Monday, August 31, 2009

Facts and Figures

As I type this, I'm only 16 people away from 75,000 visitors, which I never would have guessed five years ago when I started this blog. I'm sure by the time you read this, I will be well over that number but really, who's counting. I've written a journal for many years, love to write and love to read other other's opinions so a blog has always felt natural to me. It was so natural, that when I slowed down last year from doing five posts a week to my current 3, I had a huge backlog of ideas in draft for a long time. Now that I've had a chance to get used to the idea, I have grown lazy and sometimes feel that three a week is too much. But for now, it continues.

So I thought I would celebrate my 5th anniversary of blogging with some facts and figures thanks to two different blog statistics programs that run in the background.

Most of the 24 to 30 of you who frequent my blog three times a week are from the United States. I have a small cult following in the Philippines due to my associations there but other than the odd one in Asia or Europe, I seem to attract mostly Americans. I'm not sure if it is the sidebar widget that updates who has posted something new or that you are used to my posting routine for my three biggest days of page hits (more than twice the volume as other days) fall on the days that I post which has mostly been Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In those five years I've done close to 1300 posts though in the process of switching my url address, I cleaned house and my official stat is in the mid 500's. Most of the posts that I didn't carry over were mostly dribble anyway and I didn't want to overburden anyone new who might want to read all my archives with too much of a load.

I had a changing rotation of popular posts over the years but the most popular general category is by far Wal-Mart which attracts nearly 20% of all new hits. The second most popular is one single post and a recent addition at that garners nearly 5% of all new hits is from people searching for the Commando 450 Shower Nozzle. I once did a post about RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) that garnered a lot of attention but I suspect that was mostly because it contained the word nude in it. Put the word nude in any post and suddenly you get all kinds of hits you would never have guessed. For example, since I used the word nude and blog in the same post, I'm sure within a week I'll get someone who lands on here who was searching for the phrase 'nude blog.' It never fails.

Surprisingly, I have a small Iowa audience with most of my returning visitors coming from such Midwestern states as Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri though I have someone from every coastal state except the Carolinas and Virginia. I'm not sure why I don't do well in those states. I'm also sure why I don't do well in the Great Plains states either. They are like a giant white hole on my map.

The average time you spend on my blog is two minutes and forty-six seconds. My blog is also very shallow as the large majority of you (48.79%) just read the most recent blog post. The next group of two page views falls in at a measly 25%. It goes sharply downhill from there. 86% of you are Windows users, 11% are Macs and the remainder Linux.

Perhaps the most notable thing that has come from blogging is having an author of a book I reviewed stop by here twice. I also had one of my posts linked to a national online edition of a newspaper that drew lots of hits at the time. I once was linked to a high school class reading list for a post that now escapes my memory. Mostly it is the smaller things that I enjoy such as the occasional email from a distant relative who read some genealogy post and took the time to write me. The only other people who took the time to email me about a post were people who were having Peace Towers built by the Maharishi in their hometown. They mostly wanted my words of advice on how to defeat them and were probably disappointed when I failed to get excited about it.

Though I try to remain anonymous, quite a few of you know who I am. I don't mind the people who know, knowing, but I do like remaining anonymous to all but the determined to give me the freedom to write as I please without fear of repercussions. I have thought about changing my moniker from Ed Abbey to something different just to prevent having to explain to those who don't know that he is dead why I am not him and why I chose that name. Besides, the reasons I did choose that name really don't follow along with my blogging topics of recent years anyway. Perhaps someday I will but not today.

In closing, thanks to those who continue to stop by. I'm flattered and am not sure what you see in my posts. Although I write them to give to my grandchildren someday so that when I'm about six feet under, they can know who I was better, you are welcome to read them too.


R. Sherman said...

Congrats on a milestone. It's tough to keep one of these things going indefinitely. BTW, it's interesting which pages seem to attract the most visitors. Mine are the ones about the Dragoon Mts. in AZ. There's not much on the web about them.


Anonymous said...

That is a lot of hits. I still check in every other week or so. I enjoy reading about your family. I hope they are doing fine and its always nice to run into you at the store.


geri said...

Congratulations Ed! Your Little Abbey posts will always be my favorite. That entry you did about Amniocentesis is a must read for all expecting parents!

Ed Abbey said...

R. Sherman - I scaled back from 5 to 3 days a week when it got tough writing and I will do so again if needed in the future but so far, it has been a labor of love.

Jeri - Thanks.

Geri - I has always been a plus if someone can find something useful in what I have written.

Beau said...

Nice job Ed, and congrats on the milestone. Stats are fun to try and interpret. As to why people stop by? Perhaps as we learn about others, we pick up tidbits of shared experience or thought. I appreciate how you use the written word to share adventure, books, and family experience... and one can tell that it's heartfelt.

Sage said...

Although I'm living in the midwest--your frequent visitor from MI, I am from the Carolinas (North Carolina, thank you, there is a difference, you konw). I enjoy your blog and I have to say your name drew my attention right away (but I knew the "real" Ed Abbey was buried at some unknoown spot in the desert. Keep up the writing (or at least keep doing better than me)

Ed said...

Beau - My favorite stat is always reading the search string that landed them on my blog. Thanks for the compliment.

Sage - When did their Carolinas separate? ;) Your blog in contrast to mine shows that it is quality not quantity that is important.

Murf said...

You know, I really like your real name but it just doesn't seem right. Thou shalt always be Ed to me.

My favorite posts are the fictional stories you write about suicide after someone's friend kills themselves...or complain about people with large vehicles and then go buy a minivan. :-)

Humor aside, what do I see in your posts that keeps me coming back? Since I don't hike or read the same books as you and have somewhat different political views, I don't really know. Maybe I'm just a creature of habit or I like you and find your thoughts interesting. Egads, that was too nice. Let's go with the former. ;-)

Ed said...

Murf - Maybe it is my mystique.

PhilippinesPhil said...

You write well Man, you deserve all the reader hits. I used to follow my hits but I lost interest in it. I know what you mean about certain words getting hits from the perv readers. Whenever I include Angeles City in a post I get extra hits. I'm sure they stick around for the second or two it takes to realize there's nothing about the bar scene. I also get lots of hits on my Philippines Historical essays from school kids looking to score "ideas" for their own papers. Its nice having this outlet to express ourselves. If they didn't have blogs we'd have to invent them...