Turning garbage into music this Christmas.

January 3, 2013

Book Review: Knowledge, Policy and Power in International Development: A Practical Guide

January 3, 2013

Who needs wisdom when you can have data? FP2P 2012 blogstats and most-read posts

January 3, 2013
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Forget wisdom, here’s some data: blogstats and most visited posts of 2012
Welcome back, Happy New Year to all etc. As everyone else is doing it, I thought I’d repeat last year’s exercise of kicking off the year with a look back at this blog’s stats and highlights for 2012. First the numbers:
Overall for 2012:
• Total number of visits: 457,698 (up from 291,712 in 2011 and 182,023 in 2010)
• Total number of ‘unique visitors’: 277,888 (up from 165,433 in 2011 and 98,472 in 2010), viewing a total of 721,961pages
According to Google Analytics’ summary of ‘frequency and recency’ (is Google allowed to make up words like that?), 60% of visits came from people visiting just once in the year and never coming back (I have that effect on people at parties, too). But 5% of visits come from a hard core of addicts visiting over 100 times in the year – some pretty obvious New Year Resolutions there, I think.
But I don’t really believe these numbers – does the average reader really read fewer than 3 posts per year? Surely, either the number of visits is too low or the number of unique visitors is too high or (most likely explanation) I have misread Google Analytics – can anyone shed any light?
Most popular posts (descending order)
What Brits say v what they mean – handy de-coding device, June 2011
The world’s top 100 economies: 53 countries, 34 cities and 13 corporations, Oct 2011
Should Oxfam be collecting a million bras from the public and selling them? Time to cast your vote… April 2012
The great Nairobi guesthouse swimming pool dilemma – cast your vote now…… January 2012
What can we learn from a really annoying paper on NGOs and development?, August 2012
How to get a job in development – an FP2P guide, December 2012
How to write Killer Facts and Graphics – what are your best examples?, June 2012
Why don’t we just send aid money directly to poor people’s cellphones?, January 2012
What kind of inequality matters most? The case for unfairness. August
Theories of change = logframes on steroids? A discussion with DFID
Conclusion: punters like golden oldies (the top two came from the previous year) and internal soul searching for practitioners, preferably accompanied by an online poll.
Overall, though, the most striking feature of the traffic is its regularity (see graphic – the dips are weekends)
Where did people come from? (a pleasing geographical spread, but still far too northern for my liking, and the order is remarkably unvarying from year to year):
UK 123,047 (29% of total) +changes in position from last year
US 100,923
India 20,903 (up from 4th in 2011)
Canada 20,850 (down from 3rd)
Australia 19,441
Germany 10,531
Netherlands 8,730
France 7,619
Belgium 7,436 (new entrant)
Philippines 6,502 (new entrant)
Switzerland 6,430
South Africa 5,914
Numbers aren’t everything though, so Happy New Year to the single readers from Andorra, Sao Tome and Principe, Norfolk Island and Mayotte (Mayotte?). But why no visits from Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic or Western Sahara?
These stats are (I think) just for people clicking through to the site, but people access blogs in other ways too. Google Reader subs rose from 2736  t0 3454 over the year, and Facebook users from 1476 to 2624. But Twitter was the real boom area, more than doubling from 3355 to 7664 (at roughly mid year, I started tweeting, rather than just sending out automated messages, with no discernible impact on the rate of increase of followers).
And with that I drag myself away from the hypnotic attractions of Google Analytics (you can even see which cities have people reading the blog in real time – how cool is that?) Back to business as usual next week.

Welcome back, Happy New Year to all etc. As everyone else is doing it, I thought I’d repeat last year’s exercise of kicking off the year withdog_blog_cartoon a look back at this blog’s stats and highlights for 2012. First the numbers:

• Total number of visits: 457,698 (up from 291,712 in 2011 and 182,023 in 2010)

• Total number of unique visitors: 277,888 (up from 165,433 in 2011 and 98,472 in 2010), viewing a total of 721,961 pages

According to Google Analytics’ summary of ‘frequency and recency’ (is Google allowed to make up words like that?), 60% of visits came from people visiting just once in the year and never coming back (I have that effect on people at parties, too). But 5% of visits come from a hard core of addicts visiting over 100 times in the year – some pretty obvious New Year Resolutions there, I think.

