Welcome to the international commonwealth of Ham&High readers!

WITHIN media circles it was once boasted that the Ham&High was the only weekly paper with its own foreign correspondent. Whether or not it was true then (sadly, it wasn t) we now have hundreds of them, thanks to the magic of the wonderfully-alliterative w

WITHIN media circles it was once boasted that the Ham&High was the only weekly paper with its own foreign correspondent.

Whether or not it was true then (sadly, it wasn't) we now have hundreds of them, thanks to the magic of the wonderfully-alliterative world wide web.

This became clear to me when, over the weekend, I received a number of emails from distant places like Denmark, Ecuador, Canada and Southern Carolina, all responding to recent stories in the Ham&High.

I had just seen a splendid set of figures detailing record levels of interest in our website. Impressed though I was by the statistic showing that some 50,000 people had visited www.hamhigh.co.uk in February, what I found particularly fascinating was the column which told me where these readers are based.


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Back in what are routinely but erroneously referred to as the halcyon days of journalism (they were nothing of the kind) editors had a reasonable idea of where their readers lived.

The internet has changed all this, for ever. In the 21st century, what happens in Ham&High land is attracting the attention of readers in every part of the UK.

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For instance, on one single day when the embers of the Camden fire were still glowing, readers visited our site from Hull, Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard, Leeds and Crewe, to name but a few. The information, supplied by a company of magicians collectively known as Omniture, told me that outside of London, our largest proportion of UK visitors have Brighton connections and that at another geographical extreme, someone is logging on regularly, where the Aberdeen waters flow.

While the vast majority of visitors are from the UK and Ireland, we have had more than 5,500 callers from the USA since the start of the year (must be all those nice things we say about George Bush). The highest number of visitors from a country where English is not the first language was from Norway, unless you count Singapore, which had slightly more.

In the seemingly endless list of nations connecting to the Ham&High, there were more than 212 visitors from Israel, 157 from Uganda and 55 from Ethiopia. There was even one from Cuba - greetings Fidel! - and a mysterious category listed as '43unknown'. Now where could they be from? Outer space? Anything's possible with the internet, this brave new world without frontiers.

So whether you are reading this article on newsprint or on the world wide web, welcome to the relentlessly expanding international commonwealth of Ham&High readers!

Geoff Martin, editor

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