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But Now I am Six, I’m as Clever as Clever September 12, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, entertainment.
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When I was One, I had just begun.
When I was Two, I was nearly new.
When I was Three, I was hardly me.
When I was Four, I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

From Now We are Six, by A. A. Milne

Back to our regularly planned post.

Here we are again, another anniversary.  It has been six years and I am still here.

Needs a haircut, just like me

As I do every year, I am going to try to summarize the story so far in terms of statistics and other such nonsense, all while attempting to overlay a completely inappropriate theme over the whole thing.  Cue Christopher Robin.

For those who want to read the past efforts, here they are.

As the years have gone along, these posts have become longer and sillier.  But I have tried to keep some consistency year over year for comparison.  Each year the same base stats get updated, while I try to add some new aspect into the mix.

This is long and boring for those who are not interested in the site for the sake of the site, so it is mostly hidden after the cut.

Required filler line for people viewing in a browser.

Basic Statistics

Those same numbers I have every year, updated.

Measurements as accurate as the tools allow

Days since launch: 2162 (+366)
Posts total: 2578 (+475)
Average posts per day: 1.19 (+0.02)
Comments: 17,126 (+3,659)
Average comments per post: 6.6 (+0.2)
Average comments per day: 7.9  (+0.4)
Spam comments: 733,586 (+424,010)
Average spam comments per day: 339.31 (+166.94)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 43 (+20)
Images uploaded:  4,654
Space used by images: 1.3 GB of my 3 GB allocation

Basically, I posted at about the same rate as before and comments came it at about the same rate as they have in the past, but spam comments ballooned.  There were more spam comments in the last 366 days then there had been in the previous five years.  The perils of something approaching popularity with search engines I suppose.

On the bright side, leaving out the Brazilian email list spam of late, almost all of the spam comments are weeded out before I even have to see it.  Akismet simply gives me a tally.

Now if I could just find a way to count how many words I have posted in all this time.

Demographics

Where did you all come from?

Close to my Faroe Islands readership

Well, this year the flag counter in the side bar reports that the site has gotten visitors from 209 different countries, which is up 8 from last year.

Beyond the thousand acre wood…

Unsurprisingly, the majority of those visitors (69%, down 3%) continue to be from the four most populous countries where English is the primary language.

WordPress.com also now tracks demographics, though their records only go back to February 25th of this year.  They do not, however, produce nearly as useful a graphic as the flag counter, being basically broken down into orange a somewhat darker orange.

A more orange shade of orange

That basically tells me most visitors are from the US, while equatorial Africa has a concentration of states from which I have not gotten visits.  Iran and its neighbors seem to be off the list as well.

Meanwhile, looking at the thin minority end of visitors, locations that have had exactly one visitor to the site in the last two years are (* was on the list in past years):

5 of the 8 new countries are on this list.  The main thing these locations generally have in common is small populations and relative geographic remoteness.

The US Minor Outlying Islands still might be the most interesting place for a visitor on the list.  There is an estimated population of 300 people scattered around the Pacific and Caribbean, who presumably speak English.

Incoming!

Or who sends the most referral traffic to The Ancient Gaming Noob.

Blogger makes this such a bother

Last year WordPress.com changed how it displays referral stats and, rather than each URL being unique, it grouped them under the primary domain.  This made it much easier to figure out where traffic was coming from, since everything was rolled up under a single base URL.

This year Google decided to mess with this, so sites that use the Blogger service have their URL associated with… a lot of countries.  So, as an example, Jester’s Trek shows up on my list as:

  • jestertrek.blogspot.com
  • jestertrek.blogspot.co.uk
  • jestertrek.blogspot.ca
  • jestertrek.blogspot.de
  • jestertrek.blogspot.com.au
  • jestertrek.blogspot.it
  • jestertrek.blogspot.co.at
  • jestertrek.blogspot.co.nz
  • jestertrek.blogspot.dk
  • jestertrek.blogspot.com.br
  • jestertrek.blogspot.com.es
  • jestertrek.blogspot.se

In the WordPress.com world, that works out to 12 different base URLs.  Thanks a lot Google!  And screw you for killing iGoogle as well!

