Heroic Results of the First Five Year Plan!

  • Pig iron: 6.2 million tons (up from 3.3 million)
  • Steel: 5.9 million tons (up from 4.0 million)
  • Coal: 64.3 million tons (up from 35.4 million)
  • Oil: 21.4 million tons (up from 11.7 million)
  • Electricity: 13.4 billion kWh (up from 5.0 billion)

Industrial Production Gains of the First Five Year Plan

So here I am, five years after the first post went up on the site.

Unlike most posts here, I am going to hide most of this one behind a “more…” link, only because I expect it will get long and tedious with meaningless stats and self-referential nonsense.  If that interests you, great!  If it does not, I will spare you (and the front page of the blog) all that clutter.

So click on the link and I will waste a few minutes of your life hauling out some vague statistics about what has gone on over the last year as well as the lifetime of the blog, as I did with the first, second, third, and fourth anniversaries… plus I hacked up some Soviet era propaganda posters, so the whole thing carries on with the theme set out in the title.  They aren’t very good, but they kept me busy and amused for a little bit.

Basic Statistics

What has happened here and how has it changed from a year ago?

Days since launch: 1796 (+365)
Posts total: 2,103 (+463)
Average posts per day: 1.17 (+0.05)
Comments: 13,467 (+3,161)
Average comments per post: 6.4 (+0.1)
Average comments per day: 7.5  (+0.5)
Spam comments: 309,576 (+170,973)
Average spam comments per day: 172.37 (+77.5)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 23 (+9.5)

Again, I am always surprised at the end of the year as to how many posts I have put up.  I start off any given week with one regular post planned, the instance group report, and maybe one additional item.  And with the instance group on Summer hiatus, haven’t even had that much to go on.  Still, I somehow find something to put up.  Note that I did not say “something worthwhile.”

Spam comments took a big spike over the last year.  I couldn’t tell you why.  90% of them get taken care of automatically, so I never see them.  But I have had to deal with that other 10%, most of which are spam.  But occasionally there is a legitimate comment in the mix.


Where did you all come from?

Internationalist Solidarity!

I have had visitors from 201 different countries/territories since I put the flag counter widget on the site about two years back.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of those visitors (71%) are from the four most populous countries where English is the primary language.

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 last year as well):

The main thing these locations generally have in common is small populations and relative geographic remoteness.  That said, Kyrgyzstan actually has a population of over 5 million, while Saint Pierre and Miquelon are just off the coast of Newfoundland and so not that geographically remote.

The US Minor Outlying Islands might be the most impressive place for a visitor on the list.  There is an estimated population of 300 people scattered around the Pacific and Caribbean.


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

WordPress.com changed how it displays referral stats and rather than each URL being unique, it now groups them under the primary domain.  So, for example, there used to be hundreds of Google URLs on the referral list (WordPress only lets me see the top 499) but now they are pretty much rolled up under one item.  For Google US at least.  I’ll get to the others in a bit.

So this year the list changed a little.  It is probably more accurate than in past years, where I had to do some scratch pad addition to see who really was in the top 10.

All Time

  1. virginworlds.com
  2. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  3. WordPress.com
  4. Google
  5. keenandgraev.com
  6. eq2-daily.com
  7. massiveblips.dailyradar.com
  8. playervsdeveloper.blogspot.com
  9. killtenrats.com
  10. cracked.com

Over the Last Year

  1. virginworlds.com
  2. WordPress.com
  3. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  4. Google
  5. keenandgraev.com
  6. playervsdeveloper.blogspot.com
  7. Facebook
  8. Reddit
  9. Massively
  10. cracked.com


The links that people click on their way out.  Here is where I seem to send the most traffic.

All Time

  1. nickyee.com/python/guildname/generator.py
  2. pokemon.com
  3. evegeek.com/mission.php
  4. syncaine.wordpress.com
  5. keenandgraev.com
  6. potshot.wordpress.com
  7. killtenrats.com
  8. commonsensegamer.com
  9. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  10. tobolds.blogspot.com

Over the Last Year

  1. pokemon.com
  2. nickyee.com/python/guildname/generator.py
  3. keenandgraev.com
  4. syncaine.wordpress.com
  5. biobreak.wordpress.com
  6. evegeek.com/mission.php
  7. blog.weflyspitfires.com
  8. killtenrats.com
  9. playervsdeveloper.blogspot.com
  10. blessingofkings.blogspot.com

Most Viewed Posts

The posts that have the most page views on the site.

All Time

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  4. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  5. Fighting Blood Elf Porn
  6. Shiny Pokemon Events Coming to GameStop in January
  7. Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
  8. Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
  9. Upgrading: Golem or Raven Navy Issue?
  10. Why Isn’t LOTRO More Fun?

Over the Last Year

  1. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  2. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. Fighting Blood Elf Porn
  5. LOTRO – Comparing VIP with Free
  6. 2011 Pokemon Video Game Championship Series Announced
  7. Talking Cats Play Pattycake
  8. And Then I Was Mistakenly Declared “Influential”
  9. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  10. EVE Online Screen Shot Contest Winners

The Many Faces of Google

Google routes a good percentage of the traffic my site gets.  Most of that is via search engine results.  But some times they come up as referrals, which means that I was somehow listed on a Google owned page for one reason or another.

