Statistics and a tale of woe


This past month I’ve been playing with the statistics that WordPress provides on my blog. It’s really helpful that each day I can see which countries my readers came from on that day and the day before. Frustratingly when we move to “tomorrow” (cue the song), the previous day disappears.

So for no profound reason I decided in August that I’d keep my own record of where my daily visitors originate. I can also see which posts have been attracting interest, but unfortunately visits to the home page are clumped together irrespective of the current post.  But what is seriously weird is how often I’m getting hits on my Beyond the Internet post on Hospital Records, no doubt due to generic searches for same.

This was all going great guns until Monday last week when my laptop collapsed with a severe hard-drive illness. It’s now hooked up to life support as the experts try to find out if it can be restored to health. I am doing my best to compose myself in patience, helped by having a few non-laptop commitments over the week.

Naturally despite all my good intentions, I hadn’t backed up for a couple of weeks and then only a partial backup because my external disk was nearly full. Of course I’d backed up my family history folder but it didn’t include the paper I’d prepared for last week’s talk on Writing Your Family History, or all the work I’d done for the Body Corporate AGM, or my Outlook pst file, or a Tagxedo cloud or…. <large sigh>. Of course I have some data on the cloud…but it’s not cooperating and certainly not everything I need.

Well the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and of course I only went and bought a new external back-up drive after the laptop went into crash mode. Upside: the off-site backup which I’d left safely in Brisbane, 3300kms away, was hand-delivered to me thanks to the felicitous timing of an interstate visit and a friend who coped with copped an 11.30pm SOS text. Downside: the data is a few months old.

Who do I have to blame? No one but myself for (1) procrastinating and (2) letting life get in the way of data! So if you haven’t backed up your data for a while, make a note to do it NOW!

Long story not short, I only have half my August stats, but because I’d played with it last week I know they’re indicative. So where do my readers come from? About 83% come from a handful of countries. Australia is my reader leader with the US following and the UK in close pursuit.

I’ve noticed in the past month or so that my US visitors have increased while the UK have diminished a little – possibly due to the attraction of the Olympics. My other progressively smaller clusters are in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany. I also have a regular reader from somewhere in the Russian-speaking world because Kotev regularly leaves “likes” on my posts.

Playing around late last week (hmm, a good time to have done a backup) I spotted that another of my commenters on Tropical Territory had a reader map on her blog. So off to ClustrMaps I went and loaded a map to my own page (thanks Louise for the clue!). Then I added Flag Counter just for fun. You can now see both of these on the right hand bar of my home page, just run down the side a bit. Both show unique visits, rather than hits, I think, as my overall stats are about triple these numbers. What I like about ClustrMaps is that it gives me a sense of where my readers are in Australia, USA or UK. As far as I can ascertain, none of the stats reports include readers using RSS feeds with the likes of Google Reader.

I’d love to hear from any of my readers just to say “g’day” and share which country or state you’re from. It’s your presence that makes writing posts worthwhile and it’s your comments that enthuse me daily.

Images from Office Clip Art.

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10 thoughts on “Statistics and a tale of woe

  1. I try to visit blogs I enjoy “in person” and not just read on google reader. I get an email of all my blog posts that is downloaded to my computer and I back everything up on another blog. But I don’t always download things to a storage drive so if the computer went… I’ve been talking about getting another one. Guess I should do it. I’m writing from Atlanta, Georgia in the USA.

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    • Thanks for commenting about this Kristin, and for sharing where you live in the real world. I did subscribe to others by email but my inbox was overflowing so now I tend to read in Reader then go to the post and comment so stats from me would be a mix. I do the same thing with my own posts, which of course I’ve now lost because my email is, as yet, irretrievable. For me it’s almost the most important thing -why I didn’t do it with my last download I don’t know. Live and learn, and hopefully my readers will gain from my lesson. Cheers Pauleen

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  2. Oh, Pauleen, it is one of those totally frustrating things that happen to most of us at one time… I have an automatic backup, but then again, it does overwrite when the external drive is full. I don’t know about Word Press, but I have downloaded copies of my blogs from blogger… I must look again as I can’t recall how at the moment.

    IU hope you are able to retrieve a whole lot more than you expect at the moment. Picasa is good for retrieving all images from a drive that seems hopeless. Can’t say it works for everything, but I did use it a couple of times when I was using PCs. It’s amazing what it found. There are software retrieval programs, just be careful where you download them from though. CNet should be able to help there. Good luck…

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    • Thanks for the sympathy Chris -if I was closer we could share tea & sympathy!..or just coffee…or wine. My automatic backup of some things to Nortons refuses to download and so I need to do more work about that. Not worried about the blog as Peter gets the emails (as did I) and I can export info.

      Prognosis is not good: they haven’t been able to get anything off despite freezing the drive then trying to grab info before it blows a gasket again. Definitely have to get a new hard drive, which is cheaper than a new computer so it’s the data that’s the issue. Live and learn. Once in 20 years is something to console myself with.

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  3. Whew, it sounds awful, but I’m glad that the prognosis is good and that you are persevering. Thanks for sharing your experiences–it’s a really good reminder to me that I should do a better job backing things up and saving things in multiple formats.

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    • Thanks Sheryl, the prognosis has gone downhill. Looks like I’ll lose the last two weeks work, emails for far too long plus quite a lot of other stuff. Still live and learn and if I help a few of my mates from the same shambles, I’m pleased.

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    • Thanks for your sympathy Jo…serves me right I hadn’t realised how long it was since I’d done a full backup. Hope my lesson helps others. Good to hear from the Scottish contingent. My great-grandmother as you saw, came from Bothkennar not too far from Edinburgh. Cheers, Pauleen

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