There were several interesting (to me) trends among readers on my blog in 2011.
First, I had almost twice as many pageviews in 2011 as in the previous years. In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, the number of pageviews on my blog was fairly steady. But, for some reason, the number of pageviews is up about 80% in 2011. While some of this may be due to linking to posts on Twitter, the trend actually began before I started using Twitter.
Second, and more interesting to me, the hourly trends in readership remained fairly steady, even though the number of pageviews increased dramatically. When I combined all the stats for 2007 through 2010, this graph represents the relative number of readers per hour: (Click the graph for a larger view.)
If you look at the same graph for 2011 (i.e., relative number of readers per hour), you will see a very similar graph: (Click the graph for a larger view.)
As you can see, the shape of the graphs are very similar.
In both graphs, the low point in readers to my blog is sometime around 4:00 a.m. (Why is no one reading my blog at 4:00 in the morning?) The high point is sometime around noon.
What you can’t tell from the graphs is the difference between the low point and the high point (because there are no numbers on the graphs). In the 2007-2010 graph, the high point is about 5 times the low point. In the 2011 graph, the high point is about 4.75 times the low point. That’s not much difference. But, it does show that in 2011 readers were a little more even around the clock that in previous years. (This is even more apparent when you realize that the noon high point in the 2011 graph is quite a bit higher than the points around it.)
This is surprising to me because of one big reason. Back in the Spring of 2011, I was trying to decide how to plan Twitter and Facebook links for old posts on this blog. When I looked at the graph for readers by the hour in 2007-2010, I noticed that most people read my blog between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. So, that’s when I decided to post those links (on the hour and at 12:30 p.m.).
Since I posted links on Facebook and Twitter between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., I expected a huge jump in readers for those times. But, nope. That didn’t happen. Instead, the number of readers increased around the clock.
So, I’m surprised. I’m not disappointed, but I am surprised. I began linking to posts on Facebook and Twitter hourly to increase discussion on older posts. And, that definitely happened! So, I’m very excited about the way things are going here.
Since you’re here and read this far (for some reason), I have a special message for you: Thank you very much for reading my blog! You have no idea how much I appreciate it, and how surprised I am constantly that anyone would be interested in reading what I write.