Friday, January 06, 2006

Who's Reading My Blog? (Reprise)

I asked this question a couple of months ago, when I was thoroughly convinced that I had only two readers who seldom left comments. Then I went to the Blogger meetup at EyeBar and met some of the people writing on DCBlogs. In a conversation with AUA, I learned about SiteMeter, a way of knowing more about who is reading, filing that one away for future reference. But most importantly, I added links to my Blog, making it so much more than a diary. I started leaving comments here and there and started getting a few comments on my posts. I was featured in DCBlogs and before I knew it, Blogging was becoming a daily way of life. I still wrote every day (more of less), but reading was taking on a whole new importance. At this point, I had evidence that I had more than two readers. I remember when Reya pointed out that I was actually on Prod&Ponder’s link list and my ego soared 100%. But I still just assumed that those people reading were the ones who now occasionally left comments.

At a recent dinner I attended with some really savvy seasoned Blogger women, I learned about StatCounter and still other ways to learn more about your audience. My curiosity was sufficiently piqued, so yesterday I installed StatCounter and a whole new world of information opened up.

I quickly realized that there is far more traffic than I would have ever thought possible. Many of those people arrive and leave as quickly as they can exit, but some stick around for a while. Some come through Google. Others come through "power" Blogs like Velvet-in-Dupont or Grateful-Dating that recently cited my Blog because of our dinner. Some seem to be regular readers. The most interesting thing is how many of them are outside the DC area. WOW! My brain which naturally likes statistics and analysis is simply exploding with information.

But more than that, I realize that my interest in Blogging is now three-fold:

– I still love to write, sitting down preferably in the morning to quickly pour out whatever has been ruminating in my head for the last 24 hours.
– I look forward to reading a few favorites on a daily basis and a growing list of others from time to time, occasionally chancing on a prize that I just must add to my link list.
– I am fascinated by studying all of the data that StatCounter now provides me about who comes: when, from where, for how long?

The challenge is in keeping these three activities in balance and allowing me to still carry on the other aspects of my life without being totally absorbed by this. That’s my New Year’s resolution. Blogging is definitely the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I just have to make it a sometime pastime and make sure it doesn’t continue to deprive me of sleep and the ability to do the other things that earn me a living and keep me sane!

The good news is that now I have a much better idea of who is reading my Blog and I am both surprised and delighted!


Blogger Samantha said...

Interesting I only just started blogging. I totally thought no one would read it (I am not a great writer by any means). But when I did get a comment (after commenting on others) I was totally siked! Then I got a counter.
I still don't get huge amounts of traffic, but I do get all excited even when I see '1 comment'. Silly? Maybe, but hey it's the little joys!

12:41 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

One thing about the "zero second" page view length. I believe that only certain browsers report this info.
I've gotten comments from IP addresses that showed a "0 second" view that the comment alone would've taken longer to write - - let alone to read and comprehend my post.

Cheers for the mention and enjoy the stats :-D

1:27 PM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

Didn't I warn you at the last happy hour??

I'll confirm AUA's thoughts on the zero second hits. Some people can sit on the entry page for an hour and show up as zero seconds. To show up with more than zero seconds, a person would have to make a click, either to an earlier post, or to comments.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

AUA and Cookie are right on the zero seconds things. My favorite is when someone at some fancy law firm googles lyrics from a song and ends up on my blog. Somehow that makes me laugh my ass off that they were sneaking in a minute at their high power job to google "wake me up when September ends" and they end up in the middle of my rants of "Then I dated Geek #1 and he had a small thingy..."

Glad to be considered a "power" blog - most of my traffic comes from Jamy and DC Blogs, so I have to thank them for that!!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Jamy said...

Who's got the power? Heh. Thanks for the nod. It's great fun, isn't it?

2:53 AM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

I adore and loathe knowing who reads my blog. It feeds my natural curiosity and paranoia, but I can't seem to stop myself from a daily peek.

Here's something interesting I have learned from my year with statcounter:
I have more readers when something is traumatic in my post than when I am posting a bit of babble.

Interesting, huh? I am thinking about you this weekend!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Playfulindc -- I can see that you are right about what attracts people. I think it's the same phenomenon that attracts newpaper readers to tragedy. Nobody is interested in happy-ever-after stories. And absolutely no one wants to read poetry, as much as I like it! That's OK. I'll forego the comments to post a poem I like from time to time...

BTW, my isolation experience has been postponed for a week or two, so just save those thoughts. I may need them more than ever when it actually happens!

11:28 PM  

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