Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Politics, it seems

Between work and some projects around the house, I’ve been pretty busy lately—too busy to blog. Because of it, I’ve noticed something interesting: Politics, it seems, is what people read the most on this blog.

Now, I can’t say I’m totally surprised about that—it’s what I’m most passionate about, after all. But I didn’t expect to see such a huge difference between page views of my political posts as compared to my non-political posts.

It’s not just any politics, either, but US politics, particularly posts about the rightwing and especially about anti-gay rightwing politics. However, the even larger lesson is the importance of daily—or, at least, regular—blogging. Folks may still view a post they’re not interested in because they’re used to stopping by regularly, but if there’s no post for several days, they get out of the habit.

There are a couple qualifiers: First, this is a couple weeks, and they may not be typical. Second, my previous weeks could also have been atypical, and this recent past may actually be more typical. This is why it’s always a bad idea to draw too many conclusions from a limited data set: There’s not enough information.

If I look at long-term data, politics actually may not be the thing readers are most interested in. Consider my top five most-viewed posts of all-time according to Blogger):
  1. Spammers stumped me – 22 November 2012. With nearly 43,000 pageviews, I bet that the title drew hits from spambots, which were the subject of that post. Completely non-political.
  2. Rhetoric matters – 11 January 2012 About anti-gay bigots complaints about the use of the word gay.
  3. Things you miss and then find – 1 April 2010. This was my first post about Martha’s Backyard, an Auckland store that carries American food products. I’ve published more posts about it since. Completely non-political.
  4. I cannot say more – 11 May 2012. A post of a video by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell demolishing an anti-gay bigot’s rhetoric.
  5. The version before – December 8, 2010. A post of a video that inspired another video I’d posted earlier. Completely non-political.
Four of the top five NZ blogs that choose to be ranked on Open Parachute are expressly political blogs that sometimes post other things. Mine’s about whatever I find interesting at the moment, and very often that’s something political.

All of which is basically a “huh!” kind of thing for me; I don’t pay much attention to website stats, and even when I do, I don’t let it influence what I post. Part of the reason is that long-term stats tell me that popular topics change over time, so there’s no point second-guessing myself. Besides, I’m clearly not that organised.

Even so, I’ll be posting more about politics in the weeks ahead: The USA and New Zealand both have elections this year, so I’m sure to have things to say and, anyway, it interests me. Politics, it seems, is what keep me coming back to this blog, too.


rogerogreen said...

Miss your podcasts, busy person.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

They will return soon.