Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blogging and popularity

click photo to enlarge
Ever since I started blogging I've used a hit counter to give me some idea of the level and sources of the traffic that comes my way. For years I've used a free version of Sitemeter, and found it supplied all my needs. However, for a while the policies of Sitemeter with regard to cookies has been questionable. So, when Blogger introduced Stats* several weeks ago, I thought I'd dispense with my old hit counter and use the "in house" offering. But, the information I am now provided with is slightly different and in some ways less useful: it has more aggregation of results and less information about individual hits. Consequently I've added Google Analytics as well. I've been familiar with this evolving tool for a few years, using it on another website that I have. What both these counters do that Sitemeter doesn't is rank the most popular pages on my blog by All Time, Month, Week, Day and Now. When I looked at the All Time (in this case only several weeks) information it surprised me: the list doesn't include any of what I consider my best photographs or supporting texts, and I've been pondering why these specific pages are popular. Here is then, the current All Time top ten with my thoughts on why they prove more attractive than the rest of my PhotoReflect offerings.

1 Tree shadows and architectural drawings
Surely it can only be architecture students looking for CAD symbols.
2 Lichfield Cathedral
All those vertical lines and arches say "cathedral" to a lot of people, plus, Lichfield is probably less photographed than many other English cathedrals.
3 Promenade silhouettes
It's an eye catching shot - but not much else.
4 The megapixels war and dynamic range
This piece got picked up and referred to by a few online sites and blogs so that accounts for its popularity.
5 The corrugated chair
Making chairs out of found materials seems to be on the curriculum of some educational institutions, and the corrugated chair in question is not particularly widely illustrated.
6 Dog daisies
I have no idea! Perhaps my name for the flowers draws others who also use it rather than the more widely used ox-eye daisy and marguerite.
7 St Leonard, Kirkstead, Lincolnshire
I can only think that this small building in Lincolnshire's rural fastness is not widely covered on the web.
8 Plates of meat
Maybe I'm attracting gourmands rather than people who know that the term is Cockney rhyming slang for feet!
9 The fan vault
Probably another subject with relatively little illustration or text on the web.
10 River Welland landscape
Not one of my best landscapes, though one that is in the English tradition. Perhaps the River Welland doesn't have many such images on the web.

What has all this to do with my photograph of a section of the neon sign that proclaims Skegness Pier? Nothing. The fact is I had little to say about the photograph other than that I liked the colour combinations chosen for the neon tubes and their backgrounds. Oh and the fact that despite my shutter speed being rather slow for the focal length the shot is pretty sharp.

* only currently available (I think) for those using Blogger in Draft

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On