Was introduced to socialmeter today. Great fun in understanding the relative buzz around different sites. NYTimes scores 2.7 million; Wikipedia scores 100K; MIT OCW 25K; tOFP (drumroll please)…………190.
One year ago today, I added Cluster Maps to the blog (see left margin). In the past year, Cluster Maps picked up 4,384 visits to the blog with a really exciting geographic spread. Some of the clusters are in places that make sense from my OCW Consortium contacts (Venezuela, Japan and Thailand, for instance), and it’s nice to see some visits from Sub-Saharan Africa as well. I’m including the expanded map in this post to show where visits have been recorded in more detail.
Before I went to the Global Social Benefit Incubator last July, I had finally finished rewriting the portion of the novel I had completed in graduate school ten (gulp) years ago. I had always had a little bit of superstitious about reaching this point, about what I’m not entirely sure, but since reaching that point in the novel, I set it aside to concentrate on work a little, and then Daniel was diagnosed. One family crisis later, I am finally at a place where I want to be working on the novel again. I’m not sure I have the time, really, but it’s sort of a sanity thing, so I’m carving out my morning train ride for it, and plan to go as long as I can.
The numbers I report for tOFP each month are based on the Webalizer reports available from my web hosting service. A while back I signed up for a Google Analytics account, and got a message back that Google had suspended the issuance of new GA accounts because of demand. I only noticed recently (as I was playing with iGoogle) that I had in fact been granted an account and so instrumented my site pages with the required code.
Google Analytics recorded a total of 391 visits last month (although I did not instrument the blog) which is way lower than what Webalizer reported. I’ve suspected for some time that Webalizer overcounted visits by a wide margin, ever since I implemented Cluster Maps on the blog. Cluster Maps has recorded more or less 4,000 blog visits in the past year, far fewer than the Webalizer reports would have me believe.
So this means I’m not as famous as I thought I was, which is depressing given I didn’t think I was all that famous to begin with. Really it’s another example of why any and all web data needs to be taken with a shaker of salt. My other observation is that once again it proves that web analytics are less about absolute numbers and more about trends (unless of course you are trying to sell ads). Regardless of the actual numbers of visits to tOFP, the trend has certainly been going up, which is a healthy sign. And based on the search terms used to find the site, at least some of those visits are from people interested in fiction. If I help even a dozen people a month to write a little better, or even inspire them to just write a little more, then I am reaching more people right now than I did in my five years in the classroom. Interesting to consider…