Why is there a (major) difference in popularity of these two entries submitted 4 days apart, based on data accessed today (18:00h GMT, Thursday, 4 February)? This is an unusual move for me now; I have written a short(ish!) blog entry. Its purpose is to try and find out a little more about what determines how and why you access (read?) some blogs but not others?
Images from the WordPress.com web site. Accessed at https://wordpress.com/create/ on 4 February 2016.
The programme I use to post blogs is the free version of WordPress.com. It is great, easy to learn to use and does gather some statistical information about your usage of my blogs. However, I don’t know the identity of anyone who accesses the blog, unless they post a response in the Leave a Reply box at the end of each blog entry. However, the programme does record ‘clicks’ or ‘hits’ on particular pages, blog entries, replies etc. Each ‘click’ on a blog entry (and the landing page – “About this cancer blog site”) registers as a ‘view’, and the system also records separately the number of ‘clicks’ on each blog page (‘Visitors’).
Fig. 1 Bar chart of visitors (and views) to my Cancer Blog, by date
Thus, in the bar chart above (Fig. 1) the numbers of access ‘clicks’ on each day is displayed. Only part of the record is shown, ie from 6 January. The Orange bar (for Thursday, 4 February) shows today’s number of visitors (7) and total number of views (13). Clearly, some of you are visiting more than one blog entry on your ‘visit’ (saves time, I get that). In fact, the programme also records the average number of hits per visitor (1.86 for today). The bar for Monday, 1 February (coloured blue – the date is now history!) shows quite different data (126 views by 25 visitors; an average of 5.4 views per visitor). All good stuff!
In addition, I can also access the number of visitors from each country. Here’s the data (Fig. 2) for the same two dates above:
Fig. 2 Geographical distribution of views (126) from 25 visitors to all blog entries.
Finally, I can also see which entries have been accessed (Fig. 3). What I can’t ever know is whether you have actually read any, a lot, or the complete entry after it has been “clicked on”.
Fig. 3 The number of ‘clicks’ on particular blog entries.
I trust this re-assures you of your guaranteed anonymity, if you want it.
As you can see, I have no way of knowing why today seems unpopular and yet Monday, 1 February was so popular (largest number of visits for any blog entry since I commenced blogging). On the other hand, I did send out a reminder email, on the day of my posting of that particular blog, to my full email list of you all. I’m wondering, does this mean I have ‘guilted’ some of you into at least ‘clicking’ on a few blog entries? Or could it mean that from day to day some of you simply forget how to access the Blog web site and therefore have to rely on my occasional emails to be able to contribute all? Or is there some other reason eg the title is or isn’t exciting, and you only read exciting ones (to you!)? What else?
Perhaps you could be really helpful and provide your own reason in the Leave a Reply box at the end of this blog (see example in Fig 4.).
Fig 4. The “Leave a Reply box at the end of Blog 38 – Reviewing my Gastric cancer – a case for Proton beam radiation therapy?
I look forward to gathering more statistics, including your qualitative comments in response to this, preferably via the Leave a Reply box (below). However, you can email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me if you really want to stay anonymous. I’ll be sending a brief note re this topic in a separate email, so, you could always use that to stay in touch! That’s three options – don’t I spoil you?
That’s all folks. Bye for now.