Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sexual Perversity in Blog Posts or What I Have Learned from Blog Statistics

One of the reasons for writing GlobalWahrman is to get first hand experience about what is involved in writing a blog. As part of that I am writing various meta-posts, posts about the writing of the blog, from time to time.

This blog meta-post discusses some of what I have learned about who reads my blog and what that says about the blogging process, at least in my case. There are some surprises here for me, but mostly what I have discovered is both encouraging and even somewhat positive.

I know its hard to believe, coming from me, but its true, a lot of what I say below is along the lines of "hard work is rewarded".

1. The more energy I put into the blog, the more the readership increases. In other words, I can increase readership, in both the short and medium term, by putting more energy into the blog on a regular basis. The half life of any improvement is several weeks, perhaps.  (For this discussion, short term changes in readership is measured in days, medium term in weeks, and long term in months).

2. Inversely, when I am not contributing actively to the blog, this is clearly reflected in the statistics particularly in short term hits, but also in the medium and long terms but more slowly.

3. There is also a fine art in increasing readership on top of the above "hard work is rewarded" meme, and that involves how one structures posts to be found by search engines and the extent to which I promote some of the posts in social media. If the goal of this blog was to demonstrate a large readership, there is a vast number of details and things that one can do to help people find the blog that are ethical. There are also unethical ones, which lots of people use but I find obnoxious.

4. Some posts become perennial favorites and generate a large percentage of the total usage. It is interesting and surprising to see which ones these are. Some may be by accident (e.g. "Bin Laden" in the title getting a hit on a search engine) but some are not. Some of my favorite posts are completely ignored.

5. The theory that a blog has to reach a critical mass of content before it finds its stable readership is not contradicted by the data. I figure I am roughly two years at least from basic critical mass. I think that there is some luck involved here as well.  In other words, a post may have to go viral in order to introduce the blog to a larger group of people, some of whom may become regular or occasional readers.   I also suspect that critical mass will require paying serious attention to the issues discussed in point 3 above.   Global Wahrman is intended to be eclectic, whatever its long term readership may be, it is unlikely to be a mass market blog.

6. Understanding the statistics requires work. They are not well documented and there are default options that need to be changed to get rational numbers. Basically all defaults are set to generate the largest possible numbers, e.g. counting your own page hits on your website and counting someone reading 10 pages as 10 different users.  One must penetrate the incredibly badly documented blogspot/blogger infrastructure and change the settings or the numbers will just be inflated or wrong.

7. Underlying all statistics is a constant murmer of fraud and crime from Eastern Europe, Russia, China and India. Occassionally also Brazil. In other words, the BRIC countries. There is some theory in the blog forums that what the criminals are doing is getting paid for every page hit that they stimulate on certain web sites. Why anyone would pay them for that I do not know, but that is the theory.

8. The post about "repressed lust of CIA analysts" generated the most traffic on a single day in the history of Global Wahrman.  In other words, "sex sells" just as we have been told.

1 comment:

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