Over the last few years, I've used Google Analytics to keep track of how many pageviews I get on a daily basis. I should note that I'm not exactly in this whole blogging thing for the views; there are better ways to massage one's ego than that. Still, though, it's kind of interesting to see how frequently people drop by.
Analytics1 isn't just good for checking on your number of views, though; you can also see what city contributes your most viewers (Iowa City beats Ames 103 to 59), what sort of computers viewers are using (58% of you are on Macs, while 39% are on PCs) and what terms people are using to find your site (13 people have searched for "don't rape me forcibly tito", 9 for ramble away, and a hodge-podge more looking for some variation of "my hat it has three corners").
It's all pretty interesting stuff - well, at least to me - but it's not exactly useful. For one thing, I've noticed that the frequency at which I update this blog has very little effect on the number of viewers I get per day. I've had periods where I've neglected this blog for a week or two and received 20 hits a day.2 I've also had periods where I've updated this blog daily and no one seems to drop by.
It's dawned on me that there is some sort of rhyme and reason regarding views on this blog, and that's that views seem to correlate with whether or not you're on a break. When a break or major holiday is taking place, my views drop a little lower than usual. However, once we're in the midst of back-to-school or some mundane day, views range from average to above average.
At first this seems kind of counter-intuitive; after all, wouldn't it make more sense that the more free time people have, the more likely they'd be to check out this blog? And doesn't break equal free time?
Well, yes, but in the case of this blog, no. Think of it this way: it's Spring Break. Chances are, you're more inclined to hang out with friends at home/work or engage in vacational shenanigans than to check out this blog. Conversely, if it's 1:24 on a Monday and you're sitting in your dorm waiting for your next class to start, your odds of diddling around on the internet are a lot higher - and thus it's much more likely that you visit this blog.
But Marty Chang, what about trichinosis, an incurable parasitic infestation of the muscles? Sounds good to me.
1 Thanks to the magic of Firefox, I can just type in the letters A-N-A-L into my address bar and press enter, and BOOM. Since it's the first four letters of the word, Google Analytics appears. Weirdly, Google's browser, Google Chrome, doesn't work the same way. If I try to do that in Chrome, Google instantly presumes I'm trying to do a search for said term, which is a little awkward if you're in a public place and doubly awkward if you're in a public place and SafeSearch is off.
2 I've theorized there could be something going on here: I call it the playing-hard-to-get effect. Theory: the less I update, the more frequently people check to see if I've updated. You know, like "Has he updated yet? No? Oh." But when I start updating again, people take it for granted; instead of seeing if I've updated, they just assume that I have and decide to check it out later. It's a very half-asssed and pessimistic theory, though; I barely believe it myself.