Community Christmas letter

Ho ho ho from the Pundit crew. Meeeerry Christmas. Now where's the egg nog?

Our family has a tradition of writing Christmas letters to friends and families, sharing the news of the year with anyone who will listen. I know they're an acquired taste, but we figured we'd risk it and write to our Pundit whanau.

We wanted to let you know that the site will quiten down a little over the next few weeks. The National and World News Briefs will take a break so that we can have a few sleep-ins. We have some pundits lined up for those of you near a computer between Christmas and New Year's though: Jane Young, Eleanor Black and Steve Maharey will all be writing.

For the first two weeks of January, however, the pundits will be taking the Quaker approach to blogging, only posting "as the spirit moves". That could mean a lot of posts, or very few. You'll have to log in to see. But we won't be in a position to get Your Punt pieces up, so hold your fire and send us your contributions later in the month. We do want more commentary from y'all.

Unlike other websites that have faded away since the election, we'll be back belting it out by the middle of the month. Our relationships with the good people at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Pew Research in Washington DC remain strong. Our plans are for growth, so you can expect some stimulating new pundits from New Zealand and around the world to join the founding crew.

It's been a staggering amount of work to get Pundit going. One day we'll have to tell you about the nine months of graft (that's the NZ defintion of the word BTW, not the US meaning of "corruption"!) that we did to get things up and going. The advice we got from the chief tech dude at MySpace, the $150,000 quote we got (and rejected!) to build the site, the 20-something versions of the budget I wrote and re-wrote, and the support we got from the likes of Greg Comfort, Ian Fraser, William Earl, and Emmet Hobbs. Thanks guys. And our thanks to the team at Cre8d who built Pundit.

Come year's end, we're confident that there's demand from New Zealanders everywhere for smart, considered blogging on current affairs and culture, and that's thanks to your incredible interest and support since we launched in September. (Yes, it was only September). Tomorrow - Christmas day - we will be three months old, and in that time we've already had 215,000 impressions. Our biggest day was November 7, when we generated 10,016 page views. Over 56,000 individual visitors have wandered onto the site and had a gander.

Some of you - bless you - keep coming back. And for that we're grateful. So ta. One day we might even make some money from this lark. We've been told by other bloggers that no other website has had such an impact – or "broken through" – in such a short time. Whatever we've achieved, we've done with no marketing or promotions except the work of the pundits themselves. We're kinda proud of that. We broke a few stories, our election quiz got people talking about the good grain of policy rather than just the usual electoral chaff, and we even got Afghanistan and the forgotten war going on there back into some public discourse. Not bad for 12 weeks' work. And heck, to steal from Al Jolson, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

So let us wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a ridiculously happy new year. Many blessings to you all,

Tim & Eleanor