with and get feedback to help improve too.

6 – 3 Step Guide on How to stream Demand 5 on linux (and windows and Mac too)


I got fed up not being able to watch the Mentalist when my flaky PVR reset during the recording or just forgot to record it. So I went looking for ways to stream Demand 5 on my linux laptop (which didn’t just work as I might have expected). It turned out that it wasn’t a linux version issue per se, but a badly designed web service with too much flash on the page.

5 – Scottish Independence – Another View of the Polling Data


A couple of weeks before the Scottish Independence referendum I wrote a series of articles about the polls and tried to take a view on what they were telling us. This was in response to people asking me what I thought the result was going to be, and I wanted to get some perspective on it. Turns out the polling data was sightly skewed, probably because they hit the metropolitan areas in the central belt more than the outlying areas, which meant that the core support for Independence was disproportionately represented (despite Independence supporters claiming that the polls were biased against them at the time).

4 – Six Steps to an Awesome Open University Assignment


This was me sharing the lessons I’ve learnt in six modules worth of Open University courses. This is a mixture of direct experience and drawing on the assignment advice that the OU gives you directly, as well as comments from tutors in tutorials. I think that this works, and I’ve done more assignments since I wrote it in August and following it certainly gets you good marks (I typically score in the higher end of the grade 2 range).

3 – A Young Officer’s Guide to Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA)


This is datelined 21 October 1995 as it was originally written as a spoof article for MilMud, the Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group club newsletter. It was published on the blog in August 2013. It is based on my own experience of FIBUA training with the British Army and written from a Flashman-esque perspective of an officer trying his best to survive. It gets quite a lot of hits (over 500), unlike anyone who follows the advice…

2 – What is Strategy? – Ps, Mintzberg 5 Whittington 3


I noticed that a lot of the site searches were related to B301, the Open University course on Strategy that I started my BA with (sort of backwards, but I was hoping at the time to upgrade my BSc from Ordinary to Honours). So I wrote an introductory page about strategy in late Feb. This has proved very popular (almost 1,400 hits), and I intend to write more on this as and when I have time to revisit my notes.

1 – Sainsburys Deli Cooking Instructions


By far and away the most popular page on my blog. It has had over 8,000 hits this year, and I think it a good day when something else is the top hit! Back in 2009 I struggled to find cooking instructions for a Sainsbury’s takeaway meal and when I did find them I copied them onto my blog so that I would always be able to find them. In the meantime the original has vanished from the internet and Sainsbury’s no longer provide instructions with the meals (if they ever did). I am now the top hit on google for this. The shame!