My Blogging Quinceanera

Here we are again at another blog anniversary.  It has been 15 years since I set out on this writing journey.

Think of it as a space quinceanera

As always, I spent a good few minutes fishing around for a theme for this post and quinceanera popped up as something related to the number 15.  Here in California quinceanera refers to the party given for a young woman on her 15th birthday, though the usage of the word varies.  But my wife has a friend who is a party planner for these events, which can be huge, and she uses the word to refer to the event, so I will do the same.

Were this the blog of a decade back I would have gone to some effort to dress up the post to go along with the theme.  Look at what I did for the fifth and sixth anniversaries.  These days I am a less invested in the whole thing, so I am going to declare the theme and the almost immediately walk away from it.  If you want to imagine me in a satin party dress with a tiara, that’s all on you.  My wife isn’t sharing those pictures.

If I were feeling motivated I might have tried to work in some key elements of a quinceanera, things like the pinatas, a cake, the dance partner, the first bouquet as a woman, and the last doll of childhood.  But I think I’ll just let you imagine me in the dress.  that is less work and I am starting late this year.

Past Anniversaries

In case you want to revisit the evolution of these annual posts.  As noted above, years five and six are probably peak effort on my part, then like life, it is all down hill from there.

Base Statistics

I was trying to figure out if statistics were the cake or the pinatas.  Pinatas I think, since there are a bunch of them.

Beyond that, we have the same opening set of numbers every year, looking at how the various needled moved over the last dozen months.  The current count is listed below with the change since last year noted in parenthesis.

Days since launch: 5,480 (+366)
Posts total: 6,028 (+419)
Total Words: 4,839,356  (+460,599 words, not including this post)
Average words per post: 803 (+22)
Post Likes: 15,164 (+2,578)
Average posts per day: 1.1 (+0.03)
Comments: 35,108 (+1,328)
Average comments per post: 5.82 (-0.21)
Average comments per day: 6.41 (-0.20)
Spam comments: 1,718,916 (+236,368)
Average spam comments per day: 313.67 (+43.1)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 48.9 (+5.9)
Comments written by me: 7,079 or 20.2%
Images uploaded: 18,054 (+1,844)
Space used by images: 2.1 GB of my 13 GB allocation
Blog Followers: 2,073 (+185)
Twitter Followers: 785 (+10)
Tumblr Followers: 36 (+2)
US Presidents since launch: 4
British Monarchs since launch: 1
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 8

For some of you that will be enough stats. Others will want to dive deeper, which you can do after the cut.

Demographics

As usual, I will kick off with the countries that visit the blog.  These stats are from the Flag Counter widget in the side bar and are based off of the last 250,000 visitors, so they are more reflective of the last year than the life of the blog.

This year’s sample sliced up

Surprising nobody, countries with large English speaking populations and modern economies dominate the list.  The biggest surprise is likely that the US fell below 50%, though just barely.

As for what browsers and operating systems, Flag Counter says the following:

Browsers and operating systems

Microsoft Edge disappeared from the browser chart because it now uses the Chromium engine and reports as Google Chrome to sites.  That was enough to push KHTML onto the list, which hasn’t been a thing really for about five years.

The surprise on operating systems is the amount of Android traffic.  The Android WordPress.com app generates a decent amount of traffic for me most days… well, it is in the top ten most days.  As we’ve seen there is Google, and then there is everything else.

Who Wants to Dance With Me?

I guess I am going with that theme.  These are the sites who send me traffic.

Over the last year:

  1. Total EVE
  2. Twitter
  3. EVE Bloggers
  4. Inventory Full
  5. Reddit
  6. Chromo Science
  7. Low Sec Lifestyle
  8. The Nosy Gamer
  9. Blessing of Kings
  10. Facebook

I am not sure what Chromo Science was, aside from a site that was somehow sending me traffic for about two months.  I was never able to spot a link to my site there and the traffic stopped as abruptly as it started.

Over the life of the blog:

  1. VirginWorlds
  2. Blessing of Kings
  3. Total EVE
  4. WordPress.com Reader
  5. EVE News 24
  6. Low Sec Lifestyle
  7. EVE Bloggers
  8. Google Reader
  9. Keen and Graev
  10. Reddit

Fifteen years of weight makes it hard to shake sites from that list, especially since the heyday of the blog was eight years in the past.  And really, the next 20 on the list are are old as well, save for Feedly I suppose.

