Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Disturbing Affair with Graphs, Numbers, and Critical Hits

Sure I talk about Critical Hits here sometimes, and probably even more so I talk about how I am way too in love with random math, numbers, and graphs. So why should today be any different???

I hesitate to say that I "joined" Critical Hits in August of 2005 because that's around when Dave sent out the e-mail to a bunch of us asking if we wanted to help out with the website, and also asking what we should name the site. I believe "For Great Justice" was the working title at the time, and I'm pretty happy with the name that we settled on considering the numerous other RPG, D&D, and especially 4E themed blogs that have popped up in the last year or two.

We started using Google Analytics back in October of 2006, just a year or so after we had been seriously blogging at the site. Here I'm going to look at some minor traffic stats over the history of CH so far.
  • Late 2006: 30-50 avg. daily visitors
  • First Half 2007: 200-350 daily visitors
  • July 2007 - Fallout 3 Press Event: 1,625 highest daily visitors at the time
  • Second Half 2007*: 100-200 daily visitors
  • Feb 2008 - D&D XP for 4E: 4,575 highest daily visitors at the time
  • First Half 2008: 300-400 daily visitors
  • Second Half 2008: 400-800 daily visitors (with a lot more spikes up to around 1,600)
  • First Half 2009: still in the 400-800 daily visitors range
  • Second Half 2009: 800-1,200 daily visitors (GenCon brought large traffic spikes)
  • First Half 2010 - ChattyDM joins CH: 1,600-2,000 daily visitors (Chatty brings the rain)
  • August 2010 - GenCon: 7,300 highest daily visitors at the time
  • Second Half 2010: 2,000-2,500 daily visitors (with spikes up to 4,500)
Now what does this really show? Not a ton, but it does tell me that from 2007 to 2010 over the course of those 4 years our average daily traffic has grown 50x and that is a pretty crazy thing to think about for me. It also surprises me, and I'm very happy about it, that our current regular traffic spikes up to the numbers that used to be our highest ever daily traffic back in early 2008 when we first covered D&D XP. Realistically I don't expect our numbers to grow at the same rate as we continue, because there are only so many RPG players out there that are reading blogs, but still I'm very happy with how things have progressed and I hope to be happy with it in the foreseeable future.

* Right around July of 2007 Google changed something with their search algorithms, and this resulted in us losing quite a bit of traffic that was probably just people glancing and bouncing from the site anyway, so we dropped from a high of 350 in a day back down to around 200 in a day.

Reading Update: I finished Wheel of Time book 6, Lord of Chaos, and am already 12% through book 7, A Crown of Swords. I'm hoping to be done with ACoS by the end of December and then into book 8 for January. It is still incredibly surprising, and satisfying, to be reading a book in a month that would have taken me up to 6 months to get through just a year or two ago.

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