Visited by Visions

Effern [Ethan Johnson] @ [the late and lamented] The Vision Thing noticed I linked to his blog, and proceeded to mock–mock!yesterday’s entry about my server log. I need to put off a detailed response until next week, but I’ve a few quick comments:

Yes, there’s more to be said; I’ll get there. I wasn’t (yet) trying to be particularly analytical. There’s a paucity of raw data on the web about basic traffic levels on individual blogs and other personal websites; I was doing my part to fill that gap. As it happens, I was partly reacting directly to Effern’s recent notes about his traffic levels. Since we “common” bloggers can’t reasonably compare ourselves to Doc Searls, Andrew Sullivan, or Tim Bray, we need some clues about what other folks’ traffic actually looks like.

I don’t consider 600 (or 751) a lot of daily hits. If Google or Inktomi spidered the entire site, I’d be two thirds of the way there just from the spider. On the same day, MWLguide.com (my other personal website) had 3,600 hits, despite a lack of recent content. Besides, about 20% of Sunday’s hits on dj were from me (I already commented on this, less explicitly, in yesterday’s entry).

If there’s any one thing yesterday’s note demonstrates, it’s that Bureaucratic Whimsy is not a traffic magnet. None of the most popular pages on the site are about my job, and none of the common searches find those pages. That’s an issue I expect to discuss next week.

While I have a couple theories (next week’s essay), I really don’t know why there was a traffic boost in mid-May, though I’m indeed trying to figure that out. I’m not actively marketing the site, nor did I write a particularly notorious post around that time. I can say that mentioning Tombstone boosts website traffic, particularly if you catalog all the major players in the story-as-usually-told. My notes about my Army experiences also attract more traffic than I expected. These are, however, low-level contributers to the traffic stream.

How I know is another day’s tale….