The Thirteenth Floor

Another year has come and gone and here we are at thirteen.

This car does not stop at that floor

Thirteen is an unlucky number to some, but it has always been a bit of a talisman in our family, something of an attraction rather than an aversion.  I went skydiving with a friend on Friday the 13th, picking that day specifically for the unlucky connotation.  In the end though, it is just a number, something that passes by fleetingly, unless you’re 13 years old.  I’ve never been more miserable in my life than when I was 13, an age that seemed to last forever.

Now my blog is thirteen.  I hope it isn’t as bad off as I was at that age.

For those new to the site… how did you end up here… this is an annual tradition.  If you’re a glutton for punishment, there are twelve past entries to review.

I used to do cute themes for this post.  Years five and six are probably the best efforts for that, while I think eight is where I get the most philosophical.  That is where I said I would stop blogging at the ten year mark.  But here I am.  There are days when I am just so very tired that I can barely crank out the 2,000 words that make up the core of the post like this.  Cute pictures and the philosophy of the internet just aren’t in me anymore.

But on we go, as we do every year, for a look behind the curtain at the numbers and such that inform about this blog.

Base Statistics

The same thing every year, looking at how the various needled moved over the last dozen months.

Days since launch: 4,748 (+365)
Posts total: 5,215 (+420)
Total Words: 3,967,279 (not including this post)
Average words per post: 761.18
Post Likes: 9,521
Average posts per day: 1.098 (+0.05)
Comments: 32,451 (+1,670)
Average comments per post: 6.22 (-0.20)
Average comments per day: 6.83 (-0.18)
Spam comments: 1,482,548 (+32,607)
Comments Rescued from the Spam Filter: 438 (+4)
Average spam comments per day: 312.24 (-18.7)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 45.6 (-1)
Comments written by me: 6,430 or 19.8%
Images uploaded: 14,575 (+1,432)
Space used by images: 603.7MB 1.2 GB of my 3 GB allocation (33%, up 100%)
Blog Followers: 1,701 (+209)
Twitter Followers: 743 (+14)
Tumblr Followers: 33 (+7)
US Presidents since launch: 3
British Monarchs since launch: 1
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 7

Much more after the cut, if you feel like looking at a lot of charts, lists, and numbers.  Actual page view numbers are available.

Demographics

Some year either something will change in this section or I’ll stop doing it.  Either way, the US dominates the numbers every time.  English language gaming blog appeals mostly in countries where English is common spoken, film at 11.

Flag Counter Country Chart

I use the Flag Counter sidebar widget stats since, frankly, all web stats are garbage, but I’ve been using the widget longer than WP.com has been keeping track of countries.  Also, the widget is better at counting people just once.

As I noted last year, I subscribed to Flag Counter to get some of their marginally deeper stats.  So, for example, they tell me these are the browsers and operating systems you all use.

Flag Counter browser and OS stats

Chrome is down a bit over last years abbreviated stats, which is a bit of a surprise, since earlier this year Microsoft Edge started using the Chrome engine, so it identifies as Chrome 58 when queried.  But, then, I suspect almost nobody uses Edge.  Before the update it constantly crashed when I tried to use it on with my reasonably fresh install of Window 10.

Windows is still the dominate operating system.  A lot of you still use Window 7, though I cannot blame you, since we’re still using it at work as well.  Mobile are the next two big ones, with Linux, MacOS, and whatever else hidden in the “others” slice.

And so it goes.  That is what the stats say about the visitors.

Incoming!

Who sends traffic here?  I mean, besides Google.  Google, and the other search engines, get their own area.  From just normal blogs and gaming sites and the like, the following send me the most user.

Over The Last Year

  1. https://totaleve.com
  2. https://evebloggers.com
  3. https://bhagpuss.blogspot.com
  4. https://swtorcommando.blogspot.com
  5. https://blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  6. https://lowseclifestyle.com
  7. https://nosygamer.blogspot.com
  8. https://greedygoblin.blogspot.com
  9. https://parallelcontext.blogspot.com
  10. https://nilsmmoblog.blogspot.com

Total EVE remains the dominant player in sending me traffic.  That can’t all be just Dirk MacGirk clicking on links there, can it?  It is a nice summary site that has feeds from all over the EVE Online social media universe.  EVE Bloggers is in second, but traffic from there has tapered off somewhat.   I think Steve needs to prune some of the deadwood from the site, as there are a lot of dead blogs on the main page.

