What happened when we put a draft book online and asked for comments? Report back on How Change Happens consultation

January 4, 2016

Links I Liked

January 4, 2016

How many readers? Where from? What were their favourite posts? Report back on 2015 on FP2P

January 4, 2016
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Hi there, I’m briefly emerging from writing purdah to do the usual feedback post on last year’s blog 2015 stats:FP2P stats 2015

Overall: 318, 825 ‘unique visitors’ – not quite the same as ‘different readers’, as if you read the blog on your PC, laptop and mobile, that counts as 3 people.  Within the year, the usual trend – a weekly cycle of low weekend reads, and summer and Christmas lulls (see graph). Those numbers represent a small (7%) increase on the previous year, but what is more striking is the similarity with previous years – however hard I try, the blog seems to have found its natural readership level!

Most-read Posts: these continue to surprise me – this year’s stock were a mixture of the geeky and industry insider guides and how-tos, plus a reassuring (given the impending book) level of interest in how change happens. Most of them were from previous years – interesting, given the reputation of blogging as a short term activity – they must dog_blog_cartoonhave made it onto some large reading lists. Only 2 of this year’s top 10 were actually published in 2015.

  1. What are the limitations to a human rights based approach to development? Was, inexplicably, top of the pops – published in 2014, and only came 10th in that year, but has been picked up by someone, obviously.
  2. How to get a PhD in a year and still do the day job (from 2011)
  3. What is a theory of change and does it actually help? (from 2013)
  4. How much should Charity Bosses be paid? (from 2013)
  5. The world’s top 100 economies: 53 countries; 34 cities and 13 corporations (another 2011 post, down from last year’s number 1 slot)
  6. How to write a really good executive summary (2014 post)
  7. How is climate change affecting South Africa? (a 2009 post – the oldest in the list)
  8. Where have we got to on theories of change – passing fad or paradigm shift?
  9. Has Zimbabwe’s land reform actually been a success? A 2013 book review
  10. The implications of complexity and systems thinking for aid and development – guest post from Owen Barder

I was sad to see ‘what Brits say v what they mean’ drop out of the rankings – may just have to repost it…..

FP2P location stats 2015Where were the readers from? Again very similar to last year, with Kenya the only new (and very welcome) entrant into the top 10.

If you can see any other patterns or useful lessons do let me know, but for now my main conclusions are

a) there is no way of telling in advance which posts will do best (very pleasing)

b) ‘how to’ posts are appreciated by the blog’s largely development wonk readership

c) the readership is mainly in developed countries, but well spread between them, and the developing country readership is rising (need to work on that).

What have I missed?

Right, that’s it from me – no more blogging til February – let the (suitably seasonal) cold turkey begin……


  1. Nice recap. By the stats, your content is clearly evergreen (it`s relevant when you publish them and continues to be so for a long while). That’s why it finds readers well after being first published. Hence, there are plenty of readers out there for you who are not finding your posts when you post them. That should be your priority if you want to grow your readership. Some SEO, growth-hacking and news-jacking techniques should help with that. Language shouldn`t be a barrier either. I`d assume your core audience is highly educated and should not bother with the language. Again, they may not be finding your posts. If you`re not collecting e-mails enough from other countries/regions in this page, you may need to focus on that. Use your Twitter to reach new audiences. Your own fanpage on FB wouldn`t hurt either. Finally, some collaborative backlinking with similar blogs could bring in new readers (try backlinking also with a broader array of institutions, if you aren`t doing so already). I`d say networking with Oxfam country affiliates would be a nice way to do that. Let`s say, Oxfam Moon starts operating with a local blog (which should be inspired by yours), comments on some of your posts and backlinks to it. You reciprocate by commenting on the posts of Oxfam Moon`s blog and backlinking to it. Actually, I`d assume your readership might have a keen interest on learning from Oxfam`s experiences globally (test the waters with a few posts to see what comes out of it). Best of luck with the book rewrites. Happy new year.

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