Thursday, June 1, 2017

Readership, a trend to return to about a year ago. . . but that's okay.

From back this past December:

Lex Anteinternet: Viewing Milestone

This ran on October 25, 2016:
Lex Anteinternet: Viewing Milestone: Sometime yesterday this blog went over the 200,000 views mark.  Pretty remarkable in some ways.
On the other hand, this blog has been around for quite awhile, so perhaps not.   While there are a few postdated entries here, the actual first post came on May 1, 2009
200,000 views in seven years isn't exactly an Internet sensation by any means.  Of course, early on the blog was very inactive and therefore its not surprising that it received little in the way of readership.  It's readership has picked up a lot this year.  It has ups and downs, but starting in March it really picked up. That was the anniversary of the Punitive Expedition and we started posting a lot on that.  Searches on that, perhaps, might explain it.  The frequent insertion of newspapers from 1916 also seems to have had a marked impact.  Given that we were basically running some things in "real time", so to speak, we also started linking some of those threads into Reddit's 100 Years Ago Today subreddit, which also had quite an impact.
Indeed, an impact of 100 Years Ago today is that the longstanding list of most viewed threads changed nearly completely.  Only one of the threads on the all time top ten, the one on hats, was on that list before Reddit impacted the list and changed it nearly completely.  Posts on Arminto, Wyoming, young Queen Elizabeth II in Canada and the Niobrara County courthouse left the top ten, presumably for all time.  Most of those thread would have about half of the views they'd need to be on the top ten list, even though some of them had been on it for years.
Indeed, some of the newer threads on the list have gone over 1,000 views in a day, pretty remarkable when we consider that getting about 500 used to guarantee that the thread would be on the top ten list.  Right now, the site gets over 15,000 views per month.  Prior to March of this year, the all time high had been September 2014 which had seen 5,000 views that month.  In February 2015 the number was back down to a little over 2,000 per month.  March of that year brought it back up to a little over 4,000 and it hovered around that for a long time.  March 2016 brought it back up to nearly 5,000.  Last month in had a little over 19,500.  It's had just over 16,000 this month, with the month nearly over, so my guess is that September 2016 will be a peak for some time.
Thanks go out to everyone who reads the blog.  Special thanks go out to everyone who has commented on a thread.  This blog remains mostly a learning exercise, so I particularly enjoy any engagement we receive.
Some time to today the blog went over 250,000 views.

Everything I said in the post above remains true, except the number of monthly views.  The past couple of months its been averaging about 20,000 views per month and this month might actually top out at 30,000.  As before, I thank everyone who bothered to stop in her and read the blog.
I hope that some of the interest continues after the close day by day tracking of the Punitive Expedition and the events surrounding it, including the day to day life of 100 years ago, drops off.  We're approaching the end of the American expedition in Mexico, although quite a bit of close attention to the upcoming centennial of events in 1917 shall remain.  I also hope that folks who have comments of any kind add them, I very much enjoy reading them as I'm sure those who stop in here do as well.
We're now up to 441,838 total views, as of the day I started this post.  If current trends continue we'll almost certainly pass the 450,000 mark this month.  This past March, just a couple of months ago, we peaked at nearly 56,000 views in a single month.  At that time we were steeply climbing in readership every month.

But then, as I noted earlier, the US pulled out of Mexico and I stopped the daily newspaper updates.  March is when I stopped doing that.  I also quit posting those entries frequently on the 100 Years Ago Today Subbreddit, although I still otherwise post things there.  That meant, as I knew it would, a big drop off in readership.  Last month we were down to 21,853 readers and even with that number there was a steady decline through the month. We're averaging about 200 views per day over week which, if it holds will mean we have only 6,000 views this month.  We'll see if that's correct.  That would be about the number we were receiving from March 2016 to May 2016 before the readership really took off.  Having said that, however, that was still a big jump from what we'd received before, in which monthly readership was about half that, so it's still not bad.  We were thrilled we were receiving that level of readership a year ago and regarded that as quite a jump at the time.  Of course, one thing presently working against that is that the number of posts dramatically increased as well.  I was covering the Punitive Expedition day by day for the most part and I also posted quite a bit on the Fall 2016 U.S. Election.

One oddity of very recent readership, I'd note, is that in May we received more hits on this blog that originated from France than from the United States. We have no idea why.  Chances are that this started during the big climb in readership about a year ago, and we noticed at the time that hits from France were normally in second or third position.  Now, for a few weeks, they've been in first position.  We presume that might have something to do with the posts on World War One, and we also suspect that France might be the Internet hub for a lot of European traffic.  If you are French and have been stopping in here, thanks.  If you want to let us know why you stop here, we'd like to know!

We still post a lot, of course, but we knew that the cessation of the story on the Punitive Expedition would have an impact.  Still, it is deflating to see the daily hits drop off so much, even if expected. We're glad, however, that we still get a lot of readership nonetheless.  We hope that everyone who stops in continues to enjoy the blog and find it occasionally insightful.  We also hope that folks occasionally post comments on it a little more, which we also enjoy a great deal.

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