The Virtual Stoa’s four today. My goodness. How old.

Blogger tells me there’ve been 1,182 posts here over those 1,460 days; Sitemeter tells me that there’ve been 117,590 visits to the Stoa since it was installed, though I don’t remember just when that was (quite a while ago, though); TTLB tells me that I’ve evolved from being an adorable little rodent to a marauding marsupial over the last twelve months; and my email folders tell me there have been 2,578 non-spam comments posted here since I installed the enetation comments boxes twenty-five months ago (which is about as many as Harry’s gets on a slow day).

A few months ago, Nick Barlow commented that the VS was the only blog he could think of that had been going for a while but which never had a major facelift or redesign. That’s not quite right — there wasn’t a sidebar once upon a time (here’s a view of the front page from three years ago, with the first anniversary post at the top) and the reason there wasn’t a sidebar should be obvious: back in 2001-2 there were hardly any blogs out there worth linking to (another snapshot, from August’02 shows what a short blogroll it was when it finally appeared), and a vanishingly small number of decent UK blogs. But the general visual design is still pretty much the one I assembled back in May 2001, and while Blogger has been frustrating at times (especially in that first year), I’ve never become so annoyed with it that I’ve seriously investigated a different blogprovider.

Thanks for reading and commenting, as ever, and the traditional birthday greetings go out to the unusual suspects, the people who populate this particular corner of the World of Blogs, and who make it a worthwhile and interestingly argumentative place to be: to Mischievous Michael, Alarming Sarah, Worrying Raj, the Normmeister, Backword Dave (get those comments working!), Bloody Jamie, Sloop John B, Natty Visual Display of Information Chris, “Excel” Matt, Peter the Great, Early Modern Sharon, Operatic Gert, the King of the Silver Dollar, Chris, Daniel and the rest of the Crooked Timber gang, Harry and Friends, the Waiting Socialists, Polling Anthony and Gambling Mike, the Leninologist, and Colchester’s finest, Nick Barlow and Hal Berstram.

And greetings also to the fairly recent wave of brand new OxBlogs, to Considering Robert, Citizen Bance, Tea-Drinking Kate, two varieties of salmon, PopTexting Abby and – the newest arrival – Cllr Dan.

And finally to those fallen comrades whom we hope will return to the fray before too long — the Moidering Marc and the Pootering Geek.

(And apologies to those who really should be in that list, above, but who’ve been inadvertently left out of this unscientific sample.)

I couldn’t do it without you. Well, actually, I could, and I did, 2001-2003 or so, but it was less fun.

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