I have been blogging with WordPress for nearly five years now. I like it—better user interface on my end, better variety of looks and layouts on your end, and on both ends a vast improvement over Blogger, the other major blogging platform, which I used from 2004 to 2007.
One of the perks WordPress provides is an annual summary of activity at each user’s blog. In 2011, this blog recorded about 69,000 visitors. That sounds like a lot, although it’s down 15,000 from 2010. This decline follows the general trend of people spending more of their online time with social networks and less with traditional blogs. Last year saw 182 new posts, down from 214 the year before. This didn’t surprise me, either. A lot of the time and energy that was once devoted to this blog is now directed toward my ongoing daily labors at WNEW.com. They’re kind enough to pay me, and I’m a capitalist like everybody else.
The busiest day of the year, oddly enough, came just last week—December 27, 2011. Traffic spiked bigtime, with over four times as many views as on a normal day. (January 4th of this year rated nearly as high.) My initial guess was that it had something to do with people logging back on after Christmas to catch up; now I suspect it’s a search-engine-driven anomaly. My posts on December 27 and January 3 were both about my trip to the Reagan Presidential Library, and some of the hits they got are likely due to people searching for information on Ronald Reagan and his legacy—which probably happens more often across the whole Internet than searches for, say, information on the legacy of Birdlegs and Pauline.
Top referring websites this year were Facebook, Echoes in the Wind, WordPress.com, Popdose, and All Music All Blogs. Some of the more intriguing search terms bringing readers here included “minnesota mosquito song,” and “top mellow vinyl records,” which is kind of awesome.
I have no illusions about why people come here: for most, it’s Googly accident. The majority of the posts getting the most hits were written before 2011. The songs “Eighteen With a Bullet” and “Pilot of the Airwaves” account for lots of them, as does anything that quotes a song lyric, such as the single most-often-hit post written in 2011, What You Look Like You’re Doing. (The other most-often-hit posts of 2011 were Top 5: Easy Listening, 0:00 and Counting, One Day in Your Life: January 19, 1974, and Riding the Storm Out.) “One Day in Your Life” posts attract a lot of hits as people google various dates.
Out of the random collisions in the Internet cloud, however, a community of like-minded geeks has managed to coalesce here. My plan for 2012 is to continue on the same general path as before. It’s Napoleon’s battle plan, sort of: just show up and see what happens.