Is Anybody Out There? Assessing a Blog’s Audience

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18 Responses

  1. Cal says:

    Sorry, I’m one of the ones using an RSS aggregator: SharpReader to get my dose of your blog (I’m in Australia), and whilst I mainly ignore the Law posts, you have a lot of other stuff that makes it interesting.

    I use StatCounter for my blog and the free version is enough for my little world. The data you get is very good – entry and exit pages, where from, how long etc.

    Thanks for an entertaining read.

  2. John Armstrong says:

    A note about the RSS feed: For one reason or another I don’t get full content. For instance, on this entry I see up through “Site Meter doesn’t lie, right?”

    The upshot is, yes I get notification of new material as it hits the feed, but I do register hits pretty frequently since I’ve got to click through to read the full post.

  3. John — That’s odd. Try clicking our XML link on the side or the RSS Feed link at the top. It should take you to a Feedburner page and that should allow you to get the full content. I hate to tell you this, though, as it means lost hits. But I’m such a selfless guy. . .

  4. John Armstrong says:

    Oh, and in case this was a subtle request for a call-back, I’m a finishing Ph.D. student in mathematics at a little place in New Haven, CT that I believe you’re somewhat acquainted with. Law (particularly intellectual property and internet-related) is merely an avocation to me, so blogs like this one are an excellent way to keep tabs on what those more expert than I are thinking about these matters.

  5. John Armstrong says:

    Ah, the feedburner link is different than when the blog first went up. Don’t worry about your hit count, though. I’m nothing if not lazy; replacing the bookmark would take effort.

  6. BTD Venkat says:

    We’re here. I have nothing to contribute to your questions re measuring traffic but my impression is that sitemeter is generally not the most reliable. Nothing more than a gut feeling, but I’m often baffled at the blogosphere’s collective reliance on sitemeter.

    Also, I contribute to a group blog which I didn’t “found” so I’m much less obsessed about metrics. I used to have my own blog and there was an odd dissonance between the number of comments and the supposed number of visitors. (But I used sitemeter. Go figure.) I do think the traffic and number of visitors are more than you expect and more than is reflected in comments.

    As for who I am, I practise IP litigation at a boutique firm in sunny Seattle, Washington.

  7. Paul Caron says:

    I too was disappointed by the result of a search for “blog stud” — Google brings you to Volokh, not to me!

  8. Lee Blog says:

    why blog to “nobody”

    Daniel Solove of Concurring Opinions had a thoughtful post about blogging yesterday. He writes: “Hardly anybody wants to blog to nobody. As one blogger once wrote: ‘Maintaining a blog with no one visiting or commenting would be [as] sad as…

  9. Jessica says:

    Profile of one lurker: I’m a mom of three, being laid off from a job of 11 years at a major distribution company gone defunct, and a returning student to finish my accounting degree. Although I do not study law beyond the basics required for my degree, I can see how the subject draws a very large and diverse crowd. As I read several law blogs (Blawgs?) I join that group with just enough info to be a danger to myself! PS. The airline entry got me started.

  10. D Conrad says:

    One thing about any sort of www visitor tracking is that it’s very inaccurate. As part of my employment before law school, I was responsible for running log analysis. The numbers should always be taken as an estimation, and a high one at that. I personally hit your blog from several IP addresses a day. The only decently reliable way to get really good information is via authentication and cookies. Still, hits are a good tool for seeing what pages are popular, or getting a nice estimate of how popular you are. Not sure exactly how sitemeter works, but some of these difficulties are inherent in the web.

    (BTW, Speaking of blogging without an audience, I have some experience in that area…)

  11. Adam says:

    What about ? Do their trackers give you useful data?

  12. Alan Tauber says:

    Yeah, I know the feeling of blogging to (perhaps) no one, having just started a new blawg myself. I tend to rely on friends to give me links on their blogs. (This applies to former professors as well *cough cough*).

    I use site meter, but I pay attention to unique visits, which seems more helpful. But lord knows if I relied on comments, I’d be quite upset right now.

  13. Greg says:

    Another random profile: I’m a high school math and computer science teacher who randomly considered a law career briefly. I found your site from some Volokh cross-posts and added the XML feed. I don’t think I get full content feeds, though, so I end up clicking to read anything that interests me anyway. I’m not sure if this is interesting or not, but I stay current on 10-15 blogs and I NEVER read comments. Not for any particular reason, I just don’t think they’re interesting. Go figure…

  14. melanie says:

    I read your site almost every day – and usually more than once a day.

    I’m an assistant district attorney (in the appellate division) in Dallas, Texas. I have a little blog, and the only topics that are off-limits for me are issues related to the District Attorney’s office. I don’t have time any more to post to it every day, but I’m trying to get back to doing that. If I were allowed to post about the cases my office handles, I know I’d have material for posts. But, of course, I can’t.

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  16. What about ? Do their trackers give you useful data?

  17. Karakoçan says:

    Do their trackers give you useful data?

  18. tercume says:

    We’re here. I contribute to a group blog which I didn’t “found” so I’m much less obsessed about metrics.