Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog’s appearance on the Freethought Blogs network. It was 366 short days ago that I was plucked from my position of relative obscurity and offered the opportunity to blog alongside some ‘big names’ within the movement, many of whom were personal heroes of mine. While the ‘technical’ birthday mark passed some months ago, the calendar reckoning was somewhat overturned by this blog’s migration to the new site with its bigger audience and new traffic patterns.
As I did with the first birthday celebration of the Manifesto, I thought I’d share some stats and thoughts with you.
Above is a chart of monthly site statistics. As you can see, a regular readership has been slowly building as the months pass to the point where I can expect roughly as many returning readers as I had total readers when this blog first moved. Obviously I am giddily excited at this prospect, as it means either than my ideas are resonating with people, or that animated .gif images are proven traffic drivers. Either way, I win.
Since the blog started, I’ve had just shy of 800,000 hits – a figure way in excess of the 50,000 I boasted in my first year. While the raw numbers aren’t really that important to me, it is nice to know that people are reading what I’m writing. My “Shuffling Feet” post remains the most widely-read by a sizeable margin, but there are a number of other posts that I’m quite proud of that are doing decent business. On an average weekday, I can expect between 2500-3500 page views, but that depends highly on whether or not a post has gone up that day.
There are a total of 1,146 posts currently live on the site. Estimating ~750 words per post, I have written about 860,000 words over the past 30 months (roughly the number of words in the collected words of Shakespeare – obviously a comparison of quantity only). There have been a total of 13,600 comment contributed and approved. There have been a few deletions – people correcting typos, duplicates, one attempt to ‘out’ someone commenting under a pseudonym (oddly enough, the attempted outing was perpetrated by a sock puppet) – but I prefer to let everything through moderation except under the circumstances I have just spelled out.
What have I been writing about?
The above chart shows the breakdown of post tags. This is not an exhaustive list (obviously), nor are these categories mutually exclusive (the biggest example of this is “race” and “racism”, which often, but not always, appear together in the same post). I expected this chart to differ wildly from the one that I created after the first year of operation, but what I have instead seen is a gradual expanding of the blog’s topics rather than a sharp change in direction.
What is next?
As I spelled out recently, I will be changing focus in my life in such a way that precludes a greater investment in time on this blog. I have no intention of quitting, mind you, but I will have to make some room for other stuff. I have a few ideas, and a couple of opportunities to appear in person and transmit some of the information in person, but I doubt this space will change meaningfully in the next 12 months.
As always, I am blown away by the response and support of the readers, and (aside from the stupid ones) enjoy and appreciate the substantive criticisms of my positions. We’ve done some pretty cool stuff together including our Kiva loan program and the Because I am an Atheist series. I’m looking forward to seeing more opportunities to interact with you in the coming months, and hope to keep you informed and entertained.