Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

My cyber-friend, Blake, at I Hate Stairs, tells me he has had a problem posting a comment here at How To Be An Inspiration. As far as I can tell all is well this end but knowing my expertise with computers and internet type things I will be the last to know if my blog has contracted a problem. I would be most grateful if a few of you reading this would leave a comment so I can see if the problem is wide spread. If you do have a problem please drop me a line at – h2bai* (replace the * with a @ to help foil those nasty spammers). Thanks Blake for bringing it to my attention, but I hope you don't mind if I wish the problem was yours because you, at least, have a fighting chance of knowing how to fix it. I've found that weeping and banging the computer with a shoe has very little maintenance or restorative properties. Meanwhile, check out Blake's wheelchair stalking post. Be afraid, very afraid.

Over at Disaboom, where I also post these posts, cherylberyl has asked how I came up with the figures I did for the Disaboom posts when I wrote I'm 100 Today! Okay. Well, Disaboom, although a marvellous resource, is pretty useless when it comes to tracking your blog's statistics so a degree of extrapolation is required. Google Analytics provides a smorgasbord of statistics for my How To Be An Inspiration site, so I know how many visitors I have per day and per month. I also know if it is the same demented soul visiting time and time again or lots of discerning individuals visiting once or twice. So, at Disaboom I total up the number of visits per post for the last month (not the last 30 posts) and divide by 30. This gives me an average number of visitors per day. Google Analytics reveals that I have, for example, 900 visits from 300 unique visitors over the last month on How To Be An Inspiration, so assuming Disaboom blog readers behave in much the same way as Google blog readers (and I realise that's a major assumption) then if I have had, say, 1500 visits to my Disaboom posts over the last 30 days then it is likely that 1/3 are unique visitors. Therefore it is not unreasonable to say I have a regular Disaboom readership of 500 individuals in this example. Yes, I know there are a lot of assumptions but until Disaboom stop treating every post as an unique blog then it's the best I can do. Tim, if you are reading this, maybe you can help.

And finally, a few months a go I joined Facebook, which once you get past the countless invitations to hug, grow flowers, drink beer and all manner of cyber-silliness, has proven to be great fun, putting me back in touch with several people from my dim and distant past. (Hi Brian, Tony, Jonathon etc.) I have been trying to get this blog to show up on my Facebook page but it seems to require large numbers of people prepared to concede that I write this before it will let me, and even more people prepared to admit they read it before any meaningful statistics can be gathered. If you are on Facebook, and have not already done so, then please, be my 'friend'. I'll be yours. Look for Stephen Deal and this photo.

Thank you for reading.