In this post, I want to talk a bit about how I am monitoring who is viewing my blog and how often they appear to be doing so.
When I began blogging back in June of 2001, it was solely for the purpose of finding out whether I could post things on the web. Some of the content I posted back then still shows up in some unexpected places. For instance, I posted my friend Paul Moor’s CV on my first attempt at a blog at Tripod.com, and recently I discovered it is listed as a “weblink” (near the bottom of the entry) in this page on the German version of Wikipedia.
Since those early days, my experiment has continued first at Blogger, then at WordPress.com, and since May of 2006, here at my own hosted site, the one you are viewing right now. In the ensuing years, I’ve made some new friends who are also bloggers but whom I’ve never met in person, like Colm Smyth and Tom Simpson, and some local blogging friends that I have met like Daryl Houston, Mike Neel, and Tish McQueen. Perhaps more surprisingly to me, at least one old friend, Jerry Pounds, “found me” and my blog while Googling “blasts from the past,” and either soon after or just prior to his finding me, he began his own blog.
My point is that more people view my blog than I would have ever dared to hope. How do I know? Well there are at least three sources of information that I am currently using to find the answer to that question. One is the new WordPress.com Stats plugin. It is simple, succinct and focuses on the few items that most of us are interested in, such as how many page views we got, what posts were viewed the most, where the traffic is coming from and what people click on when they leave. A second tool I use to see what’s going on with my site is Google Analytics that has recently undergone a remodeling. This link provides a tour of its functionality.
The final tool I sometimes use is Technorati, which purports to show “Everything in the known universe about It’s News to Me.” It tells me that as of this morning I rank #219,796 in the blogging hierarchy. What does that mean? Dorion Carroll explains here. Like a golf score, the lower the number here the better. As you can see, I have just a little way to go before I’m #1.
And just this morning I discovered a new Technorati service called WTF (and no, it doesn’t mean that, it stands for “where’s the fire”). Lars-Christian explains what the WTF service is and how it might benefit us bloggers.
We bloggers who are way down the list in popularity are nevertheless always interested in knowing whether anyone is watching us, so we watch you watch us, in the hope that we can learn something about how to make our content more relevant and interesting to you. In the end though, as I’ve said many times before, I blog more for the joy I get from posting things on the Internet than because I think you need or even want to read what I post. Still, however, it is rewarding to know that you stop by occasionally. So thanks for visiting; you’re always welcome here.