Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Traffic Report 2013

At this time last year I wrote the following: "By the end of 2013, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see the occasional month pushing somewhere between 800k and 900k Google pageviews.  And if the Alpha Game traffic eventually surpasses Vox Popoli's as I have always assumed it would, given the higher level of interest in intersexual relations than in economics, SF/F, and my personal ideosyncracies, the two blogs may well surpass 1.1 million/month next year without requiring any well-linked monster posts."

As it turned out, the blogs surpassed 1.1 million pageviews per month by June. However, this wasn't the result of Alpha Game surpassing Vox Popoli, as both blogs steadily gained readers even prior to the SFWA kerfluffle that led to more than 1.3 million pageviews in August. Traffic leveled off a bit once that situation was resolved, but remained strong as December marked the ninth straight month of more than one million combined Google pageviews.

In 2013, Vox Popoli had 9,340,663 pageviews and Alpha Game had 3,771,032 for a grand total of 13,111,695 Google pageviews. To the left is a chart showing the monthly traffic for both blogs for the last three years. It's fascinating to look back and see that in five years, Vox Popoli has picked up an additional six million annual pageviews without Alpha Game. And with Alpha Game included, the annual total is nearly ten million higher. Alexa ranks also improved considerably in 2013: Vox Popoli from 29,426 (153,650) to 5,227 (41,452) and Alpha Game from 73,183 (215,234) to 11,851 (78,888). This tends to confirm my skepticism of the survey methodology and helps demonstrate why I prefer to track historical traffic in pageviews.

2008: 3,496,757
2009: 4,414,801
2010: 4,827,183
2011: 5,969,066
2012: 7,774,074
2013: 13,111,695

I would be remiss if I did not, for no particular reason at all, continue with a certain comparison that was repeatedly brought to my attention in previous years. This is, of course, the comparison with the hugely famous and massively popular Whatever blog. I find it both amusing, and all too typical, that while this comparison was originally cited as evidence of my inferiority, now that the comparison happens to have turned in my favor it is cited as evidence of my supposed insecurity and/or the number of evil people on the Internet. In any event, the following chart shows the comparative blog traffic over the last five years as measured in Google Pageviews.

Having done my part for charity and having successfully exposed the myth of Whatever's claimed "50,000 daily readers", I assume there won't be as much occasion to reference Mr. Scalzi in 2014 as there was in 2013. I could certainly be wrong, of course, as who can possibly predict what surprises the Chief Rabbit of the Whatever Warren will have in store for us in the coming year. One way or another, I expect we will be provided with at least a modicum of continued entertainment on that front.

Whether you often agree with me or not, I appreciate that so many of you continue to take the time to stop by and peruse my idiosyncratic observations on various and sundry matters. I am also pleased that many of you take such an active part in the ongoing discourse here. We have lost some legends along the way, but the river of comments flows ever on. When I started this blog ten years and two months ago as a mailbag for my WND column, I had absolutely no idea that one day it would outlive the column. And yet, the column is gone and no one appears to have even blinked an eye, let alone missed it.

Considering my complete inability to foresee a 69 percent increase in traffic for the two blogs in 2013, I see little point in attempting to forecast anything. That being said, given the increased interest in economics in a slowing economy, in HBD in an unraveling society, and my continued expectation of AG eventually surpassing VP, it is not entirely unthinkable to imagine that next year could see a 2-million pageview month. But whether there are ten people or ten million people reading, this blog will continue to be here for your amusement and mine.



Blogger Shimshon January 01, 2014 9:17 AM  

Mr. Scalzi? Are you getting sentimental? Or just not worth bothering over anymore? McRapey has been demoted from "Mostly Harmless" to "Harmless."

Anonymous DoubleMindedMan January 01, 2014 9:17 AM  

I still miss the column, but it took away time from things like books, plus for the regular readers, the subject of the column could often be predicted as it flowed from conversation and posts here.

