Metablogging Again

The Thinker by Rodin

I started metering this site with SiteMeter in early March 2004. As it has been a whole year I thought I’d take a snapshot of my last year of statistics to see how this little blog is going.

I’ve had about 28,000 visits in the last year and about 38,000 page views. Occam’s Razor remains a backwater blog. But as the graphic below shows its traffic has been picking up rather steadily. Recent trends suggest possibly I might be reaching an exponential growth phase. I frankly don’t want to become too popular. I don’t want to pay for the bandwidth. I want my blog to be interesting but not too interesting. Success often breeds enemies. I don’t want that kind of attention.

1 Year of Montly Statistics

Things slowed down after the election but picked up in earnest last month. My stats have only improved since then. I am pretty sure I know the major reason why my hits have gone up: more content. Most of my hits come from search engines, with Google bringing in most of the traffic. But with some exceptions more recent content tends to get more hits. I think it’s because Google thinks more recent content is more interesting, so it is more likely to get featured. That factored with the steady number of entries over two and a half years I suspect may make it a blog of minor note to search engines.

Since I have a free SiteMeter account I only see statistics for the last hundred pages viewed. But I monitor it several times a day and see what people are reading. Yesterday’s entry Leaning Left in Academia somehow got linked by Inside Higher Ed so I’ve seen a real spike today bringing my daily page count over 400 page views for the day.

I continue to discover that entries on sex get attention. Today was an exception but I regularly get at least 5-10 of the last 100 page views for my one entry on porn star Sharon Mitchell. I get nearly as many for discussing my one visit to a porn shop in Orlando about a year ago. Alas, I can’t think of a whole lot to say about the pornography business. I suspect one way to drive up my statistics would be to spend a few weeks hip deep in pornographic magazines and DVDs then post lots of reviews. But I cannot see myself doing it. While pornography is good for occasional titillation it’s simply not interesting enough to discuss very often.

With the release of the What the Bleep Do We Know? DVD I’ve seen regular hits on my review of it. Entries on Wal-Mart are also topical and have pulled in regular readers.

I still don’t know what people think about my blog in general. I don’t know how many regular readers I have other than my brother Tom and my friend Lisa. I can’t write a pithy entry like my wife and get a dozen comments (all from her friends network). I’d like to say my own family is enthusiastic about my blog but for the most part they ignore it.

Comments are still few and far between. I still get a lot of spam comments that never get posted. And I won’t post any remark that I consider abusive, hurtful or in bad taste. I still average one comment for every other entry.

So for a backwater blog I’m feeling pretty good about this place. It really is hard work to keep coming up with fresh content but it is a challenge that I usually enjoy. Sometimes clearly I stretch a bit. Sometimes by posting on so many divergent topics I feel like a jack of all trades, but master of none. (Well, maybe I can’t say that about information technology. On that topic I can speak with genuine authority.) Still, while I hope my entries appear rather eloquent I still feel a tinge of envy over bloggers who are far better writers than I will ever be. I worship Billmon, but I will never be his peer.

I often get more than two hundred page views a day now. When I started metering I was getting about thirty page views per day. I suspect my blog will continue to grow modestly. If it grows at the current rate I can expect perhaps 500 or more page views per day a year or so from now. Come back a year from now and see.