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10:54am on Wednesday, 1st January, 2014:

Last Year


Ah, the first of January: time for me to write my annual, content-free QBlog post looking at my most popular posts of the previous year. This time, it only took me 10 minutes to figure out how to get Google Analytics to tell me the full year's data instead of just the past month's (click on the date in the top-right hand corner) and another 10 to get it to tell me the top posts by name (click on things at random).

There were a total of 55,273 visits to QBlog in 2013. The year before, there were 65,892. People don't read blogs so much, it seems. I do cross-post to Google+, but I did last year, too, so that's probably not a factor. Maybe the loss of an accessible RSS feed reader finally kicked in? Or perhaps I just don't write stuff people find interesting? Well, people other than me, obviously...

The top post by unique visits was that of 2nd April, in which I explain how the Hero's Journey works. It had 433 unique visitors. This is actually a post so long that I split it into two: the second half got 217 uniques. Oh well, at least it held the interest of more than half the people who read it.

Hmm, I should perhaps mention that last year the highest-viewed post in 2012 had only 1,086 views and the highest in 2011 had a mere 1,497. This year's 433 is even less impressive...

The next most-read post, with 375 uniques, was that of 19th January. This one was about washing Lego bricks in a washing machine, and how they join themselves together.

Next up, on 269 uniques, was the post from 18th February about levels in MMOs and how they're not fit for purpose.

The only other post with more than 100 uniques was the one from 23rd July about evil player characters. This had 179 unique visitors.

As usual, the most-visited pages on QBlog weren't posted in the previous year at all. The number one post, with 622 uniques, was a 2010 entry about the evolution of the trinity in MMOs. Next, on 454, was a 2008 post that illustrates my player types model using Duplo bricks. Both of these were popular last year, too. There's a new addition on 445 uniques, though: the 2010 post telling the Red-Nosed Clown joke, which I suppose must have been linked to from somewhere. After that comes another old favourite, a 2008 post that compared Senator John McCain's logo to that of McCain Oven Chips which managed 302 uniques this time round. The only other old posts that got more than 200 uniques were my discussion of the art in the design of Stranglethorn Vale from 2009 and the story machines post from 2012.

As I cross-post to Google+, these aren't the full figures for views. However, I can't find a way to get G+ to summarise likes and reshares for the past year — I'd have to go through them manually to find out what performed best. That sounds too much like hard work, so I think I'll skip it.

2014 is also the start of the tenth year of QBlog's existence. I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it.

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).