QES Readership Update

It has been some time now since I last mulled over the miniscule readership stats of this here blog. I know I generate in eighteen months what a decent blog does when it sneezes, but still, I find the numbers of some interest even if they are small.

Now that WordPress has rolled over to July, here are the monthly tallies:

For some reason, my Tivo post has been on fire recently, usurping my Amtrak route map post’s previously unassailable spot as my top post. Of course, of nearly 16,000 views, the Amtrak map post has nearly 3,500 alone, while Tivo is a distant third overall with fewer than a thousand. I’ll be curious if their reversal is permanent or temporary.

I’m up to 331 posts now, and I’m glad they seem to be of some use to a few folks, so I suppose I’ll keep going. I will be fascinated if July’s traffic continues the pattern so far.

February’s Feed Reading

In a continued homage to the tools Google Reader has armed me with, I am updating my series on my feed reading stats. Think of it as a tip of the hat to the other OCD folks out there who might share this particular mania.

February was down from January’s inflated per-day average, but since that was an artifact of the Christmas holiday (and its associated net blackout), I think it’s fair to ignore January and see February as a further indication that I am getting more efficient and churning through my feeds.

The daily figures show a standard pattern, and reveal Presidents’ Day, too.

As an update to my earlier post, it seems Firefox on the Mac will give me the same detailed text overlay that I find in Camino and in IE on Windoze, so I guess there’s some setting in my Wintel Firefox that I have set wrong, since the overlays are still absent on my PC.

Google Reader Trends: December & January Update

Every time I compile these statistics, I am reminded that one of the best areas of focus for any clever programmer is finding algorithmic ways to handle the immense amount of news that flows through the internet every day. I know there are efforts like APML, etc. to do this, and I wish them every success. I also admire sites like Lifehacker that let you mold their feeds to suit your interests and trim off the stuff you do not want before you ever see it.

Anyway, here I am back with more pointless numbers and graphs. As is often the case, I am reminded of a Dilbert cartoon:


With no further ado, posts marked read per day for the last two months. The time spent away from the internet is over Christmas is readily apparent. The 12/31 spike was logged in less than one hour as I borrowed net access from the kind neighbors, followed by the giant spike once I was home and bailing out from the deluge. The weekend effect remains strong, and the three-day MLK weekend can be spotted, too.

And average posts marked read per day for the last two months. It is no surprise to me that December is down and January up – I suspect that is a holiday artifact and not a trend.

January’s total was 24,109 marked read from 363 feeds – a sick record. The daily max was 2,714, and 11pm is my peak hour with 3,014 (as I save old unread feeds from Google Reader’s data-loss-at-midnight bug). The post-holiday spike also created a false day-of-week max – Thursday with 6,282. Eek! Now that I know about how to get hard numbers from Google’s tallies, I have just a few more charts to show:

january_hourly_totals january_day-of-week_totals

Charts all courtesy of Google Docs. Prior posts in this series can be found here. My thanks to Google for enabling me to compile these stirring statistics.

QES: The first year in numbers

This past week marked a very modest anniversary, and being the OCD stats guy that I am, I took the opportunity to run some numbers to see how the past year has gone in purely quantitative terms. Before I begin, I realize these numbers are all miniscule – I’m fine with that.

First off, from a numbers point of view, what did I put into this blog? Between its inception on January 3, 2007 and December 31, 2007, I posted 204 items. I will not comment on the quality of those 204 posts, but there you have it. While the average would seem to be four per week, the average is misleading. From one-a-day in January to seven posts in the next three months, there’s been a lot of variance in my posting rate, but the last few months show a more even pace which I hope to maintain.

Over the year, WordPress reports I had 2,996 views of these posts. They associate 2,419 of those views with specific posts leaving 577 views (19%) associated with a homepage landing rather than one specific post. The other 81% is made up of 181 different posts, leaving 23 posts without any views tied to them. I don’t know which they are, but that would be worth pursuing at some point.

The top five account for 675 views (28% of known, 23% of all): Great Amtrak Map Using Google Maps (204); More ultra-slim Apple laptop rumblings (184); Google Reader Annoyance (108); TiVo Hard Drive Failure & Replacement (92); and 2001: A Space Odyssey comes to HD (87). I am pleased about the third and fourth results, as they are posts I worked on, but the first one amuses me. Clearly Amtrak‘s own route map must stink if my little post on this issue can attract so much traffic. I am surprised by the 2001 post being so high, but since Apple rumors are like catnip on the web, the second post makes perfect sense to me. (I am very curious to see that MacWorld brings us next week once we have the CES show behind us.)

The distribution of views seems to me to look very long tail-ish, but I am not going to do the math to confirm that – a quick eyeballing seems sufficient to me. (Thanks, Google Docs.)

Long tail viewing distribution of 2007 QES posts

Now that I have covered what was viewed, the other stats to pursue address when. Here is the answer to that, graphically:

I’m pleased with that. It shows real growth, and maybe by the time I’m sixty or so, I’ll be able to monetize my traffic sufficiently to buy myself a Coke every few months. Clearly, this blog is not about traffic and income, but I cannot help but look at the stats like this when WordPress so kindly makes them available to me.

My thanks to WordPress for their blogging platform, and more than anything, to my readers – all three of you – and to the few brave souls who have gone so far as to comment here. I hope I can continue to deliver a rich medley of commentary and amusement in 2008.

Google Reader Trends: October & November Update

Another exciting series of posts here at QES revolves around my obsessive compulsive review of my Google Reader RSS reading statistics. Ever since the Greader team launched this feature, I have periodically posted my feed reading stats – mostly to give me a sense of whether is I am getting better or worse, more efficient or more manic (or both), etc.

Previous items in this series are here: May, June, (July was botched), August, and September.

I took the requisite screen shots for my October stats, but I either forgot or lost the text string to generate some of my data, so there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.

Greader Stats 20071031-3 Greader Stats 20071031-1 Greader Stats 20071031-2

Luckily, I have both the screen shots and the text I need for November, so that all follows below.

From your 348 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 20,173 items, starred 8 items, shared 10 items, and emailed 35 items.

Greader Stats 20071130-4] Greader Stats 20071130-5] Greader Stats 20071130-6]

Google Docs stats visible here. These stats are thrown off by my recent run-ins with the @#$ mark all as read button. Happily, that peril is behind me now.