Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just a Statistic

Now and again, I look at the blog of Bruce Charlton, an English academic and Christian, who is one of the few commentators out there who appreciates the seriousness of political correctness. I discovered him when I went looking for books about PC and bought his little volume Thought Prison. He's very much an original. (He once commented on this blog.)

His recent blog post on the decline in his blog statistics gave me much food for thought.

Professor Charlton is still averaging around two thousand hits a day. It's such a contrast to my own statistics.

Since I started it in 2011, this blog has accumulated 420,829 pageviews. That seems like a lot, in absolute terms, but I don't know if it's such a lot given the amount I've posted.

Last month, it received 9,536 pageviews. Yesterday, it received 184 pageviews. (At times, I average three hundred pageviews or so-- it goes up and down.)

In terms of my individual posts, their pageviews rarely reach triple figures. The review of It that I wrote on Saturday has had 101 pageviews so far. Most posts seem to settle at around 45 pageviews.

Compared to some of the YouTube vloggers I watch, these numbers are extremely small. For instance, my favourite YouTuber, Millennial Woes, has thirty thousand subscribes after four years. Admittedly, videos may be a lot more popular than blog posts.

On the other hand, I'm quite often surprised at how many people know about the blog. Strangers have recognized me through it. (Only once or twice, but it's happened.) A fair amount of people in Catholic circles in Ireland seem to know of it. it's included in the National Library of Ireland's web archive, for what that's worth.

And sometimes I'm surprised at how low blog readerships can be. I was taken aback when I learned that a well-regarded Irish library-themed blog doesn't have many more readers than this blog. 

Well, I'm grateful people do read it. That can never be taken for granted. All writings exists to be read, and it means a lot that people out there do read what I write.


  1. I wonder (though I haven't looked into it yet) whether my views through my RSS feed, feedly, would count...I read the text but without clicking on the link and going to your page in the browser.
    Also, I've been meaning to email you for ages...and now I'll have to dig up the quotes and things I stuffed into my GMail drafts folder and compose them + my thoughts in some way.

    1. Good to hear from you! I'm sure your views do count. And I suspect that a good deal of traffic is bots, so I am sure it more than evens out.

      I hope you are doing well! I was showing somebody the enigmatic photo you sent me recently!

  2. Seems like a cue for me to comment again!

    The strange - presumably significant - thing was the way that twice this year my blog views have halved literally overnight.

    I have always moderated comments both ruthlessly and annoyingly (for the commenters) but in general (and despite, until recently, growing blog traffic) I find blogging much less rewarding than I did in 2010-2014; during which time I wrote three mini-books from the blog- all helped by the commenting process.

    I get the feeling that serious blogging on a mass scale is - overall - in a terminal decline. Certainly I find very few blogs I want to read, that do me good.

    What keeps me going is quite independent of anything the public sees, and that is the occasional personal e-mail from someone to whom the 'Notions' blog has been, or is, important in a spiritual/ religious way.

    1. Thanks for that. Mr. Charlton. That sudden fall in views does seem very strange. I hope you don't give up blogging completely. I actually read very few blogs, ever-- maybe about six or seven all told. Still, I hope the decline isn't terminal, and not just for selfish reasons.

      I can imagine you receive such emails as there are few Christian intellectuals out there who are as uncompromising in their attitude towards the culture that surrounds us. Very comforting to those of us who feel utterly alienated from it.