2011 blog in review

It’s time again for the annual blog review. This year’s stats are slightly complicated by a combination of two freak server accidents happening within a short time of each other, which resulted in the loss of dozens of posts. I was able to recover them from the RSS feed, but it took months for search traffic to catch up to previous levels. Thus overall traffic is down a bit this year, but I suspect it would have beaten 2010 without that incident.

The number of visits tracked on Google Analytics is 91,504 compared to 99,423 in 2010. Measured by SiteMeter, the numbers are 105,669 for this year compared to 116,764. As with last year, my frequency of posting has declined with more content going instead to social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Google is of course the number one source of traffic. 62% of traffic came from search referrals, up from 53% last year. Referrals from other sites dropped from 31% to 21%. Direct traffic stayed about the same at 17% compared to 15%.

Camel crickets, miracle fruit, and the stapler’s secret continue to dominate the top four spots for most viewed posts. Approximately one fifth of my total site traffic is related to camel crickets. I also find it hilarious that the silly stapler post is still so popular. Only three of the year’s most viewed posts were written in 2011: the April Fool’s Day post about homeopathic cocktails, a qualified defense of Ayn Rand accepting Medicare, and some notes on rum and trademark law. No posts about tobacco policy made the list.

Top Posts of 2011
1. Camel crickets invade DC
2. How to get rid of camel crickets
3. Miracle fruit — I’m a believer!
4. The stapler’s secret
5. Homeopathic cocktails: Blessing or curse?
6. A qualified defense of Ayn Rand on Medicare
7. Finally, sampling miracle fruit tablets
8. Made in Oregon, stolen by Portland
9. Rum and trademarks
10. Everybody loves an Irish Car Bomb

A few posts that I liked, but that didn’t make the top ten:
Two years later, no heart miracle in Oregon
Literature-inspired food carts in Portland, Ore., that did not stay in business for very long
Signs of Occupy Portland
Crystal Caipirinha and Cleared for Departure
In memory of Don Younger

I didn’t think t was possible, but this year’s list of top ten search phrases is even more dominated by crickets than 2010’s. Once again my name is technically on the list, but I’ve removed it because I find it hard to believe that that’s not partially due to a bookmarking glitch.

Top search referrals of 2011
1. camel cricket
2. camel crickets
3. spider cricket
4. spider crickets
5. Ayn Rand Medicare
6. weird fish
7. how to get rid of camel crickets
8. crickets
9. allspice dram
10. miracle fruit party

There are no surprises in the geography of the site’s readership. The top ten countries are almost exactly the same as last year, with Spain replacing Malaysia in the tenth spot. Portland, New York, and Washington are again the top three cities.

Top visitor countries from 2011
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Canada
4. Australia
5. Philippines
6. Germany
7. India
8. France
9. Netherlands
10. Spain

Top visitor cities for 2011
1. Portland
2. New York
3. Washington
4. Chicago
5. Seattle
6. Los Angeles
7. San Francisco
8. Philadelphia
9. London
10. Houston

Last year Radley Balko’s site The Agitator was my top referrer and I was recently able to follow through on my promise to buy him drinks. This year his site doesn’t even make the top ten, so next time drinks are on him! I only recently became a contributor to Gojee, so it’s great to see that site doing so well. Behold the power of the cords at #9. I have no idea what the Etiquette Hell referral is about.

Top non-search referrers for 2011
1. Facebook
2. Liqurious
3. Reddit
4. StumbleUpon
5. Twitter
6. Gojee
7. Kids Prefer Cheese
8. Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
9. Corduroy Appreciation Club
10. Etiquette Hell

Thanks to everyone for reading. If all goes according to plan, I’ll have a redesigned site and more content coming this spring. Here’s to 2012!