Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yep, these are my readers

Hi Everyone. Sorry for two days without posting. I have no excuse, but I'll try to make up for it with a decent one here.

So I stole the title of this post from Bill Simmons, who runs The Sports Guy on If you haven't read his blog, you should. Actually, I'll back up a bit. If you like sports, pop culture, and sophomoric humor (and want them all in the same place) then you should check it out. If that isn't your brand of whisky, then that's okay too. Anyway, Simmons ends all of his Mailbag posts with that line. He usually picks the most ridiculous question that he receives that week, leaves it for last, and then answers it with "Yep, these are my readers." An example would be a question that he got a couple weeks ago that was something like "Hey Bill, if I hook up with the swivel-headed lady from the Southwest Airlines commercial, would that count as a threesome?" I warned you about the frat-tastic humor that is The Sports Guy. I don't really have a mailbag post, but I thought the title would fit this topic and because it would help for search engine optimization. We'll get to that a little later.

When RJ and I started this blog, we debated on what the appropriate metrics were to measure the success of the blog. We went back and forth with some of the more qualitative metrics like 'funny comments' or 'does the blog make us laugh'. We also wanted to look at some of the quantitative metrics like 'unique visitors' and 'referral sources'. Since we wanted to track some of the numbers, and since it was sort of work-related for us to learn something about web analytics, we had our friend Ben (another Running Club member and loyal YIFY reader) set us up with Google Analytics, so we're able to track all sorts of fun stuff about who is visiting the blog. So this post is about some of the fun data that I've looked at since the blog's re-launch about a month ago. Here we go:

There have been 3,417 visitors in the past month. I thought this was pretty cool. I think about 5% of those people are family members, 10% are coworker friends and clients, 80% are from Kath's blog, and 5% are randoms that found the blog accidentally because of some google search. More on the randoms later. The 3,417 number is accurate, my percentage breakdown is just a guess.

There have been visitors from 46 states. Shame on: Montana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and South Dakota. Not cool guys. I mean, I've driven through all of your states and you haven't visited my blog once? Especially you, South Dakota. I think I spent a whole day at your Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug back in '92 and you still won't give me any blog love. Poor form. So if any of you know people that live in any of those four states, please send them the URL so we can have global (or domestic, I guess) domination. You can lie and tell them it's a funny video or an e-card or something. I don't care how you get them to the blog, just do it. I could be mean and say something about the lack of electricity or internet connectivity in those states, but I won't do that. 

There have been visitors from 40 countries. There's plenty of room for improvement here. My analytics report is a big map of the world and the countries change color once I've had a visitor from said country. So if you know anyone from Greenland or Russia, let's start there. That would be the fastest way to color the map, since most of the other big countries have already visited. There's also plenty of room for improvement in Africa. I've had visitors from South Africa and Malawi, but the rest of the continent is there for the taking. So if y'all want to join the Peace Corps and then visit the blog while you're traveling, you have my permission. I'm trying to settle on a goal here for global domination. There are apparently around 195 countries in the world, but that seems like way too many. I think I'm going to go with either the number of countries that are in the United Nations, or the number of countries that won an Olympic medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Okay, scratch that. Google tells me that there are 192 countries in the UN, and we aren't going to get that many. So we'll go with the Olympic thing. That number is 87. So if you know anyone living abroad, send them to the blog. This can be our own little Epcot Center.

Lots of funny keywords. I think this is my favorite part of the web analytics. I look at which search terms people use on Google than brings them to the blog. Then I think about how disappointed they'll be when they end up here instead of something more relevant. Here's a sample of some of the search terms people have actually used in the past month:

guy on guy action
fat machine
has Suzanne Wong left househunters on HGTV
Ebert and Roper
Do your intestines really stretch to the moon
hippie eyewear
homeless hippies
hotel black light test
when is it okay to unfriend someone
grocery store tucamcari new mexico
exchanging numbers with a guy
Bob Ross
I think this is my favorite thing to look at. If you used one of these search terms and found this blog, then welcome. Feel free to look around. I just feel bad for the dude looking for a grocery store in Tucamcari, New Mexico. I mean, I only mentioned Tucamcari once and it somehow ended up in the guy's search results. I think that means they probably don't have many grocery stores there, but that's just a guess.

So that's the end of tonight's post. If you think it's sort of creepy that I'm looking at this kind of data, think of it this way: you're pretty much reading about all of the mundane details of my life when you're visiting this blog, so I think it's a fair tradeoff for me to know where you're coming from. Even if you're looking for grocery stores in Tucamcari.


Victoria said...

Ha. Those google search terms are really funny - I especially love the intestines to the moon one. I get really random ones, like "fat softball player" and "carrot heads"

Nate said...

Ha. I think the opposing team in my work softball league refers to me as fat softball player, so you can send 'em my way.

Al Iverson said...

I really must know. Do your intestines really stretch to the moon?

Nate said...

Al - I hope that's the impersonal 'your' that you're using. Otherwise, I might take that as some sort of threat. But all signs point to yes.

Amy said...

I don't remember you talking about Bob Ross. I must check the older posts, because any post on Bob Ross is one worth reading.

Nate said...

Amy - Sorry to disappoint. I don't think it was a true Bob Ross post. I think I just gave him a shout out in my work from home post, since I'm sporting a hair style similar to his. He does deserve his own post.

Ben said...

Have you googled "Do your intestines really stretch to the moon" now that you have this post? The preview of your blog gave me a laugh.

Nate said...

Ben - That's the best thing ever. I love it.

Amanda said...

And now you've mentioned 'Tucamcari' 4 more times... my comment is a 5th....

As I suspected: I totally just googled "tucamcari grocery stores"... you're the number 1 result. Way to throw off all the people genuinely looking for a grocery store.

Also... there are no people in South Dakota this time of year. Just buffalo, giant stone presidents, and a crapload of snow.

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