Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who are you...who who who who!

I have a very small viewership on my blog but I still find blog statistics very fascinating. Every time I put up a new post, I watch the stats every once in a while for a few days. They never cease to surprise and delight me.

Some interesting insights. Looking at the All Time stats, my biggest set of visitors/readers are from India, followed by Singapore and the US. Pakistan also figures in the top 10 countries. This is not surprising because I have close connections with people from these countries. When I publicize my posts on Facebook or Linkedin, most of my connections in these networks are from these 3-4 countries. But what fascinates me is the presence of countries like Malaysia, UK, France, Canada, Australia and...wait for it...Russia in the list!

There are days I have visitors from countries like Ukraine, Columbia and the Philippines. Germany also features sometimes. I am sure this is the traffic from Linkedin groups, where I sometimes announce a work-related post. I know that this should not surprise me- the reach of the Internet and these networking sites is after all well known. But thinking of this reach in the context of my blog is always surprising and delightful.

When I announce a new post, I expect a surge in traffic. True enough it happens. Many factors decide the amount of traffic flow- the place where I announce (FB or Linkedin), the title of the post (never underestimate the power of the title), and of course the content. Sometimes people like the post and share it in their networks, which multiplies the traffic coming into the site. However, once the novelty of the announcement is over, the numbers trickle down and stop. But what amazes me is that on some days, the traffic just peaks by itself. I sometimes wake up to find 100s of site visits on old posts without any trigger from my side.

Finally, onto the source of traffic. The biggest source of traffic to my site is from my son's blog Heaven in the Backyard!  I am not sure what that means really, but I would assume that people visiting his blog click on the link to my blog (he has listed my blog as one of his favorite blogs). Who are these people who go from a teen's blog to his mother's? Fascinating, isn't it?

I have read that these stats are far from accurate and different blogs have different ways to define things like page views. Also, a hit doesn't necessarily mean a read. Still, these statistics give an insight into the visitors/readers like nothing else does. When I look at these stats, I think of the hundreds of people who are reading or have read my posts and wonder what they think. Are they people who know me personally? Are they strangers? When they come to the site for a work-related article, do they check out the others too? How many are interested in my Buddhism-related posts? Are many of them returning readers? How many are ex-colleagues checking out how I am doing? How many find my posts useful to them in one way or another?

Enough questions to keep me engaged for a long long time! 

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