John over at Stranger Fruit had a post recently on his most popular entries. Summing up, he found that controversial issues in science and religion drew the most attention. I’ve had a look at my Google Analytics as well, checking out the data for my old site since the present one has been on-line for less than a month so far.
In order to get anything interesting out of the exercise, I had to disregard two hugely popular entry categories: a) blog carnival hostings, b) entries with sex-related words in them. As I’ve mentioned before repeatedly, any post mentioning words relating to sex, porn or female anatomy draws a constant stream of porn surfers via Google, even if the words are used in quite another sense than the one the self-abusers have in mind, such as in “war booty”. These visitors most likely don’t actually read much of the blog and so skew the stats.
Here are the Salto sobrius 2006 Top-10 entries that people can be expected to have actually read.
- Criticism of a paper in a Canadian nursing journal where evidence-based medicine was called “fascist”.
- Criticism by guest blogger Jim Benton of Christian fundies advocating child abuse. This entry seems to have been popular both for the actual sense of it and for the occurrence of words popular with some porn surfers, such as “spanking” and “submission”.
- Criticism of naively skeptic approaches to the Bible. (As opposed to well-argued ones, that I support.)
- Review of a skeptical book on fringe archaeology.
- Criticism of the idea that you can be “spiritual” without being religious.
- Criticism of the journal Skeptical Inquirer (I think they need younger and less predominantly male contributors).
- A presentation of the contents of Fornvännen’s autumn issue. (Gotta do one for the winter issue as well.)
- About falsificationism in the theory of science.
- Criticism of a paper in a Scandinavian science studies journal attacking the skeptical movement.
- Proudly flaunting my atheism.
So what seems to interest the greatest number of my Dear Readers is critical viewpoints on religion, skepticism, theory of science and archaeology. But there’s actually a very heavy selection bias here: such posts are the ones I’m most likely to submit to blog carnivals such as Godless, Skeptics’ Circle and Tangled Bank. So the result of this little investigation is that the readers a blog gets are largely a question of how it’s marketed. It doesn’t matter much what you write about as long as you get some of it onto popular blog carnivals.