Thursday, June 07, 2007

New Visitors

There’s something about the idea of guest posts that I love. When Restaurant Gal asked me to create a post for her site a couple of months ago, the whole idea was completely new to me. I’ve been blogging away for nearly 2 years now and none of the sites I’ve visited have ever had guest posts - they might quote a section from a blog they read, but never get someone else to actually write a complete post for their site.

At first the idea was quite intimidating. Here on my own blog it’s my space and I can do whatever I want with it, but for someone else’s… well, it’s like it’s ok to slouch around the house in your tatty jogging trousers and curry stained t-shirt, but if you’ve invited round to dinner at a friend’s house – especially if it’s the first time and you’d like to make a good impression – then you want to make a bit more effort, smarten yourself up, maybe even take a shower, clean your remaining teeth and comb your beard.

And then it’s also been wonderful to invite others to guest blog here. It’s rather like bringing a new friend home to visit; one you’ve been telling the family about, only now they finally get to meet him or her in person.

Now oddly enough, one of the things I found when both Restaurant Gal and El Guapo posted here was the number of comments dropped quite significantly. Typically my posts usually gather comments that number in the 20s and occasionally even in the 30s, yet with both guest posts there was barely a scraping of double figures.

If I was to try and draw conclusions by noting comment numbers alone, then I might have thought few people other than me were interested in the whole guest blogger concept. However, I also have Sitemeter, which paints a very different picture. Here are the Visitor Statistics for the past month:

El Guapo is clearly a popular hombre

As you can see, my average daily visits vary between 50 and 100 (the fact that its at its lowest at the weekends make me guess that most of my visitors are sneaking a glance at my blog during work time). However, notice that spike on the 25th of May when my daily average more than doubled - that was Restaurant Gal’s post – and the one where it quadrupled on Tuesday was El Guapo’s after he mentioned on his site that he was blogging here.

It appears the number of lurkers has been immense.

So what conclusions can I draw from this? Well I guess it means either all these extra visitors were not impressed enough with either me or my guest blogger to leave a comment, or they were shy.

And because I’m feeling in a more positive mood today, I’m going to take the 2nd option as the most likely explanation. Let’s face it, most of us tend to be quieter around strangers, and in new circumstances we’re more likely to sit back, observe and assess the situation before leaping in and blurting out something inappropriate and potentially embarrassing.

The real outcome will be revealed over the coming weeks when I’ll be able to see if my daily average increases (some of the new visitors have decided to stick around for a while), stays the same (none of the new visitors liked my style and so haven’t come back), or decreases (even my regulars are pissed off with this idea and have given up on me).

In the meantime, to any lurkers who are wondering whether it’s safe to comment, I’d like to say come in, make yourself comfortable and help yourself to one of my wife’s home baked cookies. Don’t be afraid to say hello :)

To grab a wonderful quote I discovered on Jennifer’s Pinwheels site today:

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,
It’s about learning to dance in the rain

34 comments:

Brave Astronaut said...

Cookies? Is there milk?

When I started my own blog, I sent email to my friends, basically explaining that "if you wrote a blog and no one reads it, is it really there?"

Many of my readers are people I see every day, but I have been fortunate to get visitors from around the globe (if my site meter and map are to be believed).

I, too, benefitted from a jump in views when RG blogged about a question I had sent her.

It took me a while to come out of "lurking" mode to start leaving comments on other blogs. In part, I have you to thank for that. You have inspired me that it's ok to stand next to you "celebrity" bloggers and [gasp] even talk to them.

So, the British Open is coming up in a few weeks. Got any passion for the little white ball? Want to offer a little something to my readers on the game from its birthsite?

Julie said...

I'm a lurker for a while... then I comment every once in a while. And, now, it seems like I know you, so I share a little with nearly every posting.

Keep it up, Kim.

Anonymous said...

Besides enjoying El guapo's Blog I have him to thank for leading me to your blog. I don't usually leave comments unless something reay hits me bcause I don't have a site to refer to & I have to sign as anonymous.There is something about not being able to claim or be resposible for my comments that doesn't sit right with me . Does that make sense ?? Anyway I'm leaving this because I wanted you know I am reading & truly enjoying you Blog
Thank you

PI said...

I only lurk when I can't think of anything to say. A fairly rare occurrence.

Kim Ayres said...

Brave Astronaut - I've seen you refer to me as a celebrity blogger before - quite where that idea comes from I have no idea, when there are bloggers out there who get thousands of visitors every day.

