As a sign of what an enormous geek I am, here’s what I did to pass the time while Kate was getting ready for the wedding we went to yesterday:
Yes, I amuse myself by making graphs. If I knew Python, I’d be an xkcd character.
Anyway, that’s the monthly traffic for this blog from January 2006 (when I moved to ScienceBlogs) to the present. As you can see, April 2008 was the third best month since the move, thanks to Reddit picking up my post on What Everyone Should Know About Science, and in influx of crazy people. Thank you, Reddit, thank you crazy people.
The really interesting thing about this, to me, is how little difference anything makes to the general progression. The two big spikes are from when Dave and I got Slashdotted for the Blogger SAT Challenge, and the enourmous BoingBoing/ Digg/ most of LiveJournal spike from Many Worlds, Many Treats. The striking thing is just how spiky those spikes are– traffic goes way up, and then returns to right where it was before the spike. It’s even more striking on a weekly or daily graph, but that’s also kind of silly.
What we see in the graph is a slow and steady increase in traffic, basically doubling over the last two years. The reddish line is a linear fit to the data (or at least what passes for one in the new Excel, which, by the way, sucks even more than the new PowerPoint), excluding the spikes, and it shows an increase of about 1400 page views per month over this span.
It’s sort of impressive how robust this trend is. I’ve occasionally thought that traffic was really taking off in a sustained way, but it always comes back down. And there have been stretches where I’ve felt like I was just treading water, but they still show an incremental increase in traffic.
It’ll be interesting to see if this trend gets broken in the coming months. There are two major changes coming down the pipe that could fundamentally change the blog: one is FutureBaby, whose arrival may very well lead to a major drop in posting frequency; the other is my book, whose arrival will undoubtedly include some non-blog marketing, which might well spill over into more blog traffic. Or maybe those two things will cancel each other out, and we’ll stay right on that 1400/month trend.
Anyway, it’s reassuring to know that if I want to get to 100,000 pageviews/month, I don’t really need to change what I’m doing. All I need to do is stick with this another two years…