So counting up Blogger hosted sites got a bit more difficult.  Still, the dispersion isn’t enough to change the top 10 by more than an entry or two, it just made things annoying.  So here we go, the top 10 sources of traffic to the site:

Over the Past 12 Months

  1. Google
  2. Jester’s Trek
  3. WordPress.com
  4. Blessing of Kings
  5. Virgin Worlds
  6. Massively
  7. Hardcore Casual
  8. Popehat
  9. Player versus Developer
  10. Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog

The list for the last year is a bit of a change up.  The perennial chart topper, VirginWorlds, is down to fifth place, while the ever-popular Jester has sent me a ton of traffic, probably thanks to my posting about EVE a lot in the last year.  And SynCaine finally made it to the top 10.  I think his endorsement of my Tortanic post made the difference.

The odd one out is Popehat, which is a law focused blog.  I think the fact that I am alphabetically high on their blogroll (they discarded the definite article) and that they got a huge amount of traffic related to some high profile posts this year added up in my favor.  My personal congratulations and thanks to Ken, Patrick, and the rest of the Popehat team.

All Time

  1. Google
  2. Virgin Worlds
  3. Blessing of Kings
  4. Jester’s Trek
  5. Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog
  6. EQ2 Daily
  7. Player versus Developer
  8. Massively
  9. massiveblips.dailyradar.com
  10. Hardcore Casual

This shows the weight of the last year and how much traffic Jester gets at his site.  Basically, he gets a lot of traffic and his readers use his blogroll.  That is an unusual factor that makes his site different from most.

Otherwise, the momentum of past years kept the now defunct Massive Blips and EQ2 Daily on the list, while the recent boost in traffic lifted SynCaine onto the over all top 10.

Outgoing!

And where have I been sending people in our little MMO blogging community?

It is a community thing

Over the Past 12 Months

  1. Pokemon.com
  2. Nick Yee’s Guild Name Generator
  3. Jester’s Trek
  4. Hardcore Casual
  5. Blessing of Kings
  6. Massively
  7. Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog
  8. Kill Ten Rats
  9. Bio Break
  10. SWG: A New Hope

At least the traffic patterns are somewhat reciprocal.  If somebody sends me a lot of traffic, I do try to link them back when I can.  Google has some influence here, of course.  Pokemon, Guild Name Generator, and SWG emulation all appear on the list courtesy of search engine results.

All Time

  1. Nick Yee’s Guild Name Generator
  2. Pokemon.com
  3. Hardcore Casual
  4. Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog
  5. pΘtshΘt
  6. Kill Ten Rats
  7. The Common Sense Gamer
  8. Blessing of Kings
  9. Virgin Worlds
  10. West Karana

Again, the weight of history prevails.  Nick Yee and Pokemon trade places.  I also linked a lot to TCSG… mostly about $10 horses… over the years.  The site is now retired, but it’s legacy lives on.

Most Viewed Posts

What has really “popped” here!

Another F2P complaint

Most Viewed Posts Over The Past 12 Months

  1. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  2. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  3. Diablo III vs. Torchlight II – A Matter of Details
  4. Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union – Coming Soon
  5. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  6. Beastlord to be the New Class in the Next EQ2 Expansion
  7. And Then I Missed Out on the Error 37 Party
  8. Type 59 Being Pulled from the World of Tanks Store
  9. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  10. And Now I REALLY Want That SWTOR Authenticator

Google search results largely dictate this list, with only a single generic EVE post showing up.

All Time Most Viewed Posts

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  4. EVE Online – The Tutorial
  5. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  6. Diablo III vs. Torchlight II – A Matter of Details
  7. Regigigas Event at Toys R Us
  8. What Is A “Tank” In EVE?
  9. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  10. How I Got My 5,000 Turbine Points

Meanwhile, the lagging indicators.  Obsolete posts, like finding and agent in EVE online, or my ancient EVE Online tutorial post, are no longer relevant.  But they used to draw a lot of traffic.

Picture This

This time around I thought I would take on visual imagery as the sort-of “bonus” stats.

What are we looking at?

Here are the all-time top 5 most viewed images here on the site, as measured by how many times people clicked on them to view them full size. (As such, header images and things that fit in my 450 pixel wide column without thumbnails are left out.)