The Search Engine Pinata of Page Views

I pick out search engines on their own, just to give Google its own list to dominate I guess.  According to the WP.com stats, here were the top search engines for me over the last year:

  1. Google Search – 155,360
  2. Bing – 2,716
  3. duckduckgo.com – 2,384
  4. Yahoo Search-  347
  5. Yandex – 213
  6. Ask.com – 26
  7. Google Image Search – 23
  8. Baidu – 14

There are not even ten on that list now.  AOL and Dogpile fell out of love with me.

As for Google, here is their affair with me for the last year.

TAGN Google Stats for Year 15

As you can see, internet stats remain garbage as the total clicks on that chart is nearly 20K shy of what WP.com tells me, though the chart might be for just US Google, which nearly lines up… not quite, but much closer.  But I can find Google telling me different numbers on the same page at times… so, garbage.  But it they are the only accounting I have for now.

As for what search terms bring people to the site, here is the top of the list for the last year.

Top search terms for year 15

That doesn’t add up to much, but the list carries on, often with minor variations of those search terms, and it isn’t until you get past the 700 mark that you finally find a search term that received fewer than ten clicks.

Who Do I Dance With?

Or where do I send traffic.  Over the last year:

  1. Wikipedia
  2. EVE Online (various dev and news blogs)
  3. Reddit
  4. Imperium News
  5. zKillboard (EVE Online ship kills)
  6. Inventory Full
  7. SuperData Research (now defunct)
  8. The Nosy Gamer
  9. Massively OP
  10. Twitter

Wikipedia is the perennial top of this chart as I tend to link out to concepts or other items I don’t care to explain… and Apple ][ games from that one post.  Those get the most clicks.  And then 2-5 are likely explained by there being a war going on in New Eden for the last year or so.

Over the life of the blog:

  1. Nick Yee (the old guild name generator)
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Various Pokemon sites
  4. Civ Fanatics
  5. Various Blizzard WoW Sites
  6. Hardcore Casual
  7. Keen and Graev
  8. Blessing of Kings
  9. EVE Online Pictures
  10. Inventory Full

That list is pretty solid.  Again, the weight of 15 years makes it hard for a new site to break into that top ten.

Most Viewed Posts

Over the last year:

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  3. Robbing Some Space Banks*
  4. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  5. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  6. The WoW Shadowlands Pre-Patch with the Big Level Squish Arrives Today*
  7. CCP Take Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online*
  8. Leveling up Your Crafting Without Actually Crafting
  9. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  10. Top 25 EVE Online Corporations Graph – The End Number

Posts marked with an asterisk were actually posted in the last year.  You can no doubt see some correlation between the search terms for the last year up in the search engines section and the posts that were popular over the last year.

Over the life of the blog:

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

Meanwhile again we see the weight of years hold a list fairly static.  I did a couple of posts two years about my most viewed posts over the life of the blog, both cumulatively and year by year.  In the end though, the absolute count this late in the life of the blog meant that only spots nine and ten changed, and they only swapped places.  Still, 11th place could make the list next year, it being that post about Minecraft and finding a warm ocean.

Categories and Tags

Categories, as I have said in the past, represent the larger scale topics I write about. There are a limited number of those, though I add a couple every year… or convert a tag or two to a category if they get used a lot. I currently have 98 tags, up one from last year, though I demoted a few categories to tags and created a few new ones for games like Valheim.

The top categories for the blog, and how many posts have used them:

  1. EVE Online 1,915
  2. World of Warcraft 1,480
  3. EverQuest II 749
  4. EverQuest 614
  5. Lord of the Rings Online 448
  6. Blizzard 447
  7. Instance Group 357
  8. Sony Online Entertainment 343
  9. CCP 249
  10. Pokemon 242
  11. Humor 238
  12. WoW Classic 238
  13. blog thing 212
  14. Misc MMOs 195
  15. Month in Review 181
  16. YouTube 180
  17. Rift 162
  18. Other PC Games 153
  19. Daybreak Game Company 151
  20. Nintendo DS Hardware 142

Categories are not mutually exclusive.  You only have to total up the top half of that list to get more uses that there are posts on the blog.  Month in Review posts… which have their own category… include summaries of various games and so get the categories or tags related to those games.  But it is still an indicator of what I write about and what I play… more the former than the latter I think.  I haven’t seriously played EverQuest since the Fippy Darkpaw server launched a decade back, but I seem to write about it a lot all the same.

