Let’s do the numbers…

DISCLAIMER: Only trust a statistic you’ve faked yourself! Well, I didn’t fake it, but I did make a mistake in the list of domains – the data I had originally pulled and posted on 11-28 did not reflect a 3 months period, as I had claimed, but a 15 months period. Turns out that the stats for longer periods do look more meaningful for tracing trends, so I’ve changed the language below to reflect the correct time period covered (from hangintogether’s inception August 1 2005 through November 15 2006.) I also took the opportunity to cast a broader net and look at our top 5 visiting countries in addition to .org, .edu and .gov. That, in turn, prompted me to re-write some of the commentary on the domain session stats. All other data does reflect a 3 month time period as stated, and is (and has been) correct. All due apologies!

What looks like ants crawling up a smear of blue jelly are actually session stats for hangingtogether from its inception on August 1st 2005 through November 15th 2006, and represents one way of trying to evaluate the success of our blog over time. The recent blogging panel at MCN made me curious about what audience we’re actually reaching. Pouring over our webstats using the ever-helpful Urchin, I realized that the numbers wouldn’t really mean much to me unless I had stats from other blogs to compare them to. Well, actually they meant even less until Walt explained to me the basics of how to read some of these stats – thanks, Walt!

I thought this would be a fun thing to do via a meme, and I hope I’m not the only one. I am tagging Walt (no good deed shall go unpunished!), Lorcan and Richard Urban (on behalf of musematic.net) to disclose some of their stats for the 3 months from August 15th 2006 through November 15th 2006, and I hope they’ll make more bloggers tip their hands by tagging others. Let’s start with sessions, IP addresses, number of countries. As a bonus, feel free to throw in a list of the top 30 (or so) domains hitting your blog for a time-period of your choice, of course all the while being fully conscious of the fact that those who digest us through rss readers may go undetected by this method. (For whatever it’s worth, hangingtogether currently enjoys 248 Blogline subscriptions (counting both feeds).)

Hangingtogether Statistics, August 15th 2006 through November 15th 2006
Sessions: total of 119,469, daily average of 1,285 (an approximate measure of how often somebody spent a chunk of time on the blog)
IP Addresses: total 9,413, daily about 105 (an approximate measure of how many individuals visited the blog)
Number of Countries: total 91 (an approximate measure of how international the blog is)

Bonus: I’ve saved the best for last. Here’s a list of the top 35 domains from .edu, .org, .gov and our 5 most visiting countries (.ca, .uk, .jp, .de, .nl) in order of sessions. The time period covered by this statistic is the inception of hangingtogether (08-01-2006) through 11-15-2006 (a total of 15 months, 15 days). Bold means RLG Programs Partner, cursive means we’re having a post-modern moment and reading ourselves. (I claimed the UC Office of the President as a Partner, since I suspect some of the California Digital Library traffic (also under cdlib.org) comes through that domain, but I may be wrong.) I also deleted about half a dozen network providers from the different country domains, since they don’t provide much of a clue in terms of finding out who reads us – it’s just like saying AOL read your blog! Here’s the tally:

oclc.org 13871
uchicago.edu 5341
ucop.edu 4259
ucsd.edu 3041
virginia.edu 3014
dmi.org 2962
columbia.edu 2824
yale.edu 2525
vcu.edu 2261
umich.edu 2186
ucalgary.ca 2111
keio.ac.jp 2079
si.edu 2065
loc.gov 1908
unr.edu 1700
nga.gov 1688
pica.nl 1647
rlg.org 1529
ufl.edu 1392
wheatonma.edu 1234
yorku.ca 901
leeds.ac.uk 898
lsuc.on.ca 868
harvard.edu 866
brynmawr.edu 862
shsu.edu 843
uni-goettingen.de 731
umn.edu 629
upenn.edu 605
swarthmore.edu 563
mobot.org 557
cdlib.org 534
utoronto.ca 513
coloradocollege.edu 493
kb.nl 368

Some random observations:

  • Of the 35 organizations who made the list, 17 are RLG Program Partners, and most others are good friends.
  • The most avid readers of hangingtogether outside of OCLC are at the University of Chicago! Congratulations! Keep coming back!
  • Our most avid readers outside of the US are at the University of Calgary (Canada) with 2,111 sessions, closely followed by Keio University (Japan) with 2,079 sessions. In the UK, the University of Leeds seems to enjoy our offerings (898 sessions), and in Germany, we find the University of Göttingen among the top 35 (731 sessions).
  • Who would have thought the Design Management Institute (dmi.org) accounts for 4% of our sessions?
  • We’ve always thought that UCSD and University of Virginia should be program partners, and here’s the proof – they’re both among our top 5 readers!
  • We’ve had more visits from the Smithsonian (2,065) than from the Library of Congress (1,908), and are generally well-read in the nation’s capital – the National Gallery of Art clocked 1,688 sessions.
  • I wonder what the Law Society of Upper Canada (lsuc.on.ca) is getting out of our blog?
  • Over to you, Walt, Lorcan and Richard!

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    3 Comments on “Let’s do the numbers…”

    1. Günter, you are indeed correct that ucop.edu and cdlib.org are fairly indistinguishable for your purposes, and in fact our personal machines from which we would most likely be viewing your blog would mostly have ucop.edu addresses.

    2. Thanks, Jim. I was worried that I may have overlooked a partner institution in my last-minute bolding spree before hitting the publish button. I stand corrected, and the blog does as well!

    3. Guenter, If ufl.edu is the University of Florida (and it is) then elevate them to bold type – they are and have been a long-time RLG member and now RLG Partner.

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