Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Sunday Salon: Statistics and What They Say

The Sunday Salon.com

What Caught My Fancy This Week

Aarti over at Booklust asked a question about followers today and it made me realise that I hadn’t checked my blogger stats in ages. When I first started to use Google Analytics I would compulsively check them every day. Then one day I stopped. I remembered why I blog (to organise my thoughts about books and to share my love of books). For me it isn’t about the stats. I’m never going to make money off of my blog. Not saying I don’t love my followers (I probably haven’t been showing this love by commenting on other blogs lately. I feel bad about it and one of my goals now that school is becoming less intense is more blog commenting. I do read I promise).

Anyway back to the Google Analytics stats: although I checked them compulsively early on I never really did drill down in a great deal. So today I decided to take a look at the stats from when I started. Which was my most popular post? The answer surprised me. It was my review of The Giver by Lois Lowry. Why did this surprise me? Well this was a review I had written early on in my book blogging career. I have since posted it on Cym Lowell’s Book Review Wednesdays but still. Not much promo of it. So I decided to drill further. Where have these readers come from? I figured a bunch would have come from Cym’s. And some had. However the vast (and I mean vast) majority of them had come from google. Mostly using search terms with audio book and The Giver since I reviewed the audio version.

I was also pleased that so many had read that review because The Giver is about to become a book I know more about than I had ever wanted. You see my masters thesis is about The Giver and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I want more people to read and discuss these books because I think we have so much to learn from them.

Reviewed

Because I took last week off from Sunday Saloning for health reasons (bad persistent migraine) I have two weeks worth of reviews to give you.

Mia's systrar Mias Systrar (Mia’s Sisters) by Maria Eriksson and Kerstin Weigl. A Swedish book about domestic abuse. An important book detailing the problems protecting women who are in abusive relationships and even after they have managed to leave these relationships.

The distance-between-us The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton. Read for the Spotlight Series. This is a book that although I didn’t love I think will stay with me for some time. It looks both at the conflict in the middle east and the conflict within survivours. How do we go own. Although it is a heavy violent topic the book deals with it in a quiet way letting the landscape mirror the feelings of the characters.

Fantasy in Death Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb. This is the latest instalment in the In Death Series and it was one of my favourites so far. It remembered to bring the funny. Plus my inner geek loved the references to Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek and gaming in general. It also solidified the relationships that Eve has so painstakingly built.

Tracks Tracks by Louise Erdrich. This was the last of my books for school this term and I have to admit I did not particularly enjoy it. It was weird. It did have an interesting take on the importance of staying within your original belief system. It worked for the theory we used it for in class but I did not enjoy it.

Beginning Theory Beginning Theory by Peter Barry. A text book yes but one I think would be of some interest to book bloggers and book readers alike. It is a very accessible look on the different literary theories out there along with plenty of suggestions if you want to continue learning.

Anne of Avonlea Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. I read this for the Childhood Favourites Challenge (amongst others, but was the one I originally chose it for) and I have to say I think I loved it more this time around. I had forgotten so much of what I had read all those years ago. Much of the book felt new to me. It was delightful to rediscover Anne as an adult.

Currently Reading

the namesake

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’ve been playing a lot of the Sims 2 the past two weeks and I have found that listening to an audio book is a great compliment.  I am enjoying the book. I love Lahiri’s way of writing and as the child of an immigrant I can relate to the main character on many levels. I have less than half the book left.

ceremony-in-death

Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb. The next In Death book in my great re-read of the series. This book is actually kinda scary even though I know what happens it creeps me out.

 

I don’t currently have a non-fiction book on the go because I finished Mias Systrar last night. I will probably start reading Living History by Hillary Clinton next but I’m not 100% sure.

Signature

Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

7 comments:

Aarti said...

You know, while I was writing my post, I tried to check my Google Analytics, too, and it doesn't work for my blog for some reason! Oh, well. I never really knew how to use that site properly, anyway :-)

Your thesis sounds so cool! Is it about dystopic societies?

Nymeth said...

I love the topic of your thesis! And I'm quite curious about The Namesake - if it's anywhere near as good as her short stories I know I'd love it.

I don't know what to make of stats, to be honest. I do check them from time to time out of curiosity, but it seems that a great number of readers just come from google looking for something very specific and then move on to something else. They may count as hits, but they aren't necessarily reading my posts.

Zee said...

Aarti~~This was the first time I've drilled the stats down that far for an individual post. It was interesting but not something I will do a lot.

My thesis topic is a feminist critique of The Giver and Brave New World. I chose those two novels because they are often taught in high school. It is really interesting.

Nymeth~~I've only read Interpreter of Maladies before and I don't like it as much as I liked that one but it is good. I liked Interpreter because it felt tight. This one meanders occasionally. Definitely worth a read though.

That is the reason I stopped looking at the stats. Many times the time they are on the site is very short. It was just interesting to see where people came from.

readerbuzz said...

I've never heard of a way to analyze your blog. Oh dear. Just what I need. Another thing to become competitive about!

I became very interested this week in increasing my number of followers (yes, you see I am a competitive person...too competitive). I joined in on Blog Hop and my number of followers soared!

To celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway on my Sunday Salon post today. I plan to give away two $10 gift cards to Amazon on Easter Sunday. I hope you will stop by and sign up!

Amanda said...

I used to love to check my stats too, but mostly to see where from around the world my blog was getting hits. Now I barely ever look.

beastmomma said...

I sometimes get caught up in the statistics too and it makes blogging less enjoyable. Good luck with your thesis. It sounds really interesting.

Here is my post if you are interested:
http://beastmomma.squarespace.com/from-shelf-to-hand/2010/3/28/the-sunday-salon-55-cut-for-stone.html

Eva said...

I've never used Google Analytics. But when I was a baby blogger, I remember I had to check my visitor stats at least once every other day! lol Now, I don't really worry about it. WP's stats info on the dashboard tells me more than I want to know. I think that's part of becoming a more 'mature' blogger, if that makes sense.