Blogger Rantor January 01, 2014 9:19 AM  

Congratulations on being among the Duracell Bunnies of the Blogs! Oh wait, that rabbit (and its Energizer counterpart) was pink. That will not do. Need a different mascot...

Anonymous trk January 01, 2014 9:20 AM  

Happy new year Vox and family. Enjoyed reading the blog over the years. Would like to read more about your experiences living abroad and more technical articles (programming,Linux, gaming, your hidden love for iOS etc...)

Anonymous tdm January 01, 2014 9:32 AM  

"... for your amusement... "

Thanks, I come here for the humor and more often than not I am not disappointed.

Blogger pdwalker January 01, 2014 9:36 AM  

Given the amount you write on your blogs, it's a wonder you find any time to write your books.

Anonymous clk January 01, 2014 9:46 AM  

I miss the column too...

Anonymous Salt January 01, 2014 9:58 AM  

2014 should be as comically interesting as '13 was. I mean, as a Nation, last night, we collectively dropped the ball, again. Seems appropriate in a Kafkaesque way.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza January 01, 2014 10:08 AM  

Awesome traffic! This is one of the best ways to begin 2014!

ScaMcMcRARApe, I sense a nice dress would make him feel better, his poor wife.

Blogger mmaier2112 January 01, 2014 10:10 AM  

So did the deadline for Scalzi's "charity drive" pass? Was it successful?

And speaking of deadlines, how is that "Obama is Brilliant" thing coming since Dec is fully over now?

Blogger Nate January 01, 2014 10:28 AM  


I wish you would apply your theories on civilization and culture to the blogs. There is a valuable culture here at VP... but by creating alphagame... you have imported a rather undesirable element.

The readers and commenters at Alphagame are not the same as the readers of VP. Sure... some of them will adapt and become valuable members of the group. Most will not... because most are simply not intelligent enough to get what's going on here. Thus... the level of discourse here suffers.

You complain about loose immigration and the perils of it. And yet here we are... suffering the same consequences on your own blog. Are we not?

Your house your rules. I'll not be bringing it up again. Maybe the consequences are worth it to you. So be it.

Regardless... 2013 was a giant year. Congrats mate. May 2014 be even more so.

Anonymous VD January 01, 2014 10:46 AM  

You complain about loose immigration and the perils of it. And yet here we are... suffering the same consequences on your own blog. Are we not?

No, I don't think so. Most of the folks solely interested in Alpha Game stay over there. You can tell by the commenter names. In fact, I think the problem you reference would be considerably worse if I had not separated the blogs; remember, I used to post about Game here on this blog. And it's not as if I'm simply going to stop writing about it.

The genesis of the problem that you're observing is a simple consequence of increased traffic. For example, there were far fewer people interested in trolling the blog back in 2005 when it had a considerably smaller readership. Whereas now, we've seen people like Pox come here openly declaring their intent to reach the readers. There is no way around the problem except to require comment registration and actively dissuading most people from commenting.

I think the cost of that is far too high. And it's easy enough to deal with the idiots and trolls so long as the regulars practice a little self-discipline and don't go lunging after the bait every time. I think if the traffic doubles again, I'll probably need to assign a few comment herders, but it's a manageable problem for now. There were no shortage of quality discussions in 2013, including those around the inflation/deflation debate.

Anonymous VD January 01, 2014 10:49 AM  

That being said, I wish I could design a comment system for someone that would allow a blogger to maximize the quality of the discussions with various gradations of comment moderation. I think I will have to call upon one of my contacts at Google to see if they'll let me refine their commenting system.

Anonymous Michael January 01, 2014 10:58 AM  

I read this place more than any other ... because I've learned more here than any other.

Thanks. Please don't stop.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan January 01, 2014 11:08 AM  

There's a blogger who does often thrill,
with his pattern recognition skill,
though the ankle biters do snap,
he gives em a bitch slap,
and continues handing out the red pill.