Regigigas Event!

A chart about Turbine Points

The Real Levels of LOTRO

A well lit dungeon in Torchlight II

e-peen is always popular

I will leave it as an exercise to the read to match the picture with the post from which it came.

Video Reaction

Keeping on with the visual media, it is time to look at YouTube.

It has to have motion!

Over the last year I actually created and uploaded a few movies to YouTube.  Some were clearly more popular than others.  Here are the 10 most popular movies, sorted by the number of views, that I have uploaded:

  1. Burn Jita – First Night at the 4-4 Undock – 110,000+ views
  2. Single PokeWalker LEGO Twink – 890 views
  3. Double PokeWalker LEGO Twink – 844 views
  4. Drake Fleet at EWN-2U - 815 views
  5. Time Dilation Drake Fleet – 747 views
  6. Diablo 2 End of Act II Speech – 580 views
  7. Destroying Raiden Capital Ships at BWF-ZZ – 519 views
  8. A School of Drake – 460 views
  9. Diablo 2 shadows and light – 430 views
  10. Visions from the War in the North – Branch, Tenal, and Venal – 341 views

EVE Online clearly dominates the list, and one movie in particular.  It helps when your video gets posted to a couple of international news sites.  The two Pokewalker movies probably make the list by virtue of being two of the oldest movies I have posted.  Missing from the list are my favorites, In New Eden My Heart Goes “Boum!” which is one of my more recent uploads (and in 12th place), and The WoW Instance Group – Year One, which is in 11th place and which is really only meaningful to the five of us who were in the group.

Demographically, my videos are most popular in Poland, followed by the United States and France.

The most popular date for my videos was April 28, 2012, which happened to be the day after I posted my video from the Burn Jita event.  Go figure!

What Games Have I Been Playing?

It is a gaming blog.  What games do I actually play?

A quest in Bree

For this I have decided to use my Raptr profile to show what games I have been playing.  Unfortunately, my Raptr profile only goes back  to December 4, 2010 when I started using the service.  And the data it presents is not very granular.  I can see what I played this week, this month, or over the life of my account.  So I pretty much have to go with the big number, since I cannot get a single year readout.

With that in mind, here are the 11 games I have played the most and what percentage of playtime each game represents relative to my total tracked hours.  “Everything Else” represents all other web and PC games that Raptr says it is tracking hours for.  That number represents 95 games that I apparently don’t play very much.  In fact, I have only tracked any time at all for 48 of them.  I think this is due to the link between Steam and Raptr.  Once I buy something on Steam, it appears on my Raptr list… and I bought the whole PopCap library on Steam last year.

Anyway, this is the list.

  1. EVE Online – 17.75%
  2. Rift – 17.58%
  3. EverQuest II Extended – 13.95%
  4. World of Warcraft – 11.14%
  5. Lord of the Rings Online – 10.28%
  6. EverQuest – 7.73%
  7. Civilization V – 4.19%
  8. Defense Grid: The Awakening – 2.85%
  9. Need for Speed: World – 2.42%
  10. World of Tanks – 2.29%
  11. Diablo III – 2.2%
  12. Everything Else – 7.6%

Third on the list is EverQuest II Extended, which isn’t even around any more, which begins to show the problem of starting tracking at an arbitrarily late date.  I happened to start playing EQIIx in earnest just as I started using Raptr.

In reality, over the past six year, WoW should be at the top, EVE second, and probably LOTRO in third place.  But you work with the data you have… and make charts.

Never Enough Pie!

And now at least I have a benchmark to measure against for next year.

WikiLearning

I love to link out to references during my posts, and the primary target for a lot of those links is Wikipedia.  Love it or hate it, it is the center of trivia on the internet.

I have your attention at last

Which Wikipedia articles received the most traffic?  Here are the top fifteen:

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_WFC
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Black_and_White
  3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_trek_online
  4. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS
  5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_Paris_Burning%3F
  6. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trader_Vic%27s
  7. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-money_trading
  8. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Monte_Carlo
  9. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_DSi
  10. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_Avanti
  11. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test
  12. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAME
  13. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakout_%28video_game%29
  14. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camaro
  15. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag_operation

Some of them are clearly relevant.  Others… you may wonder how they arrived on the list.