Then we get into prolific and popular bloggers, followed by the less prolific and sometimes completely dead blogs.  I am sure Gevlon would be happy to know that his old blog, the one on Blogger he abandoned because he didn’t like Google, still sends me traffic.

Over The Life of the Blog

  1. https://virginworlds.com
  2. https://blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  3. https://evenews24.com
  4. https://totaleve.com
  5. https://lowseclifestyle.com
  6. https://evebloggers.com
  7. https://syncaine.com
  8. https://keenandgraev.com
  9. https://jestertrek.blogspot.com
  10. https://popehat.com

Over the life of the blog… well, there are 13 years worth of traffic to overcome to climb that list.  I think Virgin Worlds hasn’t had me in its front page feed for at least five years at this point, but it still tops the list.  It was quite the source of traffic back in the heyday of blogging.  Other familiar names are on the list as well.

And then there is social media.  Not a lot of traffic comes in daily, but it does add up over time.

Over The Last Year

  1. WordPress.com Reader
  2. Reddit
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. forums-archive.eveonline.com
  6. tagn-wordpress-com.cdn.ampproject.org
  7. WordPress Android App
  8. forums.daybreakgames.com
  9. old.reddit.com
  10. Google News

The WordPress.com reader remains something of a wonder.  The fact that you can use it to search on categories and tags for all of their hosted blogs makes it an invaluable resource for finding blogs, and some people have clearly found mine that way.

Over The Life of the Blog

  1. WordPress.com Reader
  2. Google Reader
  3. Reddit
  4. Twitter
  5. Facebook
  6. feedly.com
  7. Netvibes
  8. massiveblips.dailyradar.com
  9. WordPress Android App
  10. theoldreader.com

Again, WordPress Reader has taken over first place, but Google Reader, gone more than six years at this point, persists in second place.  Also on the gone list was Massive Blips.  That was a pretty good aggregator for its time.

Search Engines

And then the search engines, or Google and everybody else.  This is a bit more interesting because the site tools that the search engines give you allow you to get a bit more insight into what brings people to click on the link to your site.

Over The Last Year

  1. Google Search
  2. Bing
  3. duckduckgo.com
  4. Yahoo Search
  5. Yandex
  6. Baidu
  7. Ask.com
  8. MSN
  9. myway.com
  10. AOL

That is a fine list, but Google makes up 97% of the search engine traffic that comes to me.  I actually signed up for Google, Bing, and Yandex site admin access to more directly feed them updates to my blog, but that made no real difference… to anything really.  Overall traffic is down, and that means that search engine traffic is down because Google makes up the lion’s share of my new, random, or drive by traffic.  If I get 500 page views in a day, 200 of them will be from Google, and if I get 1,500 page views in a day, 1,200 of them will be from Google.

Over The Life of the Blog

  1. Google Search
  2. Google Image Search
  3. Bing
  4. Yahoo Search
  5. Google Mobile
  6. Ask.com
  7. Yahoo Image Search
  8. Yandex
  9. duckduckgo.com
  10. isearch.avg.com

Likewise, over the life of the blog Google still dominates.  Google Image Search is a relic of the pre-2012 way that Google handled image searches.  They would send people to your site if they clicked on an image from your blog.  Now they cache it and show it in full size and never trouble your site again.  As I have noted in the past, this led to the big decline in traffic in 2013.  That GIS is still number two tells you how much traffic that was.

Going deeper into search engines, now that I have been signed up with Google site management for over a year, I can share some search data from that.  Here are the top dozen search terms that send traffic to the blog.

Google Search Terms – 12 Months

The term “ukdrillas” is from this past weekend and the WoW Classic DDoS attack.  People get antsy when their game is interrupted.  Variation on how many people play EVE Online is pretty strong, and that has gone up some recently as well, no doubt a side effect of the Chaos Era.

Bing will only grab you six months worth of data, but here are the search terms that they send me.  You can compare the impressions and clicks and draw your own conclusion.

Bing Search Terms – Past Six Months

The top term from Google got 2,578 clicks, and the top term from Bing got 14.  Even if you double it to make it a full year, that is 28 or about 1% of Google.

Outgoing!