And it isn’t just the main Google page.  So here, just for the record, as the referrals sent by Google, broken down by their Google page of origin.  Out of a total of 29,396 referrals:

Google Reader 16,034
Google 7,302
Google UK 2,093
Google Canada 857
Google Australia 608
Google Germany 436
Google Belgium 371
Google Netherlands 176
Google Sweden 154
Google France 110
Google China 106
Google Italy 96
Google Poland 65
Google Brazil 63
Google Austria 60
Google New Zealand 60
Google + 58
Google Russia 58
Google Denmark 58
Google South Africa 56
Google Malaysia 51
Google Spain 49
Google Romania 46
Google Norway 42
Google Singapore 42
Google Portugal 40
Google India 40
Google Philippines 37
Google Croatia 31
Google Thailand 28
Google Finland 26
Google Bulgaria 24
Google Mexico 23
Google Argentina 22
Google Hungary 22
Google Ireland 20
Google Slovakia 17
Google Israel 15

Five Years In – Success or Failure?

Have I, in the last five years, done what I set out to do?

I think the answer is “yes.”

This site was never meant to be a gaming news site or dedicated to a single MMORPG.  It was meant to be a memory book, a place to record information, news, and my own views on the games I was interested in at any given point of time.

So while I spend a lot of time with MMORPGs, it is because I am interested in them not because I feel I have to write about them.  Likewise, to the groans of some, I spend some time on the subject of Pokemon.  That interests me as well, as does EVE Online, even when I am not playing the game.

And the target audience for the site is me.  The 100 or so regular readers of the site are entirely welcome to share in and add to (and often correct) my memories.  I am very happy to have you along.  You enhance the experience for me greatly.

But I very rarely write things for you.

Sometimes there is a post that is clearly for Potshot and myself, or is meant for Gaff or SynCaine or Tipa or Bhagpuss or somebody else beyond just me, but I am always included as well.  It is my desire to record and remember that is driving the whole thing.  Most people only regularly look at the latest post or what is on the front page or what happens to come up in a Google search.

I am the one that goes back to find what I was interested in last year or two years ago.  I put that link on the side bar that sends you to a random post on the site just for me.  I use that link a couple of times a week.

So, all told, I think I have accomplished what I set out to do.  I have a record of the things I want to remember from the last five years of my gaming.

Have I Learned a Damn Thing?

What other insights and trivia can I share.

Be the blog you want to read.  If you hate when people make you come to the site to read the balance of a post, then don’t do that yourself.  Or at least not very often.  I actually don’t mind sites like Kill Ten Rats that give you a paragraph taste of a post.  I do prefer to read the whole thing in my RSS reader, but at least I have a feel for whether I should bother following up.  I do hate sites that have an RSS feed that only gives you the title of a post.  I could name names, but I do not even want to give them the publicity.

Always link back to older posts on the same topic about which you are currently writing.  It will give people who care a bit of context, somebody might actually read something of yours not on the front page, and you will get ping backs from the lazy sites that snaffle and repost your content.  You can then shake your fist at them and call them names.

Link to other blogs generously.  This is actually where most of my blog related traffic, inbound and outbound, is generated.  Blogrolls are not very effective relative to a link in a post. (I say this, but I fail to link out very often.  I need to do that more.)

Regular readership represents a small fraction of the total daily readership here, according to calculations I have attempted to make based on flawed data.  Search engine traffic makes up 60-70% of total page views here on any given day, and those are generally people who show up once and move on, never to return.

When looking for a title for this post, I Google’d the phrase “Five Years” and the first page of results included two of my posts.  Google has a crush on me.  As noted above, they are the source of a lot of my traffic.  I cannot explain why.  I don’t even use their blogging platform. (Though I suspect having a Feedburner feed helps.)

On the other hand, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times somebody has clicked on one of the little buttons at the bottom of each post.  I think there have been a total of three +1 Google clicks.  This interests me primarily in comparison to Tobold, who will get 37 +1 clicks whether he has some deep insight on gaming or just wants to mention a small lump of green puty he found in his armpit.  I know I write crap, but everything he writes isn’t worth that many clicks.  It is like… some sort of popularity contest.  Oh, wait….

The blog has two feeds, the default WordPress.com feed and a Feedburner feed.  People choose the WordPress.com feed by a ratio of 5 to 1.

Google Reader is the RSS reader of choice from what I can tell.  Both feeds combined show 1,159 subscriptions in Google Reader.  And, presumably, some of you use something other than Google for your RSS feed, so the total is probably a couple subscriptions higher.  But even with that, WordPress.com tells me that only 200 or so of you actually load any given post into a reader and view it.  I suspect that “mark all as read” is the most commonly used option in Google Reader.

As a side note, I have 180 subscriptions in Google Reader.  Most of them are MMO related blogs.

