Friday, August 24, 2007

StatWatch: Week 2

In this, the second full week after installing Site Meter, I'm actually beginning to enjoy it. By studying the hits I get - and the misses - I think I'm starting to get a better sense of how to collect new readers. As an added bonus, maybe my learning curve can enlightertain you in some way, and if it can, it's worth doing. Plus, for an unrepentant Social Studies geek like me, I enjoy looking at the World Map feature which plots out where my hits are coming from.

Of course, as cheap as I am, I am only using the free versiion, which means if I want more detailed records I'm either going to have to shell out or start taking notes... Did anyone see my pen?

It is, of course, akin to spying in a way; but in another way it's more like voyeurism. I guess that's what gooses me the most. Having spent a lifetime on the outside looking in, I'm finally on the inside looking out, and if nothing else, the view is educational.

There are pleasant surprises a-plenty waiting for me each and every time I log in; right after publishing my piece on the Prime Minister's recent cabinet shuffle someone on the House of Commons server Googled "Stephen Harper cabinet shuffle". They didn't look at the page, but I have to say, I got quite a little thrill when I saw how close they'd come.

Similarly, the recent post announcing the birthday of Queen Noor got me my first hit from Jordan; the ISP in question was simply called "The Royal Hashemite Court". They didn't read my page, but someone inside the palace in Amman came thisclose to my blog. Again, I got cold chills all over me when I saw that.

Having spent a fortnight now compiling my stats it's becoming clear to me that there are responsibilities in this kind of work. What if, for instance, Queen Noor herself had looked at that birthday card I wrote? Actually, that would thrill me no end. But it's become clear to me that each post I send out there at least has a duty to be accurate. It can be opinionated, and even unfair, but the time may come when I'll have to defend some of this work, so it must always at least be defensible.

The plan for the present is to make StatWatch a weekly vidcast; so watch for that in the next few weeks as I figure out how to move the Pop Culture Institute from entirely written original content to the audio-visual panoply I've always dreamed it could be.

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Gavin said...

I can't believe you've gone so long without having a way to track your hits. Way back when, I installed several to see which I liked best. I settled on StatCounter. I found that they didn't all catch the same info.

michael sean morris said...

Believe it! The learning curve on this has been so steep, a couple of times I've even fallen off. ; )

But I finally got around to installing it. I also installed StatCounter, which I like because it lists search words. Plus the bar graphs are prettier.