Statistics For The Blog
This blog was launched on 1st November 2006 and today, 18 weeks later, the blog has received its 10,000 visitors and this is the 100th posting. The Akismet spam filter has caught over 1,300 spam comments, although I’d estimate that about 20-30 of these have been legitimate comments (if there had been about 300 spam comments fewer there would have been a nice symmetry to these figures!)
The Spam Issue
The blog has also received 382 comments. I’ve very pleased with this figure, as it indicates that the blog is succeeded in its aim in actively engaging with the community. This policy has been to allow unmoderated comments for all postings. This has worked well, allowing people to see their comments immediately, and others to read them and perhaps respond even when I’m not around to manage the blog (on a handful of occasions legitimate comments have been held by Akismet and I’ve had to manually authorise them).
It is clear from these figures that the blog would not be functioning as a forum for discussion without the Akismet filter – the comments area would be full of spam comments giving links to Web sites selling Viagra or providing pornography or, alternatively, I’d be spending significant time and effort in filtering the spam.
Akismet is free for personal use and there are special rates for educational institutions and non-profit making organisations.
In light of my experiences I would suggest that some mechanism will be needed in order to avoid spam. This will be of particular importance if a purpose of the blog is to encourage feedback.
Something I will have to consider is what to do if the Akismet filter fails (unlikely, I hope) or WordPress.com changes their licensing conditions for use of the filter (I have no reason to suspect this will happen, but it is a possibility). I may also need to have some contingency plans for when I am away on holiday and not in a position to manage the blogs (e.g. if legitimate comments are caught in the spam filter).
I should note that the figures given above relate only to visits to this blog Web site. A significant number of readers of this blog appear to use an RSS reader, I’m pleased to say (in light of previous discussions on the importance of RSS!) Interestingly, as can be seen from the graph, it would appear that RSS readers were discovered on 19 February as prior to that date there were only a handful of accesses to the RSS feed, but since then there appear to be over 200 accesses following every new post.
And The Rest
The free service is being used, which provides access to a limited set of statistics, which are shown (note statistics for ‘click-thrus’ are note available in the free version).
The figures have shown a consistent pattern for a number of weeks. There seem to be about 50 readers who read new posts over the weekend and around 70 who read new posts during the week.
From these figures can we conclude that MyBlogLog is successful in ensuring that postings are found by members of that community?