When I was writing up the state of blogging post last weekend, I thought about pulling together a Top Ten Posts thing, but didn't have time. also, Google analytics moved a bunch of stuff since the last time I used it, so I had a hard time locating the right options. Having tracked it down, though, I give you the ten highest-traffic blog posts from 2014, with the year of posting in parentheses, and the fraction of the total pageviews for the year that the post racked up, according to Google Analytics:
- How Do I Kill the Squirrels who Are Eating My Car? (2010) 15.2%
- Why Does Excel Suck so Much? (2009) 3.3%
- The Two-Fork Toothpick Trick Explained (2007) 1.4%
- "Earthing" Is a Bunch of Crap (2014) 1.1%
- How Does Light Travel Through Glass? (2010) 1.0%
- Electron Spin for Toddlers (2010) 1.0%
- Seven Essential Elements of Quantum Physics (2010) 0.9%
- What's a Topological Insulator? (2010) 0.9%
- When Should You Open Your Car Windows? An Experiment (2010) 0.8%
- The Healing Power of Beer (2007) 0.8%
That's... kind of depressing, in some sense. Only one of the top ten posts in terms of traffic from last year is from after 2010, and six of the top ten are from the golden year of 2010. Apparently, I should've hung up the blog for good on New Year's Day of 2011.
There's also the fact that the single most popular post, by a mile, is just a rant about electrical problems with my car. The second most popular post, with more than twice as many page views as #3, is a rant about the awfulness of Microsoft Office. That isn't a glowing recommendation for the efficacy of blogs as science outreach...
Then again, there's a lot of good stuff on this list, too. Seven of the top ten are good, solid posts about physics. I'm legitimately proud of several of these, particularly the electron spin for toddlers and the car-window experiment. The "Earthing" post is also doing a public service, in a sense, pointing out the ridiculousness of a health fad. Admittedly, all of them together come up to only a bit more than half as many page views as the stupid thing about squirrels, but, um, at least it's not a photo of bacon taped to a cat?
So, as always when I look into this stuff, a mixed bag. But probably useful to know, both in terms of providing a bit of perspective, and also a reminder that even on days when I don't feel up to producing anything substantial, I have a fairly significant body of work built up that continues to be read on a regular basis.
Other facts from this look at blog stats that are probably relevant:
-- Posts published in 2014 accounted for 33% of the total page views, though that's a bit of an underestimate, as 15% of the views came from the front page (a number I find kind of surprising, but whatever...). So a bit less than half of the total views for the year were people looking at stuff from that year.
-- While 2014 struggled to crack the top 10, if you extend it further, eight of the top 25 posts for the year were from 2014 (#4, 12, 13, 14, 17, 21, 24, and 25). I'm not digging up all those links, though.
-- The power ranking of years by traffic goes: 1) 2014 2) 2010 3) 2007 4) 2013 5) 2011 6) 2009 7) 2012 8) 2008 9) 2006. Also: Oh, God, I'm in my tenth year blogging at ScienceBlogs. I'm ancient...
I’ve been reading your blog for years and about the only time I actually visit the site is if I want to spend more time digesting a post after finishing my RSS feeds. I’m pretty sure that Google doesn’t track how many posts are read by RSS readers.
RSS is how I mostly read the blog as well.
Yeah, I don't have a convenient way of tracking views via RSS. Of course, I don't get paid for them either, so you're all terrible people (kidding, kidding...) I mostly read other blogs via RSS myself, but I admit I thought that was kind of a niche thing especially since the death of Google Reader.
Can't you do "more after the break" for RSS? It's annoying but at least would make us have to go to your page...
As for getting paid *cough*IconfessIuseanadblockersorry*cough*. With that said, I'd be happy to tip a few dollars via a PayPal link or something, but I don't know if that's something you're allowed to do on ScienceBlogs/you think it's worth the effort.
I also bought two-of-your-three books, and will probably get Eureka once I'm settled down enough to be able to accumulate books again.