Saturday, July 16, 2005

First milestone!

Today marks the one month anniversary for Unlocked Wordhoard! Hooray!

Even more importantly, I managed to meet a secret goal, which was this: I wanted to have at least 500 hits by the one-month mark. Though the number is itself arbitrary, I had a benchmark to help me determine if Wordhoard is really a site of public intellectualism (both from myself and comments from others), or if it is just a place of random musings in an echo chamber. If it were the latter, I might continue to keep it, but I would treat it as irrelevant to my mission as a professor.

As of this writing, I'm at 551 hits, averaging about 35 per day. Of course, by the standard of others who get hundreds of thousands of hits when they post pictures of their cats, this is small potatoes. But for me, even counting family, friends, and students, 35 hits per day probably represents at least a dozen people I don't know concerned about the life of the nuos (the mind or spirit). That's about the size of a seminar-level class ... just enough for me to think that this whole enterprise is worthwhile.

I've found another statistic that I think is pretty interesting, though I'm not sure what it means: the Site Meter tells me the average length of visits. Just two weeks ago, the average length was about two minutes. Now, it is just over four and a half. Like I said, I'm not sure what this sudden increase in length of visits means, but I hope what it means is that people are slowing down in their frantic pointing-and-clicking to consider some of the issues I raise here. I don't ask that anyone agree with me (indeed, I reserve the right to change my own mind at any time), but I do ask that people consider the matters raised here, and if they think they have something worthwhile to add, that they throw me a comment.

By the way, I hope readers are interested in love, because with my upcoming class on love in medieval lit, I suspect I'll be thinking deeply about love a great deal in the coming months, and posting accordingly.


  1. The thing to watch is visitors, specifically, unique visitors, and repeat visitors, which, I don't think, Sitemeter measures.

    Hits are generated every time a page is loaded, and once for every single image on a page. They're not terribly useful.

    But congratulations; long may you post.

  2. Watch out for that "duration of stay" statistic. The more regular readers you have, the lower it's likely to be, because, well, a "for instance": yesterday I stopped by your site, noticed there wasn't an update, and immediately left. Had there been an update, I would've stayed to read, but as there wasn't, I didn't. As more people read your blog from different time zones, with different schedules, etc., the more likely that is to happen. So if the number of visits keeps rising (and that is what Sitemeter tracks, I believe, not how many times an image on a page is loaded), don't be disheartened if the average duration of stay starts dipping. And best of luck on your next as-of-now-unmentioned goal.

  3. I'm having rather a lot of fun with Tracksy because it lets me compare new visitors to returning visitors, and tells me how many pages each viewed and which, referring sites, etc.

    Although, I confess it creeps me out a bit, too. It also tells me what browser a visitor is using, and a lot of other stuff that seems like it's just none of my business.

  4. I agree with Mac, Tracksy is the greatest stats service in the history of human civilization.