Let’s do the numbers: I’ll bite

My colleague Günter Waibel started this at HangingTogether.org. I hadn’t planned a metablog (narcissipost?) about this blog’s usage until I hit the two-year mark, still a bit more than five months away.

But hey, he tagged me, and asked for advice on the most interesting Urchin stats before preparing his post, so why not? (Urchin is the log analysis tool used at LISHost; both Hangingtogether and Walt at Random are hosted by LISHost, as are Cites & Insights and my personal site, and a few others such as Shifted Librarian, ACRLog, BlogJunction, LibraryTectonics, Lipstick Librarian, LibraryPlanet, Tame the Web, and Wandering Eyre–in other words, nobody you’ve ever heard of.)

So here goes–the same figures as GW provided, for the same period (August 15-November 15, 2006). And for what it’s worth, I seem to have 379 Bloglines subscriptions on a puzzling array of feeds (all provided automagically by WordPress, and ignoring the few Comments subscribers).

Walt at Random Statistics, August 15 through November 15, 2006

No fancy graph, I’m afraid. The pattern’s less interesting anyway, mostly more-or-less steady around 800-1,000 per day in August, 1,200-1,400 per day since, with three mysterious spikes of over 2,000 sessions each in early November. Otherwise, exactly the same info:

Sessions: daily average of 1,293, total of 120,621–pretty much identical to Hangingtogether..

IP Addresses: 16,902 different addresses; as GW says, “an approximate measure of how many individuals visited the blog”–a much more dispersed readership.

Number of countries: 106 (of which six are non-geographic top-level domains), with Canada, Japan, UK, and Australia highest non-US in that order.

Note re the domain table, added 12/3/06: The comparisons to Hangingtogether may be particularly flawed because, as a change to the original post shows, Hangingtogether was looking at 15 months, not three months. I’m not going to change my table at this point, since I’ll probably do a narcissiblog (couldn’t resist) next April 1, the 2-year anniversary. Briefly, though, for 8/15/05-11/15/06, oclc.org was still the top .org domain, but with 9,341 sessions, not 2.897 (dmi.org second with 4,804); among .edu, emerson was third (1,465), with ctsnet (6,961) and virginia (2,712) ahead of it. End of Update.
I’m not sure the last item makes as much sense for W.a.r. as it does for Hangingtogether–that is, an interleaved set of the top .edu, .org, and .gov domains by number of sessions–but here it is anyway:

oclc.org 2,897
emerson.edu 1,026
syr.edu 478
gac.edu 433
stanford.edu 413
wrlc.org 332
cwru.edu 287
stu.edu 205
virginia.edu 193
dmi.org 132
rlogin.org 107
rlg.org 84
gsu.edu 63
ucr.edu 55
nhmccd.edu 54
utah.edu 53
indiana.edu 53
pittstate.edu 50
cedarville.edu 49
trin.edu 49
uscourts.gov 46
uiuc.edu 39
usc.edu 32
lfc.edu 31
harvard.edu 29
auburn.edu 27
loc.gov 26
house.gov 24
bccls.org 17
mivu.org 16
lapl.org 13
sdc.org 9
summitag.org 9
fvrl.org 8
ccf.org 6
emersonhosp.org 6
wa.gov 6
nasa.gov 6
httpcolonslashslash.org 5
bcr.org 4

I have no idea what to make of any of that information. OCLC comes first: No surprise there, and thanks to my present-and-future colleagues.

Comparing the two sets of numbers is mildly interesting, mostly because it shows that Hangingtogether is much more targeted and successful in that regard, Given that the total number of sessions for the two blogs is roughly the same (one has 0.96% more sessions than the other), it’s noteworthy that Hangingtogether has 17 “target” domains with more than 1,000 sessions each, while W.a.r. (which doesn’t really have targets) has two (I’d love to know why Emerson finds this blog so interesting!); similarly, only 11 out of the 35 that GW lists have two-digit session counts, none dropping into single digits, while most of those shown here–24 of 35–have fewer than 100 sessions. (The crossed-out text is based on comparing 3 months of W.a.r. with 15 months of Hangingtogether, and thus largely nonsense.) Hangingtogether is apparently reaching its targeted audience; I’m apparently reaching lots of people scattered all over the place.

Which is as it should be.

No tagging here.

Updated a few hours later: to include all of the table, not just part of it. Sigh.

4 Responses to “Let’s do the numbers: I’ll bite”

  1. Elena says:

    I don’t know what to make of us Emersonians being second on that list. I do read your material, but not obsessively so, and I’m not sure who else on campus read W.a.r.

  2. walt says:


    I suspect some sort of temporary software malfunction, since the number is 1,026 for three months–and only another 440 or so for the 12 months before that. And 94 in the last 20 days, which is somewhere in the middle. Of course, 1,026 for 90 days is still only a little over 11 per day, which isn’t a huge number.

  3. Elena says:

    11 per day is a little odd, given the size of the staff here. Maybe we’re sleep-surfing? Or maybe it’s to do with feed requests?

  4. walt says:

    Since it’s old data, something may have been odd that’s since been corrected–94 for 20 days is 4.7 per day, presumably not so odd.

    Unless the aggregator itself is running as an application at Emerson, that shouldn’t be it, but who knows?

    I wouldn’t worry about it in any case. You’re helping to make a point that I made in my second liblog study (and others have made): Any recounting of blogging numbers is questionable.