Blogging By The Numbers

BlogHeraldLogoAnne Helmond of the Blog Herald has wrote an interesting article that questions whether or not, the number of blogs within the blogosphere still matters and if anyone out there is still bothering to count.

Anne asked a number of questions within her article such as:

Is the medium mature now? Is that why nobody seems to be counting blogs anymore? Do we no longer feel the need to count blogs because we have established their importance?

I think the reason why no one is counting blogs anymore is the simple reason that no one can come up with an accurate number. Using numbers that are published by Technorati should not be a single handed way of measuring the blogosphere. There are more blogs on the net than one could imagine, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to accurately measure the difference between a blogger, scraper or splogger. This problem of accurate metrics appears not only in the blogosphere, but it’s a severe problem within podcasting, advertising, and just about anything else dealing with the internet. Therefor, I think the problem is that no one cares how many blogs there are. No one cares how many of this or how many of that there are. How can they, when the numbers have no way of being proved accurate.

The comments that have appeared on this blog herald article are a good indication that people understand that this is a metrics problem, a problem that inherently has no single solution. There are so many variables to consider when trying to accurately determine the number of blogs on the net, that it’s mind boggling. Metrics is a science that we have yet to figure out. Until the problem of metrics is solved, I don’t see how anyone could take any numbers that are published without a block of salt.

Flickr Launches Stats For Pro Members

Flickr Logo

Flickr has introduced a new feature for PRO members. The new feature highlights various stats for your online photos. If you’re a pro member you can activate your stats now. The first round of stats will take at least 24 hours to process.

The stats show you how people arrive to your photos. There are stats available for people surfing on Flickr itself – where the referrer is flickr.com – and stats about people coming from other websites. Flickr will now be able to tell you the sorts of things people search for on search engines where your photos turn up, and tell you how many views your photos have in a week, or for all time.

Flickr Stats

The stats will display as far back as 28 days prior to the day of activation. As for the more technical details of the stats themselves, Flickr states:

  • We update stats once a day
  • Your own views of your own photos are not counted
  • We track views and referrers when a page on flickr.com is loaded. We are unable to count views of your photos on external sites (like your blog).
  • The “Search Engines” group of referrers counts traffic from most of the major search engines online, including Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN, Ask.com, and live.com
  • When reading search engine results, we are able to show what people searched for to find your content.
  • We don’t display links to individual Flickr members as referrers

For more information in regards to this new feature, check out the official Flickr Stats FAQ.

Analyze Your Feed With Visuals

BlogPerfume Logo

BlogPerfume has developed a cool program called Feed Analysis which providers bloggers an at a glance view of just how well their FeedBurner feed is performing without having to do any sort of calculations on your own.

By the use of Feed Analysis, the number of subscribers for each month is neatly shown on the column chart. You can also view the number of subscribers, hits, views and clicks for every single day from the line chart. The best/worst day of the week is also available which is displayed on the pie chart. And also, Feed Analysis can give you an estimated value for your blog / site according to the number of your subscribers.

In order to use Feed Analysis, you need to visit the Feed Analysis page and scroll down to the text area box where you can type in your FeedBurner Feed URL. The box on the left is the amount of time and data that will appear in the graphs.

FeedAnalysis Input

Some important things to know before you use this tool. BlogPerfume states that, they do not store your data on their server. Everything is generated via the client side. Once you close your browser window, the data will disappear.

The application is free to use and if your blog is under 3 months old, the tool will still work. However, the prediction values may be a little off due to insufficient data.

Since this blog has been around for at least 6 months, thats the amount of time I chose.

After generating the report, I was greeted with a bunch of boxes that told me the same thing;YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR FLASH PLAYER. Thanks for letting me know. After visiting the Adobe Flash Player website and upgrading my player, I ended up seeing a bunch of beautiful graphs and charts which highlighted my success or lack thereof.

Here are the results of my analyzed feedburner feed.

FeedStats

  • Estimated 1 Banner Ads Value: $7 / month
  • Estimated Blog Worth: $417 – $834
  • Monthly Increase Range: 16-30 Average Increase / Month: 23
  • Total Increase(Last 3 Months): 61 Monthly Increase(Last 3 Months): 20
  • Growth Rate (Last Month): 13.01%
  • Average Subscribers (Current Month): 139
  • Predicted Subscribers After 3 Months: 201
  • Predicted Subscribers After 6 Months: 290
  • Predicted Subscribers After 12 Months: 603
  • Best Day of A Week: Tuesday
  • Worst Day of A Week: Saturday

Feed Analysis may not be complete and perfect at the moment because it is in an early stage. We need your opinions and suggestions so that Feed Analysis can evolve to provide more accurate stats and prediction. Any suggestions and opinions are welcome. If you have amazing formulas, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us directly.

If you’re interested in viewing my specific report, complete with graphs and visuals, click here. BlogPerfume is also quick to remind us that the data may be incomplete, due to the tool being at an early stage of development. If you happen to use the Feed Analysis tool on your own blog, I’d be interested in knowing your results.

WordPress Real Time Browsing Stats

Sizlopedia.com LogoEver wanted to see who is browsing your site in detail and in real time? Now you can, using WordPress Live, a live blog statistics plugin.

WordPress Live gives WordPress site owners the ability to track IP addresses currently browsing the site while also being able to view which posts/pages that IP address is browsing. The plugin divides stats into three categories: Page hits, Feed hits, and Comments. There is actually a speed bar which allows you to control the speed in which the plugin refreshes. Move the slider to the left, the refresh is quicker, move the slider to the right, the refresh rate is slower.

This plugin is really cool and from what I could tell, is only accessible through the backend of your WordPress install. If you’d like a plugin which displays a similar set of data on the frontend, check out the WP-UserOnline 2.11 plugin written by Lester Chan.

The only downfall WordPress Live has is the lack of documentation. The plugin lacked a read me file and there are no concrete installation instructions published on the authors site. If your familiar with how to install WordPress plugins, you shouldn’t have a problem with this one.

WordPress Live In Action

Be sure to check out Headzoo.com to download the WordPress Live Plugin. So far, I’m digging it.

Look At All That Spam

The Akismet blog has posted some statistics involving the amount of spam being blocked. The figures are as follows:

Notice the last stat compared with the previous stat. Indeed, spam is growing. Akismet has put together a detailed chart which highlights the increase in spam from 2006-04 to 2007-07. As you would expect, the graph looks like the side of Mt. Everest. I don’t think we will ever see the graph enter a downward state. How has Akismet worked out for you?

Click on the image to see the full version