Looking through the site statistics is an interesting exercise. I get a chance to see what people are reading. The vast majority of readers do not write comments, the stats are the best tool for feedback I have. Perusing the stats is also an realization of one’s own vanity, a necessary motivation for all writers, not just bloggers.
Site traffic has taken a large hit with the transfer to the WordPress platform. I expected this, there would inevitably be loss of links and search engine traffic with the changeover. This has begun to recover, but very slowly. There have been 55 thousand views of the Darker View blog in 2012. Overall there were 66 thousand views of the entire site for the year, not just the WordPress material. This compares to 91 thousand visitors in 2011, about two-thirds of pre-changeover traffic. Total traffic to Darker View since inception in 2007 is now over 288 thousand visitors.
Top Dozen Posts of 2012
|Keck in Motion||1,242|
|A Backyard Telescope Pier||1,057|
|A Red LED Desk Lamp||863|
|Degrees, Arc-Minutes and Arc-Seconds||750|
|Rebuilding a 12.5″ f/5 Truss Tube Dobsonian||746|
|Deep Violet, an 18″ f/4.5 Dobsonian||517|
|The Transit of Venus||417|
|SBIG ST-i Autoguider||410|
|Earth at Night||325|
|Elongations, Conjunctions and Oppositions||316|
|Violet Haze, A 90mm f/13 Apochromat||309|
|Postcard from the Universe – Venus Transit||283|
A trend is immediately evident, the amateur telescope making articles dominate the list. Most of these articles were written in years past and transferred to the WordPress database at the beginning of the year. I was worried that the search engines would lose them when I deleted the posts from the old blogging package. Some background redirect code has helped to alleviate this and the posts continue to get lots of traffic. This is a reflection of a healthy amateur astronomy community out there.
One caveat to the data is that a reader must click through to the post’s page to show up on this list. A short article, that is displayed entirely on the home page will not get credit, even if read. Thus I have two motivations for putting the tag into the post. It breaks up long posts so they do not clutter up the home page, and the posts get credit in the stats if someone clocks that “Continue reading” link.Going down the list one also finds my astronomy basics posts commonly hit, usually this is search engine traffic. It is gratifying that these articles are getting used and that somebody is interested in basic astronomy knowledge.
Omitting the old ATM posts from the list, restricting the results to those written in 2012 is an interesting exercise. The resulting list is dominated by the major astro-event of the year, Venus transit. The event was certianly a highligh of my year, with the interest surrounding it in the amateur astronomy community it is no surprise that the traffic results on Darker View reflect this.
No major changes are planned for 2013, just more of the same Darker View my readers expect. I am still working on the sky events for the year, this will continue into 2013. I hope you enjoy what is in store for the coming year!