Cites & Insights 2005: A few “popularity” notes

An earlier post broke down Cites & Insights volume 5 (2005) by words. I said I might do some “popularity” work when a complete log analysis is ready.

That’s still to come; meanwhile, I found this year’s readership numbers interesting enough for a few notes (but you may not!). All these notes are based on logs from January 1, 2005 through December 28, 2005 at 7:41 a.m. Mountain Time (I believe).

Overall readership: C&I was visited from 44,126 unique IP addresses during 2005. I find that little short of astonishing. There were 423,980 total hits and an average of 381 visitors (not hits) per day.

Geographic distribution: Would you believe visitors from 167 different countries? That’s what the logs show. Of those, 143 had more than one visit (so let’s assume that Andorra, Aruba, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Cambodia and 19 others may have been pure accidents). 95 countries had at least 10 visits; I’m inclined to believe all of those represent “legitimate” readership (and, for that matter, it’s hard to believe that all of the 23 others with four to nine visits were accidents).

Moving up, 81 countries show 20 or more visits and 60 show 50 or more. The group with 50 to 99 visits includes Peru, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Chile, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Morocco, Slovakia, and Cote d’Ivoire.

Fully 49 countries show more than 100 visits each, from Hungary (103) through Iran (148) and Saudi Arabia (176) to Thailand (211), South Africa (264), Poland (298), and Romania (389), with lots of stops in between.

The top ten aren’t particularly surprising: US (100K), UK (8,933), Canada (4,192), France (2,975), Germany (2,497), Australia (1,683), China (1,614), Netherlands (1,384), Japan (1,046) and Spain (792).

This is amazing for a journal written in idiomatic American and primarily concerned with U.S. policy issues–but the web is nothing if not global in scope. (And that one Liberia visit did involve 15 hits, so maybe it’s even “real.”)

Browsers and OS: “22.18% Other” makes it hard to make full sense of the numbers, but it’s worth noting that Firefox comes in third (after IE6 and Other) with 12.98% of visits; Safari is fifth (after IE5), but with only 1.63% of visits; Opera is 9th (after Mozilla, Netscape7, and Netscape4) with 0.58%. It’s not surprising that Mac OS is used by 3.44% of visitors, with Linux making up 1.17%–and then there’s that visitor using BeOS!

Spiders: About 20% of all hits are from spiders, ranging from the hyperactive Yahoo! Slurp (31K hits during the year) and slightly less hyper Googlebot (15K hits) down to oddies like Imspider (139) and ConveraCrawler (132). Heck, even beyond the 50 top spiders (ConveraCrawler being the 50th), other spiders accounted for another 3,483 hits.

Popularity: I guesstimated 1.5 readers per PDF download and one reader per HTML download. Using that metric, after the “Investigating the Biblioblogosphere” piece (far more popular than anything else), the most popular pieces for this year that had lots of HTML downloads in addition to PDF reads appear to be (in descending order):

  • The ACRL report (5:7)
  • (C)3: Balancing Rights (5:7), on DRM and Fair Use
  • A three-way tie: Weblogging ethics and impact (5:7), Bibs & Blather (5:5) and Interesting & Peculiar Products (5:5)
  • Tie: (c)4 on the Broadcast Flag (5:5) and PC Progress (5:5)
  • Offtopic: Family Classics Part 1 (5:4)
  • disContent on Printability (with added notes) (5:6)
  • Dangling Conversations (5:4)
  • Net Media on Google & Gorman (5:6)
  • Life Trumps Blogging (5:13)
  • Tie: Net Media on Wiki, Blogs, and Pew (5:8) and on Google and Wiki (5:11)
  • Broadcast Flag (5:8)

Those are, to be sure, tricky numbers, particularly since issues 5:3, 5:7, and 5:10 all had larger apparent PDF readership than the combined PDF and HTML readership of the last three bullet points.

What I do find interesting are the readership numbers for stuff from earlier volumes–Issue 3:9, of course (the CIPA special), but also 4:12 and 3:14–and, for specific HTML articles, all three of 2004’s PC Progress essays!

Conclusions? Apparently people are willing to follow my changing interests. Net media and blogging essays were well read, as were broadcast flag and other copyright essays. Access has received less attention–and Access essays didn’t score highly. So I guess I’ll keep doing whatever it is I was doing.

Oh, and I will definitely keep doing PC Progress, maybe more than twice a year, maybe with a little more fleshing out. There’s apparently a sustained interest there.

As for overall readership, since every 2005 issue already shows more than 1,000 unique PDF downloads, I’m happy. I don’t know what the minimum would be to keep me happy, but it’s a lot lower than current readership.

2 Responses to “Cites & Insights 2005: A few “popularity” notes”

  1. Sadly, some of the visits from exotic lands are probably just referrer-spams. It’s not that they’re accidents, but they’re not readers either. Referer-spammers sometimes use open proxies in various countries. And they can be annoyingly repetitive.

  2. walt says:

    You may be right; I’ll never know, will I? I’m not planning to “internationalize” my style, so it makes little difference…