HAPPY NEW YEAR, brothers and sisters! May the peace and blessings of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your families and loved ones in 2023, and may we march ahead into the coming year armed with faith, hope, and above all, love. Hard times are surely ahead - but God is surely with us, and with Him on our side, nothing is impossible.
Before I get into the contents of this very first podcast of 2023, let me take a moment to acknowledge an incredible milestone:
This is the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the day I started writing as just some random blogger on teh innarwebz.
On January 1, 2013, I started up the old Didact's Reach site on Blogger, and kept that going for more than 7 years before I switched to a shared-hosting platform to get away from Goolag's control over my content. I started writing because the only alternative was to go crazy, since I had literally no other outlet for my increasing frustration and anger with the way the world was going.
So I decided that, instead of screaming into the void, I might as well do something about it, and start writing.
I never expected anyone to read my writing, much less follow it. Yet, here we are, 10 years later, and some of you have been reading my writing since very nearly Day 1.
I also never expected to create any kind of community around my writing or my site. Yet, here we are today, with a Didactic Mindpodcast on Podbean, a Telegram channel, and an independent website, plus a couple of ancillary sites (which, admittedly, need some development and new content).
It's been a decade of growth and change for me personally, and many of you have been there for the journey. I have benefited immensely from putting in the time and effort to research my ideas and arguments, refining them down from inchoate masses of thoughts to useful contributions. Along the way, I have met and made friends that I never could have expected to run into otherwise.
So, from me to you, THANK YOU for your patronage and your time. I do not do this for popularity or views, but it is gratifying indeed to know that others find value in it.
As is the usual way of things with the first real post of the year, here are the site's statistics for 2022:
Total pageviews of 260K when you count both the old Blogger site and the current shared-hosting incarnation - down 3.6% from 2021's 270K, but not bad at all considering the lower output;
Total of 43,579 unique visitors across the entire year, up 16.5% compared to 2021;
Readers posted a total of 722 comments across 303 posts, down 12.5% and 8.7% respectively against 2021;
Posts averaged 1,803 words in length, up 3% compared to 2021;
So basically, a pretty decent year in most respects, despite lower overall output, helped along substantially by a few posts which attracted thousands of views rather than the usual hundreds.
The geographic distribution of my readership was pretty interesting too - take a look:
But that is not the end of the story, because the other media platforms also come into play:
The Didactic Mind podcast managed over 3,160 downloads across all of 2022, and hit over 6,000 downloads life-to-date on the Podbean platform;
The Didactic Mind Telegram channel went from zero to 139 subscribers in 2022 - which is nothing overall, but is decent for a private Telegram channel that can only be joined using an invitation link;
With all the stats out of the way, let us get on to the actual podcast itself, which goes into all of the above at a high level, and then goes into what I think the year ahead holds, and how we can prepare for it.
Protect Yourself From Big Tech
I make some pretty incendiary statements in this podcast, and in most of my podcasts. I can only do so because I take steps to protect myself from the Big Tech companies, and preserve my identity. You need to do the same – this is no longer optional, because if you don’t, the gatekeepers WILL come for your head.
If you don’t know where to start, then I’ve got you covered right here with this post. Here are the specific steps that you can take:
Be sure also to check out Incogni, the new data and privacy management tool offered by Surfshark, which simply works behind the scenes to ensure that no malign actors can take advantage of your data ever again;
Another solid VPN option for you is Atlas VPN, brought to you by the same company that creates NordVPN;
The best SSD drive that you can get right now, with blazing fast speeds and near-native storage capabilities, is probably the SanDisk Extreme 1TB Portable SSD with NVMe technology – I bought this myself to keep a moving backup of all of my files, it’s the size of a credit card, and it’s absolutely superb;
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