I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Visitor counter now installed

A visitor ("hit") counter was installed over a week ago but I decided to move it to a more conspicuous spot just under the link list in the left sidebar.

The counter is free of charge. Much more data is available on paid service, but I am really amazed at the tremendous amount of data that is available for free.

I had to add coding to the blog template to install the counter. I chose a setting enabling anyone to look at the detailed visitor data just by clicking on the count number. Some blogs have invisible or partly invisible counters, where (1) no grand-total number or counter icon is displayed and/or (2) the detailed data is available only to the blogger. I also chose the option of not having my own visits counted.

The Site Meter (brand name of the counter) page shows that I have been averaging about 50 visits per day. Not bad, considering that I am competing with millions of other blogs and other websites out there. Also, this blog is less than five months old. This blog is doing OK despite the efforts by many to sabotage it. Big, well-known blog multiblogger blogs like Panda's Thumb (26 bloggers last count, as I remember) and Uncommon Descent get several thousand hits per day. What really astonished me is that PZ Myers' one-man Pharyngula blog averages over 20,000 hits per day (the counter icon is the rainbow square near the bottom of the left sidebar). BTW, my blog has two articles about PZ, here and here. With just around 50 visits per day, there can't be a lot of people coming here just for the "laughs," as a lot of trolls have falsely claimed. Visits are not always significant -- I often visit websites just to pick up a link to another website. And of course, the lengths of the visits and the numbers of pages visited are very important.

With the free service, I can see individual visitor data only for just the 100 most recent visitors -- this data can be seen by clicking on the options on the left side of the Site Meter page. Some of the individual data is the following:

(1) -- geographical location of visitor. I usually get the city plus the state or country. Most visitors are from all over the USA, but I have gotten quite a few foreign visitors. Most of the foreign visitors are of course from English-speaking countries, mostly the UK, Canada and Australia, but I get quite a few visitors from mainland Europe. I even had a visitor from Moscow.

(2) -- length of visit. Quite a few visits show 0.00, probably because the blog service is not notified when a visitor closes the blog window, so that a visitor who visits only one page will usually show 0.00 time (some 1 page visits show a few seconds time and I suspect that is because the link list was used). Many visitors to blogs come just to check for new articles or to link to another website. A long visit time might not be significant because the visitor might not have read the blog continuously during the visit.

(3) -- number of pages viewed. This is a very good indicator and I am happy to report that in comparison to other blogs this blog has a high average of page views per visit. The post "fold" feature (where only an introductory section of a post is shown on the home and archive pages) helps to increase page-view counts because this feature forces a visitor to open a new page to read the whole article.

(4) -- the entry and exit pages. This helps to show which pages are the most popular. Of course, pages that are viewed but not used as exit or entry points are not shown.

(5) -- domain name. Not of much use. I wonder what would be listed if someone accessed the blog with one of those anonymous proxies -- e.g., HideMyAss.com -- that I used to crack Panda's Thumb for several months after I was banned there.

Some of the bloggers on Panda's Thumb have their own blogs and have the great advantage of being able to advertise their blog articles on PT (PZ Myers is a blogger on PT but this hardly begins to explain why his personal blog gets so much traffic).

A lot of blogs have a lot of news items and that certainly helps attract visitors. I have tried to avoid just having a "me-to" blog, so I usually do not post news items unless I feel I have some comments to add. If people are just looking for the latest news about the evolution controversy, they should go to Panda's Thumb, Uncommon Descent, Evolution News & Views, Dispatches from the Culture Wars, etc. (see link list in the left sidebar of the home page).

Jason Rosenhouse reported that an inserted link in the following simple line on the Daily Kos website caused the number of hits on his blog to explode from a normal level of a few hundred a day (as shown by the site meter) to over 7,000 in one day -- and the day wasn't even over:
Speaking of creationism, John McCain opens his mouth wide and inserts both feet.

As the saying goes, "it's not what you know, it's who you know." To generate visits to your blog, it really pays to have links to your blog posted on popular websites.

I ask visitors to compare this blog with, say, Austringer, the personal blog of Wesley Elsberry (who also owns Panda's Thumb), who asked me to respond with trackbacks, which are not supported by my blog service, and who said that the trickiness of trackbacks is "soooo not my problem," and decide which blog they would rather visit (not to mention the blog of Ed Brayton, who permanently banned me because he did not like my literal interpretation of a federal court rule).


The "search this blog" feature doesn't work right, so if you can't find it, that's good.

The quickest way to scan through all the post (article) titles is to click repeatedly on the last title in the list of "recent posts" (not always the most recent) in the left sidebar. There are now about 100 posts on this blog.

To scan the introductory sections for all the posts of a particular month, select an archive page. The oldest posts are shown in full on the archive pages.

The list of so-called "recent posts" lists only the first ten posts shown on the home and archive pages.

If clicking on a comment counter on a home or archive page doesn't bring you to the comment-entry page, try going to the individual-comment display page (click on "Read More" or the comment title in the "recent comment" list) and then clicking on "post a comment" at the bottom.

Comments will sometimes not appear immediately on the tan pages.

Help needed: Need template coding that will display a list of the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog. Thanks.

Note: This post has been revised since it was first posted.


Blogger LarryFarfarafararman said...

Looks like you're getting about 40 hits per day.

BTW, Ed Brayton gets over 6,000.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 4:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like one of the hits might have been Virginia Abernazi.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:41:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>Looks like you're getting about 40 hits per day.

BTW, Ed Brayton gets over 6,000.

Ed has an unusually high number for personal blogs, which are lucky to have just a few hundred. As I said, PZ Myers' Pharyngula blog is even more amazing.

There are a number of reasons for Ed's high number:

(1) Ed's blog is 3 years old -- this blog is less than 5 months old.

(2) Ed posts many articles per day with up-to-date news articles on a broad range of subjects. So he has a much broader interest base and people frequently visit his blog to check for new articles -- I frequently do this myself. In contrast, I post an article just once every 1-2 days. However, I have so many articles now that a lot of people might want to visit this blog just to look at the old articles. And this blog contains much more than just my own thoughts -- I do a lot of research to find information and opinions related to the issues.

(3) Often blogs are visited just to link to another website. I often do this with Ed's blog -- I use his link list instead of bothering to post a link on this blog.

(4) Ed is a member of a big, popular multiblogger blog, Panda's Thumb, and often advertises his own blog articles there.

(5) My blog's average of page views per visit -- now 3.8 -- is by far the highest I have seen. If you can find any other blog that has an average that is even close to this, please let me know. I think that the reasons for the low averages of other blogs are: (1) people check those blogs frequently for new articles and (2) people use those blogs just to link to other websites. A lot of blogs have averages of under 2 page views per visit, meaning that a lot of visitors just visit the home page and don't open any of the articles (if the full articles are on separate pages).

Sunday, September 03, 2006 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger LarryFarfarafararman said...

(6) Ed is smart and entertaining, while Larry is insane and boring.

Sunday, September 03, 2006 7:21:00 AM  

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