People do occasionally click on links and things in the side bar and are sent off to other places on the internet.  The places most clicked are:

Over The Last Year – Bloggers:

  1. bhagpuss.blogspot.com
  2. nosygamer.blogspot.com
  3. syncaine.wordpress.com
  4. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  5. mmofallout.com
  6. biobreak.wordpress.com
  7. evehermit.wordpress.com
  8. http://www.keenandgraev.com
  9. evepics.wordpress.com
  10. aywren.com

I think there is pretty solid correlation between how often I link out to somebody and where they appear on that list.  Otherwise, I think all of them appear somewhere in my feeds on the side bar.  My dynamic pseudo Blogger-style feed shows its worth.

Over The Last Year – Commercial-ish sites:

  1. en.wikipedia.org
  2. imperium.news
  3. massivelyop.com
  4. http://www.reddit.com
  5. zkillboard.com
  6. eve-offline.net
  7. http://www.eveonline.com
  8. http://www.wowwiki.com
  9. us.forums.blizzard.com
  10. Twitter

For commercial, and commercial-like sites, It is pretty much a matter of who I link out to.  Wikipedia, my go to source for keeping me from getting side-tracked explaining things, tops the list.

Over The Life of the Blog – Bloggers:

  1. syncaine.wordpress.com
  2. http://www.keenandgraev.com
  3. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  4. evepics.wordpress.com
  5. http://www.killtenrats.com
  6. bhagpuss.blogspot.com
  7. biobreak.wordpress.com
  8. tobolds.blogspot.com
  9. playervsdeveloper.blogspot.com
  10. jestertrek.blogspot.com

SynCaine tops the list for all time.  No doubt some Friday blog wars residuals in that.  Still, a lot of familiar faces there.

Over The Life of the Blog – Commercial-ish sites:

  1. nickyee.com/python/guildname/generator.py
  2. en.wikipedia.org
  3. http://www.pokemon.com
  4. forums.civfanatics.com
  5. us.battle.net
  6. http://www.pokemongoldsilver.com
  7. myeve.eve-online.com
  8. us.blizzard.com
  9. http://www.eve-online.com
  10. swganh.com

Oh, the Nick Yee guild name generator, it still owns overall, thanks to Google.  And for Wikipedia, the most clicked on link leading there is for Castle Wolfenstein, the original Apple II game, not any of the later versions.

Most Viewed Posts

Over The Last Year

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. How Many People Play EVE Online?
  3. Rumors of Future Daybreak Projects and the End of EverQuest
  4. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  5. From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun
  6. April Fools at Blizzard 2019 is Pretty Much No Fools
  7. What Should EverQuest 3 Even Look Like?
  8. Burn Jita 2018 Aftermath
  9. Finding Evendim
  10. Who is My Middle-earth Main Anyway?

A not unexpected result of the coming of WoW Classic has been more people looking for the classic Alamo druid post.  Then there are people worried about EVE Online and people worried about Daybreak, followed by more practical searches I guess.

Over The Life of the Blog

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  6. First Pokemon Black and White Download Event – Victini
  7. April Fools at Blizzard – 2013
  8. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  9. From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun
  10. Diablo III vs. Torchlight II – A Matter of Details

Inertia rules again.  Alamo continues to climb slowly up that list, but that guild name generator post had a big early lead.

Categories and Tags

Categories and the high level topics that I write about here, and so to look at categories is to look at the games I write about in broad strokes.  I currently have 96 categories for the blog.  Some of them were optimistic.  I made a category for Elite: Dangerous and then wrote only two posts about the game.  That could have been a tag.  But otherwise categories do reflect what gets posted around here.  The top 20 most used categories are:

  1. EVE Online 1,563
  2. World of Warcraft 1,233
  3. EverQuest II 695
  4. EverQuest 562
  5. Lord of the Rings Online 416
  6. Blizzard 366
  7. Sony Online Entertainment 339
  8. Instance Group 282
  9. Humor 236
  10. Pokemon 222
  11. Misc MMOs 193
  12. blog thing 185
  13. Rift 161
  14. Month in Review 156
  15. YouTube 146
  16. Nintendo DS Hardware 141
  17. Other PC Games 137
  18. Diablo III 135
  19. Vanguard SOH 134
  20. Minecraft 122

EVE Online passed World of Warcraft a few years back, but I have to wonder if the coming of WoW Classic (which is also a category) will see WoW regain some ground on New Eden.  Also the Instance Group category, dormant for some years now, will be reviving a bit as well.

