I'm not quite sure whether I should be excited or terrified about this milestone, but there's no point denying it - the calendar doesn't lie. It all started on 3rd May 2008 with this post about Plaid Cymru's impressive (but under-reported) gains in the Welsh local elections, and Boris Johnson ousting Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London. If memory serves me right, the blog was read by literally only three or four people on the first day, and I had to actively promote it just to get that far.
By complete chance I had a huge political story to get my teeth into a couple of days later, when Wendy Alexander (then Scottish Labour leader) started hinting that Labour was about to make an unanticipated U-turn by supporting an independence referendum. What unfolded from there is one of the most dramatic, but strangely also one of the least-remembered, episodes in recent Scottish political history. If Ms Alexander hadn't been ousted as leader a few months later, the likelihood is that the first independence referendum would have taken place in 2010 rather than 2014, and would effectively have been jointly sponsored by the SNP and Labour. We can only speculate as to how differently things might have turned out as a result.
All the same, being a Eurovision fan, the vast bulk of my blogging for the remainder of May 2008 was non-political and was instead dedicated to the upcoming song contest in Belgrade. The blog was basically a diary for my own benefit - practically nobody was reading it, although I was excited to get a sudden spike of search engine traffic on Eurovision weekend itself. I can't remember if it was the Saturday or Sunday, but on one or other of those days I hit the giddy heights of 71 unique visitors - which for two or three years afterwards I regarded as the benchmark for an exceptionally successful day.
I abandoned the blog for the time being at the end of the 2008 Eurovision season - it was too time-consuming, and I couldn't quite work out why I was even bothering with it. But at the start of 2009, the commissioning of Andrew Lloyd-Webber to write the UK's Eurovision entry caught my imagination, and I felt the sudden urge to start writing again. So Scot Goes Pop was revived as an essentially Eurovision blog, with just the occasional political post chucked in here or there. But strangely enough it was the political posts that started attracting comments (I think this was the first one to be published), and that was probably the biggest factor in the blog eventually becoming politics first, Eurovision second.
The ten year history of Scot Goes Pop can basically be split into two distinct halves, with a short transition in between. There was the period up to early 2013 when the daily audience was typically in the dozens or at most the hundreds, and the period since 2014 which has seen thousands of unique readers per day, and tens of thousands per month. There's no magical secret to how the transformation from obscure personal blog to leading alternative media site occurred - it was simply down to the chance factor of the independence referendum, and the fact that people were suddenly looking for something (hard polling information without the customary unionist spin) that only Scot Goes Pop seemed to be providing. I wasn't doing anything different to before, and the spontaneous change required quite a tricky mental adjustment. I had to get used to the fact that if I said something that was a bit too close to the bone for some people, it was likely to get a strong reaction, whereas in the past nobody would have noticed or given a monkey's.
At present, if the website Traffic Estimate is to be believed, Scot Goes Pop is the fifth most-read alternative media site in Scotland, with approximately 80,400 unique visits in the last thirty days. That places it only just behind CommonSpace (a site that enjoys far more free exposure in the mainstream media) which is in fourth place with 84,500 unique visits. Indeed, for several consecutive weeks earlier this year, Scot Goes Pop was estimated to be slightly ahead of CommonSpace. Quite a contrast from the days when I considered myself freakishly lucky to get 71 visitors on a Eurovision weekend!
Would I recommend this blogging lark to others? Well, put it this way. As a direct result of writing Scot Goes Pop, I've been interviewed on TV four times, and on radio twice. I've written more than ten articles for The National newspaper. I've been a columnist for the International Business Times, the TalkRadio website, and iScot magazine. I've addressed a rally outside the Scottish Parliament. I've participated in a theatre show (of sorts). I've taken part in umpteen short films, podcasts and live-streams - including the blind terror of a 55-minute live debate with Tommy Sheridan.
So think carefully before taking the plunge. You might imagine you're safe enough when you start out with an audience of two men and a dog. But you just never quite know what you're letting yourself in for...