07 June 2012

Give The People What They Want

I like the little map counter on my website. Mostly I like the idea that someone from Wien, Austria once stumbled upon this page and never, ever came back. Seriously, though, who are you people who read this? Despite the dots on the pretty map, I still think my readership can be counted on one hand: Oz, Kimm, Deb, Justin (are you still out there?), and occasionally Alej. Every now and then I get comments from some person who I think made it here via Google, or who I linked to about something or other, but I forget or tend not to think about the other people that might find this. Anyway, welcome strangers!

Blogger lets you see how many views individual pages within a blog have. As my new counter approaches 1000, I found myself wondering what was getting all these hits. I checked my post list and tried to find the popular culprits (pulprits?). Looks like the post I wrote about the second time I saw Avengers is very popular (894 views). I credit my shirtless Chris Hemsworth pictures. My review of the first time I saw Avengers, which has no shirtless Hemsworth pics, only has 12 views.  I can also see what keyword searches led people to my site. Among them are "thor shirtless," "shirtless thor" and "thor no shirt."  This leads me to believe that shirtless pictures of Thor are the key to internet success. A few more of those babies and I can retire on Ellie Fish income. Right?  

Sadly, I don’t know of any way to easily get data from the post list in order to properly analyze them.  It would be so great if I could just download a .csv file of my blog stats and sort by page views or something. Or plot them over time. Maybe regress…something. Instead, I looked through the entire list of all my posts (n=682) and make note of the ones with high numbers. 

I had no real criteria for determining my outliers. This is where a data file would come in handy, because I have no sense of my mean number of page hits, although, frankly, my mode is probably between 0 and 4 (lots of my posts seem to have never been read). Any number greater than 10 tends to make me go "wow! that's a lot of hits!" Here, for my own interest and in the spirit of self promotion, are a list of posts with abnormally high hits, in ascending order. 

1.  86 views. A post about last Christmas. Not absurdly popular, but that's still a lot of people looking a picture of an empty table and meatless meat pie. 

2. 102 views. The original Death Sweater post. I assume this hit count is elevated because I link back to it every chance I get.  

3. 571 views. A post written on my birthday eve in 2009 where I discuss, among other things, two different dreams I had, a play called Ubuntu, and compare the Pay What You Can policy for two different theaters. The number here is inexplicable to me.  

4. 1130 views. My “live blogging” of Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus. This elevated count is justified.  

5. 1943 views. A recounting of one of the days I spent in Scotland, the first day of a road trip we took  that included Loch Ness. The other posts for that trip have a maximum of 7 views. I assume Loch Ness is the big draw for that post. Or, perhaps, the pictures of the baby highland cow.

6. 2731 views. Pictures I took for a shark dissection lab I taught in 2009. I really hope no one is using that for learning purposes.

7. 2994 views. My review of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Again, totally worthy of that many hits.  

8. And, finally, I give you the all time highest number of counts of any Ellie Fish post ever. At a staggering 6506 views, written in July 2008 (so, approx. 100 hits a month since I wrote it), this post is about....cats.  Oh, internet. (*shakes head sadly*). 


Kimm-my said...

So does my reading your posts as you post them count then? I don't actually go to the individual page for the post unless its a long one and I have to click the link to finish the post.

Ellie Fish said...

That is a good question, Kimm. I honestly do not know. I think every time you just come to Ellie Fish that counts on the overall counter. It may be that individual posts that don't require a click through don't get hits counted unless the click through is used to take readers to the post page. This means every post I do should have a click through to read more, even if there's nothing more to read. Perhaps every post should have a click through to shirtless Thor. What do you think?

Justin said...

I'm still here, Ellie! But, I don't find your blog by googling "Thor Shirtless"

Ellie Fish said...

I just had this great vision of Bill walking in while you're googling "Thor shirtless."