Sometime very late today or early tomorrow morning the counter on the number of visitors will reach the magic 100,000 mark. That means since 11th March 2006 (245 days ago), that all of you faithful and loyal readers out there have clicked on www.bruneiresources.blogspot.com for 100,000 times. This is excluding 14,000+ visitors on my predecessor blog on spaces.msn.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for making time in your day to visit this site. Some I know visit the website early in the day, some during office hours (it's alright I won't tell), some during lunch time, some late in the afternoon and a few at night. I checked the IP addreses every once in a while and sometime I am quite surprised to see where you are coming from. The vast majority are Bruneians in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, UK, Australia and New Zealand with some other Bruneians in places such as Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, USA. Other visitors come as far away as from Iceland to Taiwan. There are others who drop in regularly too including someone from the USA State Department. I sure hope you are not formulating US government policy on Brunei based on this blog's entries. Brunei Times and Borneo Bulletin IP addresses also turn up on a daily basis and a couple of other newspapers as well.
My biggest thank you is to someone who you all know as RanoAdidas. His plug in April pushed the readership hovering below 100 to around 300 to 400 a day. Ranz, I owe you lots. The other event which triggers the rise to the average of 700 today is the entry on the new salary increments on 17th July 2006. That brought in lots of new readers and things have not stopped since. Readerships webbed and ebbed throughout every week. The weekdays see the most and the weekends see the least number of readers. Sundays usually the worst. I guess those free office internet connections which are only available during weekdays are partly the reason.
I started blogging for no reason other than to write and to express my thoughts. Doesn't everybody? I have always love writing even when I was at school but really have no avenue to explore. I wrote a few pieces for the Pelita Brunei short article under my better half's names and won a few $40 prizes. I stopped doing that as I thought it was a bit unfair of me when that $40 are meant to encourage younger writers. I then wrote a few articles on a get to know your children's toys series based on my son's toys but never bothered to get them published. If you ever see articles circulating talking about Ultraman, Power Rangers, Barbie, Sailormoons etc - most likely they are mine. Eventually, I found some blogs I like, lsm's, maurina's were two of them and I thought why not? The first few blogs started which at first are basically extension of my main website www.bruneiresources.com and functioned as a sort of what's new feature for that website.
As I write, I realised that these entries can serve a higher purpose. Just like when I first started bruneiresources.com where I shared a lot of materials which I have obtained throughout my career especially conference papers etc - this blogsite is where I can share daily snippets of my knowledge on Brunei - tell you all the whats, the wheres, the whens, the whys and the hows of Brunei. I look at it as a public service - as a way for me to pay back my debts to Brunei. I seek no other benefit. All I have always ask for is - accept the writings and used them to gain knowledge - but do not look at who the writer is. It is true that my work experiences shaped my writing but I would have to beg to all to accept the writer as who he wanted to be and not as a very senior government official.
I welcome all comments and one of the main feature of this site is to allow annonymous and unmoderated comments. I have been lucky that there has been only one or two comments which I really have to delete. Some comments have been critical ones and some have been overly nice. It does serve a nice balance. Every so often I would get requests from readers wanting me to write about something. Some requests ask if I could write a lot more about something else. I try to comply where possible but I am at the end of the day a civil servant and I am bound by the OSA as well as other laws. I read in someone's blog that I am too much of a royalist. Well I do try to present the government's point of view if that is what is meant by that. But when I am critical of another government's agency's policy - I try to be constructive. Criticising without giving advice is the worst of all criticisms (here I do have to apologise to the espeed people - that entry I remember was a crictical rant without advice).
At the end of the day, even if only one of you readers managed to get some form of education about Brunei - where you come from - why you are here in Brunei and how you can help contribute towards the development of Brunei - at least you are better informed about Brunei by that much more everyday, I am happy. Like Maurina said, it makes all the hatemails tolerable. So today as we basked in 100,000 readers achievements - it is you out there that deserved all the credits. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.