So I’m new to this whole blogging thing. When I started, back around Halloween in 2012, I had no expectations about how many hits I’d get per day, or from what parts of the world. I don’t even think I was aware of how much of this information a blogger actually has access to.
At WorldPress.com, a blogger can look at a “stats” page and see from what country the IP addresses of hits have come from. And now, just six weeks in, I have some interesting data to play with.
As I write this, at 2:20 pm on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, I have had 1366 hits to my blog. This does not include hits from my own computer(s) as long as I’m logged in as the owner of the blog; otherwise, the number would be around 600 hits more (I edit my blogs obsessively, even days after I’ve posted them). As I would have expected, most of the hits are from the United States (87%) but I nice 13% are from other countries. It’s the specific countries that have hit upon my blog that have piqued my interest.
Now, at #3, I have 29 hits from Australia. This is not surprising; I have a good friend in Australia who follows the blog. Almost all of these hits are presumably attributable to him (thanks Rick!)
But at #2, with 86 hits, is Austria. This is strange. I don’t know anyone from Austria, nor honestly anyone who’s ever been to Austria. I lived in Spain for four years, and traveled around Europe, but never made it to Austria, unfortunately.
Even stranger is the hit data from today specifically. I have 36 hits from Austria today. I can’t even think of a plausible explanation as to why a post about teaching quantum mechanics would suddenly be popular in Austria.
Except, I can think of explanations. Maybe one of my blog followers is from Austria? As of 2:34 pm today, there are 14 people who follow this blog; of those, 8 are known to me personally (and don’t live in Austria). Of the other 6, at least one is obviously in the United States from his profile. That leaves 5 possible Austrians. This is the most plausible, if prosaic, explanation.
There may be another explanation. It’s very possible to follow a blog without “following” it. I’ve had Nate Silver’s 538 blog bookmarked for 4 years now, without ever having “signed up” to follow it. I just go to the site and occasionally read what he’s written. Similarly, maybe someone in Austria stumbled upon ManyWorldsTheory.com, liked it, bookmarked it, and comes back here every so often. OK, that’s fine; but why 36 hits just today? For that to be the work of one person, they’d have to visit the blog, then exit out, then visit it again, a total of 36 separate times. Seems unlikely.
One (speculative) explanation is that there is an Austrian physics professor who reads this blog, liked today’s post, and then had everyone in her/his class read the post today. But maybe you can think of a better explanation. Maybe you live in Salzburg and are laughing at my feeble attempts at detective work. Enlighten me, or not, as you will. It’s fun either way.
Here’s some more blog statistics trivia, just for fun:
Average number of (unique) hits per day: 36
Record number of hits in a day: 396 (on Nov. 6, 2012, the day before the presidential election; I shared this day’s blog post on Facebook which drove up traffic)
Search engine term that sent the most number of people to my blog: missouri proposition b 2012 (39 times)
Post with most hits: Economics don’t matter (267)
Science post with most hits: Einstein’s “Imagination is more important than knowledge” (36)
Least favorite post (not including today’s and yesterday’s): Let’s ignore Grover Norquist (16)
Country #4 in terms of hits: Spain, with 7.
Country #5 in terms of hits: Canada, with 5.
Part of the fun of having a blog is reaching out to diverse people all over the world, and maybe affecting them in ways that would have been impossible even 20 years ago. And let’s face it, playing with the demographic data is fascinating. Keep this in mind if you’ve ever thought about blogging yourself. Maybe you’ll get some mysterious Austrians following you, too.