Regular readers of PetrolBlog will have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here recently. In fact, the last update was back on the 17th December. Fast forward three weeks and Christmas has been and gone and we seem to have hit 2013 flat in the face. Happy New Year to one and all.
The lack of activity here on PetrolBlog isn't down to a shortage of content - far from it in fact. But a combination of flu, flooding and festivities (sadly in that order) has meant that PB has been forced on to the back burner. Fortunately this is about to change, with a return to form and some fresh content to devour.
But first a look back on 2012 and a brief glimpse forward to see what the next 12 months have in store.
Many thanks to all those who took the time to complete PetrolBlog's first ever reader survey. It's amazing what people will do for a packet of BlogNobs!
The results cemented what we already knew - you enjoy PetrolBlog the most when it's not taking itself too seriously and chooses to focus on the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. You also enjoy Bangerwatch, Regrets and Real World Reviews above just about anything else on the site. So you can expect more of these in 2013.
As expected, you like new car reviews in moderation and only when it's a car that fits the PetrolBlog style - whatever that may be! New cars will continue to be a part of PetrolBlog, but you'll see far fewer typical reviews. Instead, you can look forward to more road trips and adventure in the style of the Suzuki Swift Dawn Raid and the Volvo V60 Polestar Three Moors Challenge.
Almost without exception you've asked for no more than two updates a day, so this is what you'll get. I'm toying with the idea of a fixed schedule, but more on this soon.
A forum, a shop and a classifieds section were seen as favourable additions to the site, so I'll be looking into this alongside a potential site restructuring soon. Also look out for a new podcast and possible video footage in the future.
All in all the feedback received was 100% positive, so thank you for that.
GoMW Breakthrough Blogger Award 2012
In early December I was somewhat taken aback to be awarded the runner up prize in the inaugural SEAT/Guild of Motoring Writers Breakthrough Blogger Award.
I say 'I', but in truth the award needs to be shared by the contributors and readers of PetrolBlog. I'm still amazed by the sense of community here on PetrolBlog, so to accept the commendation on my own would be unacceptable. Thank you one and all. For little old PetrolBlog to be recognised by The Guild is quite an honour.
I must say congratulations to my friend Keith Jones for picking up the top dog award. I'm thrilled for Keith who fully deserved the accolade - it really couldn't have gone to a better chap. Check out Keith's blog here and also look out for him making a big name for himself in 2013. If you haven't got his autograph yet, now's the time to grab it before he becomes famous.
By far and away the most popular post of 2012 was the First Drive of the Suzuki Swift Sport in Barcelona. It attracted double the number of views of the second most popular post, which just happened to be the Dawn Raid of the previous generation Swift Sport. In third place was the 'very PetrolBlog' Polo Harlequin, which remains one of the most popular cars ever to feature on the site. Proof that everyone loves an oddball?!
I also need to give a special mention to Simon Hingston who made the most comments on PetrolBlog during 2012. As a reward for your loyalty and interaction, a packet of BlogNobs will be making their way north of the border. Enjoy!
But enough looking back, what does 2013 have in store?
Well I'm delighted to say that I'm finally getting my hands on a Toyota GT86, but you'll have to wait until March for the report. Naturally PetrolBlog will be off to the Geneva Motor Show again, so stay tuned for the return of Geneva Unconventional.
But 2013 is all about the 1980s and 1990s, so you can expect a massive dollop of Bangerwatch, a huge slice of Old Gold Top Gear, a plethora of Regrets and a veritable feast of automotive waffle.
Oh and you can also expect monthly updates on the PetrolBlog Fleet, including the Citroën ZX 16v, Citroën AX GT and the Audi A6 Avant 3.0.
A new site will also follow, but first I need to save my pennies. Moving to another free theme is too much of a sideways step, so I'll tweak the existing site in the meantime. Look out for a link to a shop and a page showing how you can interact with PetrolBlog.
But for now, Happy New Year. Enjoy the ride. I'm off to write some fresh waffle. And a bit of bunk too.