This year I’ve published 29 posts, had 7,000 pageviews, and removed 33 posts from the site in a fit of revitalising pique.
Here are the top five posts of 2013, in order of #pageviews*:
Here’s What I Learnt From My First Teaching Job (389 views)
21st-century job hunting (163 views)
Doing A Forever Thing (106 views)
How To Write Bad Blog Posts (77 views)
Roll The Dice (62 views)
* Pageview counts are deflated by around 25%, since the stats tracking was broken for three months.
Pageview counts are also a poor representation of readership generally, since all my posts appear on the homepage, which had >2.5k pageviews (6.5x more than the most popular page for an individual post). But I can’t measure how those pageviews are divided up between posts, and when promoting posts I always use the direct link – so even though the stats above are incorrect as a measure of actual reads/readers, they’re still usable in comparing posts with one another.
Also NB that three of these five top posts were published in January. That’s no surprise really, since the earlier a post was published, the more time it has had to gather pageviews.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, I had fewer pageviews this year than last, but I didn’t post at all from Feb-June this year. But really, the numbers can come or go. What’s important depends on what I’m trying to achieve.
For me, this blog is a place to explore ideas, write up particular thoughts, and from time to time to post updates about what I’m working on. I’m continually surprised by the number of people who mention that they’ve stumbled across the site. And every so often it produces an interaction someone totally new whom I didn’t know before.
It’s also a helpful place for me to write up stuff that is more easily explained in a blog post than in person – e.g. the VC School post, which contains 20+ links that I had promised to send to a couple of colleagues, but which I couldn’t remember without some point of reference. That post is the point of reference.
Finally, this blog creates unexpected connections. One of my fondest memories from recent years is a conversation with a close friend who told me he had read How To Be Superhuman, a post about shyness. He told me that he had always been very shy inside, and that the way I had written about perceptions of shyness had really touched him.
And actually, out of all the above, that last one is the main reason why I write this blog. I don’t know who’s reading, and the stats can’t tell me why. But that’s fine.
Some things can’t be measured. Some things cannot be known.
But if you believe in them, then you try to make them happen more often.
Thanks for reading. And see you in 2014.