When I started this blog I vowed not to look at the site statistics. The logic was that I didn't want to be swayed into talking about things I didn't care about just to get more readers. I wanted this blog to be an honest expression of my thoughts and I simply don't think I could do that if I were looking at numbers every 5 minutes.
But lets be honest, if I never checked I'd very likely drive myself insane. So I decided to take one day every 6 months or so and go over the numbers. I'm a couple weeks late but its been about 6 months since I made this blog public (I had a couple months of private test run to make sure I'd stick to it) so this morning I undertook the task.
Now that its done I have to say...its pretty terrifying.
Realistically I knew things were growing a little. I'd been linked to by some prominent bloggers and I'd made it onto Techmeme a few times so I knew there were more than I began with but...well...I thought that meant like 30 people or so.
I honestly might have been more comfortable with 30 people in retrospect.
On that note, this seems to be as good a time as any to thank people for dropping by. It sounds cheesy to say but it really is an honor and I'm profoundly grateful for every person who comes by and gives me a voice in their lives. So thanks!
That said, I'll close with a few random observations
- Google Analytics and my web providers internal page counter deliver vastly different results. Some of that is probably bots but its still surprising how different the numbers are.
- Compete.com only seems to pick up really obvious trends (e.g. 25,000 people visited his site this month so the line goes way up but it claims there were 11,000). Other than that the numbers seem to be pretty inaccurate (though in fairness I don't get enough traffic to really rate with them)
- I rarely seem to answer the question being asked when people come here via search engine
- Google Reader, which I thought to be the biggest feed reader by far, only accounts for about a 10th of my total subscribers.
- Fred Wilson's right, people who do subscribe via RSS/Atom don't really click as much as you'd think
- On that note, I always thought RSS/Atom readers would be the majority of my traffic, they aren't.
- Far more people seem to browse the Internet between 11pm and 4am than I ever would have thought
- More people seem to read blogs during their work hours than at any other time
- Reddit sends more traffic here than Digg (at least in my one experience with Digg)
- I've never seen traffic pick up and drop off as quickly as a StumbleUpon burst. Often times every in-link from StumbleUpon will come in during one hour long spurt
- My web hosts traffic monitor doesn't show where each search phrase leads people but one of my posts ranks very high for the search terms "Pimpin It". I don't think I've ever used those words before so I don't know why that is (and I've searched Google and can't find which post is doing it).
- The phrase "when they came my neighbor" is also popular
- Lots of people are trying to decide between the Blackberry Bold and the iPhone 3G
- The people of Oceania love me!
- I'm not a "top level" Techmeme person so it doesn't generate all that much traffic. That said I have to say it doesn't really matter because I consider it the glue that holds the community together and I'm always honored to have my blog show up there.
- Even given that fact, Friendfeed generates far, far less traffic
- Technorati is just completely ineffective at this point. It seems to pick up about half the links I get from my referral log
- For all the complaining, "Bitchmeme" topics draw more traffic than any serious tech topic. Though my most popular post is a tech one in all fairness
- Today (the day I checked) seems to be the lowest traffic day I've had in over 4 months. Coincidence or Government conspiracy designed to track my actions and adjust my traffic accordingly to give me an inaccurate impression of my traffic levels...you decide!
- There appears to be simply no way of telling what will and will not be popular
- Traffic levels are much lower than I thought in the tech blog world. Either that or people just don't click on links because I've been linked to by several a-listers and, while they provided a nice traffic boost, it wasn't in the 10s of thousands like I thought it would be (I mean, if a site with 2 million unique visitors links to you it would seem that would draw more than a few hundred clicks)