2022: The year in review – Part 2: Blogging

There were plenty of blogable events in 2022, though most of them were rather discouraging. Top of my list of reasons to be fearful was of course the war in Ukraine, though that perhaps betrays my Euro-centricity; the civil conflict in Ethiopia has been equally devastating, despite receiving little coverage in the western media, and dozens of other wars rage on across the world. Other worrying developments included the assault on reproductive rights in the US, political chaos and government dysfunction in the UK, global economic uncertainty, and, rumbling on ominously in the background, the still largely unaddressed climate crisis. It does feel like the worst of the covid-19 pandemic has passed, in the UK at least, though the current resurgence of the virus in China may kick the whole cycle off again.

Is there any cause for optimism? The overturning of Roe v Wade did galvanise progressive opinion stateside, which, judging by the midterm results at least, seems to have put a brake on the worst excesses of Trumpism. Meanwhile, over here, the Tories’ attempts to impose more austerity on an exhausted working class has provoked a rash of industrial unrest on a scale not seen since the 80s, so a shift to the left in time for the next election is on the cards. There is a world beyond the US and the UK of course, and a multitude of social justice movements, particularly in South America, give plenty of reasons to be hopeful.

Away from politics, it was fun to watch the crypto implosion unfold, though I’m still mystified by how easily incompetent hucksters like Sam Bankman-Fried managed to persuade apparently intelligent investors that their half-baked Ponzi schemes were anything other than a scam. On a higher plane, I was encouraged to see the success of NASA’s Artemis lunar mission; I may yet see a permanent moon base within my lifetime.

I did keep up semi-regular commentary on all this, but overall 2022 wasn’t one of my more productive years, as reflected in our ten most viewed posts, which are almost entirely from the archive:

  1. There is no land beyond the Volga
  2. Watching the Okhrana
  3. The Linden Principle
  4. Oscar predictions 2022
  5. Second Life demographics – a brief review
  6. On Second Life and addiction
  7. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  8. War in Ukraine
  9. Endgame forecast
  10. Caledonia rising

I have long given up trying to analyse why these old posts fall in and out of favour, but I did wonder if our 2013 piece about the Battle of Stalingrad had come out top due to the Red Army once more being involved in fighting in Europe, though of course in rather less honourable circumstances than in 1943.

Of the posts we did produce this year, I was quite proud of these:

Our global reach has shrunk a little from last year, with visitors from 39 countries. The UK and the US still provide the bulk of our traffic, but the numbers from China are encouraging, and non-anglophone nations make up half of the top ten:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. China
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. India
  7. France
  8. Japan
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Puerto Rico

So much for the past; what can SLS readers look forward to in the future? For a while I’ve been thinking we should shift away from the political and economic themes that have been our main focus over the last few years, and try to pivot back to our roots in virtual-world commentary, but I’ve been reluctant to make the investment in the updated hardware that I would need to start logging in to Second Life again. However I recently discovered that there is a new mobile TPV available, SpeedLight, which I’ve downloaded, and intend to try out over the next few days. Will this rekindle my love of SL and inspire me to new heights of dazzling analysis? Stay tuned to find out…

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