Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Blog stats for this blog

I've had this blog since June 2009. In October 2009 I started a second blog over at Posterous for science communication jobs. Posterous automatically provides information about the 'hits' a post has received and I was genuinely amazed to find that people were visiting posts about job adverts in their hundreds (several posts have topped two thousand). This surprised me because I'd have thought that it was a fairly niche interest and that posts would only have a few tens to low hundreds of hits.

Of course all sorts of random things happen on the internet with search engines crawling sites (apparently these are counted too) and the high hits don't imply that people intended to arrive at the science communication jobs blog, or spent any time there.

This made me curious about readers, if any, of my own blog and so I added a Google Analytics code in May 2010 (I've written about this before, this post is sort of an update) and waited to see what happens.

It would seem that my blog gets about 100 hits a day (about 3,000 a month) whether or not I tweet about my posts, or whether or not I write anything - most seem to be coming in via Google searches. Oh ;)

The most hits in one day was 1,445 when Ben Goldacre tweeted a link to my post about nerd days out and in that month I had over 6,000 hits which can be seen in the graph below.

The image below shows not the Google Analytics information, but the in-house Blogger stats (well, it's all Google really) which they began doing in July 2010. If you have a Blogger blog you can find your stats in a tab on the dashboard - I'd be surprised if you've not spotted it yet ;)

Blog stats for my blog Click for full size version.

I'm pleased enough with the stats - I'm delighted that anyone finds the blog and reads it and super pleased when people leave nice comments - but, as with so many things these days, the time I spent playing with the full-scale Google Analytics turned out to be useful for my work at UCL. Which reminds me a little of the xkcd cartoon

One of the things we want to do with the CHI+MED project (although I work at UCL the project itself, which is on making medical devices safer, is running at Swansea University, Queen Mary's University and City University) is to make our website a useful place because public engagement is a major part of our remit (we're funded by the EPSRC).

We're working with people who design medical devices (such as infusion pumps that deliver chemotherapy), with the regulatory bodies who licence medical devices, with people who buy the devices for the NHS (commissioning), people who train the nurses who will use the pumps, and we're also wanting to work with patients who are using them as well as raising the awareness of patient safety with everyone.

One way we can test how useful our site is, or is becoming (early days), is to see how people are using the site once there and how they get there. I've noticed that people visiting the CHI+MED website spend more time there and look at more pages than those who look at my blog, which is rather encouraging. The chances are though it's not the same group of people who are visiting so I'm not drawing too many conclusions from this data. I'm also not too surprised that people don't spend the same amount of time on my blog as it's not a cohesive whole (one blog post doesn't particularly relate to any others).

Anyway, it's been quite interesting for me, but I still have a lot to learn about Google Analytics!

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).