We interrupt the regularly scheduled movie post (which isn’t finished anyway) to thank everyone who has ever come to the blog.
This means family members, those who come for my movie pieces and those who randomly find us (usually looking for the best novels of the 21st Century). Why am I thanking everyone? Well, because this afternoon while I was at work, our blog passed 1,000,000 hits all-time. It’s stunning to look at it and realize this. When we started this back in 2007, we couldn’t have imagined this would happen.
The blog went live either in April (our stats begin there and that might have been when our About page went up) or in June (our earliest post is from the day after Thomas’ third birthday, which you can see here). Our life was very different – one town and three apartments ago. Thomas is now 7 and a half.
The blog started with updates to the family on what Thomas was doing. My first contribution was in October of 2007, when I watched Across the Universe, loved it and wanted to write a review. By the end of 2007, we had 754 hits on the blog. Total. That’s less than we get in a day now. We were on pace to reach one million hits in 1125 years.
We had very few posts through the first four months of 2008. Then we saw a preview showing of Prince Caspian, Veronica suggested I review it and then, after a year of such suggestions, finally got me to start regularly writing pieces on the blog. The starts started to go up (238 hits in May, 260 in June), and then in July, I posted something that changed our blog. I had been doing various posts about book lists and put up a post about my choices for the best books so far this century. That post immediately became the biggest hit on the blog. In July our hits exceeded 1000 for the first time and in August went even higher. The Beyond the Modern Library post itself got over 500 hits that month. As I started to add more posts, Google started picking up the images I used and the hits went up. By the end of 2008, we were at 14,305 hits. Not a ton, but now on pace to reach one million hits in only 27 years.
Then, in early 2009, something remarkable happened. I wrote a piece that also was linked to on Awards Daily, and that piece got 1300 hits in one day. One piece, in one day, had just had more hits than we had the whole first year of the blog. After that, Google really started picking up the pictures and the stats took off. By October, we were getting well over 1000 hits a day. I had done my Top 100 Directors series and linked all my reviews on the IMDb. We were almost to 250,000 hits by the end of the year and looking ready to hit one million in mid-2011.
That got even better in early 2010, especially when my Oscar nomination post with a little bit of trivia got picked up on Google. I had wisely put a picture of Kathryn Bigelow in it and the morning after she won the Oscar, that post got over 8000 hits. Things were looking great. But then Google re-configured how images appear. From our high in March of 2010 of 57,960 hits, we were down to 20,689 in August (in a weird coincidence, in both September of 2009 and September of 2010, the blog got exactly 21,751 hits. Either side of the big peak, and exactly the same.). Posts that had been getting double or triple digit hits in early 2010 were down to low single digits. But by the end of the year we had passed 650,000 hits.
This past year was mostly pretty steady, with some various peaks. When Elizabeth Taylor died, my Year in Film: 1958 (with her picture from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) spiked. The same with Year in Film: 1973 when Romy Schneider died. But other than that, mostly in the 700-800 range. I had hoped to reach a million before the end of the year, but stats slid the last couple of months.
So, here we are, at a million hits. Over 500 posts. Most of them about film and lit (much more about film). What began as updates on Thomas has mostly turned into the venting of my opinions on film and literature since I’m not yet published.
In the next year, I hope to get more Thomas posts in. I plan to finish the Year in Film, Best Picture and Top 100 Novels series and will have to figure out what to do next. I’ll continue the For Love of Books series, the Best Director posts and do a 3.0 Top 100 Directors update. And we’ll move, hopefully, towards two million.
Our top 5 Posts:
#1 - The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture (Ranked) - 22 February 2009 - 76,772 hits
This is the post that started with over 1000 hits in the first day. It quickly declined, but slowly built its way up through Google (it has lots of images). It exploded back into popularity in early 2010. In May it averaged 263 hits a day. Then Google changed their images and by August it was down to 5 hits a day. In 2011, it had barely more hits than it had on its first day. But, because of the boom in late 09 / early 10, it is still, by far, the biggest on the list.
