R-Chart: Year End Wrap Up

December 31, 2010

(This article was first published on R-Chart, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Thanks to everyone who visited and commented here at R-Chart over the last year!  Blogging has forced me to crystallize my thoughts and I hope others have benefited a bit from these meanderings.  It it great to interact with the knowledgeable, educated and friendly folks in the R community.

I make no claims to be an expert or authority on statistics, visualization, design or any of the myriad of other topics touched on over the past year.  I appreciate all who have provided encouragement, suggestions and corrections.  Unlike many of you more scientifically minded types who meticulously verify all conclusions before speaking, I tend to throw ideas out in the blog and make adjustments and corrections based upon feedback.  This is really one of the great values of blogging – and so again, thank you for your responsiveness.  It was unexpected and very helpful.

Lessons Learned
In case you blog or are thinking of blogging, I thought you might be interested in how things have worked here at R-Chart to this point.

Make Good Titles
It was interesting to find out which items were of most interest (based upon the number of hits per page).  A great deal seems to be based upon the headline to the blog – never underestimate the value of a well-constructed-sound-byte of a title.  This often dictates the future of a posting.  Bad title = no response.  I really never gave much thought to how important it is to construct a meaningful, attention grabbing title.

Blog Promotion
Promotion of each article also took more time than I expected.  Tal over at R-Bloggers really does the R community a service – bloggers who sign up have content aggregated automatically.  If you want to draw additional readers you have to do a certain amount of footwork yourself.  I get about 15% of total traffic to the site from search engines – which is kind of low.  Most of the generic sites that I submitted the blog to didn’t send any traffic.  Content that was of specific interest to a given community ended up resulting in the most traffic.

The top sites that have sent traffic this way are shown below.

www.reddit.com       15,218
www.google.com 8,932
news.ycombinator.com 7,211
www.r-bloggers.com 4,885
www.dzone.com 3,682
habrahabr.ru         1,167  (Hi to friends in Russia for this – the highest ranking non-English site)
twitter.com            689
www.google.co.in            565
www.google.co.uk            531
www.rubyflow.com            470

R is International
I was really amazed at the international response – folks from 164 countries around the world hit the blog since its inception.  Germany was the top non-English site in total visits and France was also well represented.

This probably is of no surprise to many – R has been widely used in academic research and there are a relatively small number of highly specialized professionals around the world using R.  It’s obvious that the web reaches everywhere – it is not obvious who will end up visiting a given site.

Interest as Indicated by Traffic
A few other numbers of note:

96,928  R-Chart Pageviews all time history as of 01/31/2010.  
620         Downloads of the free R-Chart iPhone application
237         Total days blogging at blogspot (as.Date(‘2010-12-31’) – as.Date(‘2010-05-08’))
195            Days blog has lived at r-chart.com (as.Date(‘2010-12-31’) – as.Date(‘2010-06-19’))
158         Comments on this blog
Apologies to folks who are put off by the advertising.  I had a goal to dip into this area a bit to come to offset costs and maybe buy a book or two.  This may happen eventually…
$ 42.89 AdSense Revenue
$ 13.46 Advertising Revenue through Amazon affiliates
Again – thanks to all – and have a Happy New Year

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