January 6, 2009

A year of blog stats

I've been using Google Analytics to track my blog stats since July 2006. I first posted a year's worth of stats in July 2007, giving me a good year's worth of stats to report on. Of course, it seems to make some kind of more sense to report based on a calendar year rather than the anniversary of installing a kind of software.

Therefore, this post.

Last time, I was inspired by a couple of other people reporting their stats, and this time is no different. It was Richard Akerman's recent post on the stats for his Science Library Pad blog that really gave me the kick in the pants to get this done. I'm not going to get as detailed as Richard, but I do hope to give a flavour of the last year.

Some basics (visits / pageviews):

  • July 2006 - June 2007: 18,856 / 26,928, monthly ave: 1,571 / 2,244
  • Calendar 2007: 31,144 / 44,458, monthly ave: 2,595 / 3,705
  • Calendar 2008: 56,593 / 73,212, monthly ave: 4,716 / 6,101
  • Increase, 2008 over 2007: 82% / 65%

Quite an increase, one I'm very pleased about. Of course, the big reason for such a dramatic increase was being named the Blogger Blog of Note for June 9th. This alone brought me about 16,100 visits.

See below the graph I extracted out of Google Analytics and you can see how June really dominates the whole year, actually making it a bit hard to see trends for the rest of the year.

(Any caption ideas for the graph?)

So, here are some top 10 lists for 2008, with a bit of commentary on some of the interesting ones.

Top 10 Posts
  1. Jeff Healey. (1462 page views) I posted a little anecdote about Healey shortly after he passed away this past March and somehow this got me to the top couple of Google hits on his name for a few weeks. The web is a very strange place, sometimes.

  2. Best and worst science books. (1257) Librarians and books. Seems like an association that can't be broken.

  3. Best Science Books 2007: Library Journal. (838) These best of the year posts are probably the only thing I do with an eye towards traffic, ever since I discovered they were so popular. People seem to want to know about the best science books and it's also something I find interesting as well so I guess it's a natural for me to post about it.

  4. Best Science Books 2007: Royal Society. (593)

  5. Science in the 21st Century reading list. (496) Yet another post about books. This is actually a really good reading list for people interested in where science research and communication is going.

  6. Best Science Books 2008: The New York Times. (495)

  7. Getting a Job 2.0. (474) What happened with this post is kind of amusing. It provoked a bit of overwrought snark amongst some library school students and ended up being quite popular as a result. I still think the advice I cobbled together for the post is valid.

  8. Interview with Timo Hannay, Head of Web Publishing, Nature Publishing Group. (417) My most popular interview ever, by a wide margin, still popular after 18 months. Timo has a lot of interesting things to say about where science publishing is headed.

  9. Interview with Dorothea Salo of Caveat Lector. (379) The most popular of the four interviews I did in 2008. No surprisingly, Dorothea gives a provocative, no-holds-barred interview.

  10. Ebook Business Models. (334) I was quite pleased with this post as it spurred quite a nice conversation in the comments. From 2007 but it took a while for the post to build. As well, it's a topic that people will be only more concerned with as time goes by.

A couple of honourable mentions: the tags for the 10 Years Series and Science Books both got enough hits to make the top 10 but I decided to bump them in favour of real posts. Last year's standouts, the 10 Years Series, doesn't make an appearance this year with an actual post until number 23 with the one on A&I Databases.

Top 10 Referrers
  1. Blogger / Blogs of Note. (14,102 visits) The big one. Being a Blog of Note really drives some traffic.

  2. Google. (1,801) A combination of links from Google Reader and other non-search engine google sites.

  3. Friendfeed. (574) The new elephant in the room. Quite a lot of hits considering I only joined at the end of the summer. I think a lot of people are using FF rather than RSS readers to find good content, I know I am.

  4. ScienceBlogs. (520) Mostly Bora, for whom all thanks go for supporting this blog (as well as so many other science blogs).

  5. Bloglines. (434)

  6. OEDB. (268) Even though this mention in the Top 25 Bloggers list was in September 2007, it just keeps on sending the traffic. As silly as the whole concept and execution was (and is), it's brought me over 750 hits since it was published.

  7. Computational Complexity. (240) Weird. I linked to the post and the trackback drives an awful lot of traffic.

  8. Del.icio.us. (217)

  9. Technorati. (154)

  10. Cosmic Log. (114) One of my year's best books posts got link from MSNBC's blog, but I can't find the link now.

An interesting mix of referrers. Friendfeed seems to be increasing in importance while links from individual blogs somewhat less so. The Blog of Noting seems to be a smaller version of getting Slashdotted or BoingBoinged. (I have combined some groups of sites into one number, like the various Google services.)

Top 10 Keywords

  1. best science books. (1434 visits) If people want to know what the best science books are, I'm happy to help. It seems to be a niche.

  2. Jeff Healey. (1261)

  3. Confessions of a Science Librarian. (491) Lots of people seem to be looking for me.

  4. best science books 2008. (481)

  5. science librarian. (309) I'm the number one result for this search on Google. Too bad more people aren't interested in science librarians.

  6. best science books 2007. (256)

  7. John Dupuis. (162) Yay! I'm the number one result for my name. As with the blog name, a fair number of people seem to be looking for me. Nice, but also somewhat creepy.

  8. Nerac. (161)

  9. uncomfortable questions. (89)

  10. Mamdouh Shoukri. (84) Shoukri is the presidcent of York and I did a post a while back welcoming him. I guess it's proved popular.

I've combined some (but not quite all) of the various permutations and combinations (ie. Librarian sciences, confessions science librarian, Jeff Healy) that are lower ranked in the list.

Top 5 Book Reviews

I'm only going to do the top 5 here, as I haven't reviewed enough book over the last year to make a list of 10 meaningful.
  1. Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His Life and Universe.

  2. Wright, Alex. Glut: Mastering: Mastering information through the ages.

  3. Winchester, Simon. The map that changed the world: Willliam Smith and the birth of modern Geology.

  4. Weinberger, David. Everything is miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder.

  5. Ayres, Ian. Super Crunchers: Why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart.

Top 5 Interviews

As with book reviews, not enough interviews to make a list of 10 worthwhile.
  1. Interview with Timo Hannay, Head of Web Publishing, Nature Publishing Group.

  2. Interview with Dorothea Salo of Caveat Lector.

  3. Interview with Bora Zivkovic, Crazy Uncle of the Science Blogging Community.

  4. Interview with Christopher Leonard, Associate Publisher of PhysMath Central.

  5. Interview with Michael Morgan of Morgan & Claypool.

Now that all the stats and lists are out of the way, I would sincerely like to thank you, all my readers out there, for your time, attention and support for this blog. I can honestly say that my primary motivation for blogging is not to attract a huge audience or to build some sort of rock star librarian reputation (and if it was, I've been doing it wrong). On the other hand, I'm not sure if I would have continued this long if I thought that no one at all was listening. As well, the opportunities that have arisen and the relationships that have sprung up have been and continue to be very important to me. I am equally grateful and appreciative of being part of the broader communities of science and librarian bloggers. The fact that you all out there are interested in what I have to say is certainly gratifying and motivating. Thanks.


Dorothea said...

Library-school students can be epic morons. (Not mine, I hasten to say; mine are brilliant!) I've had the same thing happen with some of my more unvarnished pronouncements about the job market and how to be successful therein.

John Dupuis said...

I probably would have put it as "epic whiners" but it's the same idea.