I gave a presentation on A View to Hugh this past Saturday at the fall meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. My panel, called “Harnessing the Power of the Blog,” offered three different perspectives on blogging about archives: me on blogging about processing a collection, Jim Gerenscer of Dickinson College on using a blog to document reference requests, and Kate Theimer of ArchivesNext on blogging about issues facing the archival profession. I thought the session was a strong one that raised some really interesting questions about how and why people start blogs, their various applications, and digital preservation of blog-generated content, among other topics.
Amusingly, there were several bloggers in the audience, and a few of them even live-blogged the blogging session (see Order From Chaos and the cleverly-titled Friends Told Me I Needed a Blog). Total metablog!
I thought our readers might be interested in a few of the statistics I pulled together for my presentation. In the first year of A View to Hugh (Nov. 2007 to Oct. 2008), there were:
- — 71 posts
- — 108 unique commenters
- — 318 approved, substantive comments
- — An average of 3.83 comments per post
I’m especially pleased to report that of the 318 comments above, 128 contained viable, useful identifying information for one of Morton’s photos. Well done!
The chart below shows the number of hits we’ve received per month. A “hit” is any retrieval of the main page, but this is a misleading statistic — the page could have been retrieved by an actual human, but it could also be a search engine, RSS feed reader, bot, etc. The main point to take away here is that over time, we have had a substantial increase in traffic, from about 7,000 hits in the first month to over 400,000 in October ’08. (Not sure what caused the big jump after May of ’08).
The following statistic, “visits,” is a somewhat more accurate indicator of actual site usage. A “visit” is repeated access from the same IP address within a given period of time, and if I’m understanding this correctly, it usually means that a second page was retrieved after the main page (usually either by a person or a search engine).
Again, the good news is a steady and substantial increase in visits over time. I don’t have much to compare this to, but 14,375 visits in October at least sounds pretty impressive. (Keep in mind that this number does include staff members’ visits to the site, and we DO visit often to read and follow up on your wonderful contributions).