Traffic Curiosities

January 20, 2009 at 10:47 am | Posted in Blogs, Internet, Strange | Leave a comment

Blogging is a curious enterprise. One posts an article, typically with some intention that it be read by others. Sharing an observation or point of interest. To see what caught readers attention, you monitor your “hits” or the traffic that is drawn to your site.

If people like your style, you may pick up some regular readers who subscribe. These hits come from emails and RSS reads.

If they really like an article, they may link to it in their blog or suggest it on a social networking site like Digg or StumbleUpon. (an apt name for how some treasures are found) Such recommendations can bring a lot of traffic to your site, which is why many sites hightlight links for such under their posts. Even announcements of how many times they’ve been “dugg”. ‘Join the crowd’ they invite.

However, I’ve found such traffic is dominated by “skimmers”, people trying to capture as much information as they can, zipping about the net. Telltale is that they rarely click through suggested links or otherwise stick around.

Recently, I’ve seen some new kinds of traffic. One is from a site that compiles lists of articles written on a certain day that contain a specific keyword like ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘mashup’. Essentially a random word on a random day gets you on a list. Resulting traffic is modest but focused.

More curious though is traffic that doesn’t result in article hits – lots of people who land on your blog ‘s home page but go no further. I saw a surge in this recently and discovered a site that was displaying a series of blogs for a few seconds in a sort of slide show. It was  picking up blogs with new articles and adding them to the queue. Thus, people were seeing your banner and perhaps your latest post title, then they were off to the next peak.

When I went to the site, there was a ton of feedback about how cool it was – they were getting traffic. But what value was such traffic? Are hits the bloggers high, however poor the reality? Are we that desperate to be seen?

For myself, I find signs people actually read the article much more useful. If you’ve made it to here, you’re my kind of reader.  😉

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