Tags though, tags are a crazy town at times.  I throw out fresh tags on a whim and they can often be read as a “flavor” indicator when it comes to a post.  I have 4,072 tags for the blog, up from 3,851 last year.  Still, some get used more than others.  Here are the top most used tags for the blog so far:

  1. Delve 127
  2. Progression Server 124
  3. World War Bee 123
  4. Asher Elias 104
  5. Reavers 95
  6. Meaningless Milestones 93
  7. Fippy Darkpaw 85
  8. Nostalgia 81
  9. EVE Updates 69
  10. Warlords of Draenor 66
  11. MMO Expansions 66
  12. Free-to-Play 63
  13. Council of Stellar Management 58
  14. WWB Weekly Updates 57
  15. EVE Monthly Economic Report 54
  16. RMT 52
  17. Skill Points 52
  18. Casino War 52
  19. Imperium 50
  20. BlizzCon 49

Again, a year long war in EVE Online, World War Bee, had some influence on those tags.

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.  Unfortunately, the nice clear detailed chart that I used to post got the axe with a WP.com stats update earlier this year, so now you get round numbers… but the chart has colors!

Colors or not, you’ll probably have to click on them in order to read the numbers.  I know I do.

Total Page Views by Month/Year

Average Daily Page Views by Month/Year

Once more you can see the peak of the blog was in 2012, with a burst in 2013.  More recently the numbers have been sagging, with this month being quite low.  Without a war in New Eden and much interest in the other titles I write about Google isn’t sending people my way.

A Word or Two about Words

And for those who like some really obscure data, here is the chart that lists out total posts, words per year, comments, likes, and all of that detail.  At least that chart hasn’t changed recently.

Words and posts and much illegible detail

The usual summary applies, which is that over time my words per post has gone up as have “likes” per post, while comments have gone down.

Forward Looking Statements

I fell off my theme about halfway through, didn’t I?  And I was barely invested even before that.  Oh well.  Keeps me away from any unfortunate “now I am a woman” metaphors I guess.

So here we are, 15 years in which, as I may have noted in the past, is about 10 years longer than I figured I would last, my hobbies tending to be 5 year affairs, usually consisting of a bumbling first year, a peak at about the three year mark, then pottering around more out of habit than anything else for the final two.

Still, I wonder if I can spot those sorts of patterns within the blog itself.  My various interests had started, peaked, tapered off, and then disappeared, sometimes for good, other times to be revived at a later date and re-explored.  The blog is both an archeological treasure and an unwieldy collection of randomness, the latter not being helped by my own inability to be consistent in tagging or categorizing posts.  Going back to find things can be a chore, and once I am there I tend to spend as much time fixing dead links (usually re-pointing to the Internet Archive if possible), correcting typos and like errors, some of which have eluded me for more than a decade, and trying to normalize tags and categories.

I think the biggest effort for that last was when I decided Month in Review should be a category a few years back, so went and edited every single related post to add that.

Anyway, none of that is very forward looking, is it?  I am supposed to prognosticate, not ruminate.  So what does the future hold for the blog?

More of the same I guess?

Some combo of habit and obsession and self-reflection will keep me going, and there isn’t a real reason to stop.  What am I going to do, actually play video games?  Hrmm.

I will probably stop with the post every day thing as I said I would last month once I hit the 500 days in a row achievement.  I thought vacation would end that, but somehow I scraped together just enough words to keep the streak alive.  With this post it will be 534 consecutive daily posts.  For whatever reason, 550 seems like a good number… though it could very well become 600.  We’ll see.  I won’t get to 1,000 though, as I am sure something will happen.