Tags are the more whimsical part of the system here, being subject to immediate mood or fancy.  I throw them out with abandon. They fill in for games that don’t rate a category, details like zones or solar systems or expansions, or sometimes just my general feelings about a post or warnings to the reader. There are 3,645 tags used over the last 13 years, up 252 from last year. I continue to make up a new tag for a lot of posts it seems.

With so many tags it is hard to pick a range.  The top ten stay don’t vary much year over year, tag inertia having set in.  Here they are and how often they have been used:

  1. Progression Server 117
  2. Reavers 84
  3. Fippy Darkpaw 83
  4. Nostalgia 80
  5. Asher Elias 80
  6. Meaningless Milestones 75
  7. Pokemon Go 73
  8. MMO Expansions 65
  9. Warlords of Draenor 64
  10. Free-To-Play 63

But to find something for this anniversary, I thought I would also list out the tags that have been used exactly 13 times.  They are:

  1. Scarlet Monastery
  2. PvP
  3. Cats
  4. Leuthilspar Tales
  5. World of Warcraft Magazine
  6. Toys R Us
  7. West Karana
  8. Newbie Blogger Initiative
  9. Steam Summer Sale
  10. DBRB
  11. Meandering
  12. Pandemic Legion
  13. Loremaster
  14. Guardians of the Galaxy
  15. Fall Movie League
  16. CSM13
  17. Spring Movie League

That is probably a more interesting cross-section of tags.  To start with, if I have used them 13 times, they are solid tags.  There are a lot of one off tags in the full list.  Over half of them, actually.   But these are good, and they are all over the map, from FML seasons that were 13 weeks long to an EverQuest zone to a series of stories about TorilMUD to a WoW instance and so on.  I do like that CSM13 got 13 mentions.  Seems appropriate.

A Peek Into Page Views

Here we are at the one day a year when I bare the raw page view stats for the world to see.

Total Page Views by Month/Year

Average Daily Page Views by Month/Year

You can click on either of those charts to see them full size, which would make them more legible for sure.

Traffic here continues to decline from its peak in 2012.  As I said, and which you can see in the numbers, the first big hit was the Google Image View change of early 2013.  And, after that, things have slowly eroded.  But it corresponds somewhat with a creeping conservatism on my part when it comes to games I suppose.  I am writing about the same few games in 2019 that I was back in 2006, all of which are clearly past their peak and thus their public interest.

I did wonder at one point is the decline in page views would alter my desire to write.  I mean, it is easy to say page views don’t matter, but when you’re running at 30% of your past peak, that is the rubber hitting the road.  And yet I keep on writing lots of posts, but we’ll get to that in the next section.

So Very Many Words

My favorite table I suppose.  I write a lot of words.

September 2019 – Word count, like, and comment numbers – Click on it to make it bigger/readable

While page views seem to be in decline, I remain on track for close to 400 posts again this year.  My average words per post is down a bit for 2019, but we haven’t hit the end of the year verbose summary of things that happened season.

Something I Didn’t Mention the Last Dozen Times I Did This Post

I think one of the possible revelations I have had over the last few years in my blogging is a greater desire to write for posterity beyond simply recording what I was playing and what I thought about it at a given time.  I wrote a chaotic post addressing this during Blaugust, which is when things became a little more clear to me on that front.  I end up writing a lot of blog posts that are not about my playing something, or even myself directly, but rather events and changes around the games I watch and play.

Yes, I have mentioned the desire for having context and dates and what not.  But I do at times start to boarder on something akin to a news site for brief stretches of time in order to get there because sometimes the sign posts are as important as the things in between I guess.  I make no commitment to covering every bit of, say, Norrath related news coming out of Daybreak, but I will likely continue to hit the high points, the expansions and plans and, perhaps, the eventual landing place for the franchise should dey break up.

Forward Looking Statements

If I am unreliable as a narrator… and I assure you I am… then my ability to forecast falls beyond that into abysmal.

I mean sure, I get some things correct now and then.  If I predict that I will play WoW or EVE Online at the beginning of the year it is likely to come to pass.  But I am pretty sure any semi-regular reader could have predicted that as well.  I don’t think there has been a year during the life of the blog where I have not played them both, at least for a little while.

