Hooray for us!

I hope everyone will indulge us for a few moments of self congratulation. We’ve just passed our 2nd anniversary as Bluegrass Today, and managed to reach a number of significant milestones in recent weeks. In July, we recorded our 1,000,000th page view, and our 500,000th visitor.

Brance and I would like to extend a special word of thanks to all our readers – we appreciate the time you spend here, and are delighted that you find our content worthy of your attention.

Looking over our visitor stats, we see that we have doubled our readership over the past year (8/06-07).

While we’re on the subject of stats, let’s talk about some of the confusion that surrounds this question. You may find web sites – even some in acoustic music markets – who make what seem like unbelievable claims for daily visitors.

The problem isn’t with web stats generically, but with how they are collected. When we first started Bluegrass Today, we relied on what are known as server stats, which measure the number of times files are requested for display from our web server. We thought we were setting the web on fire, until we realized that each page on the site involves dozens of file requests, and that the only way we could get accurate stats was to measure image loads.

Image load stats record how many times a specific image is loaded from an external server (other than ours), and gives a very accurate measurement of how many times actual readers have loaded a page. We use three different image load stat tracking services, and they all report very similar numbers. These stats also allow us to ignore the hundreds (or thousands) of file requests that are made daily by indexing robots such as Google.

As an example of what we mean, if we look at our server stats for August 29 of this year, they show 17,000 unique visitors and 129,000 page views, while the image load stats show 2348 and 4831 respectively. Oh that they were true!

This final image represents where our readers are located geographically, based on the last 2500 visitors on Friday (8/31). No real surprises here, but it is nice to know that bluegrass music has become a truly international medium.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.