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.