Stop Press: we passed 4,000,000 some time between 1pm and 2pm. Did anyone grab a pic of the figure? Tell us if so and you qualify for a prize
We have said something like it before and it remains the case now save that the figure has grown higher. Four million hits to a website does not mean that much if you compare it with what the big news, entertainment and pop culture sites attract. But Salut! Sunderland is rather proud to be on the brink of passing that figure. As I start to write, it stands at 3,998,551 so the 4m point will be reached within a day or less.
We took our first breath of air back in January 2007. That was when I, Monsieur Salut, newly redundant but still prevented by contractual nonsense from working for anyone else for another month or so, decided to expand my tinpot Salut! empire to embrace a lifelong passion for Sunderland AFC.
The empire then stretched no further than Salut!, a privatised version of the blog I’d done for The Daily Telegraph when its Paris bureau chief. It later grew to encompass interests in folk music – Salut! Live – and North-eastern nostalgia (Salut! North). Over time, the other three have been given less and less effort though each gets the occasional burst of activity.
Salut! Sunderland is the pride and joy of the stable. Almost nothing in a long professional life of writing and editing has given as much pleasure and pride.
I have no more than need-to-know expertise when running a website. My associate editor John McCormick is a lot more savvy and the deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, is at least a little more so. Pete Sixsmith knows how to weave magic with his prose but has next to no knowledge of what goes on beneath the bonnet of the site.
Somehow, we plod on. It fills all of us with pride when people – not always Sunderland supporters – say we offer something other sites do not. We cannot hope to compete with the big boys, and actually have no wish to. We are content to appeal to a small but intelligent readership and bask in minor glory when, as happens, we rise well above 1-2,000 visits in one day.
Thank you, new readers and old, regular and occasional, for helping to make Salut! Sunderland a modest success story. And mighty thanks to the afore-mentioned colleagues and friends, to Jake the graphic wizard out in Spain and to all those who have contributed to the site. They know who they are and any list I offer will betray omissions: Ken Gambles, Bob Chapman, “Wrinkly” Pete Lynn, Lars Knutsen, Jeremy Robson, Paul Summerside, Ron Hutchison … who have I left out?
Another of those special-ish prizes will be awarded to the reader who posts the comment about the site – appreciative or otherwise – that we, the editorial collective, considers to be the best.
Ha’way the Lads.