State of the Blog

The dust has settled after Sb's migration in late May from Moveable Type to Wordpress. I'm glad we switched, but we lost a lot of traffic in the process. Mainly it seems to be due to changing URLs (the web address of each blog entry) that threw the search engines off and lost us RSS subscribers. In Q3 2011 Aard had 780 daily readers on average and a Google rank of 7. In Q3 2012 it's looking to be more like 540 daily readers, and the Google rank is 6. Dear Reader, to keep things lively here, I'd be grateful for your help. In the following weeks, if you read something you like here, please hit the recommendation buttons up top for Facebook, Twitter and G+. Also, if you keep a blog, I'd appreciate a link now and then. Thanks!


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There's another problem that I bet hurts your traffic a lot!

I go to ScienceBlogs every day. But I don't typically go directly to any individual blog. I go to the 'Last 24 Hrs' page. I don't have the time or the interest to read every post by every blogger. I like to see the post titles and decide which are of interest. Then I click through.

Before the switch, the last 24 hrs page showed a long list of recent posts, and I could click back to even more recent posts aggregated across all the blogs. Now there are only ever a handful of posts listed on the page.

As of right now, there are 9 posts on the last 24 hrs page. Nine posts, when there are 39 blogs! Doesn't give good odds that I'll see a post for any given blog at random.

What's worse is that some blogs post a lot. Sometimes I'll visit and see 3, 4, or 5 posts by Greg Laden on the page. That makes it even less likely that I'll see a post by you.

Please tell the new overlords to fix the last 24 hrs page to show lots more posts from everyone. If that happens, I (and those like me) will at least get to see the titles of all your posts, and I'll click through to read the ones that get my attention.

(Also, tell 'em to add a preview button! Geez!)

I have exactly the same experience. Please change the "Last 24 Hours" page, if you can.

By Michael Richmond (not verified) on 01 Sep 2012 #permalink

I can name a few things that have cut reading way, way down by at least one person who used to visit SB every day.

1. What qetzal said about the "last 24 hours" category. That used to be a list that went back more than 24 hours (as do the categories "Life Science", "Physical Science", etc.). Now it doesn't. So if I see a possibly interesting post, I better go look at it right away, or I have to remember what blog it was on (see point 2 below) and remember to look for it later, because it will be gone from the list of recent postings. Of course, the topic categories go back further than 24 hours, but that gives me 10 buttons to push if I want to see what was posted, say, the day before yesterday. Not likely to happen.

2. When posts are listed under the 24 hours (or other categories), they don't say what blog it's from. This post showed up as "posted by Martin". Which blog does Martin write? Maybe I know, maybe I don't. Why doesn't it say that it was posted on Aardvarchaeology, or by Martin on Aardvarchaeology? I would think that you bloggers would want that: you give your blogs names so that they can build a reputation under that name.

3. The people who run SB need to learn better manners. As a long-time and enthusiastic reader before the changeover to National Geographicness, I wanted to give them feedback on some of these issues. I have several times sent them email to addresses listed under "Contact Us" and have never received an acknowledgment, let alone a response. Although I still like and value some of the blogs here, I do not like SB as a whole very much.

Problems like these add just enough friction to the process to slow down visits. They have done so with me, and I expect that they have had that effect on others. They are easily fixed, if anyone can get the ear of the people running the site. I hope you can do so.

By ecologist (not verified) on 02 Sep 2012 #permalink

(OT) Norwegian Fantasy film Trolljegeren (Troll Hunter)
Comment from the Pharyngula blog: "Troll Hunter is simply a great movie, however you want to categorize it. I watched it for the first time one morning about 6 months ago. I’d categorize it as a modern fantasy/fable rather than either horror or parody. It is aware of modern horror tropes, but it isn’t mocking them at all IMO."

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 03 Sep 2012 #permalink