Anonymous allyn71 January 01, 2014 11:21 AM  

Great year Vox. May 2014 be productive and fruitful for you.

To you and all the ilk.... Happy New Year and God Bless.

Anonymous CarpeOro January 01, 2014 11:34 AM  

Happy new year to all and their families, may your blessings increase this year. Despite only having reached Ilk level after many years of readership, I have enjoyed it and the discourse here immensely. For trolls new and old, may you be granted wisdom enough to join the adults here someday. Unlikely as that may be all things are possible through God.

Blogger Nate January 01, 2014 11:48 AM  

"The genesis of the problem that you're observing is a simple consequence of increased traffic"

I considered that it was the result of just attracting more people. But wouldn't attract... more of the same kinds of people?

Perhaps the quality really hasn't changed at all. Maybe we just remember 2004 fondly because of the distance.

Its not like Morgan of the Lake was much better than Tad.

Blogger John Cunningham January 01, 2014 11:52 AM  

Happy New Year to Vox and the readers! this blog, and AlphaGame, are daily stops for me, along with market ticket and Ace of Spades. Vox, like Ace, has a highly distinctive voice in his writing, very much to my taste.
Vox, I anxiously await more works in the Quantum Mortis world.

Anonymous VD January 01, 2014 12:25 PM  

I considered that it was the result of just attracting more people. But wouldn't attract... more of the same kinds of people?

That doesn't make sense. The original crowd was mostly from WND. It was conservative and Republican. The current readership is more diverse and comes from a much broader variety of sources. There are some who come from reading my novels, there are some who come from hearing about the SFWA kerfluffle, there are some who actually come by way of Whatever.

Admit it. You just miss The Weeper. A lot of others are still around, more or less. Even El Zinko popped in a few months back.

Anonymous GreyS January 01, 2014 12:48 PM  

Sincere thanks for this blog, VD, and wishing you and yours a very happy, productive, and successful new year.

I've said several times that I come here for an insight and pov which expands my thinking about various subjects-- and for the humor. Coincidentally, I thought of this blog as I read this this very good piece by Alan Jacobs this morning. (specifically the section after the CS Lewis quote).

Anonymous Harsh January 01, 2014 12:58 PM  

It was an interesting year. I'm definitely a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to both VP and Game but I learned a lot just reading the comments here and occasionally throwing in my own 2 cents. Looking forward to what 2014 brings.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 01, 2014 1:06 PM  

Kudos on the growth, Vox. It proves, once again, that if you write it, they will come.

DMM: "plus for the regular readers, the subject of the column could often be predicted as it flowed from conversation and posts here."

Indeed, the weekly Sunday open post to discuss the next day's potential topic often provided nearly as much insight as the column itself. An open post like that is a feature I wouldn't mind seeing again.

Happy New Year, one and all.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 01, 2014 1:11 PM  

Hmmm...on second thought...given the single-minded propensities of some commenters, it would probably not be a good idea after all; they would all fill up with the same subjects over and over again.


Anonymous YIH January 01, 2014 1:25 PM  

And yet, the column is gone and no one appears to have even blinked an eye, let alone missed it.
I can count the number of times I've visited WND last year on the fingers of one hand. Just like TV, after a while you don't even miss it.

Blogger Joshua_D January 01, 2014 2:03 PM  

Thanks Vox for taking the time to write this blog and share your thoughts and views. I've learned a lot since reading here. And thank you to all the readers who take the time to comment and create enjoyable conversations. Happy New year to all!

Blogger Res Ipsa January 01, 2014 2:17 PM  

Congrats on the popularity, Vox!

Anonymous VD January 01, 2014 2:33 PM  

Congrats on the popularity, Vox!

It's a Sally Fields moment to cherish. I can only assume I will be receiving my Participation Hugo next year.

Blogger Nate January 01, 2014 3:41 PM  

"Admit it. You just miss The Weeper. A lot of others are still around, more or less. Even El Zinko popped in a few months back."

actually it was just a couple weeks ago.

