Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Taking Stock II: Eclecticatbest's Most Read Blog Entries

I started this blog in April 2011, mainly as a learning exercise, as an outlet for a bunch of little research projects that I was undertaking, and as encouragement to write with some regularity. With nearly eleven month's experience, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at who is reading the blog and what posts have been the most viewed.

The short answer is that the blog has had over 7,000 page views since its creation. A little over half of the page views were by readers in the United States. The others were by readers in more than twenty different countries. For some reason, Ukraine is the country with the second most number of readers (over 1,000). Canada is third (500 views), and Germany is fourth (266 views).

Before looking to see which individual posts had the greatest number of page views, some background on the blog:  Eclecticatbest.com is hosted by Google blogger. For an extra $25 a year, I pay godaddy.com for my own blog name address. For this payment, I get to use Eclecticatbest.com instead of Eclecticatbest.blogger.com.

The blog is simple to set up and can be customized with no programming knowledge. For example, I wanted my own background for the posts and inserted a picture from my files for that purpose. The picture shows some old Georgia letters on the exterior wall of an ancient church in the Georgia Caucuses. I could do some other things to spiff up the site, but feel no read need to do so.

Posting is simple with blogger.com. Also, it is easy to download pictures into posts. The interface is similar to a word processing program, and you have the ability to preview a post before putting it on-line. It is a good program for people more interested in the content of their posts than in the "look" of their blog.

The blogger site has a "statistics" section that shows the total number of views of the blog by day, week, month, and since the blog's creation. It also shows which browsers were used by readers and, more interestingly, the countries from which readers connected to the blog.  To round out the information, the statistics section shows (1) the website from which readers came to my blog, (2) search words used to find a blog post, and (3) the search engines that were used by readers whose search led them to my blog.

The final information in the statistics section is about the number of page views of each blog entry. A entry is counted as viewed when a reader gets to it by search or by clicking on its title in the blog's index.
Page views of specific entries are not counted when a reader views it on the "landing page" of the blog. The landing page is the page readers get when they type "eclecticatbest.com" to go to the blog. They get a page with the last four or five blog entries. Because lots of blog readers go only to the landing page to read the most recent blogs, the total number of blog page views is much larger than the sum of counted page views of individual entries.

With that caveat, here are the top ten blog entries by number of page views:

305 page views
Austria's Fatherland Front, 1933-1938
August 18, 2011

188 pageviews
The Assassination of Engelbert Dollfuss, July 25, 1934
August 2, 2011

160 pageviews
Austrian Anschluss: March 1938
April 18, 2011

129 page views
Albania for the Adventurous
June 23, 2011

85 page views
Sand Castle Competition at Birch Bay
June 19, 2011

85 page views
Finding M.W. Fodor: Fulbright, Vienna, and Me
September 19, 2011

84 page views
December 2, 1969: The Night We Drove Old Dixie Down (and Didn't Even Know It)
May 24, 2011

67 page views
How Birch Bay Celebrates July 4th
July 4, 2011

58 page views
Early German and Dutch Immigrants in Humorous Posts
May 5, 2011

For a retired professor who was very happy if a couple hundred people read a research paper of mine published in an academic journal, the large numbers of people who read -- or at least view -- the blog is surprising. These numbers are due in large part to the magic of search engines combined with the fact that someone (me) "showed up" to write the blog entries.  I plan to keep on showing up and seeing what happens.   

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