Can't stand golf I'm afraid

Julie - I'm glad you join in :)

Anonymous - Welcome to my ramblings - I appreciate you taking the time to comment :)

If instead of using the "Anonymous" option, you use "Other" instead, you can put a name into the box. It can be your real name or a made up one, but if you are consistent, like Julie above, then it helps me and anyone else separate you out from any other anonymous comment.

Pat - I only consider it lurking if someone never comments. I read most posts on most blogs that I'm linked to, although I don't always comment. I can't think of anywhere I'm a genuine lurker though. If I like someone's blog, I'll usually comment.

Orfhlaith said...

I loved RG's post and the one from El Guapo, but I am never sure of the protocol for leaving a comment, not having a blog myself (and currently a bit too busy to rectify that situation). I have noticed on several of the blogs I read that the comments are consistently from much the same people, the majority of whom have blogs and I tend to feel a little intimidated and also out of place, and hence don't comment too often! Having said all that, I love your blog, Kim and read it often. Thanks for all the effort you put in!

Mary Witzl said...

When I saw that RG and EG were your guest bloggers, it was a bit like visiting your house and finding someone else was there watering the plants and feeding the dog (yes, I know you don't have one!). But I bravely ventured in and stayed for a cup of tea anyway.

It is possible that your regulars saw that there was a guest blogger and felt too shy to stick around for that cup of tea...

Phil said...

I fully enjoy cookies. Peanut butter especially, but I will pass on the milk, unless it can be soy. Though, as an American, I am really intrigued on the taste of Castlemaine 4x. Hows about cooling a couple of those down and we can talk blog for a bit, as I am reading you, EG, and The Lazy Fat Guy for material. Namaste.

Phil

Phil said...

And now I have embarrassed myself. The Fat Lazy Guy is from New Zealand where you can get Castlemaine. You are my scottish brother from a different mother. I hope you forgive me this error.
Namaste.

Phil

Belovedlife said...

I just think that we are all glad to hear frompeople other then you...you cn be quite boring you know...;) (I am saying this toatlly sarcasticlly, cuz I love when you post, I do enjoy the guest posts, but they never are KIM!?)

restaurant gal said...

Kim--I noticed the same drop in comments when you and El Guapo guest posted. I didn't check visit stats, but I suspect the same jump in lurkers occurred. I read several blogs now and then that I never comment on, one blog I wish I could comment on, but it's not set up for them, and a couple I love chiming in on- yours being the one I comment the most on! Pass the gluten-free cookies, please!

Best, The Gal

savannah said...

it's the sitemeter, sugar, it'll drive you crazy!!...i had a TON of drivebys from all over the world..no comments and for only a second at the most..so, i started wondering why? was my blog scribbled on some bulletin board? had i been linked to some intrigue? or was it just serendipity?

Sayre said...

If I have something to say, I'll usually say it - unless I'm pressed for time and have just popped in to have a look at what's going on.

I loved both EG and RG's posts. I know I commented on EG, but I can't remember if I did on RG's.

What defines a celebrity blogger, I wonder?

Attila The Mom said...

[looking around] Is it safe to comment?

LOL

Some days it seems as if 1 in 10 who come for a look comment. Some days it's like 1 in 20.

That's not counting all the people who are STILL trying to find 6 month old pictures of Jennifer Love Hewitt's boobs. [sigh]

There is just no figgerin' it out!

Sini said...

I am a lurker.. ;)
I love reading your blog.

[back to lurking mode]

The Hangar Queen said...

Like yourself I read most posts on most blogs that I link to.There area some that have to be commented on that very instant,some that need reflection and some that need no comment at all.
I'm afraid I'm just not clever or energetic enough to muster a comment for every post especially when I A) Know little or nothing of the subject under discussion or B)am highly pissed off at a comment (especially B).

The Hangar Queen said...

Oh..one last thing.I really hope that anyone who feels a little intimidated by the apparent "clubbiness" of some blogs wouldn't feel that way at mine or any of the others I link to.Lovely people all and you'd be hard pressed to find a more welcoming and tolerant set.

The Birdwatcher said...

Sometimes I lurk sometimes I post. I keep making resolutions to post something no matter how inane everytime I visit a blog, but then my nerve fails me.

I always enjoy reading your posts though :)

Kieran said...

I think if you put more graphs on your site, more will come.
It's all about graphs.

Kim Ayres said...

