Monday, December 6, 2004

Where'd you all come from?

Another methodological problem in search of a researcher.

Last night, a friend asked me how many people read this blog. "About a thousand, I guess." It's hard to know exactly in this era of bots of newsreaders and proxy servers.

I thought I'd take a look. It seems I'm wrong by at least an order of magnitude. 15,200 unique hosts last month.

Lesson 1: Watch your server logs occasionally.

Lesson 2: The RSS syndication file gets hit 100,000 times a month.

Lesson 3: Things change, even when nothing seems to be happening.

Lesson 4: Some of those unique hosts are bots. Some real readers are hidden behind proxies -- AOL, universities, all sorts of people. I bet there's a good way to estimate actual readership from unique hosts; anyone got a method?