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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do you ever wonder who's reading your blog?

It’s been so long since I’ve posted to this blog – sorry. Welcome back to the spring semester and welcome to ScottM blogging under the name Random Zealotry. If you get a chance, visit his blog and say hi.

I mentioned last semester that I have a number of blogs and I post to one of them every day. I’ve been trying to build an audience for this blog. I’m not sure exactly why, probably just for the challenge. As I write this, I’ve managed to get 503 hits on my blog since the year began. That’s chicken feed in the big picture but to give you some perspective I had only 2000 hits in 2008 so I’m off to a big start this year.

How, you may ask, do I know these stats? I use a service called Stat Counter http://www.statcounter.com/ There are a number of web-counters but I’m pleased with the information that Stat Counter provides. It’s pretty easy to use.

First, you have to register an account which is quick and easy. Once you’ve done this you need to add a project (you can track multiple projects from a single account.) You’ll answer a few questions to add a project. If you don’t understand a question, I’d say just leave the default answer and move forward to the configure and install code screen. You’ll have a few options – I chose the invisible counter. On the next page, you’ll pick what sort of webpage you want to track – Blogger is the default for me but if not you’ll find it on the list. This will generate the Javascript code you need to add to your blog as well as instructions for how to do this. This probably sounds difficult but it’s easier than you’d imagine and the Stat Counter will guide you through. It even sends an email to you with the Javascript and instructions.

Once you’ve done this, look at the menu bar right below the Stat Counter logo for the My Projects link. Click there and you’ll see your blog and any other projects you might add to this account. Of course, you might have to wait a while for someone to visit your blog so that you can track them but you’ll be surprised at what you can learn about your visitors. For example, today I see that 11 people have visited this blog including someone in Beijing, in the Netherlands, in San Paolo, Brazil, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as well as our friend Jessica (http://everythingifnotthesun.blogspot.com/)

One thing I would recommend doing is adding a blocking cookie to any computer that you use regularly so that you won’t end up counting yourself whenever you visit your own blog. Look for the Blocking Cookie link right above your projects list.

Sorry for the boring post. Hopefully I’ll learn something more interesting for next time but I thought this might be interesting.


Ray of Sunshine said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Andy and it's so good to have you back with us. I was beginning to worry a little, but I know you're a busy guy these days. :) I look forward to another semester of learning with you and all other LIS bloggers.

I'm interested in learning more about how this counter-thing works. I think it's a great idea to catch a glimpse of who's reading my blog. My question to you is.....how do we promote our blogs so that so many others in the blogging community will see them or can such a thing even be done?


Andy Egizi, Program Coordinator said...

I'm not an expert by any means but I have a few techniques. You're doing one already since you have friends reading your blogs. My goal is to make "blog friends" since reading their blogs and commenting often leads to their readers reading my blog. There are also blog directories which can be useful. I've had mixed success with this but I've picked up a few readers using this site http://www.blogcatalog.com/ One final thought is that the more you post, the more likely people will want to regularly check in on you.

Ray of Sunshine said...

Ok, this totally makes sense. Thanks, Andy! I'm always down for a 'few good blogs', lol.