All entries for Monday 29 November 2004

November 29, 2004

Warwick Blogs statistics

Follow-up to Some Warwick Blogs statistics from Kieran's blog

This morning I ran my little set of queries which give me an indication of BlogBuilder usage. We are now in week 10 of term, so perhaps now is a good time to publish a bunch of graphs showing how busy Warwick Blogs has been.

This more or less speaks for itself. We have been averaging around 20,000 page views (proper page views, images and robots not included) per day. Clearly traffic went up pretty quickly as term started but has hit a bit of a plateau right now. (Those dips are weekends by the way)

Entries per day is very similar to the page views in that there was a sharp rise around the start of term and then a real leveling off. The average is now sitting at around 150 entries per day, which isn't bad. However, when you think of how many blogs we have right now (almost 2300), then the figure doesn't look quite so good. There are clearly a lot of empty blogs out there.

I quite like this graph. The reason is that on most blogs and blog systems, the number of entries is greater than the number of comments. Unfortunately most people do not get comments, or don't get many comments on their entries. With an average of 350 comments per day, we can hope that everyone is getting a comment occasionally. Of course there is a core of entries out there that get the lion's share, but looking deeper into the stats, it looks like virtually everyone has had a comment or two at some point. I think the inclusion of our built in aggregations and now the "My comments" page will help keep up the commenting levels.

Don't really need to say much about this. However, I will note that I am pleased that the number of people still signing up for blogs is a nice surprise. I didn't think we would still have this constant stream of new people this far into term time. We may well hit 2500 by new year (maybe).

I don't think I published this graph before. It basically just shows the number of images people are uploading. We are constantly getting 200 new images per day. Obviously people are using their galleries, stuffing them with 15000 images taking up 1.5GB (we've got plenty of space for more). Knowing that the usability of image upload and galleries is not what we'd like it to be makes these figures all the more surprising.

So, what do I think overall? Well, I'm pretty pleased. Back in September we really did not know what to expect. Were we going to get 100 blogs or 1000? Were people going to love it or hate it? Was it going to blow up?

As it turns out, it has been quite a mixed reaction. A lot of people have registered blogs and left them empty or with a single entry. We have to work out why. But then there are people out there with a hundred or more entries.

There are clearly some people who get blogging and really enjoy it, not just writing, but also reading. However, for all our hard work advertising blogs and getting the message out, there are still plenty of people (the majority?) out there who don't understand blogs or know why they would want one, or even bother reading blogs. Are we not communicating to people well enough now the initial publicity and excitment is over? I suspect so.

Even in the last 9 weeks since term began we have added new features and improved various parts of the system. We have also learned quite a lot ourselves about what people want out of blogs and what kind of people use blogs, so perhaps we need to learn from this and have a fresh drive in the new year. Bring it on.

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