January 1, 2010

Blog Year 2009 in Review

It is now (shockingly) 2010! As such, it is time to write my annual "year in review" post.

The year 2009 on this blog saw about 124,000 visits from over 41,000 distinct users. This continues the trend of an annual drop in traffic. Last year, it was suggested that this might be due to less frequent posting. In response, I have tried this year to make at least one post per calendar week.

The number of posts in 2009 was 79. This compares to 69 in 2008. That's about 1570 visits per post; a significant drop from past figures.

Allow me to reiterate, as I said in last year's review, that I get some benefits from blogging independent of whether anyone actually reads it. However, I do hope that I am being helpful or interesting to someone somewhere, so I am interested in theories about why my stats are dropping, and I will certainly listen to reader suggestions about what types of posts or features you would like to see. Let us also think about these sorts of questions as we consider the following statistics:

Most Popular Posts

  1. September 22, 2009: Philosophical Science-Fiction Stories: A Preliminary List. This post was skyrocketed to prominence by links from The Zeray Gazette (formerly Locusts and Honey), Neatorama, and Daily Yoghurt. I suspect this is also the most commented-on entry in the history of this blog, but I can't find any easy way to verify that with MovableType. (If I was more motivated than I am, I suppose I could go into the MySQL database and figure it out that way.)
  2. January 5, 2009: Blog Year 2008 in Review. Go figure.
  3. March 23, 2009: Philosophers' Carnival 88. Hosting the Philosophers' Carnival is always a good way to generate traffic.
  4. September 30, 2009: Philosophers' Carnival 97. Oddly enough, this is a post linking to a Philosophers' Carnival, and not an actual Carnival.
  5. October 19, 2009: Philosophers' Carnival 98. This one is an actual Carnival.
  6. November 13, 2005: Translation vs. Transliteration. Although this is an old post, this is its first appearance in a top ten. Its appearance is not too surprising, though, since "translation transliteration" was among the top search strings in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
  7. June 28, 2007: Introducing Guest-Blogger Lauren. This is an old post which hasn't hit the top 10 before. The post is not very substantive, so I'm not sure what it's doing here.
  8. May 2, 2006: Three Persons, One Substance - Paradox or Solution? Here, at last, is a post with some interesting content, coming in at number 8. This post came in at number 3 last year, and 2 in 2007.
  9. May 22, 2007: Kenneth L. Pearce, BA BAS. I've got to think that the people finding this page are being disappointed. In this post I apologize for the fact that I hadn't been posting very much because I was busy graduating, and list some things I'd like to write about in the future, most of which never materialized. Oops. This post was number 5 in 2008.
  10. December 24, 2008: Valicella on Private and Public Morality. This is a very brief post which links to Bill Valicella's discussion of "Morality Private and Public" and makes a few observations about it.

Most Common Searches

  1. movable. Some search engine must have malfunctioned.
  2. kennypearce
  3. kenny pearce
  4. cotton patch bible. I'm still on the first page of Google results for this search due to this post.
  5. translation vs transliteration.
  6. translation transliteration. I am the top result for either of these searches on Google due to this post, which ranks sixth most popular above. This was the 8th most common search last year, and the 10th most popular in 2007.
  7. what is composition. Here is a good philosophy search! On the other hand, I shudder to think of the number of people who were probably looking for pages about creative writing... This post is ranked 9th for this search. This is a philosophically substantive post, and I hope it is also a good introduction to the subject, so I'm glad to see this search here. My post seems to be the first of the Google results which is about the use of 'composition' in metaphysics.
  8. cotton patch bible online
  9. ambiguity in translation. My post "Preserving Ambiguity in Translation" is the top result for this search on Google. This is another search I am glad to see here, since this post has some substantive remarks both about Plato and about the practice of translation. This search was number 6 last year.
  10. transliteration translation

Top Referrers

  1. Leiter Reports. Professor Leiter's links keep the Philosophers' Carnival in business.
  2. Internet Monitor. This (non-English) site briefly had a link to my post on Philosophical Science-Fiction Stories on its front page. Apparently it gets a lot of hits.
  3. Neatorama. Again, Philosophical Science-Fiction Stories.
  4. Camels With Hammers. The links are coming from a Philosophers' Carnival and is also going to the Philosophical Science-Fiction Stories.
  5. Philosophy, etc. Many thanks to Richard for keeping me on his blogroll!
  6. Chrisendom. This is a fascinating theology blog. I don't recall ever having been linked to from it. Perhaps people are clicking on my comments.
  7. Go Grue! This is the Michigan Student Philosophy Blog, and it has a great name. The links are coming in from another Philosophers' Carnival, and are going to my discussion on Locke, Berkeley, and 'Common Sense'.
  8. The Extended Cognition Blog. This is a relatively new blog, but it seems to have been quite successful. The links are coming from yet another Philosophers' Carnival, and are going to my post on speaking loosely.
  9. The Brooks Blog. I'm not sure where the links are coming from on this one.
  10. Parableman. This is an excellent philosophy and Christianity blog written by Jeremy Pierce. Thanks for keeping me on the blogroll, Jeremy!

Conclusions

The data suggest that today my traffic is driven almost entirely by the Philosophers' Carnival. Other than that, the only pattern I am seeing is that substantive philosophical posts are scoring poorly. Since those are in fact the best posts, I am certainly not going to stop writing them. I am, however, open to other suggestions. Posted by Kenny at January 1, 2010 5:37 PM
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