Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Vital Statistics

As regular readers are aware, at AVPS we are big fans of stat porn. Well, ok, I am. Brother S isn't that sad. As part of my daily routine I do like to nip over to my statcounter page and take a gander at what sites send me traffic, what the popular pages are, and last but not least, our vital statistics.

A short while ago I dug the year to date graph out on the occasion of this blog's first birthday. In true Stalin fashion, audience targets were set to make this little red (and little-read) corner of leftyblogland better known and expand the readership a bit. Since 8th December the readership had been growing slowly but steadily, at first creeping and then passing the magic 100 mark. And then, yesterday, things got a bit silly. Here's the graph for the last month and a bit:

Gadzooks! That's what I call a spike! FYI that's 67 returning readers, 635 unique visitors, and 741 page loads! Not much compared to the left's premiere league blogs like
Socialist Unity, Lenin's Tomb, and Dave's Part, but for a site averaging 32, 107, and 157 respectively for the last month, it's a big deal!

The spike was driven upwards not by folks wanting to read about Louis Theroux Behind Bars, but them hunting for info about the inmates featured in the show. No end are scouting out for info on Playboy Nolan and David Silver. So to these people I apologise, I know as much about their ill-deeds as you do. It has got me wondering though - if I was to call a post 'Free Britney Spears Sex Tape', how many thousands would come baring down on this blog? I'd guestimate even big hitters like Iain Dale and Guido would be left trailing in the stats stakes! (Likewise, I wonder if the short-lived left blog, Kylie's Arse, gets loads of hits on account of the name?)

Well, visits are settling down again to more modest figures. It will be a very long time before AVPS sees the likes of those numbers again.

While I'm busy navel-gazing, I may as well draw attention to the RSS feed that's been set up in the column. If for some reason you find what we say interesting, you needn't click through to the blog every time. Tapping that and selecting subscribe will ensure the little computer fairies will deliver out latest outpourings direct to your desktop (thanks Matt for prompting me).

There's also a few additions to the blogroll. The most intriguing is Labour and Capital, which, funnily enough, has very interesting things to say about labour and capital. Highly recommended. Also added are the Thoughts of Chairperson Mikey, The Gaping Silence, Ten Percent, And Before the First Kiss ..., Left News Network (formerly My Random Thoughts), Karl Marx Strasse, Honorary Proletarian, and Another Witch to Burn. Do visit them lots.


Famous Five said...

This is a very useful site for Blogger users Phil;

Louisefeminista said...

Hey Phil, I see you are reading Another Country by James Baldwin. What do you think of it?

Anok said...

Ha! How crazy is that. Glad to see you got some traffic - but can you imagine the bewilderment of the porn-seekers when they got to your page? Maybe you'll help sophisticate the porn surfers....

I get a lot of hits from people looking up Bushisms. Probably because I have so many on my page. (I like them, what can I do?) and yes - I love reading my stats - particularly all of the raw data.

Your fellow Geek in blogland - Anok

Renegade Eye said...

You have been more visible at others blogs. That makes a difference,

Hugo Chavez's behavior influences the numbers at my blog.

Phil BC said...

Thanks for the link, Famous.

Louise, I'm only 80 pages into Another Country! Actually, I think it's really good. My wife's acquired pretty much everything Baldwin wrote so I'm slowly making my way through his books.

So far I've read Go Tell It On The Mountain, and Giovanni's Room. What strikes me about all three are how different they are from one another. Despite their differing subject matter both these books follow the litarary restraint of the 50s - no swearing, implied sex, etc. But with Another Country it's as if Henry Miller's climbed inside of his head. Ok, so it's not as challenging or as explicit as his work but what he does write is pretty powerful and gritty for the early 60s (does anyone else write about 'renting their arse' for food at the time?)

Have you read any more Baldwin, Louise?

@ Anok, glad to know I'm not the only stat anorak about. I think any blogger who cares about the size of their readership has to be to some extent.

Renegade, I know it's the height of rudeness to ask but I'm going to anyway - what kind of figures do you regularly get? Is it true that, as a general rule, US-based left blogs attract larger audiences than their Britain and Ireland-based counterparts?

Leftwing Criminologist said...

I've only had the stats installed for a few weeks but I'm averaging about 50-60ish (although I had 93 a few days ago!)

Leftwing Criminologist said...

actually what i'd find quite interesting is where most of your visitors come from, most of mine are in the uk or the usa with the odd few elsewhere.

Phil BC said...

Most of AVPS viewers are from Britain and Ireland, with a fair scattering in the USA and the odd Canadian, Ozzie, and Kiwi reader. Strangely, we get a few UAE visits too. And lastly, we had our first appearances on monitor screens in Iceland and Nepal yesterday :) World domination beckons! lol

Anok said...

I get most of my hits from the "left coast" of the US - but I also get a strange amount of hits from South America, Germany, a few from "Across the Pond" and I think I had one from Russia.

My stat trackers aren't that great though, and I have to check locations individually if I want to know for sure. I haven't looked into for a little bit of time - so I have no idea who is reading what from where.

