Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Pop Culture Institute: A State Of The Blog Address

[Compared with the same map of the entire year ending October 26th, 2008 - located behind this image - the first half of this year looks very strong indeed.]

Back in the olden days (I'm talking 2007 here - which is so long ago to the modern mind it might as well be the Renaissance - I mean, it was before Twitter even!) it was fairly common for me to occasionally lift the veil of secrecy that shrouds the activity behind the scenes at the Pop Culture Institute. It was my intention in doing that to try and foster a kind of community surrounding this blog without setting myself up as a kind of wicker man in the service of a personality cult...

PhotobucketWell, after a very stressful couple of months - February, March, and especially April - I've come to the conclusion that a community (like a person) cannot be fostered until it is born; in those terms the Pop Culture Institute is still a fetus. Oh, it's a late-term fetus to be sure, but whether second or third trimester, well, who can say? Especially not me, since you've just discovered the utmost extent of my knowledge regarding obstetrics and therefore the limit to the metaphor. The point is, it has yet to be born, and so still is what it is in a self-enclosing way that yields few comments, virtually no discussion, and worst of all zero feedback.

Of course, no news is good news, so the anxiety I feel over the lack of feedback is merely a manifestation of my own insecurity; it's to be trapped in a corner and beaten until dead like the disease-bearing vermin it is...

As shown by the bar graph above, my stats were strong for the first three weeks of April - with no one day falling below 120 page views, although four of them came dangerously close. One day, the 13th, soared to 209 - second place in terms of busiest days ever*. Why they fell so sharply from the 21st to the 22nd is anybody's guess... The weather certainly improved, but also the Conficker virus activated itself - both of which could have caused a decrease in all computer activity and therefore in my traffic. While the traffic seems to be improving now

PhotobucketWhat it means is that I was deprived of twelve straight months of steady growth in traffic - April's total falling just 8 page views shy of March's record; had the stats not dropped for the five days they did I would have surpassed it by at least 48, and possibly even cracked the 4,500 mark as well.

Still, the 'disappointing' 4,328 does represent a three-fold increase over this time last year, and even though the current stats indicate a plateau is coming, I would be thrilled to see a similar pattern of growth over the next 12 months. Despite the loss of the Brain Trust and the help they gave me, I feel certain that the brain I can best trust - my own - will continue to fumble its way through to the next Beltane just fine.

*The busiest day ever was 225 in February 2009.
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