UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

10,000 For 100 And Counting

Posted by Brian Kelly on 7 Mar 2007

Statistics For The Blog

Blog statistics for Web siteThis blog was launched on 1st November 2006 and today, 18 weeks later, the blog has received its 10,000 visitors and this is the 100th posting. The Akismet spam filter has caught over 1,300 spam comments, although I’d estimate that about 20-30 of these have been legitimate comments (if there had been about 300 spam comments fewer there would have been a nice symmetry to these figures!)

The Spam Issue

The blog has also received 382 comments. I’ve very pleased with this figure, as it indicates that the blog is succeeded in its aim in actively engaging with the community. This policy has been to allow unmoderated comments for all postings. This has worked well, allowing people to see their comments immediately, and others to read them and perhaps respond even when I’m not around to manage the blog (on a handful of occasions legitimate comments have been held by Akismet and I’ve had to manually authorise them).

It is clear from these figures that the blog would not be functioning as a forum for discussion without the Akismet filter – the comments area would be full of spam comments giving links to Web sites selling Viagra or providing pornography or, alternatively, I’d be spending significant time and effort in filtering the spam.

Akismet is free for personal use and there are special rates for educational institutions and non-profit making organisations.

In light of my experiences I would suggest that some mechanism will be needed in order to avoid spam. This will be of particular importance if a purpose of the blog is to encourage feedback.

Something I will have to consider is what to do if the Akismet filter fails (unlikely, I hope) or WordPress.com changes their licensing conditions for use of the filter (I have no reason to suspect this will happen, but it is a possibility). I may also need to have some contingency plans for when I am away on holiday and not in a position to manage the blogs (e.g. if legitimate comments are caught in the spam filter).

RSS Statistics

I should note that the figures given above relate only to visits to this blog Web site. A significant number of readers of this blog appear to use an RSS reader, I’m pleased to say (in light of previous discussions on the importance of RSS!) Interestingly, as can be seen from the graph, it would appear that RSS readers were discovered on 19 February as prior to that date there were only a handful of accesses to the RSS feed, but since then there appear to be over 200 accesses following every new post.

RSS Statistics for 30 days up to 6 March 2007

And The Rest

MyBlogLog Statistics for week ending 6 Mar 2007As has been described previously this blog has been registered with the MyBlogLog service.

The free service is being used, which provides access to a limited set of statistics, which are shown (note statistics for ‘click-thrus’ are note available in the free version).

The figures have shown a consistent pattern for a number of weeks. There seem to be about 50 readers who read new posts over the weekend and around 70 who read new posts during the week.

From these figures can we conclude that MyBlogLog is successful in ensuring that postings are found by members of that community?

5 Responses to “10,000 For 100 And Counting”

  1. How many different commenters have you had?

  2. ajcann said

    After congratulating you and looking enviously at your spam:comment ratio, having just spent the morning teaching statistics, let me berate you for crowing over your (much better than mine!) RSS figures.
    Since you’ve blogged about RSS, it’s natural that people who are RSS devotees would find and read your blog. In statistical parlance, this confounding factor in your analysis has a technical name.
    It’s called: stating the bleedin’ obvious :-)

  3. Hi Phil – I don’t seem to have access to statistics on the number of people who have submitted comments, I’m afraid. And obviously the totals includes my responses, such as this. I suspect there are a handful of people who have submitted multiple comments (yourself, Peter Miller and ajcann, for example) and larger numbers who have provided smaller numbers of comments.

  4. Hi aj – I published these figures as it can be difficult to get a feel for how one is doing without making comparisons with one’s peers.
    As you point out, as we’ve been discussing RSS readers on a number of occasions it perhaps isn’t surprising to see such a healthy usage of RSS. It RSS usage had been low, we might then feel we should stop talking about RSS for use (by end users, at least). However the statistics perhaps demonstrate that this isn’t the case – and sometime we need to publish the obvious. And, in response to Roddy’s worries that RSS might never take off as it can be too difficult to use, maybe the solution is to tell them – as I told you. Roddy has a musical expression for this – it’s called “My boomerang won’t come back”. By this Roddy means that it you don’t get your message out to people they won’t use it and return it to you (this point is best demonstrated by Roddy singing that well-know hit by Charlie Drake!)
    But as I mentioned, the thing that struck me was the sudden jump in accesses – and I wanted to capture this graph and publish it. What happened on 19 February? Was this due to end users suddenly seeing the light – or was it just when a bunch of RSS aggregators found the blog and started to harvest it consistently?

  5. ajcann said

    Number of people who submitted comments:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

    19th February:
    http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2007/02/one-subscriber-two-subscribers-three.html

    Lastly, one for Peter (and his students):

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