January 1st means I spend some time pondering my usage statistics for the last year. I spent some time on this last month when the blog officially turned ten years old. I’ll try not to repeat myself too much. Measured by direct web traffic, 2012 sucked. Measuring subscriber usage and social media usage shows a different story. Unless noted otherwise, my reference is Google Analytics.
Overall 2012 Statistics
- Total Visits: 26,766 (72.8 per day), down 45.2% compared with 2011
- Total Page Views: 34,704 (94.8 per day), down 61.5% compared with 2011
- Percent of New Visits: 87.96% (89.13% in 2011)
Overall, web traffic is obviously down substantially, roughly in half since 2011. There are lots of reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that I am posting less often. This likely makes this site less interesting to search engines. Overall there were 107 posts in 2012 versus 127 in 2011. There are likely other reasons. My posts are less topical, as topical posts are likely to get more hits. Remember that these statistics measure traffic principally driven from search engines. Content on other sites is considered more interesting. I also strongly suspect that Google keeps refining their algorithms for measuring legitimate traffic too, and this is reflected in lower statistics. This blog is affected by a general trend where search traffic is diminishing but syndication and social media usage is increasing.
Most Viewed Posts
- Eulogy for my mother (18,980 page views) (#1 three years in a row)
- Blog home page (8,631 page views) (#2 three years in a row)
- Danger: Wal-Mart Customer! (5,870 page views) (#8 in 2011)
- Craigslist Casual Encounters: Now officially a complete waste of time (5,459 page views) (#4 two years in a row)
- The Root of Human Conflict: Emotion vs. Reason (4,764 page views) (#5 two years in a row)
- You Porn: A Traveler’s New Best Friend (4,056 page views) (Was #3 in 2011)
- Sharon Mitchell: Porn Saint (3,524 page views) (#6 in 2011)
- Queer as a Three Dollar Bill (3,139 page views) (#7 in 2011)
- The Illusion of Time (3,078 page views) (#9 two years in a row)
- The Id unleashed at Craigslist Casual Encounters (1,642 page views) (#10 two years in a row)
The list of top popular content proves to be remarkably stable from year to year, continuing to mirror human nature: interests in death, sex and weirdness seem to be themes that interest casual browsers. The one exception is my essay on emotion vs. reason, originally written in 1997, which has some sort of bizarre staying power.
- Civil War (373 page views)
- Obesity (170 page views)
- W&OD Trail (164 page views)
- Battle of Chantilly (136 page views)
- Battle of Ox Hill (130 page views)
Top Category: Best of Occam’s Razor (187 page views)
- Internet Explorer (27.46%, was 35.54% in 2011)
- Chrome (25.08%, was 17.27% in 2011)
- Firefox (22.00%, was 27.36% in 2011)
- Safari (17.76%, was 15.13% in 2011)
- Android Browser (4.27%)
Overall Chrome is gaining most of the browser usage. Safari is getting marginally more traffic. Both are gaining at the expense of IE and Firefox. Safari traffic likely is due to lots of iPhones and iPads out there. As Android-based smartphones and tablet computers begin to proliferate, their browsers are showing up.
Busiest month: March (3,954 visits)
Slowest month: June (1,461 visits)
Mobile visits in 2012: 3466 (vs. 3904 in 2011)
%Mobile Visits of Total Visits: 13% (vs. 8% in 2011)
So much for Google Analytics. Lots of you are reading this blog via various newsreaders and content syndication mechanisms. Here is where I can document real growth. Feedburner reports:
- 83 subscribers as of December 31, 2012 (vs. 66 on December 31, 2011, an increase of 20%)
- Average number of subscribers per day: 70.02 (vs. 63.23 in 2011)
- Average hits per day: 198.62 (vs. 196 in 2011)
- Average number of click-throughs per day: 10.40 (vs. 7.81 in 2011)
I started tracking social media usage in March. It’s a bit too early to infer any meaning from those numbers, except they are relatively modest overall.
I am also tracking the site’s web traffic on quantcast.com. I’ve only been tracking it for a month or so. Their expertise seems to be in matching web traffic with user demographics. It gives me insight into your characteristics as a group. In general I attract a younger but highly educated crowd: ages 18-34 with a disproportionate number of you having a graduate education. Statistics are available for your browsing.
More in 2014.