Who Visits This Site? By The Numbers…

20Jul11

Recently, on one of the several science related blogs I enjoy reading, Prof-like Substance asked Why don’t you blog? As you’re reading this on a blog, the answer is clearly “I do”. But the question spawned some further reflection by both myself, and some other commenters on the post.

The answer I had for myself as to why I don’t blog more often is traffic. Even if a post doesn’t take very long, if its read by no one, its hard not to parse that as a waste of my time. And I have the same problem I have with posting in a good many social media sites – I dislike the feeling of talking to an empty room. Discussion of traffic ensued, and another favorite of mine, Dr. Becca at Fumbling Towards Tenure noted that even on a big deal Science blogging community, she doesn’t get more than a few hundred visits a day.

“How many visits a day do I get?” I thought to myself. And what are you visiting? So, like any good nerd, I went to go find out…

First, how many of you are there? Well, I have no idea, all I can count is visits to the site. Might by my mom, clicking refresh a thousand times a day.

But if we look at visits, I can tell you all kinds of things. A little under 13,500 visits total, and my best day was 788, on Feb. 26, 2009. More about that later. My average per-day total? Embarrassingly low double digits, and 9 for 2011. Are we remembering that empty room I was talking about?

My traffic is strange however, because it’s driven by a single post. Consider this graph:

This shows the distribution of the aggregate number of views, per post, of this blog. The bulk of the posts are small-traffic visits, with a few popular posts at ~1000 and ~2000 views. Then, all out there by itself, is the big one, with 8565 visits to its name. The “Is Warhammer Balanced?” post.

It’s responsible for a little over 60% of this sites traffic. So, for the rest of the analysis, I’m splitting it out.

Lets look at traffic, by month (total) and by average number of visits per day:

The first big boom in traffic is pretty visible. I’d ignore the uptick at the same time in “Science” – “Science” is actually a catch-all for everything not Warhammer, under the assumption that everything besides that can reasonably count. Which means, among other things, that the front page gets counted. Interesting little baby-boomlets, presumably as the Warhammer post propagates its way through different blogs, getting linked and a quick surge of traffic each time, before traffic slowly levels off to the much more modestly growing general site traffic.

The big blue surge is the result of Zombies, and managing to get linked from Respectful Insolence to Night of the Living Model.

Another interesting question, at least to me, is where people are coming from. How do you get here? A quick rundown, by number of references:

  • Warhammer-related Forums: 4856
  • General Forums, including one I post regularly on: 725
  • Respectful Insolence: 418
  • Other Science Blogs: 68
  • Search Engines: 17
  • Social Media: 189
  • Other: 232
  • Unknown (webmail links and the like): 51
A quick summary? I should clearly write more about zombies and Warhammer. Search engines are surprisingly useless, and Twitter is not impressing me.
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One Response to “Who Visits This Site? By The Numbers…”


  1. 1 On Social Networks and Study Recruitment « Confounded by Confounding

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