Just How Much More Clever Am I?

Have I gotten smarter, or just older?

I thought you said “Be Knighted”

I always try to come up with some meaning at these anniversary moments, and I generally fail.

I suppose that, once and for all, I have finally realized AND accepted that I am never going to be as immersed, infatuated, or influenced by any MMO the way I was with EverQuest back in 1999.  It was something new and different for me back then.  And while some measure of enthusiasm was maintained for a while… I dove in the EverQuest II and World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online pretty deeply and enthusiastically… the trend is against that.

Instead we have faced a lot of “more of the same” over the last five years.  This is why I could let Rift age and mature a bit, or why I haven’t run out in a fit of enthusiasm to pick up a copy of Guild Wars 2.  It isn’t that I do not believe they are good games.  I am just no longer willing to put up with the day one crap for what can only honestly be seen as incremental changes to the same MMO paradigm.

This is also let me dismiss games in beta a lot more quickly than I might have in years past.  Star Wars: The Old Republic might be a fine game, but I only needed a short time to tell it was not going to be the game for me.

Is that really smarter, or simply more cynical though?

I still enjoy the genre.  As noted above, Raptr says that I play MMOs more than anything else.  Character advancement, exploration, sharing a world with other people, these all still hold sway.  I still have fun.  But the “new car smell” isn’t there any more.

Which is probably good, as “new car smell” makes me ill.

The Future

So, what happens in year seven?

Things can be difficult to gauge

Well, first I start looking for a theme for next year’s post!  I am thinking School House Rock.

Every year I think I am going to write less and play more.  I think so this year as well.  Hobbies, and this is really just a hobby, generally have a three year shelf life with me, though they can often run a couple more years with me just going through the motions.  Such was stamp collecting, FPS games, my BBS, and the Soviet studies program.

On the flip side, computer games… well… I am into year 29 there, with online games entering the picture 26 years ago.  And video games in general?  That started well back in the mid 1970s.

So clearly some things last a lifetime.  And who knows what the future will bring?

Maybe I will be six for ever and ever.

Comments»

1. HarbingerZero - September 12, 2012

You’re still trending upwards. (-: Congrats TAGN!

2. Wilhelm Arcturus - September 12, 2012

@HZ – Well, it was certainly a banner year for YouTube views and spam comments!

Thanks!

3. stnylan - September 12, 2012

Congratulations, and here’s hoping you remain an ancient noob for at least another year :)

4. bhagpuss - September 12, 2012

Grats! I certainly hope you stick with blogging a lot longer than you did stamp-collecting, and not just because TAGN is #4 all-time (alright, one year) traffic source for Inventory Full :P

5. Jester - September 12, 2012

Congratulations on six years! Awesome!

6. Armagon - September 12, 2012

Congratulations, and whatever you plan, please don’t stop entertaining us :)

7. Wilhelm Arcturus - September 12, 2012

@Jester – Thank you. And, of course, after writing this, I see the following in my stats today:

jestertrek.blogspot.nl
jestertrek.blogspot.sg
jestertrek.blogspot.ie
jestertrek.blogspot.hu

I think this, in part, indicates just how international EVE Online is.

8. Ysharros - September 13, 2012

Six is always a good year to be. And anyone who uses A. A. Milne is full of win. May you still be clever as clever when you’re twice six.

9. SynCaine - September 13, 2012

Victory is mine!

Errr, I mean congrats. Next year I’ll finally catch up and both our blogs will be six years old!

10. Gripper - September 13, 2012

Congrats! I really enjoy reading your work!

11. A very merry un-blogday « Stylish Corpse - September 14, 2012

[...] TAGN sort of reminded me the other day, because his blog-birthdays can’t be counted on the fingers of one fingerless hand and he posts regularly – more than Syp at the moment, and that’s saying something! [...]

12. Mattexl - September 14, 2012

Wilhelm – I just have to say, I really enjoy reading your blog. I love the tone, and how you make everything (even posts on games I have ZERO interest in) entertaining and informative to read. Please keep up the work until you’re six TIMES six and even more clever-er!


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