Know your audience


in Internet matters, Science, Writing

I am curious about who makes up the readership of this blog. Most days, about 100 people take a look. The better part of those people come directly to the page, suggesting they are returning to it, rather than finding it through Google or another search engine.

Some aggregate information that may interest people: Based on data from the past few months, about 60% of visits to the blog are from people who have been here before, while about 40% haven’t been – at least from that computer. 13.65% of people find the blog through Google, while 15.94% are still finding their way here from the link at the old address. The blog is overwhelmingly read by people in North America and Western Europe, with a smattering in Australia, Asia, and Africa. 42% of visitors come from the United Kingdom; 37% from Canada; 16% from the United States, with no other single country above 1%. My election day post and the Oxford blog listing are the most popular single pages, though more than half of people leave the site immediately after looking at either.

On the technical side, just over 50% of users use IE, with 38% on Firefox and others using a collection of (sometimes very obscure) browsers. 78% of people use Windows, 17% use Macs. Like Firefox usage, this is well above the world average. The vast majority of viewers have screen resolutions of either 1024×768 or 1280×1024. 82% of you use some kind of broadband, lucky folks that you are. Eight of the ten most common phrases that people search for in Google and subsequently find their way to my site through the results of are people’s names. None of them are my name. Only two have anything to do with the title of the blog.

This is all information that gets automatically passed to servers by your web browser, if you’re interested in knowing where I got all these data from.

I would guess that the readership is dominated by members of the following groups:

  1. Friends of mine, particularly those in Canada and at other far-flung schools and jobs
  2. Family members
  3. Former teachers and professors
  4. People in the I.R. M.Phil
  5. People in Wadham College, especially the MCR
  6. People considering coming to Oxford
  7. People considering taking the Oxford M.Phil in IR

Clearly, some people may fall into more than one group. I am curious to know what the relative shares are. Knowing would let me do a better job of writing things that people find interesting. I would be especially interested in knowing if there are people who are in none of these groups, but still read the blog regularly. If that is the case, what attracts you? In general, what would people like to see?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

B January 26, 2006 at 10:59 pm

I fall into exactly one of those categories.

Sylvia January 27, 2006 at 5:46 am

I fall into the category of “Damn! I need to get better stats for my blogs!”

Milan January 27, 2006 at 11:04 am

It’s just SiteMeter (free and easy: try clicking the little square rainbow icon in the sidebar) combined with Google Analyitcs (which I rarely use, due to an interface I dislike), and the built-in statistical package from my hosting provider (which I only use to check how much bandwidth is being used).

B January 27, 2006 at 4:39 pm

It’s really wierd how there are big gaps under each post in IE, but not Firefox, isn’t it?

Ben January 29, 2006 at 9:03 pm

I’m none of those. I can’t actually remember now how I first stumbled here… I don’t read many blogs but return here periodically, because you’re a fellow Oxford Politics (well, IR) graduate, and because you tend to have something to say.

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