2010, the annual report

I thought I’d inaugurate an annual blog report.

According to Google Analytics, 2010 saw just over 800,000 page views, plus nearly 7,000 feed subscribers. Best I can tell, there were 225,000 unique visitors. 75,000 or so check in at least once a month and about 50,000 read at least weekly.

Strangely, several thousand people check in several times a day, even though I only post about once a day. I really want to believe that these are shared university computers and servers rather than a phalanx of stalkers.

Overall, color me amazed. This is all a considerable improvement since 2007, when my readership was mainly my mom and Michael Clemens.

(Actually, I know for a fact my mom is one of the people who checks in several times a day. I want to believe the same is not true of Michael.)

Thank you everyone for loyal reading, and especially for loyal commenting. Comments are consistently civil and intelligent. I never need to censor or censure. It’s a real privilege to have such a great audience.

How did you find me? Google tells me what search terms people used to find the site. Most unusual were the 1,232 searches for “chris blattman wife”. Jeannie is not sure what to think about that (see fear of stalkers, above). For the non-stalkers, let me make this easy for you. Her site is here.

My interest was also piqued by:

  • 269 searches for “should i be an accountant?” (in a word: no)
  • 57 searches for “luther van pumpernickel” (what the …?)
  • 44 searches for “underpants games”
  • 22 searchers for “UN sex” ( I am seeing a trend here)
  • 20 searches for “what would it take to be Batman?” (sorry to disappoint you, guys)

Where are you all from? In 2010, you were overwhelmingly Anglo:

  • 64% North America
  • 18% UK and Europe
  • 8% Asia
  • 4% Africa
  • 2.5% Oceania
  • 2% South America

What did you read? The most visited posts of 2010 come in two flavors: pithy graphs and academic advice. I hope the first have been entertaining and the latter enlightening (rather than the reverse).

Omitting visits to static pages like my “about me” or project pages, the Top Ten Most Visited Posts in 2010, in ascending order, were:

10. Getting jobs in international development (technically a collection of posts)

9. Which is for you? PhD, MPA or MPA/ID? (originally posted in 2008)

8. How to get a PhD and save the world (originally posted in 2007)

7. Grad students: Don’t lose hope

6. Got allergies? Try hookworm

5. Graph of the day: Canadians pee between periods

4. Course advice for undergraduates interested a public service career

3. Graph of the day: Where the foreign aid goes

2. How to email your professor

1. Graph of the day: the world’s population by latitude

I am particularly pleased with #2, which my be the greatest public service I provide in my short career. (Fellow faculty: nothing says thank-you like buying me beers at conventions.)

A more accurate name for the Top Ten list would probably be “Most Forwarded Posts”. Regular readers overwhelmingly read the main page, and don’t click through to posts, so the list may give undue weight to irregular visitors.

If there are any tips on how to observe what regular readers like best (can one track “likes” or “shares” in Reader?) please let me know. Assume near technological ignorance.

Finally, in the interests of full disclosure, I think I made a few hundred dollars by people clicking through to Amazon books that I mention. This basically pays for my web hosting and troubleshooting, which strikes me as a good balance. I don’t feel good about using ads, so I don’t. I may consider charitable ads in future.

I can basically promise you this: I will only sell out and inundate you with ads when Jeannie adopts forty orphans and tries to put them through private college. That day is coming, I am sure of it.

Until then, enjoy my ad-free blathering about subjects about which I’m only partly informed, and never forget the blog’s unofficial motto: you get what you pay for, folks.