#2 - Beyond the Modern Library: The 25 Greatest Novels of the 21st Century (so far) - 20 July 2008 - 64,871 hits
This was immediately the big hit on the blog. In August and September of 2008, as the blog went up, it accounted for over 30% of the hits. Then, it rose slowly as the blog rose quickly. So by mid 2010, though it was getting up to 50 hits a day, it was accounting for less than 3% of the blog hits. But, as 2010 went on and the total stats got lower, its stats got better. Since July, it has been again accounting for over 10% of the blog hits. It is now averaging well over 100 hits a day and this month is accounting for over 15% of the blog as people continually Google various phrases of “21st Century” and “best books.” I’ve got the list. People keep reading it. And I’ve updated it several times.
#3 - Great Director #77: Tom Tykwer - 25 April 2009 - 23,635 hits
This is doubly ironic. First, all but 262 of these hits are from before August of 2010. These were all hits from Google, all looking for Rachel Hurd-Wood, because I used a great picture from her in the post. It sometimes got over 300 hits in a day, and now can’t get that in a year. Second, he didn’t make my 2.0 Director list, so he wouldn’t even have a post if I did the list today.
#4 – The 100 Greatest Directors of All-Time: The Complete List - 21 October 2009 - 22,892 hits
Like Beyond the Modern Library, this didn’t sink with the Google change. It’s because these two were predicated on search terms (in this case “great directors”) rather than images. So, it peaked a year later and went steadily down for a few months and seems to have hit a plateau. Hopefully it will go lower as people find the 2.0 list instead, but it links to it, just in case. This also has, by far, the most comments (103), many of which are unnecessary as they ask questions which are dealt with in the introduction that the post links to. Seeing as how this post links to 102 other posts (the intro, all 100 individual director posts, the 2.0 list), I keep hoping people will explore from here, but it doesn’t happen much.
#5 - Great Director #42: Hayao Miyazaki - 19 July 2009 - 17,159 hits
This actually replaced another post in the hits. For a while, my 10 Best Animated Films got lots of hits thank to Google searchers looking for Spirited Away images. It was one of the most successful posts in 2008. But, after this post went up, all those Google searches went here instead. It also plummeted when Google changed. Even though it’s been up for 2 1/2 years, over 98% of its hits are from its first year.
My bottom 5 posts:
note: I don’t include family posts, because those are designed to be read at the time, not found later. These are posts of mine designed to be read and have just not been. They’re not even recent ones. Many of these have been up for a very long time. And they’re not just straight lists either, they have content. Well, maybe someone will read them at some point.
#1 - For Love of Books: The Little House Books - 18 July 2010 - 30 hits
My book posts have never done as well. This one just never took off – 13 hits in the first few days and 17 in the year and a half since. Clearly my readers don’t care about the Little House books.
#2 - Ghosts from the Past: A Review of Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell From the Sky - 3 March 2010 - 36 hits
I discovered this book thanks to a chance listening to NPR. It made me miss Portland (“the place where young people go to retire” – don’t watch Portlandia? Then start watching it). I loved the book, had a nice e-mail exchange with the author and even tried to configure the title so Google would find it. No luck. 20 hits the first month, 16 in the nearly two years since. And the book didn’t sell as well as I’d hoped at work, even though it was also one of my staff picks. I’d like people to read the review. I’d like it better if people read the book.
#3 - Pummeling Zombies to the Rhythms of Queen - 25 November 2008 - 40 hits
Perhaps I should have included the subtitle in the title (or, 25 Reasons which Rock and Roll and Film are Beautiful Together), but I didn’t want a really long title. This also had no images and even the Youtube clips I used are all gone now. This was actually a re-post of something I wrote for CC2K long before the blog ever existed.
#4 - new fiction: winter light - 25 September 2010 - 44 hits
This is the only time I have put my fiction on the blog. And it’s an abridged version – the version I did at a reading at the Booksmith. The 44 hits are not an encouraging sign.
#5 - Possibilities 2.0: A Review of David Louis Edelman’s Multireal - 9 November 2008 - 46 hits
So, in November of 2008, I put up two of the posts which have the fewest hits. I also put up my post on the best comic book movie villains and that’s got over 9000 hits so far. Well, I really had hopes for this one. First, I really like the book. Second, David is a friend and I really try to push his books, partially for this reason, and partially for the first. I think I might have gotten more people to buy his books at the Booksmith then I got people to read my review of his second book (oddly, my review of his third book had almost as many hits in its first month as this one has total, but even though I link to this review, it only got 3 hits that month). So, again, I would like people to read my reviews. I’d like it better if they read the books.