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Statistics

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As I said in my Happy New Year post, I usually summarise things on my birthday, but site statistics is an exception. I have traditionally posted information about website statistics in the beginning of January and this year will be no exception. Last year’s results were fairly straightforward and saw a steady rise of traffic. In 2009 the traffic peaked and then started dropping for some reason:


Statistics and graph from StatCounter.


Statistics and graph from StatCounter.

And some comparisons with previous years (monthly averages):

2006 2007 2008 2009 Change
Page loads: 994 1806 3231 3522 +9%
Unique visitors: 479 952 2081 2323 +12%
Returning visitors: 184 318 475 528 +11%

If I were running a business, these figures would make me worried, but fortunately, I’m running this website mostly because I enjoy writing regularly and share whatever I write with whomever is interested in reading, so I’m not that worried. The most likely reason for the decrease in traffic is a greatly diminshed posting frequency, mostly because of my focus on studying Chinese (see here, for instance). If I don’t do anything drastic, it would be reasonable to believe that next years report will show figures in the red, but in this case, I sincerely believe that qualitty trumps quantity. If people who look for things I can provide find my website and people who are intersted in what I’m doing here in Taiwan can find that, I’m fully satisfied.

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Even though I tend to summarise most things on my birthday and not the new year, I have traditionally posted information about website statistics in the beginning of January; this year is no exception. Last year’s results were somewhat difficult to interpret, which gave rise to a slightly longer article. The data from 2008 is pretty straightforward, though, and I think a simple presentation and comparison will suffice. This is what 2008 looked like:

And some comparisons with previous years (monthly averages):

2006 2007 2008 Change
Page loads: 994 1806 3231 +79%
Unique visitors: 479 952 2081 +119%
Returning visitors: 184 318 475 +49%

These results are fairly obvious, I think. Overall, there’s a gradual increase, which is only to be expected because the total number of articles inexorably increases (I’ve not yet reached one thousand, but it’s probably only a few months off).The big increase in September is most easily explained with my departure for Taiwan. The subsequent drop in visitor activity (albeit not very great) is probably only partly due to the fact that people’s initial curiosity has subsided; another reason might be that during the last three months of 2008, I only wrote 29 articles, which is roughly equal to the number posted in September alone!

Anyway, although statistics are interesting, even in this primitive form, this data shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I do mostly write because I want to write, and lately also because I know people in Sweden are interested in what I do here in Taiwan. My website functions as designed right now in that it is an outlet for semi-creative writing as well as an communication channel to friends. If other people find the content interesting, well, that’s good, but it’s not a prerequisite for my continuing my online activity in this fashion. On the whole, I’m very satisfied.

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On 22nd June 2006, I registered my first physical activity on FunBeat, a Swedish site for keeping track of exercise of any kind (English speakers do not worry, the website is available in English as well). Since then, I have recorded 96819 minutes of physical activity. This is approximately two hours a day for more than two years. The big question is of course why? I usually do not do things without a good reason, so what lies behind this extensive recording?

Two things, mainly. I am a sucker for statistical data on things I do; I have no idea why this is so, but my father is like that, too. This is not the primary reason, though. Rather, in times when motivation is low (yes, it happens!), keeping track of exercising using FunBeat is great. It makes me aware of what I am doing, black on white, and that helps me to come to terms with the problem (yes, that is how I view it). FunBeat has been able to help me with this.

I have thought of dropping recording of physical activity many times, but up until now always when motivation is low. Not so this time. I drop FunBeat recording when motivation is peaking, not because I am lazy, but because I do not feel I need it anymore. I have been able to exercise on a level I feel comfortable with for the last year or so and using FunBeat now feels like pouring lubricant on machine already running smoothly. It is a waste of resources.

Therefore, i have decided to stop using FunBeat, at least for recording purposes. The forum is still very good and I will continue to login in and browse recent topics on food, exercise and many other subjects. However, I will not consistently monitor my physical activities anymore. Of course, I will keep track of progress in other ways, but this is the end of meticulous recording of all physical activity.A big thanks goes to my namesake, Olle, the founder of FunBeat.

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FeedBurner

I have redirected the subscription to Snigel.nu to FeedBurner. Hopefully, this should work as before for visitors, but please let me know if I managed to break something in the process of changing. The idea is that analysing feeds will tell me more about visitors to Snigel.nu and perhaps allow me to improve the site.

I would be very pleased if someone could delete their old feed and try adding it again. I am not entirely sure that everything is working at the moment, but if people did that, I would be able to tell. Again, please notify me if something appears to be any kind of problem.

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Even though 2007 is the first year for which I have complete statistics, I still think a comparison between last year and 2006 might be of interest. I assembled an article on the statistics for 2006, in which did not do much apart from showing graphs and numbers. Here is a graph describing the overall situation:

All three figures are important for each month. Page loads is nice, because that hopefully means that people stay within my site to browse other things I have written. Unique visitors is what I care most about, since that figure shows how much traffic the site receives (a visitor is considered unique if s/he has not visited the page within the last hour). Returning visitors is an interesting ratio compared to unique visitors, because it shows how many people return to the site later on. Here is a quick comparison of monthly averages:

2006 2007 Change
Page loads: 994 1806 +82%
Unique visitors: 479 952 +99%
Returning visitors: 184 318 +73%

Two things have happened since last year. Firstly, there is a gradual, steady increase. This is to be expected, since it takes time for information and links to propagate through the net. Also, as the number of articles on Snigel.nu increases, so do the odds of people finding the page in various ways.

