On 1 January 2010 James Clay published a post on “The Top Ten Blog Posts of 20” which gave the top ten posts from his e-Learning Stuff blog according to the statistics for the number of views. The new year provides a useful opportunity for such reflections and for observing annual trends. So I thought I would summarise the top referrers to this blog: i.e. the Web sites which have delivered most traffic to this blog during 2009.

There were 90,088 visits to the Web site in 2009 according to the WordPress statistics (up from 75,101 in 2008 and 52,648 in 2007). But how did these visitors arrive at the blog?

The answer is quite simple – via Twitter and Google.  The top referrer was twitter.com (which delivered 1,047 views) with another variant of the Twitter home page (twitter.com/home) delivering 540 views and twitter.com/briankelly delivering a further 384 views.

The Google Reader Web site (google.com/reader/view) was in second place with 774 views with two other variants (google.com/ig and google.co.uk/reader/view) providing 171 and 131 views.

Another popular RSS reader (netvibes.com) was in fourth place, delivering 453 views.

Just outside the top ten were the UKOLN Web site, Stephen Downes’ blog and Chris Sexton’s blog.

Conclusions? Many readers of this blog view the contents via an RSS reader. So perhaps RSS isn’t dead :-) And Twitter is an important mechanism for delivering traffic.

But the figures I’ve provided don’t approach the total of 75,101 for the year.  So were does the additional traffic come from? Perhaps there is a long tail of Web sites which deliver traffic for which details aren’t provided by WordPress.  But perhaps a significant amount of traffic is delivered by services other than Web sites.  Perhaps by users who type in the URL – or by other Web user agents – such as Twitter clients.

Are other blog authors spotting similar trends?