Statistics: Hit Count - Grampies Ride Again! - CycleBlaze

November 7, 2015

Statistics: Hit Count

Ah, the hit count. For some, the main reason for writing a blog. Yes, there can be other reasons - like keeping the family informed of what is happening, or helping yourself to remember what happened, or leaving a record for posterity. These are all worthy, but there is something so immediate and gratifying about writing for the hits!

Part of it is that slogging it out on the roads each day, day after day, can tax your resolve. But thinking that there are thousands (ok, hundreds) of people along for the ride with you can really help. This is especially true if you are thinking of quitting, or weaseling out in some lesser way - like staying in an unnecessary hotel or taking a train. You may still do these things, but knowing that you will have to write out the reasons may be cause for second thought.

So that's why we eagerly check the hit count each day, and compare to the previous day to see what the increase is daily. That is, to see how many people looked at the blog "yesterday". If the daily count begins to drop, then I am not saying we will do anything to change it - like jumping in front of a truck (though that helps), but we just like to know. And if the hits are up, we feel buoyed and carry on with more gusto.

Comparing hits day by day is one aspect of the game. But then there is comparing hits against past blogs, to see if maybe the current route was great or boring, or if the writing or topics are getting better or growing stale.

Beyond this, there is the fools game of comparing hits with blogs by others. Now one really can get in to a world of surmise. Is that writer just so much more interesting (or boring) than us? Is that place to cycle just so much more exciting (or dull)?

One law about hits is that the total grows with the number of days that one is out on the road. The longer you hang out there, the more days there are for people to keep checking what you are up to. A lesser concept is that the number of hits grows with the number of days that the blog has been in existence. People mostly read current blogs, but even old ones continue to pick up the odd hits.

So, how did it go this time?

There are about 80,000 hits right now. That pretty good, representing an average of 710 daily hits over the days that we were really out there (as opposed to introductions and post mortems - like this one). On the other hand, we have done better in the past. But since we know instinctively that our routes and writing are only improving, maybe the reason is that interest in the sport of cycle touring is tapering off a bit? We would have to research that more - looking at trends in total hits for the whole crazyguy web site, number of cycling blogs published here and elsewhere, their length, etc. More work than maybe would be worth it. We'd rather just plan our next trip!

Here is how the hits looked day by day:

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Is there a reason for the ups and downs? Hard to say. It looks like interest sort of generally grew as we crossed over the Alps the first time, then flagged, but then grew again until we reached our destination and began to prepare to fly home.

Generally we hope to see about 1000 daily hits. That could put a 100 day tour at 100,000 hits. But if you look at the chart below, you see the hole on the right - the relative lack of thousand hit days. In purely arithmetic terms, that was a problem.

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But hey, it's not all doom and gloom here at post mortem headquarters. Due to a statistical quirk, Grampies Ride Again! is the 18th all time greatest blog on Crazyguyonabike. That's 18th out of currently 10,636 blogs on the site! That puts "Ride Again" up there with "All this way to see a naked woman" and "Life is like a box of chocolates", up there with authors who are our heros, like Jeff Arnim and Leo Woodland!

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Alas, it's a bit of an illusion. It's based on daily average hits, which is fair enough. But in this case the "days" used are days since publication. So even a super great blog that is a few years old will sink in this rating.

For example, by this reckoning the King James Version of the Bible (which we can date loosely to 1612) has been published for 147,503 days. So to keep up with Grampies Ride Again! in terms of average daily hits since publication, it would need to have over 75 million total "hits". Actually it probably easily has that. I mean, Gangnam Style by Psy has over 2.4 billion hits on Youtube. That's billion!

OK, clearly we need to go back to planning the next tour. The competition out there is tough!

Not saying this is the competition. The competition is much tougher than this!
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