I'd like to increase my traffic a great deal. But, it'll come with time.

Leftwing Criminologist said...

i've had indonesia and turkey in the last few weeks

perhaps we should have a left bloggers prize for visitors from the leats likely country?

abitlikelenin said...

hi all. my blogs only 5 days old, so i dont really know how this compares - averaging about 50-60 a day, high of 68 low of 38, cant tell you where they come from because wordpress is a bit shit (starting to think blogspot would have been the better option!)

anyway i do know ive so-far been sent 42 visitors from avps so thanks for everyone who checked it out.
for those who havent come ed abitlikelenin.wordpress.com.

anyway, has anybody got any tips to improve my 'yield'...thanks in advance

Dave On Fire said...

I once wrote a post entitled "imperial fisting", and it's never left my top five.
Yes ABLL, wordpress is starting to do my head in as well. But apparently they are looking at better stats.

Phil BC said...

Re: Blogger vs Wordpress, some things are said about it in the comments for this post

Before you go closing your wordpress blogs, the stats LC and AVPS get do not come as standard for Blogger. In fact, we get no tracking software at all. If you want some, go to either statcounter.com or sitemeter.com, get an account, and add the code to your template (FYI we both use Statcounter).

politiques USA said...

In the past I had 1600 hits in a single day but I haven't been writing anymore on my blog for the last 6 months and I'll keep this rythm until the next 6 months. At one point most of my visitors were coming from Russia and the USA, and people were competing against each other just to show other people which country would own my blog, so I had to remove the counter. Now my blog turned out to be a collection of articles with 60 hits a day and that's pretty much about it. I still keep an eye on the stats because I don't really like it when I see an *.gov.* on my blog. In the past I had seen the government from Russia (the office from Putin @ gov.ru) doing a research on "polonium USA" and they were looking for info on my blog. I think that was the day I decided to stop writing on geopolitics and other subjects.

Phil BC I replied to your comment in the thread below. Sorry there is a duplicated post from my part, my internet connection went down.

Famous Five said...

Folks should sign up for Google Analytics and learn how to use it, invaluable.
Also Google webmaster tools.

lenin said...

I just want to point out that in terms of readership, neither Socialist Knitting Network nor Dave's Spare Part is even in the same league as yours truly. They aren't even barking up the same tree, although they bark very loudly. I'm insulted at being placed next to these sad, sad people.

I suppose next I'll be categorised alongside Oliver Kamm simply to satisfy your blog-lust, you weirdo.

Scott. said...

Firstly thanks for the plug.

Secondly If your intrested in getting lots of hit's here's my top tips...

Get your page linked to on as meany different sites as you can, orginal content helps with this (and keeps people comming back) as do link exchanges (aka the blogroll) however one-way links work better (i.e. only being linked too from other blogs.)
Also a debate helps, if you can get people fighting in your comment box about an issue then you will get lots of freshly updated content, e.g. when Google (or another search engion) indexes http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com/2008/01/fun-with-foucault.html
they will return to it every so often. now if the content stays the same, then it will be considered less important than if when google re-looks at it there are more comments.

Therefore as Renegade Eye said start commenting on others blogs and put a link to your blog in there (in the URL / website section. don't just spam them) it's good for them and it's good for you.

you could try the "imperial fisting" idea dave said, if you've got a good link score from google it will work. but if your just litter your blog with phrases like that no one will read it, so use spearingly.

As for my stats... in the last month I've had visitors from...

China (6), Thailand (14) Nepal (7) Saudi Arabia (1) the US (2292) the UK (497)

However I think most of them are not looking at my blog but the other sub-sites on my site (PHP scripts etc)

Since I've had only 944 page impressions (because of the way Joomal and the wordpress add-on that I use to blog works I can't tell how meany are looking at which storys)

However not a bad hall.

Scott said...

Just to back up what I said, I've just noticed that an argument I got involved in on Harrys Place in 2006 still sends me a few hits each month (two to be exact), even thro it was almost two years ago.

Note to self.. I must annoy the people at harrys place more often...

But then my readers are a strange bunch. 5 this month use BeOS and 3 use Solaris

Anyway back to Jericho.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the traffic and the Feed Icon.

A nice touch is a "what is this orange thing" link next to it.

No need to be complicated - just write a blog article (post to a previous date if you want) and link to that.


Phil BC said...

Tsk, someone's been overdosing on the tetchy pills, Lenin. I don't know if you're light years ahead of SU on the stats front or not. You pull out one load of stats from one source saying you are, and Andy gets out another batch saying you're not. Who to believe?

It's good though that yours, SU, and Dave's get large numbers of readers. As socialists are very much marginalised from the mainstream media it is a *healthy* sign that left blogs aspire to mass audiences. Any tips you wish to dispense from your wealth of experience that can help us minnows grow to be big and strong?

Scott: it's always good to annoy people at Harry's Place.

Matt: cheers for the tip.

Tom P said...

Thanks for very kind plug!


Darren said...