Orfhlaith - Don't allow yourself to feel intimidated. Every blogger loves comments (so long as they are not just stupidly offensive). I appreciate you overcoming your apprehension and commenting this time - please feel free to do so again in the future :)

Mary - this is a safe house - I wouldn't invite anyone in to water the plants if I thought they'd turn nasty. I'm glad you poked your head round the door to say hello :)

Phil - you can get Castlemaine 4X in the UK too. I think we do have some soy milk in the fridge now I come to think about it... Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

Belovedlife - there's about 250 posts in my blog that are all mine, I don't think it harms to have a bit of variation now and then :)

Restaurant Gal - this "shy commenters" theory is gaining ground...

Savannah - I think the majority of visits are drivebys, but I think you can watch the trends. Are visits on the increase or decrease?

Sayre - I still don't really know about theis celebrity blogger stuff. I think Brave Astronaut is going to have to explain himself a bit more.

Atilla - I must have missed the boobs. Which reminds me, are you ever going to use that Xena Warrior Princes Avatar again?

Sini - welcome to my ramblings, and thank you for taking the time to comment. Now you've done it once, I hope it's easier to comment again :)

Hangar Queen - I always intend to leave a comment on every post I read, but often just haven't a clue what to put. I thinki what we need is a symbol we can leave that means "I came, I read, I enjoyed, even if I can't think what to say"

Birdwatcher - I think it's rare for nerve to fail me, although imagination does frequently.

Keiran - Badger

savannah said...

increase, but i have noticed that the 7 regulars are dropping by more often..be well, sugar!

Kanani said...

Hooo haaaa.....

I love El Guapo. Great fun, there.

Okay, so I rarely get more than 5 comments on any given piece, and those are always from you, Mary, Eryl, and a few others. In fact, I've come to rely on the lot of you so that I'm assured that I'm just not blogging into thin air.

But then.... dribbling witt gets 50! Wow.

Quite frankly, I think Americans are afraid to post anything on my board, for fear the Dept. of Justice and the CIA will add them to the roster of people with questionnable taste!

But I do find it bizarre that as of late, I've been gathering 1000 hits every 10 days or so. Who are these people?

I have no idea!

Sassy Sundry said...

I read the other blog to see what it was all about. I meant to comment (sorry if I didn't).

I like to point people to other blogs instead of asking them to blog for me. But that's just me.

Alexander Keeran said...

I followed El Guapo here..... I think.
Restaurant Gal may have had something to do with it as well.
I can't really remember, as I read both of their blogs.


In the past 2 days I've read each and every one of your posts, and I must say that I find them quite enjoyable. You, sir, are going on my blog roll.

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - I don't know the ratio between visits and people who actually stop and read, but they are bound to be related, so if you're getting more visits, presumably you'll be getting more readers

Kanani - it's kind of scary the number of comments Pendullum gets, expecially as she only posts a couple of times a month.

Sassy - pointing people to other blogs is something we (nearly) all do, but I've really enjoyed taking it a step further

Alexander Keeran - All of them? Bloody hell. Have you got some exams coming up you're procrastinating from? Well I'm glad you found them quite enjoyable - I'd be quite disturbed if you'd read tham all and didn't like them. Welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

G'day Kim.

That's quite an interesting find. And it's crazy to see your Sitemeter stats! I have to admit I had a squiz at mine when I first got back :D It's kind of addicting seeing where people have visited from and whatnot.

Anyway, have a good one mate.

El Guapo in DC said...

Kim, one of the things that makes your blog fun is your interaction with the commenters. You're buena gente.

michael greenwell said...

i have had the same experience with guest blogging. it works

Alexander Keeran said...

Nah, I've got freedom for another week or so, so I'm attempting to cram everything in. That and once I start something, I have to finish it.

Now, if it were a month later, then yes, I'd definitely would've been procrastinating over exams. XD

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - my stats are available for anyone to see. It's too much of a pain to log in to see them each time.

El Guapo - gracias amigo

Michael - it opens up a whle new aspect to blogging

Alexander - I love starting things, but finishing is another matter all together

Kuin said...

HI kim..I don't have those counters installed on my site. I guess I won't know who is there or not. I am still trying to get back to feeling I can write what I want on my blog. Pop over anytime

MaLady said...

I could use that universal symbol - frequently.

Eryl Shields said...

Well this post has certainly inspired alot of comments!

I do think there is probably a little confusion over commenting on guest posts: who is one communicating with, the host or the guest?

Kim Ayres said...

Kuin - There's always fun to be had with a stat counter

MaLady - time to invent one then! Let me know what it looks like and I'll start using it straight away :)

Welcome to my ramblings!

Eryl - either, neither, both