Monday, October 02, 2006

Help! Addicted to my statscounter

Today it's the other me. Or is it two sides of the same me? Either way, instead of blogging about books, my first love, I am going to blog about technology obsession. No, not about the article I read this morning on the Chronicle Wired Campus Blog, Email is for Old People, but about counters and (gasp) statistics. I placed StatCounter, the free invisible web tracker, on this blog and three different professional blogs about the same time last month. Since I am not dragging out the stats I printed, I would say my best guess is early September. I have been looking daily, yes she says sheepishly, daily, at the statistics for three different accounts and four different projects.

There were and are good reasons to place counters on the professional blogs. First is the ability to verify usage beyond posted comments and blogger profile views. Often people read blogs, sometimes daily, and do not comment. They are lurkers! I, myself, was a lurker for quite some time before joining in the fray with various blogs. I remain a lurker with some blogs because that is what I want to do. Why not comment? Sometimes I don't want to, sometimes I have nothing to say, and sometimes I have no interest in leaving my two cents worth for God and everyone to see. In many cases, I am reading for content as opposed to participation. Since I am happily average, I realize the average person may be reading my professional blog offerings (two just me, another a collaborative effort) with the same attitude. No matter the reason, someone is reading and utilizing the information presented on these professional blogs. StatCounter lets me see how people are finding the professional blogs, whether via Technorati Tags or Google blog searches.

A second reason for counters on the professional blogs is to be able to see what people are reading. What is of interest? And, if we want to drive more traffic to the blog, focusing upon reader interest is a good way to start. My library blogs have very different reasons for existing. I have one blog that is simply a news and update blog that includes all of the book purchases made by me for my area, the college of education and resource center. I do not expect or even care about comments on this blog, its purpose is informational only. Another work blog is children's book reviews. While I would like to have comments from students using books reviewed in the classroom, just knowing they are actually reading the reviews is enough for now. I have also recruited professors and another librarian to write reviews as well. A third blog is a recent project, a collaborative effort with another academic librarian at a different institution. In all honesty, I would like this one to evolve into a more public forum than the others, but since we have only been working on it for a month, time will tell.

Then, I slapped a counter on this blog at the same time. Just as a test subject of sorts. I fully expected the others to out perform this lovely little personal blog, run rings around it if you will. Much to my surprise, the interest in this blog is almost three times that of the others. What a hoot! With the StatCounter free account having a 100 log minimum, it rolls over at 100 and you only see 100 at a time, this blog is well on its way to 300 and the professional blogs hit 100 this weekend. I am sure there are varied reasons for the differences and I undoubtedly will peruse and look at them all. Just not today; though, I am sure to look at the stats once more before signing off later tonight.

Tomorrow will be a day away from the computer, at least the Internet and blogosphere. I am heading to Columbus, The Ohio State University to be specific, for the first of two workshops on using Dreamweaver MX 2004. I am dreading the early morning drive, who starts a workshop at 8:30 am, but am also looking forward to the instruction. My library web page redesign project looms in the near future and I need actual instruction as opposed to learning on my own. I am basically self-taught with any sort of web design (one whole class in grad school) and am lucky to have a bit of aptitude for the project. I am also a serious crank with a plethora of snarky comments waiting to be uttered if I hear one more web page bashing remark from peers who don't know the first thing about web design.

Addendum: 10/3/06

Do not be misled by my comments about profile view and think I don't keep track of them as well. Like that's going to happen. I have weaned myself from weekly checks, limit myself to bi-weekly, and am aiming for once a month. It's easier to disregard these numbers because they lack specific rhyme or reason regarding when it is updated or what kind of logarithm, system, blah, blah, blah, is used to establish the numbers. Profile view numbers will be stagnant for weeks and then change by leaps and bounds. Yes, yes, yes; I know the more comments I post on other blogs increases the number of potentially curious bloggers looking at my lovely profile, such as it is. I digress somewhat. A case in point, in the last two weeks I have not been more active, nee opinionated or mouthy, than in the previous month. During that time period, profile view stats have jumped by 58.

Go figure. I can't.

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