Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Top 10 most popular posts on Honour & Darkness...

The thought initially crossed Nazgul's mind one sunny afternoon as he was dredging the moat for the corpses of dead hobbits (well, they do cause a stink if left in there to rot):  "I wonder," thought Nazgul, "what the most popular post has ever been on Honour and Darkness?  Which one had had most visits and can therefore be crowned as the post of choice for my discerning readership?"

Armed with statistics drawn from the web-site as at today's date, Nazgul sat down to answer that very question, and the results below may just surprise you as they did him.  

Nazgul's thinking was that the most read posts would probably be covered by some 'obvious' criteria:
(1) the older the post, the more times it would have been accessed and read;
(2) the more popular projects (Uruk Hai) would have been looked at more times than less popular ones (WACH, for example); and
(3) reviews of the 'bigger' releases (e.g. box-sets) would be more widely read than more modest releases (e.g. those on tape, for example).

So: with all that in mind and other criteria of your own no doubt, what would you consider to be the particular post to have been most read?  The end result was unexpected not least because the winning post not only had more views than the rest of the top ten added together, but was almost 10 times as popular as the post in second place!  The plot thickens, the mystery deepens, and in traditional reverse order here are the Top Ten most read posts in Honour and Darkness history:

10. Nazgul's Top 10 Uruk Hai rarities
Posted: 19 August 2010
Views: 354

One of the least surprising entries in the list, the interest in Uruk Hai material is always high and never more so when it involves the most rare items.  This list is now likely to be in need of an update, given the time elapsed since Nazgul's original post and the discovery of various of these items by other collectors.  "Battle Magic", for example, may now not be the hardest item to find as two have come to light since this post was published, and a number of copies of "Land Of The Shadow" seem to have been discovered, whereas the metal box version of "Angband" remains unobtainable.  Hmmm ... this may require Nazgul to do a little work....

9. Nargothrond [Uruk Hai]
Posted: 8 December 2011
Views: 363

It's a good demo and an interesting item for collectors, but 9th on the all time read posts list? Gadzooks!

8. Of Ravens, Battle & Fire - vinyl update [Hrossharsgrani]
Posted: 12 August 2011
Views: 461

A little more detail on proposed artwork for this release, and it positively rockets up the ranking order leaving the original post covering the vinyl itself trailing in its wake.  What a strange bunch you all are...!

7. After The War (Orcish Battle Hymns Part IV) [Uruk Hai]
Posted: 6 November 2010
Views: 463

As with "Nargothrond", another modest and unassuming Uruk Hai tape demo attains unexpected popularity.  Can Nazgul explain this - no he cannot.  Is Nazgul pleased - yes he is.

6. Morogth [Uruk Hai]
Posted: 2 July 2010
Views: 518

We seem to have said something similar before: as with "Nargothrond" and now "After The War..." another modest and unassuming Uruk Hai tape demo attains an unfeasibly high popularity?  Answers on a postcard to ...

5. In Memory Of Miguel Serrano [V/A, feat. Bonemachine]
Posted: 23 February 2010
Views: 659

Perhaps there was a general belief that someone connected to one of Hugin's projects called Miguel Serrano had actually died?  There's no other likely reason for this relatively obscure Russian compilation CD to score so many hits, even allowing for the presence of the ever-conquering Bonemachine on the playlist.  Still, it's nice that one of Hugin's less well known projects can break into the list of the top ten most viewed posts, however it happened!

4. Followers of Honour and Darkness #1
Posted: 3 January 2010
Views: 664

Testament to trying something new, perhaps, this originating post in the 'Followers...' series clearly was of interest to readers, and has been followed by a number of successful instalments over the years.
3. Oak Folk [V/A, feat. Hrefnesholt]
Posted: 4 March 2011
Views: 975

Nazgul suspects the popularity of this post may have been triggered by the presence on the compilation of more widely acclaimed bands such as Agalloch, and people searching for reviews of this album online with those bands in mind.  After all, it seems improbable that a relatively obscure Hrefnesholt song would have garnered such interest all by itself, but for a Hrefnesholt post to reach the heady heights of 3rd most popular post is good news indeed!

2. An Interview With Nazgul
Posted: 21 December 2010
Views: 2474

How gratifying to learn that the lengthy interview him the Witch-King of Angmar himself proved so popular with the ravening hordes.  Most likely retaining interest because of the photographs of the collection to date, rather than because of Nazgul's ramblings, it was a fun item to do and to post all the same.

1. Balrog  [Uruk Hai] 
Posted: 17 December 2010
Views: 23,749

And so "Balrog" is the king of the Castle, and by a colossal margin!  Nearly 10 times as popular as the next most read post, and probably with more viewed hits than the majority of the rest of the Blog combined!  "What gives", you cry?  Well, frankly, Nazgul has no idea!  The suspicion is that the hits must be associated more with generic searches for 'balrog' on Google in light of the Lord of the Rings films than anything to do with this particular demo, but you never know.  Not at all the post that Nazgul expected to see sitting atop Hírilorn in Forest of Neldoreth, but there you are.

In the interests of balance, there's always the other side of the coin to consider, of course.  Amongst all of the most visited posts reside a hardcore of unloved and little read Blog entries, those meagre scratchings from Nazgul's virtual quill that are almost entirely unread.  Perhaps the list of the 5 least read posts might encourage you to revisit the early days of Honour and Darkness and give some of these original posts some much needed attention....?

Again in reverse order, with 1st place having the dubious distinction of being the least read, the results are:

5. Apocalyptic Streams [V/A, feat. WACH]
Posted: 23 April 2009
Views: 8

=4. Schwarzes Jerusalem [Bonemachine]
Posted: 7 April 2009
Views: 7

=4. Wolf [Hrefnesholt]

Posted 11 June 2009
Views: 7

2. Nachtmarfahrten [Elisabetha]

Posted: 11 June 2009
Views: 4

1. Ancient Battles t-shirt [Uruk Hai]
Posted: 3 July 2009
Views: 3

So Uruk Hai has the dubious distinction of being atop of both lists!?  This time next year, who knows what might be king of the hill....!

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