But more refined or less obvious looks into the future?  Have you seen my annual predictions post?  The 2019 version is going to be hilariously wrong when I review it come December.

So I will go with the safe view that, barring some major life changing event, things will go on as before.  I will keep writing month in review posts and noting the various launches, closures, expansions, updates, changes, and announcements that touch the games that interest me.

I have to say “interest me” now, as the number I actually play seems to grow smaller as time goes on.  And, honestly, so does the number that interests me.  A few years ago I might have written about SWTOR expansions or major changes, or something going on in GW2.  Now I feel too far outside of those orbits to comment except in the most general way.

But I am a person who finds some comfort in routine.  That and the sunk cost fallacy will probably keep me writing.  I’d hardly be an MMORPG player if I wasn’t a sucker for sunk costs.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by for another year.  WordPress.com, my platform (and some times nemesis) has given me my annual achievement.

achievement unlocked

As always, I am sure there is some exciting news coming for the games I play and the companies that make them, and I will likely be here to pummel that to death with an excess of verbiage.

9 thoughts on “The Thirteenth Floor

  1. SynCaine

    It will be interesting to see if the momentum and popularity of Classic also translates into a renewed interest in MMO blogging, at least in this corner of the internet. It has for me, and in the last two weeks, clearly with others, but as with all things Classic, will it last?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bhagpuss

    Grats on another year. I’m very happy you didn’t stop at ten! Can’t see anything at all wrong with carrying on with what intererests you and letting the rest slide. And who knows, there may be changes to the genre or the zeitgeist that shake things up. Be a shame not to be there to record it.

    I always find other bloggers stats fascinatiing although I agree that all of them are basically garbage. My daily and monthly page views are now very similar to yours and so are my traffic sources. As for dead blogs feeding, Gevlon, gone for only a few months, is nothing – Nils still makes my top ten sources most weeks!

    One thing that always puzzles me is “followers”. My main Blogger stat page tells me I have 16 and has said that for as long as I can remember. I can see who they are and almost none of them is anyone I have ever heard of. On the other hand, I got an email today that someone new had started following the blog and as yet there is no sign of them in the stats.

    I think I probably mention this every time you do an annual post. It’s been like it forever. Conversely, sometimes when I visit other blogs there’s a little suggestion box of some other blogs I might like and it sometimes suggests my own blog. It tells you how many followers those blogs have and it always has me with something like two or three hundred.

    Internet stats are garbage!

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – There certainly seems to be a spark there for some.

    @Bhagpuss – Having two blogs, I can occasionally compare the two. I will link out to EVE Online Pictures in a post, then compare how many clicks this site records versus how many referrals the other site gets. They are never even close. Web stats are garbage for sure.

    Like

  4. Archey

    Congratulations on lucky 13!

    If it is of interest, I’m not much of a blog reader, but yours is one of only about three that I read, and the only gaming blog. It probably helps that I’ve been more or less heavily invested in several of your top games: WoW and Eve in particular, though not EQ. And you have a level head when it comes to your analysis, which I find a scarce commodity in most places, at least on a consistent basis.

    In short, I hope you keep writing, because I’ll keep reading!

    Like

  5. Toldain

    Congrats! I could not manage to sustain blogging despite my 3000 years and fabulous red hair. Too much life intervened and I had to stop MMOs entirely for a good period of time, in fact.

    Seems as good a time as any to tell you why I bailed on EVE Online: My wife got a brain tumor. Funny thing though: After surgery, chemo and radiation therapy, she’s fine. She just passed her five years in remission mark, and there are remarkably few observable consequences of that adventure, despite missing a chunk of her brain the size of a melon ball.

    But enough about me. I’m amazed that you can keep this going. Very well done. I’ll continue to read as long as you do it. I’m one of the few that still uses an RSS reader.

    Like

  6. Shintar

    Woot, I give you traffic! Wonder how much of that is me clicking through to pretty much every single new post you make…

    Anyway, just wanted to add my voice to the chorus saying that I’m glad you’re still doing this. Yours is definitely one of my favourite blogs these days.

    Like

  7. Lostguy28

    Congrats on 13 years! With the resurgence of Classic did you feel the need to yell ding while creating this post?

    As a longtime reader I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to share in all of your adventures. Here’s to many more!

    Like

Voice your opinion... but be nice about it...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s