25 March 2008

Interpreting Amatomu

Today this blog reappeared on the Amatomu radar for the first time in more than a month -- it was ranked 200, and my other blog, Khanya was ranked 150 -- nice round figures, so I thought it worth remarking on them.

For more than a month now this blog has been ranked somewhere in the 230-240 range, so why did it suddenly shoot up to 200, and reappear in the top 30 in the News and Politics section? Not because there were any more readers, apparently. The number of readers has remained fairly constant for the last few days. So it must be because there was a drop in the number of readers of the other blogs on Amatomu, no doubt caused by the long weekend, and blog readers going away to where there are more interesting things to do than read blogs.

So where have all the blog readers gone?

I somehow can't imagine that most of them have gone to Moria, even though a very large number of South Africans do go there on the Western Easter weekend -- the top bloggers on Amatomu somehow don't seem to be the type. No doubt from today until the end of the week we will be able to read on their blogs what they have done, and this blog can sink back into obscurity again.

The other question raised by this is why the number of readers of this blog, even though it did not rise, apparently did not drop off as much as some other blogs. And perhaps that is answered by the Amatomu stats as well. Nobody seems to have read much that I have posted in the last week, and there haven't been many comments on recent posts. The most popular post, by far, remains one I wrote several months ago, commenting on a list of books to read before you die. It's still top with 232 reads over the last 30 days. The second one, Easter - Christian or pagan, which was posted even longer ago, has shot up, with 111 reads. Perhaps that explains why there hasn't been such a drop off.

The other thing that needs some explanation is why my Khanya blog, which I started a year ago, is more popular than this one -- it is ranked 150 on Amatomu, whereas this one is at 200.

The only reason I can think of is that WordPress blogs are more popular than Blogger blogs. I started the Khanya blog on WordPress at a time when many of the blogs I read were switching from Blogger to WordPress, because of the "new and improved" Blogger, in which many of the features no longer worked, and there seemed to be a mass migration to WordPress as dissatisfaction with the reduced functionality of Blogger increased.

But that doesn't explain why readers seem to prefer WordPress blogs to Blogger ones, and the Amatomu statistics don't give much of a clue about that. They reveal the phenomenon, but they don't explain it.

Any ideas?

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