Secondly, there is a huge increase in visitors during the last quarter of last year. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this is so and here are my conclusions:

Firstly, I started writing exclusively in English this summer, which at first glance might seem like the main reason for the increase. It might be, but not in the most evident way. On average, around 20 % of the visitors are from abroad, which is not by far enough to explain the huge boost of traffic. However, I have noticed an extreme rise in the number of hits from Swedish Google, most notably from people searching in English. This probably means that I am very competitive indeed among Swedish sites writing in English.

Secondly, I have published a couple of articles which have yielded many visitors as well. My role-playing system Nyx generates a steady flow of traffic, even though it at present only exists in Swedish (a translation is planned). I have also published an article entitled A guide to Carcassonne strategy: The basics which explains whatever remains of the spike during the last quarter. Also, I think there is a snowball effect as the number of articles in English inexorably increases.

Visitors constitute a nice bonus for me, but they are not overly important for my writing in any way. I want my site to be navigable and easily understood, but I rarely or never take visitors into account when choosing what to write. Snigel.nu is still my site and will remain so, it is fortunate that others like what I publish, but not essential. Nevertheless, I look forward to the next annual report to see what has happened by then.

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Statistik för 2006

Nu när vi hunnit börja på ett nytt år, tänkte jag att det kunde vara av intresse med lite statistik från förra året. Även om mitt främsta skäl att skriva saker på sidan är för att jag gillar att skriva och det hjälper mig att tänka klart, är det givetvis väldigt roligt att se att folk kommer tillbaka för att se vad jag har att säga. Jag ska inte kommentera siffrorna vidare, utan tänker bara luta mig tillbaka och känna mig nöjd med året som gått:

Antal sidvisningar: 7953
Antal unika besökare: 3829
Antal förstågångsbesökare: 2358
Antal återvändande besökare: 1471

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FunBeat – juli

Nu har jag använt FunBeat i en månad, vilket torde vara tillräckligt för att i alla fall utvärdera tjänsten en aning. FunBeat är en sida där man bokför träning av olika slag. Egentligen är det inget avancerat alls, utan det går att göra minst lika bra i Excel. En skillnad dock är att det är på Internet och saker man gör publikt känns alltid seriösare för mig. Även om ingen tittar på det. En annan poäng är att det finns diskussionsforum knutet till sidan där man kan diskutera olika fysiska aktiviteter. Mycket bra!

Jag är dessutom lite av ett statistikfreak så länge saker och ting går som det ska. När jag slappar till går det sämre och jag brukar lägga ned. Den gågna månaden har jag dock knappast slöat, eftersom jag klämde in 4654 minuters fysisk aktivitet. Jag måste säga att det känns bra att träna ordentligt igen och jag tror att jag kommer att använda FunBeat längre än mina egna försök till liknande, privata bokföringar. För mig är detta en liten men viktig boost till motivationen.

Är man överhuvudtaget intresserad av motion och träning och dessutom tycker det är roligt att hålla ordning på hur det går, tycker jag att man bör testa tjänsten. Det är gratis och kostar inte många minuter per dag.

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Tjena, tjena på er alla monsterdiggare. Tidigare i våras blev jag varse om sidan Funbeat, efter ett tips från Caroline. Sidan syftar till att underlätta och motivera träning av olika slag genom att erbjuda bokföring och statistik över aktiviteter. Man fyller helt enkelt i vad man har sysslat med, hur länge och hur det gick. Det finns också funktioner för att sätta upp mål och hålla koll på energiåtgång, vilopuls och vikt. Egentligen inget avancerat alltså, men allting samlat på ett och samma ställe. Jag tänker prova.

Utöver det har jag köpt ett terminskort till simhallen för höstterminen. Det betyder obegränsade möjligheter till dels simning och dels simhopp, vilket jag ser fram emot. Jag har också mailat de ansvariga för simhoppandet för att se om jag är för gammal för att vara med dem eller inte. I simhallen finns också ett gym som ingår i priset, men jag har inte testat det. Det bästa med ett terminskort är att man kan träna när man känner för det utan att det kostar pengar vid varje tillfälle. Rekommenderas!

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Statistics is nice, as long as you don’t have to do calculations on your own. In this case, my curiosity concerning the traffic on this site, drove me to install various stat counters on the server. It may seem strange, but before now I’ve had no idea of how much traffic the site gets. Since it’s been up for about two years and I normally fancy stuff like that, I thought the time had finally come to quench my hunger for knowledge. I’ve employed two counters (see below), which has been monitoring traffic for about two weeks now. This is what the report looks like for an average day (summarised, of course):

Pageloads: 39
Unique visitors: 13
First time visitors: 7
Returning visitors: 6

The numbers themselves aren’t that surprising, though I’m happy to see that not all visitors are returning ones. Some influx of new visitors is good, though it would be even better if they returned later as well. The most salient result is the relationship between pageloads and unique visitors. Pageloads come in chunks, most times just a few more than the amount of unique visitors.

This implies that most people never leave the main page and that sometimes, someone conducts a foray into other parts of the site (thus rendering some 40 additional pageloads). This is understandable, because i think most people view the page about once a week and then you don’t need more than the main page (which is my intention). I’ll probably say something more on this subject later on, when I’ve got more data. The conclusions drawn here are probably premature.

Right now I’m using:

StatCounter
Google Analytics

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