On 19 July 2006, I posted my first real entry on this blog, introducing ‘Moving to Freedom’ BETA. (Previous to that there were a few fake test posts, now deleted, some of which still seem to be echoing around in Google, judging by complaints of missing pages I sometimes see in Webmaster Tools.)
I had some idea of what I wanted to do with the site, but was uncertain how I’d go about it or if I could really sustain this thing. I have to say I’m not totally ashamed of that first post nor of my efforts this past year. I think I can do a lot better, but I’m happy with how things have gone and enjoy writing here. Thanks to all of you for reading and emailing me and contributing comments; you make it that much more rewarding.
(And sorry to those who would like to contribute trackbacks but can’t right now. I want to fix that but am choosing not to invest time in troubleshooting at the moment.)
One of my main goals in starting the site was to spur myself on to really get going on moving to free software, and I think that’s worked out great. I’m using Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) as my main home machine right now. Still tons to do, but I’m here, baby! I also wanted to write about free software and help spread the word, both technically and philosophically. I think I’ve been able to do some of that, but this is an area I need to spend more time in.
So, how would you like to see some visitor statistics generated by Google Analytics over the past year? I started using Analytics on 5 August 2006, and here’s what happened from then through 21 July 2007:
On the vertical axis, the middle bar is 400 visitors and the top is 800. You can see things really took off in February, when I wrote a few “how to” articles about encryption and VNC in Ubuntu and Fedora and started getting a lot of visitors from Google searches. The spikes in October are from articles I wrote for Free Software Magazine that received a lot of diggs and pageviews at FSM, with some spillover traffic following links back to here.
5 August 2006 — 21 July 2007
1 February 2007 — 21 July 2007
Where did you come from?
I’m happy to see pretty good coverage here, with 167 countries/territories represented. World domination can’t be far away. Here’s the top 10:
Who sent you?
Looking at the numbers below, you’ll see it boils down to Google, with 56% of my visitors coming from web search and 20% from image search. That makes Google responsible for 75% of my traffic. Yikes! Thanks, Google. (And please don’t ever forsake me.)
All of the separate image searches, e.g. images.google.co.uk and images.google.ca, show up in Analytics as separate line items. I’ve combined them all here, keeping only images.google.com separate.
|2.||images.google (not .com) (search)||10,171||13.92%||n/a|
Thank you referrers for your referrals. Much appreciated.
What are you reading?
Here are the top twelve pages according to pageviews. A quarter of my traffic goes to a single page: a “how to” for using “remote desktop” in Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Just sneaking in to the top twelve, I’ve been getting traffic from stumbleupon.com to my “about” page, which has boosted its position quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. Finally, thanks to Stacy Cashman for freely sharing travel photos at her site, the Rambling Traveler. My post of her pictures from Santorini, Greece accounts for over 10% of my pageviews.
|1.||HOWTO: Remote Desktop with VNC in Ubuntu Edgy/Feisty||25,279||25.45%|
|3.||HOWTO: EncFS Encrypted Filesystem in Ubuntu and Fedora GNU/Linux||6,077||6.12%|
|4.||(Image) Santorini Island||5,488||5.53%|
|5.||HOWTO: TrueCrypt in Ubuntu and Fedora GNU/Linux||5,353||5.39%|
|6.||Friday Photopost: Santorini, Greece||4,136||4.16%|
|7.||bash shell script: copy only files modifed after specified date||2,733||2.75%|
|8.||wallpaper category archive||2,624||2.64%|
|9.||HOWTO: Samba and the NSLU2: Remote Drives in GNU/Linux||1,817||1.83%|
|10.||photos category archive||1,315||1.32%|
|11.||Friday Photopost? Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge.||1,264||1.27%|
So it’s the “how to” posts that really drive traffic to this site. I’ve been very happy that some people have found my write-ups useful, and that I can give a little bit back this way. I’d like to do many more of these, but they take so much time of which I have so little right now.
Images have also been popular and I’m glad to freely share them under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Free culture!
What kind of surfboard do you use?
What’s under your hood?
Happily, GNU/Linux is making a strong showing. The percentage really picked up when I started writing the HOWTOs. For a time I was seeing more than 50% of visitors using GNU/Linux, but that dropped off about the time I started getting more Google images traffic.
How big is your window on the world?
This one is interesting to me from a design perspective. With 35% of people at 1024×768, that tells me I should continue to make large graphics in my center column be a maximum of 600 pixels. I try to make things look reasonable at 800×600, but with that being only 3.22% of the user population, I’m not going to stay up nights over it. Of course, many people run their browsers at less than full screen, but I’m not going to give away all my real estate just for those people.
Lastly, here’s FeedBurner’s graph of subscribers since 22 September 2006:
Not to sound ungrateful, but I’d like to see this grow in to the tens of thousands. Is that too much to ask, people?
Hope to see y’all back here next year!