Six Month Status Report
Daily Nous began on the first Friday in March, and now it is the first Friday in September. It’s six months old, so still a baby, but nonetheless this seems like a good enough occasion to bore you with some blogging about the blog.
1. First things first.
THANK YOU! Daily Nous is still alive, and doing pretty well, as you’ll see, and of course that is owed to you: the people who visit the site, read it, check out the links, comment on the issues, share the posts on social media, send me information and leads, and complain about me on other sites. I really appreciate it.
2. So how is Daily Nous doing?
Over the past six months:
· There have been 519 posts, including this one
· There have been over 1,860 comments on the blog
· The blog has had over 625,000 page views, with a general trend of increased viewership month by month
· Hits vary with the popularity of the posts, but on average WordPress tells me that the blog gets between 4000 and 6000 hits per day, with usually less on the weekends. (I do not know how accurate WordPress stats are.)
· The blog has been viewed from 175 countries, with the top ten being: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Norway.
· The most popular search strings that have brought people to the blog are variants of “Daily Nous,” “Free Porn,” and the names of various philosophers who may or may not have been involved in sex scandals. Seriously.
· The most popular post ever was the guest post by Daniel Silvermint, “Grad Traps!” Rounding out the top five are “Yale Seeks Information about Sexual Misconduct,” “Insults and Obnoxiousness,” “The Issues Behind the Gossip,” and “Diversity at Undergraduate-Oriented Departments.” Runners-up include “Hiring and ‘Unofficial’ Information” and “What’s a Well-Intentioned Single Guy to Do?”
· Nearly 300 people are following Daily Nous via WordPress, around 640 are following it on Twitter, and around 1080 are following it on Facebook.
· I have talked with a dozen or so people about Daily Nous without them knowing that I am the guy who runs it, which, when it happens, makes me feel kind of like Clark Kent, if Superman’s sole superpower was not getting enough sleep.
How is Daily Nous doing compared to other blogs that focus largely on philosophy news and professional issues? It is hard to know exactly. I put together the following table using publicly available data from Alexa, a service that estimates web traffic.
Daily Nous had two very high-traffic days during the past month, so that may be pushing its US ranking up a bit more than one would normally expect, but even accounting for this, I am pleased with these numbers. They suggest I am providing something that a good number of my colleagues in the profession see as at least occasionally valuable. Alright!
Daily Nous is currently a one-person project, and that one person has a real job and a family and other interests, and so time-management is one of the great challenges involved in running the site. The other main challenge is making sure I get good information out in a timely manner.
Are you wondering how you can help? No? I’ll tell you anyway. One thing you can do is send relevant information to me. Are you switching jobs? Has your department made an offer to someone? Have you written something of broad interest? Noticed something new philosophers would want to know about? Experienced something worth sharing with the profession? Seen something on the web other philosophers should see? Thought of an issue worth discussing? Have an idea for the site? Etc., etc., etc. If so, send me a note about it at [email protected].
A second thing you can do is share posts that you like or think would be of interest. Daily Nous is a young site and, despite the promising numbers above, not everyone who might like the site knows about it, and the more people know about the site, the more useful it can be. I do notice people tweeting and retweeting about stuff I post, sharing posts on Facebook, departments reposting links on their own pages, and readers emailing links on listservs. Super. Keep it up. Sometimes people link directly to what I link to or repost information that I post (instead of linking to my post). Fine, be that way. One way to support the site when you do this is to credit Daily Nous. If you don’t, don’t worry—I won’t threaten to sue you. But… I can’t guarantee that nothing bad will happen to you. What? Look, I’m merely stating a fact. Just saying. Implicature shmimplicature.
The third thing is to be patient. As I do have other commitments, and as technology occasionally fails, sometimes you will have to wait longer than you may like to get a reply to a message you send, or to get a comment approved. Before you jump to the conclusion that I am dedicated to silencing or ignoring you, give it a little time and try following up with a message to me. If all else fails, remember that it’s just a blog.
4. Plans for the future
I can’t believe you’re still reading. Wow, you’re the best. So, some changes for Daily Nous are in the works. Expect a site redesign in the next month or so. Also—now don’t get mad—Daily Nous will start taking a limited number of advertisements and sponsorships. Depending on how successful those are, I may end up hiring an editorial assistant to help out with the site. If you are interested in advertising on the site, send me an email. If you are concerned about the editorial independence of the site in light of this prospective development, I suggest you relax and have a Coca-Cola™.
The big news, which I am sure you have all already heard of, is that Daily Nous has been acquired by OKCupid. Once they took a look at the search strings that led people here (see above), it was a no brainer. So expect a philosopher match-making feature in the sidebar soon. I’m still looking for a name for that service, so your proposals for that are welcome.
Lastly, except for Coca-Cola™, there is always room for improvement. As the site redesign gets underway, I am especially interested in your suggestions for Daily Nous: what do you like, what do you not like, what changes would you like to see?
Many thanks for your support.
Thanks, Justin. I’ve really enjoyed the blog.Report
While you are adding up stats of people reading or following, there are 474 readers for this blog on feedly (the way I primarily read it).
Anyway, great service so far, thank you.Report
Congratulations on everything this blog has already accomplished, Justin. I’ve been following since day one and it’s been a real pleasure to see how quickly it has developed and come to thrive. My only suggestion is: more Friday Fun, please.Report
Well, David, it is Friday, and this post did include the following: “So expect a philosopher match-making feature in the sidebar soon. I’m still looking for a name for that service, so your proposals for that are welcome.”Report
Congratulations, Justin! I’ve even started reading more regularly! But Alexa just isn’t a good metric to use for reasons discussed here:
Why not install a site meter?Report
Thanks for the congratulations, Brian, and for forwarding the article on site statistics. I will likely install a site meter eventually.Report
Here is another set of comparisons, from TrafficEstimate.com, on total visits over the past 30 days (taken 9/1/14): Leiter Reports=118,500; Feminist Philosophers=96,600; Daily Nous=94,200; New APPS=89,200. This is consistent with Alexa if we look at global rank, rather than U.S. rank.Report
Interesting, I’d never heard of that’s service. Here’s what I found the owner of TrafficEstimate.com saying (rather pleasingly candid):
“We own and operate TrafficEstimate.com and can provide a little more insight into how it works. We built an algorithm that attempts to estimate traffic based on various criteria. We calibrate the algorithm based on traffic from real websites, many of which we own and operate, and some that are owned by people that we are friendly with. It’s hard to get the algorithm to match the exact traffic number for each of these sites, but we do get it close (often within 10% to 20%). Like any estimating tool, TrafficEstimate.com tends to work best for larger sites. That’s not to say you need millions of visitors, but for sites that have less than 20,000 visitors per month, it’s really hard to be accurate, for any estimating tool.”
The advantage of sitemeter is that it’s not, as I understand it, an ‘estimating’ tool, it tracks the actual traffic. It’s disadvantage is that it periodically crashes.Report
Be careful with Sitemeter: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/little-tech-help-a-bleg-ctd/
Keep up the great work!Report