I remember reading once that an extravert sees a star fall and says, “Wow, a falling star!” while an introvert sees the same star and says, “Wow, I am watching a falling star!”
So it’s not that my blog hit 200,000 page views, but my discovery of this milestone that matters.
Here’s the growth by month and other time units (click to enlarge):
My blog really took off in June 2012, which I associate with my starting Twitter, coupled with my growing readership among Steve Sailer fans. I had 7100 views in May of 2012. Cut those off, and I averaged about 12.5K views per month from June 2012 to August 2013. For this year alone, I’ve averaged 15.5K views per month through August.
This seems to me like a tremendous amount of activity from someone who has only 354 Twitter followers, although these followers are an influential crew, many of whom have many thousands of followers. My essays do not routinely see more than a few comments, although my regular commenters always have interesting things to say.
But I have no one to compare my activity to. I used to be able to use Quantcast for other wordpress bloggers, but something has changed at Quantcast and I’m too lazy to try and figure it out.
So I will just say again that I am stunned, truly, at these numbers, even if some of them are search spiders—are they still called that?
First of all–Thanks, Steve! My referrers are very much on the HBD side of things. I don’t believe that hbdchick or Chateau heartiste has ever discussed one of my posts directly, but I’m on their blogrolls and get a huge amount of traffic. Thanks to both of them, too. Full disclosure: I can’t understand a single thing that hbdchick says (science is above my head), Roissy is a shocker to the unprepared. Discover Magazine links are from Razib Khan, Taki Magazine and VDare links are from John Derbyshire—thanks to both of them, too.
Joanne Jacobs is the only major education blogger who hits my top referrer list–thanks, Joanne! (The rest of the sites mentioned are where my pieces are linked in to the comments, not blogger referrals. About 25% of those are me citing my own pieces, the rest are other commenters.)
So if you look at my referrals, it looks like my work doesn’t get discussed or read much out of HBD circles.
However, when you look at my outbound clicks, it’s a different story, supported by my most clicked images (not the same as my most linked images, which I didn’t include). From this aspect, it’s clear I’m read by a number of teachers who use my work.
Then there’s my aforementioned twitter follower list, which, small as it is, is filled with teachers, education policy wonks, both think tanks and professors, and education reporters—not people who routinely follow, say, Steve Sailer (although Steve, too, is followed by journalists and writers, of course). I assume they are reading my work? I’m not a devout tweeter, and use it primarily to send out my essays and responses to other education writing. I’m sure they don’t all agree with me, but clearly the education world at large, not just teachers, notices my existence. While I have no idea how to get twitter referrer stats, it’s Twitter that drives a lot of my ed world traffic. I get a lot of deeply appreciated retweet support from Charles Murray, David Pinsen, HBD Bibliography, and Paul Bruno (and there’s a “one of these things just doesn’t belong there” joke in that list somewhere), and if there’s a way to get a complete list to thank, I don’t know how. But thanks to everyone who retweets my work.
I apparently get mentioned on Facebook, but I don’t know how to find these mentions. Thanks to those of you who post about me.
But here’s the weird thing—the other thing that is clear from my referrer stats is that I get a whole lot of search engine traffic. WordPress gives me the most common searches:
Many people are looking for me, and find me. Whoohoo. It’s also clear that my pedagogy posts get a lot of reuse; this makes me very happy. But this is about 5500 posts, which is a long way from the over 30,000 hits I’ve gotten from search engines in the same time period (January 1, 2012 to now). What’s up with that?
I notice this a lot on a daily basis—I’ll be having a big day, based solely on search engine hits. But my blog is not even remotely SEO friendly. It’s clear that people are finding my work for various reasons, but I don’t know who or how.
Back in early May, I listed my most popular essays; you can compare them to the list below.
I remember the first time, back in the 90s, I read a list of the Best Selling Albums of all time and noticing that the list was a combination of recent hits and solid performers over time. I don’t think The Eagles ever had the best selling album in any given year, but Greatest Hits Volume I and Hotel California are well-represented among the top 30 albums. Of course, a musician can have a huge album that is also big over time (just ask Michael Jackson or Fleetwood Mac).
Anyway, that’s the analogy I see in my own essays. Some of them are huge at one point in time, then fall off. Others never had huge numbers, but are solid performers over time. I linked in some performance history—Escaping Poverty and Why Chris Hays Failes were very big by the end of last year, but neither have seen much action lately. The math teaching posts on my list, on the other hand, see unspectacular but solid numbers every month. The true puzzler is my #1 essay, still, Algebra and the Pointlessness of the Whole Damn Thing. It gets a huge amount of action, but I never see anyone mention it. Maybe so many people linked it in that the numbers are just google keeping up with its indexing.
I’m sure more knowledgeable people can explain some of this. I look forward to it.
Anyway. For the past year, this blog has so far exceeded my wildest dreams that I’m starting to think I need to upgrade my goals. Thanks, as always, for reading.
These are my works that have over 1000 views; pretty soon I might have to have a higher cutoff. (why won’t it do the spacing properly? Makes me crazy.)