Friday, July 15, 2011

Spires, views and hits

click photo to enlarge
Ever since July 2010 I've used Blogger's in-house hit counter to analyse the traffic that comes to this blog. It's called "Stats" and it gives a reasonable summary of information: not as much as some of the other free offerings - I also use StatCounter and Google Analytics - but enough for it to be my main port of call. Regular readers of this blog will recall that in August 2010 I posted a list of the top 10 pages by hits and speculated on why they were popular. I looked at this information again recently and found some interesting developments and, once again, more questions. The current 1 to 10 (with last August's placing in brackets) are:

1 (1) Tree shadows and architectural drawings
2 (2) Lichfield Cathedral
3 (5) The corrugated chair
4 (new) Old tools and toffee hammers
5 (3) Promenade silhouettes
6 (new) Views with spires
7 (new) The story of a blog post
8 (new) Church music
9 (new) Colour or monochrome?
10 (new) Rooks, hoar frost and adverts

I find it interesting that only four of last year's top ten feature in the current list, though given the relatively short amount of time I'd been using Stats when I did the first survey perhaps that's not so surprising. As before I'm given to wondering why these particular posts receive more hits than others. However, one of the newcomers is, I think, particularly noteworthy. The entry, View with spires, dates from as recently as May 24th 2011, yet in that short time it has become the 6th most viewed blog post with 351 hits. Not as many as the number one with 2,101, but a high number (for this blog) in quite a short period. Why? The photograph isn't what I'd call my best, and the writing that accompanies it is unremarkable. So what is it that brings so many viewers to that particular page? I haven't a clue!

Incidentally, in October 2010 I noted the top ten countries providing the hits for PhotoReflect. Here is that list compared with today's:

2010 (2011)
1 UK (UK)
3 Australia (Australia)
4 Canada (Canada)
5 India (Germany)
6 Germany (Netherlands)
7 Netherlands (India)
8 Brazil (Poland)
9 Italy (France)
10 France (Russia)

Much less of a change here: eight countries remain in the top ten, with Brazil and Italy being replaced by the newcomers, Poland and Russia. The connection of all this with today's offering is tenuous, but my photograph sparked the line of thought that resulted in the subject of this blog post. The Swaffham church shot is a view with a spire, a lead-covered spire that looks like a later addition to a tower of about 1500. However, it seems that a spire was part of the original design, was replaced by a Gothick version in 1778, and the one we see today is a rebuilding of the eighteenth century incarnation that dates from 1897.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 21mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On