As for the blog itself, traffic continues to slide.  I imagine, like an old MMO, my former readers probably outnumber my current readership.  How does one farm that installed base?  But most of the fall off has been search engine related, which is made up of mostly one time visitors I would guess.  I mean, a few of you refuse to bookmark the site and just Google “tagn” to find me.  The stats don’t lie on that.  But many more arrive here looking for advice on finding a warm ocean in Minecraft, only to leave disappointed, never to return.

The questions are can I do something about improving traffic and should I?

Most certainly I could do something.  I recently revived the blog connection to Facebook, so it has a page there now with a single follower.  I could certainly get out the credit card and pay Facebook to feature posts from that page more generally.  It works for crazy people and racists, why can’t it work for me?

The should is a little less obvious.  As I have said before, so far as I can tell, my regular readership remains about constant.  It is certainly down from 2012, but it does not ebb and flow with the whims of Google search results.  Quality over quantity is an argument that could be made, though it might sound odd coming from somebody chasing a consecutive days posting achievement for more than 18 months.

But it still might be nice to have some new regulars.  I am deploying some new tools, something for a later post, to look into who visits here in greater detail.  That may give me further ideas.

Otherwise, the main forwards looking statement is really just “expect more of the same.”

Thank you for coming by.  We will see what the next year brings.

9 thoughts on “My Blogging Quinceanera

  1. bhagpuss

    Grats! I always enjoy these posts. I sometimes wish I could do something similar but that’s just wishful thinking. I am not any kind of statistician.

    I certainly don’t trust Google’s stats, either, that’s for sure, for all they make their billions from selling them. Blogger itself gives me not disimilar page counts to yours but Google Analytics tells me they’re out by an order of magnitude. It would be nice if they could agree with each other a bit better than that, seeing as how they’re supposed to be coming from the same company.

    On the theme of the anniversary, I have several game characters with the surname “Catorcena”, which I believe is the same as Quinceanera only for fourteen instead of fifteen. I took it from one of the places I regularly source character names, Ysabeau Wilce’s “Flora Segunda” trilogy, much of which is set in an alternate, magical California called Califa (I also have several characters with “Califa” as a last name). In the books Catorcena is some kind of celebration although either through not reading carefully enough or because it isn’t actually explained, I didn’t realize it was a female coming of age ceremony.

    Until I read your post I also had no idea Catorcena was probably based on a real word ceremony, shunted back a year, unless the actual year in real-world California can vary from community to community, which I guess is possible… I probably ought to do more fact-checking before I steal stuff for character names.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ula

    This is such an amazing project, and I’m so envious at your ability to stick with it. Thank you for keeping it going, Wil. Especially during really trying times IRL it’s nice to have your blog posts as mini-escapes (despite the incomprehensible posts about isk markets and seemingly never-ending bee wars). 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Esteban

    Happy quince, from one among the cohort of weirdos who type ‘tagn’ into search.

    I do so fairly often. Even when you write things I disagree with – Classic this, command economies that – or on subjects I’m not otherwise invested in – like the recent EVE war – your writing is simply too much fun to let me forget that it exists. The blog is a wonderful achievement of self-discipline and creativity and I hope you carry on indefinitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Tessa – Thank you!

    @Bhagpuss – Yeah, Blogger stats are very “feel good,” in that they count every spam comment click or whatever, even your own.

    We’ll see if I can avoid going with “Sweet Sixteen” for next year’s post. Old guys using teen girl birthday metaphors can get creepy kind of quick.

    @SynCaine – And yet you still get a post out now and again. At least Gevlon no longer threatens to be on the overall list. He sent me a decent amount of traffic over the years.

    @Ula – The bee wars are never ending.

    @Aywren – Thank you! I am impressed you post so much still and juggle a couple of blogs now. I am not sure I have that much passion left in reserve.

    @Esteban – Thank you for your continued patronage and for keeping the “tagn” search term active. I am sure that must benefit the site in some way.

    Like

  5. matts2653

    Happy 15 years! and maaaaany more. Could post on the gsf forums, link to the blog. link it during the fireside in elysium :D I don’t think you can just advertise ti on a reddit post though sadly, would pick a lot of people up from there otherwise.

    Like

  6. trenjeska

    Do you also count the rss-views? I use the rss link to read your blog and usually do not leave my reader unless I post a comment ;)
    Been doing that for nearly 10 years now…
    Also part of that 1.9% :p

    Like

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