fredag 2 januari 2015

2014 blog stats

The first blog post of the year looks at some blog statistics - for the third year in a row (here's last year's blog post). The last time I wrote a meta-blog post (a blog post about the blog) was when I published my 300th blog post three months ago - right after the fourth anniversary of the blog. This is blog post 320.


When looked at the number of visitors a year ago, the numbers had increased by 60% in 2013 compared to 2012. That represented unprecedented growth in the number of visitors (as well as in the number of blog posts - up to 89 in 2013 compared to 73 blog posts in 2012). In 2014 I published 83 blog posts and the number of visitors again increased by almost 30% compared to the previous year.

This blog was started 4.5 years ago but close to 40% of all visits happened during the last 12 months. My hypothesis last year was that Facebook drove traffic here since I had then just started to write Facebook status updates with links to the most recent blog post. This year it instead seems like a lot of the traffic on the blog comes from Google searches (more on that a little further down).

The twelve most-read blog posts in the history of the blog are currently:

Blog purpose and history (Sept 2010, 7194 times)
On students' cognitive inability (March 2013, 1648 times)
My near-death Airbnb experience (Jan 2014, 1256 - NEW!)
Can a student fail at a Swedish university? (March 2011, 1167 times)
Future of Magazines - invitation to final presentation (Nov 2012, 900 times)
Design fiction workshop (May 2014, 855 times - NEW!)
ICT society scenarios & the future of work (June 2013, 841 times)
My submission to ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S) 2029 (Feb 2014, 822 times - NEW!)
Sportification of cross country skiing & competitive programming (Feb 2013, 808 - NEW!)
10 Green hackathon (Nov 2011, 775 times - NEW!)
11 The future of work (April 2014, 763 times - NEW!)
12 Student project groups - ambitions and grades (Oct 2012, 739 times - NEW!)

Last year's cut-off limit to make it to the top-10 list was 400 page views. When I now looked through the 319 blog posts that have published since the blog started, this year no less than 27 texts have had more than 400 or more page views, so I decided to extend the top 10 list into a top-12 list. It is interesting to for example note that a blog post like "EIT ICT Labs" was number 6 on last year's list, but despite rising from 490 to 689 views still didn't make it to this year's list (is was number 15). The number of page views necessary to make it to the top-10 list has risen from around 200 two years ago, to 400 one year ago and 775 right now.

This time around I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the bottom of the list and see if I could discern any patterns at "the bottom of the barrel". These are the least read blog posts since the blog was started:

310 The reflective engineer (May 2011, 32 times)
310 Program integrating course (June 2011, 32 times)
310 Is the Internet sustainable? (Sept 2011, 32 times)
313 Climate change online (April 2011, 31 times)
314 What do our ex-students work with? (May 2011, 28 times)
315 Almedalen (May 2012, 26 times)
316 Social Media Technology 2010 line-up (Dec 2010, 25 times)
316 Visiting media companies (May 2012, 25 times)
316 De-anonymizing students (August 2012, 25 times)
319 Our CHI video  (Nov 2014, 24 times)
320 KTH scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Dec 2014, 17 times)

The very last two blog posts were published recently and have not had that much time to garner a lot of readers yet so they might yet climb out of the bottom of the list. Number 316 ("line-up") looks like it was published in 2010, but was in fact published two years later and backdated to when it "should have been" published. "Sneaking in" a blog post retroactively is a great way to make sure nobody ever reads it... The other blog post are more of a mystery. It feels kind of random, but I do notice that none of the blog posts were published in 2013 but that five of the blog posts were published in 2011 when the blog had much few readers. I can easily see some older blog posts languishing in the back currents of the blog. It's otherwise quite hard for me to see why these blog posts in particular would have been especially boring to read and how to go about not to produce any more "duds" in the future. Perhaps the titles of these blog posts sound non-exciting? Perhaps they were published at an inopportune moment? Perhaps I didn't market them well (including by linking to them in later blog posts)? Or perhaps they are more bland and for some reason less "Googleable" than other blog posts? Who knows?

A year ago I wrote that:

"of the 236 blog posts that have been published at this point in time:
- 30 blog posts (13%) have been read 200 times or more
- 74 blog posts (31%) have been read 100-200 times
- 119 blog posts (50%) have been read 26-99 times
- 13 blog posts (6%) have been read 25 times or less"

Looking back at those very same 236 blog posts that were published between 2010-2013, today:
- 55 blog posts (23%) have been read 200 times or more
- 103 blog posts (44%) have been read 100-200 times
- 74 blog posts (31%) have been read 26-99 times
- 4 blog posts (2%) have been read 25 times or less

Of the 55 blog posts that had been read 200 times or more, no less than 16 blog posts (7%) have been read 500 times or more. What this goes to show is that there is plenty of traffic to "older" (pre-2014) blog posts. That might sound good but I'm not sure it is. I instead have the feeling that fewer people follow the blog and read the latest blog posts compared to a year ago (even though I nowadays always "announce" new blog posts on Facebook), and that more people find their way to a particular blog post through a Google search. The typical reader might thus be shifting from a regular "reader" to a random "visitor" who pays a visit to the blog exactly once and reads exactly one blog post. That would further mean that the number of visitors to a higher extent will depend on the vicissitudes of almighty Google which is a little worrying. Another sign that reading patterns are changing is the fact that commenting reached a new low during 2014. Only 6 out of 83 blog posts had any comments at all.

When I add the 83 blog posts that were published in 2014, of the 319 blog posts ever published:

- 91 blog posts (28%) have been read 200 times or more
- 120 blog posts (38%) have been read 100-200 times
- 102 blog posts (32%) have been read 26-99 times
- 6 blog posts (2%) have been read 25 times or less

That doesn't look too bad, but I on the other have to jump all the way to the end of September to find the first blog post with more than 100 views. It didn't use to be like that only a year ago and it thus seems that traffic to the latest blog posts are sliding while traffic to the blog as a whole increases. I would furthermore presume that that traffic to older blog posts will be very unevenly distributed with some blog posts acting like "magnets" while many others will languish. I'm pretty sure my very popular blog post about Airbnb will continue to draw many visitors to the blog.

Something I find fascinating is that blog posts about "books I have read" can become quite popular. There are almost 40 such blog posts and I write more than ten new each year. The very most popular of these blog post was published earlier this year and it has been viewed more than 450 times (probably because I write about Guy Standing's book "The Precariat"). Another such blog post has more than 425 views but more than 75% of these blog posts actually has had more than 100 page views. Perhaps I get visitors to these blog posts through the Swedish online bookstore Adlibris which I link to and which links back to my blog posts. That's where I usually buy my book.

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