99 of you subscribe to the blog through WordPress.com.  This means you get my posts in email form the day after they are posted.  This is probably a good thing as nobody should ever read one of  my posts until it has been up for at least an hour.  It seems that I am completely incapable of spotting huge, glaring errors until I click the “publish” button.

274 of your subscribe to the comments thread of 172 different posts.  I have no idea why.  I guess that is safe.  You are certainly in no danger of filling up your inbox with that sort of subscription.

Almost every post here has some obscure cultural reference in it, but only Dave Allen At Large references get noticed in the comments on a regular basis.  I suspect that if I do not make a reference in the first two sentences, most people will never see it.

The total page views in the first week after I post something has an almost inverse relationship with the amount of effort I put into the post.  This can correct itself over time, but usually not.  “Hey, Look, Funny Guild Names!” still beats out my detailed (and now obsolete) post on how to find an agent in EVE Online by 3 to 1.

All those spam comments on old posts that get sent to the spam folder… they don’t get counted as visits.  You would think they would at least artificially inflate my page views and make me feel better about myself, but no.  Good thing I am not in this for the page views.

But if you are interested, total page views to date are 1,746,765.  That seems like a lot to me.

Going Forward

The biggest change that the five year mark is going to mean to the site is that I am now going to include a “Five Years Ago” section in my monthly round-ups, which are going to be my four year old “One Year Ago” segments copied and pasted.  I am so green, I recycle my own words.

Can I keep going?  As I said way up at the top, generally I have one post in mind a week, the instance group post, and anything beyond that is generally the result of spontaneous combustion.  And with the instance group on hiatus, I haven’t even had that for a couple of months.  Plus I have been in a gaming lull of late to boot, at least with online games.  I have been playing a lot of single player games recently, but not being a shared experience, those are a bit less compelling to write about.  Even I don’t want to go back a read a wrap-up of every game of Civ V I’ve played.

But the lull may end.  New games are always coming along.  With autumn comes the rain and nostalgia, which leads me back to old games.  And there is always EVE Online to keep us entertained.

I suppose we will know how the lull turned out in another year.

14 thoughts on “Heroic Results of the First Five Year Plan!

  1. Bill G

    Congrats on the five years.

    In the defense of sites that don’t provide full text RSS feeds (like ours), they can be a source of significant content theft. A full text RSS feed basically allows someone to completely duplicate your site robotically.

    No big deal if you’re doing it just for fun, but if that’s potentially screwing with your search results and then the revenue from search traffic it can be meaningful. That’s ultimately why we switched to excerpts in RSS only.


  2. Boogie

    Gz :)
    But where is Belgium in the demographics graph? It’s quite high on the google list :P (despite the fact that it doesn’t really exist)
    Boogie, BE.


  3. SynCaine

    Grats indeed, and thanks for all the traffic. I said last year I’d try to return the favor, seems I’ve still failed. You don’t bash PvP MMOs enough (and the total lack of interesting things in that space is not helping either).

    I hear you on the lack of blog-worthy gaming right now though. Who wants to read about me shotting the same lunatic in Borderlands for the 1000th time?!?


  4. Deine

    I don’t do this often enough (or at all!), but I wanted to post to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I read about games much more than I end up playing them, and I like the breadth of games you cover- Everquest, LOTRO, Rift, SWG, Pokemon are all things I’ve never had the opportunity to play, but I’m always entertained by and interested in your thoughts about them and others. So happy anniversary, and here’s to many more!


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bill – Oh, I totally get it. And I am fine with excerpts. I just resent sites that have an RSS feed that then show you absolutely nothing aside from the title. My own content is currently being stolen by half a dozen obviously desperate sites. (Which is why I constantly link back to myself!)

    @Boogie – You can click on the flag counter on the side bar and it will give you all sorts of details, including a ranking of countries based on traffic.

    Belgium is in 15th place.

    I like the flag counter, which is why I have kept it in the side bar. I like that it breaks out the US by states. Traffic from individual US states works out to be nearly a function of the population of any given state.


  6. wizardling

    I would Google+, but Google has not made it work with Google Apps accounts yet :-( I’m starting to wonder if they _ever_ will.

    Anyway – great going on five years and going on strong! TAGN is still my favourite MMO blog :-)


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Wizardling – Heh! Don’t view my comments as a “please click on my buttons” request. I would find it even more odd if, say, the same 7 people clicked on +1 for every post. And remember, my mom reads my blog every day, and she doesn’t click on those buttons either (though she sometimes “likes” my posts on Facebook), so there is clearly no pressure to do so.


  8. flosch

    Very impressive. I especially like those agitprop mashups. One day, I might ask you for permission to borrow one of them. ;)

    Whenever I have nothing else to do, I read through your old posts. I’m slowly working myself towards the present. Very much worth it, most of them don’t feel outdated.

    And you said it, with autumn we’ll probably see another wave of posts about instance grouping and nostalgia. Maybe even Fippy Darkpaw again, for a couple of nights?


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