Oscar Wilde wrote:

"I just want to point out that in terms of readership, neither Socialist Knitting Network nor Dave's Spare Part is even in the same league as yours truly."

As was pointed out previously on the SU Blog, Lenny's sitemeter stats say otherwise.

Renegade Eye said...

I don't have that many hits. I've developed a network of commenters.

Today I found a blog on my sitemeter that linked to me, that I never came across before.


I average 122 unique visitors.

Today they came from US, UK, Turkey, Canada, Romania, Spain etc.

My blog is unique having more rightists. I wish more UK leftists would come to my blog, and kick rightist ass.

Google judges you by how many link to and mention you.

Dave O said...

Personally, I don't see the point in slagging off the efforts of other bloggers ostensibly on the left. I mean, there is always going to be a readership out there for inert expanses of badly-written politically illiterate boilerplate, churned out by irredeemable sectarian dickheads on a theoretical basis capable of hanging an political Uey overnight in line with the shifting diktats of factional necessity. Most leftwing publications prove that, don't they?

andy newman said...

err yeah dave, and you are a professional writer? thanks for the clarity.

For what it is worth, I don't think that Osler, Lenin and SU have the same readership, though it must overlap a bit.

there is space for several left blogs, and diversity, and no need for the competitiveness,

Lenin's Tomb gives far more in depth coverage to international affairs than SU blog for example.

When he is on form and on target dave Oosler is great. Though i am not so sure about the need to attack Rochard Seymour and myself. but hey ho.

lenin said...

Oh god. Andy, shut up a minute and listen to me.

a) Simply because Osler is a professional writer doesn't mean that he's any good at it. I'm not saying he isn't (not out loud anyway), but your deference to the 'professional' is tragic. Anyone can write. Having 'professional writing' is like having professional arse-scratching.

b) Of course there is a "need for the competitiveness". I'm right and you're all wrong. You could do with some will to power, (especially Darren, who can't resist humping my leg everytime I appear).

c) "Oosler" is a very fine Freudian typo, and you've ruined it by trying to be Mr Nice Guy.

Galloway will walk all over you if this is the state of your spinal fortitude. I don't rate your chances of survival very highly.

Darren said...

Everytime you appear?

Nope Lenny,

you only seem to turn up at AVPS, Dave's Part and SU when the matter of stats become a matter of discussion. That's a fragile ego you've got there.

I just pointed out that your own sitemeter contradicts your claim to having better stats than the Socialist Unity Blog.

"Dave's Spare Part"?

Despite your use of his picture, an Irish accent and a fat arse isn't enough to make you the 21st century Oscar Wilde. The above is proof of that.

andy newman said...

Over the long haul Lenin's Tomb has had better stats,

and the method of calculation varies between different stats engines, so i wouldn't choose to dispute Lenny's claim to have more readers than SU blog.

To be honest i don't really care that much.

There seems something very macho about all this competitiveness.

andy newman said...

BTW Phil

What made your stats jump up?

Phil BC said...

Do pay attention Andy ;)

The stats jumped because of Sunday's Louis Theroux post. The blog got visits from hundreds of people looking for info about two of the prisoners interviewed. A worrying amount were 'David Silver's crimes' and the like.

The stats have gone back down to expected levels again, but hopefully AVPS will have got a few more regular readers out of it.

Enjoying the three-way fun btw. Please, continue!

Anok said...

Holy crap...what kind of stats wielding cat fight is this?

Jeez. I'm just happy I have readers. It's a small niche you know.

By the way,, thanks phil for recommending statcounter. I had been using another site meter and this one is much better. I thought that not all of my page loads were showing up, and low and behold, I was right! (I still have a low count...)

Hey, can I join the brag fight for a minute?

I just had three different website publish two different essays from my blog. ezines, populist party, and alex jones over at truthnews.us

So there! I have no idea if thats good or not, but damn if it didn't feel good anyway ;)

lenin said...

Andy is right that the dispute over stats is macho competitiveness, but the only reason he admits that is because mine is bigger than his.

More seriously, I have statcounter as well as sitemeter, and statcounter adds a couple of hundred hits a day to my unique visitor count, and several hundred to my overall page loads. This means that sitemeter is gipping me.

andy newman said...


I don't care.

You have a very good blog and deserve to get readers. I wouldn't be at all suprised if you get more readers than we do, apart from anything else you are longer established, and also linked to an organiation. BUt the fact tat you have sustained interest fro loyal readers for years is entirely to your credit.

You don't have quite the same politics or approach to SU blog, but that is a good thing not a bad thing.

andy newman said...


I think a large part of keeping a readership is almost independent of the quality of what you write.

if you post new artices at least once a day, then the debate upon the comments becomes self sustaining, as visiting and commenting on the site becomes part of peoples' routine of prevarication instead of working.

It is similar to the cycle on UKLN, where different topics attract people in to a debate, but the difference with a blog is that there is pump priming for the discussion.

Anyway, if you wnat to get more readers the offer is still opn for you to become a contributor to SU blog.