Monday, April 19, 2010

What Are You Up To These Days?

Every once in awhile a commenter (usually anonymous) on a blog post will make some assumption about blog readership like “…, these blogs are only read by a few hundred people very few of whom are regular voters.”

I’m not so sure about that. While I can’t claim to know for certain how large the readership of this blog is or whether or not they are registered voters, I have employed three different measuring devices to help get a better picture of who you are.

The most public measuring device I use is Site Meter. This device is also used by The Hedgehog Report and HoCo Rising. By simply clicking on the Site Meter icon at the bottom of this page anyone can see how many visits a blog gets on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Based on this measurement tool Tales of Two Cities currently receives around 490 visits a day.

But what is a visit and how does that relate to actual people?

In an attempt to figure that out I added the Quantcast tool to the blog last year. Quantcast refines raw visit data with some sort of algorithm and determines how many people those 490 visits equate to. For Tales of Two Cities it currently works out to an average of about 143 people per day.

The third measurement device is Google Analytics. Among other things Google Analytics provides data on what cities the visitors come from, which individual posts are the most popular, and where the visitors to Tales of Two Cities originate from. The top five cities that visitors come from are Columbia, Ellicott City, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Laurel (in that order). I do know that at least one comes from Sykesville.

The top five blog posts are Three Things about Food, Top Dog, Marc Fishers Last Column, the most recent Scene This Week In…, and Another Day in Paradise. It seems to reinforce the observation made by HoCo Rising that food is the most popular local blog topic.

The top five referring sites are hocoblogs, HowChow, Free Market, HoCo Rising and Columbia Talk. This seems to say that if you like reading one local blog you are likely to read others as well.

I think I can say with relative certainty that local blog readership is growing and with the addition of relatively new voices like HoCo Rising it is likely to continue to do so.

Thank you to all who visit and comment here. If you keep reading, I’ll keep posting.


Alan said...

I use Google Reader to follow the blogs, so you might not get hits for me.

Anonymous said...

A great explanation, for those who may not be in the know. This might be good as a permanent FAQ.

And, to say it again, despite our sometimes differing opinions, I think you are providing a valuable service to the local community, whether or not there are 100, 400, or a thousand viewers.

I appreciate your work.

And I do disagree with your most of the time...but the debate is well worthwhile.

Bob O said...

Welocme to the 21st century. Pick a spot--be involved, or not.

jessiex said...

interesting, and thanks for the perspective/insight/data. i get a TON of hits on my food-related (smoothies, in my case) blog posts. i find it fascinating that words such as "turnips," "beets" and "blueberry" are some of the hot search terms that bring people to my blog.

turnips! whodathunkit.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the blogging and don't give any naysayers clout. Those who read your blog care about the community around them. Too bad more don't.

PZGURU said...

Awww, thanks WB for the indirect mention. Reading that exchange brought a tear of joy to my eyes. Oh, the memories.....

Anonymous said...

The term regular voters needs clarification. It doesn't refer to those who vote regularly, but regular people who also vote but are not involved in local politics. They prioritize parenting, work outside of fields we discuss and are the norm.

Anonymous said...

143 readers. Hm, I guess that means I was right.

wordbones said...

Anon 7:52 AM,

Of course all my anonymous commenters are right. It's a wonder they they wish to stay anonymous.

Then again, I wrote that 143 was the average DAILY count. Not everyone visits here everyday (the latest count now has it up to 214 per day). The same measurement service shows that an average of 702 people visit every week and an average of 2,200 people visit every month.


Anonymous said...

But! Many visit >1ce daily from various networks, it offsets, I do believe.

We're anon because we're humble, not wanting to shout our 'rightedness' from rooftops, but rather suggesting alternative views. We're irreplaceable. We're remarkable (there are lots of remarks made about us).

But most of all, we're humble, strong personalities - yes, but humble non the less.