Man.. remember when the gays actually liked you?

Anonymous Josh January 01, 2014 3:59 PM  

If the trolls were depressed that you had several hundred Twitter followers, the news that you average 1.1 million pageviews a month should cause some spontaneous cranial explosions.

Anonymous jack January 01, 2014 5:26 PM  

Congrats Vox. Between your blog, the MarketTicker, Kred on Everything, and a very few others I find myself very entertained.
Please, keep it up. [And, you've introduced me to Eco. That alone may decide me to put you in my will.]

Anonymous jack January 01, 2014 5:27 PM  

That was FRED on everything...Gawd.

Anonymous Anonymous January 01, 2014 5:56 PM  

I don't comment very often, perhaps a couple of times a year, and I certainly don't agree with Vox on a wide variety of issues, but I enjoy the writing and the different perspective. VP is usually thought-provoking and frequently quite amusing.

I also read this year all of the Selenoth e-books and posted an Amazon review of ATOB. I liked the writing in SE better, but had a major problem with the climactic seminal act (no pun intended) that resolved the Elven soul question taking place off-stage.

But I will continue to be a daily reader (mostly through the RSS feed: does that get counted in the stats?) and will point a selected few friends here, at least the ones that won't summarily drum me out of the "left-wing" for even mentioning a site of such heresy.

Happy 2014...

Anonymous Anonymous January 01, 2014 5:59 PM  

Oh, and also a daily reader at AG as well; perhaps more where my primary interest lies.

Blogger RobertT January 01, 2014 6:20 PM  

VP's the best blog on the internet.

Anonymous MendoScot January 01, 2014 6:55 PM  

And it's easy enough to deal with the idiots and trolls so long as the regulars practice a little self-discipline and don't go lunging after the bait every time.

Exactly. Your common or garden troll doesn't engage, but simply seeks to deflect the discussion from anything substantiative. An occasional beatdown is edifying for the young'uns and dropby's, but reacting to every twit that turns up and drops his pants is simultaneously tedious and distracting.

Best to the Ilk for 2014. Keep your whistle wet, and your powder dry.


Anonymous The CronoLink January 01, 2014 7:05 PM  

Yeah, well, never expected Scalzihoots to actually apologize; it was bound to happen that it would no longer be amusing to keep hitting him with his own pudgy fist.

Congrats, Vox, by the way, and happy new year.

Anonymous tiredofitall January 02, 2014 12:39 AM  

"I can only assume I will be receiving my Participation Hugo next year." - VD

Only if that means you'll finally be writing a wereseal novel. Or perhaps a book involving a squadron of militant black transgendered lesbian superwomen who can outfight any man in the galaxy.

Anonymous DoubleMindedMan January 02, 2014 12:48 AM  

I just did the numbers, and my blog got more hits in one year than Vox's did in a day*!

I'm awesome. What can I say?

* comparing my 2013 numbers to his 2010 of course

Blogger Wes January 02, 2014 3:20 AM  

Happy new year, Vox.

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 02, 2014 3:42 AM  

Damn. That's a chart with bars AND a line graph, with superpositioning.


This shit just got real, real fast.

Blogger Remo January 02, 2014 5:02 AM  

Well I'm an original from back in the WND days and I started with them in the late 90's (and haven't gone back much since you left). If you don't mind me saying so I think the last 10 years have seen you grow as a blogger with a more refined writing style. Maybe I am the only way to think this but in the past while writing for WND you seemed to start from the middle of the argument and work further out. Rather like you were convinced that the beginning of the issue was self evident and you didn't need to explain the genesis of how you got there. I realize this probably had a lot to do with the limited size of the medium you were granted, but you've been better (IMHOP) about following a more coherent and complete logical chain with this blog, especially in recent years. AND you've entertained which keeps us coming back - even if we do get you get you in trouble with certain groups due to untoward comments about certain of their members possibly having herpes.

In sum: congrats! May the income stream from this grow and prosper.

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