It’s that time again! We’re approaching the final spoiler of the series and it’s the point where I like to take a few minutes to say a few words to thank all the people that have contributed to another successful year for The Strictly Spoiler.
The last few years have been completely wild. I won’t bore you all with the same story as previous years but The Strictly Spoiler has once again grown massively in 2016. At its peak this year (at time of posting) The Strictly Spoiler has received almost 350,000 views from 110,000 individual people over the course of the busiest weekends. This whole year (again at time of posting) the site has received almost 2,500,000 views from over 400,000 individuals which is just crazy! I want to thank each and every single one of you who comes to the site and reads the content I produce each week.
One way I’ve been thanking you is through the regular competitions. This series is the first series I’ve been able to afford to run regular weekly competitions thanks to the ad revenue this site receives. I originally budgeted £500 for these competitions but I’ve gone a little crazy and by the end of this series I will have given away nearly £650 worth of prizes. I wish I could reward each and every one of you for your support of this site but that would of course bankrupt me as there is that many of you! There will be more (and possibly even bigger) competitions during the 2017 series (assuming the BBC don’t do something radical like a live results show)
This series has also seen massive growth in the social networking profiles I operate. Twitter followers have quadrupled this series with nearly 7.5k of you following me (at the time of writing) and Facebook likes have almost trebled with over 4k of you liking the Facebook page (again at the time of writing). More discussion than ever before has taken place on the social networking profiles and right here in the comments section. I do read all the comments I get here, on Twitter and on Facebook and whilst I can’t possibly reply to every one I get I do try and reply to as many as I can. The vast majority of you have been positive in your discussions with each other and in your comments to me and you can count the number of people I have had to moderate and/or block/ban on one hand!
In a bit of a change I would like to thank the BBC. Firstly for making the decision to broadcast the results a whole day after filming them in a day and age where information can be transmitted globally fairly rapidly which is the whole reason this site exists and has had success but I also want to thank them for another reason. Last year we got wrapped up in a brief dispute over trademark (or more accurately, as their response to an email and a freedom of information request showed, about me posting the results before transmission) which resulted in the removal of one of my social networking profiles.
This year I am pleased to report that they have left me alone (touch wood – unless of course they were responsible for last weekend’s media attention which I know a few of you do think is possible) and I would like to thank them for that. I’m a final year degree student with a family and I’ve got enough going on with project work, my dissertation, my family and juggling running this site and its social channels without having to deal with a legal battle as well. I am truly grateful for the BBC leaving me alone this series and it is my hope that this means they have decided to accept what I do and the service I provide for a small percentage (less than 1% actually) of the people who view Strictly.
I’d also like to take a minute to thank everyone for their support during my appearance online on the websites of several newspapers and magazines last week. As most of you will be aware some elements of the media decided to take issue with my posting of the Christmas Special Spoiler and wrote articles describing me and this site as being a “festive grinch” out to ruin Christmas. I’ve spoken at length about this in my response to the media attention but I would like to add that with one or two exceptions comments here, on Facebook and Twitter and even in the comments sections of the articles themselves have been overwhelmingly positive so thank you all for your kind words!
I would also like to thank my host. I moved hosts before the series started to a solution that should have been able to cope with the spikes this site receives. That failed spectacularly! I then moved hosts again and my current host (plus the Content Delivery Network I now use to take some of the load off my host) has coped brilliantly with the spikes. Anyone looking for a hosting solution for a high traffic wordpress site would do well to look at Dreampress by Dreamhost who are the current hosts for this site. They are a US based company but you don’t need to be based in the US to sign up for them and they also give you a free subscription to Cloudflare who I use as my CDN to cache content and take the strain off my servers.
Most importantly I want to thank my sources. I’ve spoken at length about this before but I don’t actually source the spoiler through any inside contacts or any involvement with the show. 99.9% of the time the spoiler you read is sourced from an internet forum I visit which has a spoiler thread and they arrange for moles in the audience to provide them with the spoiler which I then provide to you. My sources are fine with me doing this and appreciate my honesty about where I source the spoiler from when many others take the spoiler without any form of acknowledgement. Previously a user called “abigailsmum” on that forum organised that thread and did sterling job doing so for many years. She also has some inside contacts so was able to deliver a spoiler often when no mole was sourced.
Unfortunately abigailsmum decided to stand down early this series for personal reasons and her role was taken up by a different user “monaogg”. She too has done a fantastic job this series sourcing moles even on some weeks when it was looking dicey at times but zero hour moles came through for us and has proven to be a worthy successor to abigailsmum despite not having the inside contacts that she did.
I should mention that The Strictly Spoiler has this year become the place where most people now view the spoiler and for the last few weeks has received even more views than the site where I source the spoiler. Although this is cause for celebration and I am pleased to be running the number one source of the spoiler I am of course mindful that my site is not the primary source of the spoiler and quite simply this site would not exist without the forum and the hard work that others put in to source moles so we have a spoiler each week.
As a token of my thanks and appreciation not just on behalf of myself but also the many visitors to this site I would like to arrange to send a thank you bouquet of flowers to both abigailsmum for her work the last few years and monaogg for her work this year and I have contacted them both to try and arrange this and will be sending the flowers sometime after Christmas.
Many on that forum were also incredibly supportive during the media attention of last weekend and again I would like to thank all who posted kind words during that either on the forum or in the comments section of the articles themselves.
2016 has been another amazing year for the Strictly Spoiler and here’s hoping that 2017 will bring more success for the site assuming the BBC don’t do something crazy like a live results show. I will see you all then! Merry Christmas to you all and a happy 2017!