Until recently, when I installed a Statistics plugin on this blog, I’ve never known how popular (or unpopular) my website and blog are.

To be honest, I’ve never expected much of this blog, as I don’t really update it that much as I mainly use social media when I want to say something.

To my surprise, my blog is getting between 500 and 800 hits per day, average is about 600.

It seems my post on QR codes was the most popular post, and my last post was the second most popular post, but the contact page is by far the most popular page.

Never thought this’d be that popular.

So, has it really been five years since I’ve posted on here?

If you’re reading this, HELLO!

It looks like its been nearly five years since I last posted an update on this blog, and by that I mean a real blog update.

I’ve updated the theme, reinstalled WordPress and transferred the site to new hosting in that time, and i’ve occasionally updates some of the pages, but other than that, nothing much.

More recently I have added an SSL certificate, so the site runs on https, and with the server move i’ve also dropped the /blog from all URLs. In theory though all old legacy links you have in bookmarks or are elsewhere on the internet should still work and redirect you to the updated version using what is called a 301 wildcard redirect.

I have now added something called “Facebook Instant Articles”, which you’ll see this post in if you’re reading this via the Facebook app on a mobile or tablet device. Basically what that is is a cached version of this blog entry which is designed to load up really fast.

I’m going to update some of the pages on here, and try and write more – hopefully.

Unfortunately what’s kept me busy has been some of my other projects, specifically around social media which have grown massively. To put it into perspective, in July 2012 I had about 400 people liking and following social media accounts for the projects I had at the time, plus personal accounts, whereas now, including these newer projects, it’s more like over 400,000, and the vast majority of them are local people. I also run a news publishing website, with journalists and columnists who produce their own content.

QR Codes

What is a QR Code?

A QR Code is an image, a bit like a bar code  that you can scan using your Smartphone (you need a QR Code reader app installed on your phone).

This is a QR Code I have created.  If you scan it it will take you directly to this website – a bit pointless really as you are already on my website on your smartphone, but if you aren’t, simply load up the QR Code reader app on your phone and scan the code to view this website on your Smartphone.

QR Code removed

No doubt you’ll have spotted QR codes in lots of different places, even on the TV – all you have to do is scan it! Arena? No, St James’ Park!

So, Newcastle United Football Club have a new sponsor who have also bought the stadium naming rights which Mike Ashley controversially showcased by renaming St James’ Park as the Sports Direct Arena.

The club have announced as the new sponsor, you know, the short term loan company that charge ridiculously high interest rates, just like loan sharks do.  They have decided to revert back to the old stadium name: St James’ Park.

Was this just a PR stunt on the part of Mike Ashley?  It looks like it.

Drop the ‘/blog’!

We’ve dropped the ‘/blog’!

Before when you visited us at you’d be met by a redirect page which automatically redirected you to the blog by adding ‘/blog’ to the end of the URL.  Any direct links to the blog had the ‘/blog’ bit in it, and any subsequent links contained ‘/blog’ too.

I have made a few changes to the wordpress blog which has now removed the need to have a redirect page and also removes the ‘/blog’ from our URLs so you can now access the blog easily and quicker via

If you have any links or bookmarks to the blog please remove the ‘/blog’ from the URL.  If you don’t you’ll still be able to access the blog via the old URLs, but is recommend doing so anyway.

New Theme

I decided it was about time that I refreshed the blog with a new theme. The new theme is very different from the old one and offers greater functionality and customization. I’m busy configuring it so you may notice that things change.

I hope you like it!

St James’ Park The Sports Arena

Dear Newcastle Fans

They’ve taken the St Jame’s Park signs down. its the Sports Arena now!

St James’ Park The Sports Arena

Don’t you just love Mike Ashley – hes not even from the North East!

Theres more to life than money – is the loss of the St James’ Park name worth £10 million? I don’t think so.

Durham Tees Valley Airport’s future secured by takeover

Peel Airports Limited has sold its 75% majority share holding in Durham Tees Valley Airport to Peel Investments (DTVA) Limited.

The move will allow the airport to continue operational activities without change to workers or airlines.

The remaining 25% shareholding will stay with the six local authorities.

Stockton South MP James Wharton said: “We all want to see Teesside continue as a passenger airport and be as successful as possible.”

Peel Investments has been involved in the airport through its 35% share of Peel Airports Limited, which it retains as PAL continues to be a major shareholder in Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.

The remaining 65% ownership of Peel Airports Limited is held by Vantage Airport Group which is now no longer involved in Durham Tees Valley Airport.

‘Commercial success’

Stockton South MP James Wharton said: “Hopefully Peel Investments will now be able to make a success of this important piece of our regional transport infrastructure.

“We must all now pull behind the new owners and encourage them to ensure it becomes the commercial success it should always have been.”

Peel Airports Limited has been asked by the Peel Investments to act in an advisory role to assist with the day to day operations at the airport.

Peel Investments is owned by the Manchester based Peel Group.

Does Google AdSense make sense?

You may or may not have noticed that I have changed the advertising on the blog.

I have decided to replace the previous adverts for 123-REG and UK Scouting with new Google AdSense adverts. I use them on Scout Forum UK and have tinkered with one a few times on here too.

The main banner space at the top of the page has been increased in size to accommodate larger banners which is for an initial trial period – it may stay that size or be made smaller again – so in order to accommodate this, ive increased the width of the page.

On the right sidebar I have replaced the square banner and skyscraper spaces with a large wider skyscraper. There is also space for me to add further smaller banners there in the future.

You may be wondering why I have advertising on my blog. I am always looking at ways to reduce the cost involved in my blog – the domain names and the hosting all cost money – so by placing adverts on my blog it will generate a small amount of income for me.

One benefit of AdSense is that I can control everything via my Google AdSense account. Another is that I do not have to look for advertisers. I have requested to personally review every advert that will appear on my blog, although not until my request has been approved by Google.

At the end of the trial period I will review the advertising on my blog and decide if I want to continue with it as it is, or change it.

By clicking on these adverts you will help keep this blog going and once all costs are covered any profits will go to a local charity of my choice.