But I don’t really believe these numbers – does the average reader really read fewer than 3 posts per year? Surely, either the number ofvisits is too low or the number of unique visitors is too high or (most likely explanation) I have misread Google Analytics – can anyone shed any light?

Most popular posts (descending order)

What Brits say v what they mean – handy de-coding device, June 2011

The world’s top 100 economies: 53 countries, 34 cities and 13 corporations, October 2011

Should Oxfam be collecting a million bras from the public and selling them? Time to cast your vote… April 2012

The great Nairobi guesthouse swimming pool dilemma – cast your vote now…… January 2012

What can we learn from a really annoying paper on NGOs and development?, August 2012

How to get a job in development – an FP2P guide, December 2012

How to write Killer Facts and Graphics – what are your best examples?, June 2012

Why don’t we just send aid money directly to poor people’s cellphones?, January 2012

What kind of inequality matters most? The case for unfairness, August 2012

Theories of change = logframes on steroids? A discussion with DFID, May 2012

Conclusion: punters like golden oldies (the top two came from the previous year) and internal soul searching for practitioners, preferably accompanied by an online poll.

Overall, though, the most striking feature of the traffic is its regularity (see graphic – the dips are weekends)

2012 stats

Where do readers live? Numbers are for visits – a pleasing geographical spread, but still far too northern for my liking, and the order is remarkably unvarying from year to year:

UK 123,047 (29% of total)

US 100,923

India 20,903 (up from 4th in 2011)

Canada 20,850 (down from 3rd)

Australia 19,441

Germany 10,531

Netherlands 8,730

France 7,619

Belgium 7,436 (new entrant)

Philippines 6,502 (new entrant)

Switzerland 6,430

South Africa 5,914

Numbers aren’t everything though, so Happy New Year to the single readers from Andorra, Sao Tome and Principe, Norfolk Island and Mayotte (Mayotte?). But why no visits from Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic or Western Sahara?

These stats are (I think) just for people clicking through to the site, but people access blogs in other ways too. Google Reader subs rose from 2736  t0 3454 over the year, and Facebook users from 1476 to 2624. But Twitter was the real boom area, more than doubling from 3355 to 7664 (at roughly mid year, I started tweeting, rather than just sending out automated alerts of new posts, with no discernible impact on the rate of increase of followers).

And with that I drag myself away from the hypnotic attractions of Google Analytics (you can even see which cities have people reading the blog in real time – how cool is that?) Back to business as usual tomorrow.

4 comments

  1. Just one point which might help explan your “misreading” of the repeat-visitor stats…

    It’s notoriously difficuly to get reliable first vs. repeat visitor statistics… A combination of things but think for example “cookies switched off”, and “uses a PC at home, a laptop at work, an iPad and an iPhone”… Both of those skew the numbers…

    That figure is more useful as a trend rather than an absolute… If you can increase your repeat-visits over a 3-6month period say, that’s probably a genuine phenomenon (as the same issues would have been skewing the figures in a similar way throughout the period), but what they changed FROM and TO is anyone’s guess! :-)

  2. “SHOW me the data” they all said and he did :)

    Interesting increase in views and which of the posts were most popular. Some of them were evident, to me, and the data just confirmed the gut feel.

    The visits / views analytics is not accurate so I would not place too much emphasis on it. Second, where the people came from depends on the server you go through. I know that quite a few of the views on my blog which are listed as from the UK are actually from some country in Africa; the user is accessing through a server based in the UK.

    PS: I guess people read the blogs in office and not on weekends from home 😉

    Look forward to another year of blogging from you..

  3. I don’t buy all the numbers. I personally read your blog from South Sudan…and while on a computer attached to the Oxfam network no less!

    My non-expert guess is that this i probably because most internet traffic in South Sudan comes up as Kenyan or goes via European servers at NGO HQ.

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