Greenland, Guam and How Often Do You Check Your Stats?

A bit of a silly post this but I have previously asked the question, “Are you also addicted to blogging?” and the responses were interesting. Like me, many others would admit to being addicted, but in a good way. To share our thoughts with others in this community can be a great stress-buster at the end of a busy day and the community itself is something to be cherished, a beautiful add-on to a world of real-life friends and colleagues.

My question today is, “How often do you check your stats?”. I ask because I tend to check mine quite frequently. I’m not sure how it works on other platforms but here at WordPress we get all sorts of breakdowns on a daily basis as to how our blog posts are faring – How many visitors and views, where these visitors come from and which posts are the most popular. Having dealt with statistics for most of my working life, I know that we have to take these stats with a pinch of salt, as there are many underlying reasons as to why a particular result might arise – Still makes for interesting reading though.

wordpress_blog_stats
An example of the WordPress stats page

At the moment my most visited post by a country mile is this one – The Proclaimers, Hibs and Sunshine On Leith. It was written right at the start of my blogging career but by sheer coincidence I picked a post title that matches exactly what a Hibernian Football Club fan would enter into a search engine after winning a big match. The song Sunshine On Leith is the anthem the fans sing from the terraces whilst supporting their team and those who want to relive that emotional moment probably stumble upon my post. This in turn pushes it up the search engines so when the recent documentary about the twins was aired on telly, that post started getting another massive hike in views. Interesting stuff but whether these visitors hang around and read any of my other posts is debatable.

Another statistic I love is looking at that map of the world which shows where your visitors come from. First thing in the morning your top views are likely to be from North America and Australasia as those are the English-speaking regions that have been surfing the net whilst we in the UK are sound asleep. By mid afternoon however the tables turn and your most frequent visitors are likely to come from the UK and the rest of Europe. A fellow blogger wrote recently about all of this – I mentioned in his comments boxes that it fascinates me too and that I have had views from countries as diverse as Greenland and Guam. I threw those two in as I thought it formed a nice bit of alliteration – Imagine my surprise therefore, when only last week, on a single day, I had views from both those countries! There is a good chance that any visits to ours blogs are merely the result of a google search for something else and the surfer didn’t linger long – Just in case that was not the case for my visitors from Greenland and Guam however, I decided to do a little research into the music of those two, very different countries.

Greenland:

Most of us will know that Greenland is that island within the Arctic Circle that always looks enormous on a conventional map but mainly down to the way the globe is stretched at the north and south poles via Mercator projection. It is however still the world’s largest island although it is also the world’s least densely populated country, no doubt because of that giant ice cap that practically covers it. Although part of the North American continent it has long been politically and culturally associated with Europe and more specifically Scandinavia. Its people are in the main of Inuit and Danish descent.

The traditional music of Greenland features drum dances but modern day music tends to be influenced primarily by rock bands from the US and the UK – According to native drummer Hans Rosenberg, Greenland is definitely a rock country, both musically and literally. With the wonders of modern technology at my disposal it didn’t take me long to find something by this popular modern day Greenlander band Nanook. The video clip gives a really good impression of what it would be like to live there (brrr…) and I have become quite smitten by this song which is tricky to spell but hopefully I’ve got it right – Ingerlaliinnaleqaagut.

Guam:

Unlike Greenland, Guam has a tropical rainforest climate and is the largest island in Micronesia. Most of us will know that it’s a territory of the United States and since the 1960s the economy has been supported by two main industries – Tourism and the United States Armed Forces. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros who are related to other Austronesian natives to the west in the Philippines and Taiwan. A frequently used territorial motto is “Where America’s Day Begins”, which refers to the island’s close proximity to the international date line.

Modern music from Guam has American, Spanish, Filipino and Polynesian influences however it seems that of all the popular Chamorro musicians, Flora Baza Quan is the “Queen”. Her most famous recording was of the song Hagu so time to head down to Pika’s Café where Jen and RJ perform a fine cover version. 

So, another little geography lesson from me at “What’s It All About?” – Other countries that seem to pop up on my stats quite frequently, but unusually I think, are Japan, Finland and The Philippines. Always interested in who drops by this place so please pop your head round the door if you do indeed visit from these countries.

Getting back to my native Scotland, it does seem appropriate that my most popular post to date featured those heavily accented twins from Auchtermuchty, The Proclaimers. I do have a category dedicated to Scottish bands (link here) of which there are many, but for this post I should really include something else by Craig and Charlie Reid. As there is a lot of “love in the air” around here at the moment (yes, darling daughter has a new boyfriend), it will have to be I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) from 1988. I’m not entirely sure if the new boyfriend would yet walk 500 miles, and then 500 more, to fall down at her door but as love songs go it’s a belter and not schmaltzy at all.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers:

Until next time….

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) Lyrics
(Song by Craig Reid/Charlie Reid)

When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be,
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next you
When I go out, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
If I get drunk, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver up, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m working, yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you
And when the money, comes in for the work I do
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you
When I come home (when I come home) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow-old (when I grow-old) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m lonely, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you
And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time when I’m with you
When I go out (when I go out) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
And when I come home (when I come home) yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home with you
I’m gonna be the man who’s coming home with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

14 thoughts on “Greenland, Guam and How Often Do You Check Your Stats?”

  1. Hi Alyson. When I started my blog about 7 years ago I was addicted to the stats…who wouldn’t be?…but over time I’ve become much less interested in them, often not looking for days or a week. Even when I do it’s more about curiosity and less about “how many people are reading my posts?” I continue to be perplexed by the posts that stick with people while others barely got noticed. My write-up about David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” remains my most-visited post by a huge margin. I guess it was the right subject and the right tagging that drew people to it. Barely anyone noticed my series on k.d. lang and Al Green, but I enjoyed writing them (and revisiting those artists’ music) as much as anything else I’ve done.

    As for your question about being addicted to blogging (which I must have missed), I can’t say I am. I’ve gotten into a comfortable place where I enjoy writing & communicating with fellow music lovers but I don’t feel the urge to keep up a certain pace. I’ve only done these weekly posts the past two years as a way to keep me connected during a good-but-turbulent time in my life. If I didn’t set that goal I might have skipped blogging entirely.

    All I know is, I would walk 500 miles to read your posts (cap in hand). 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there – I do still check out the stats a few times a day but more out of curiosity as I realise that as I’ve written more posts there is a bigger target of URLs for surfers to stumble upon, so inevitably the numbers increase. It is impossible however to work out how many of these visitors actually read the posts (and visitors to the WP reader don’t show up at all) so not really very scientific.

      Like you I have now comes to terms with just enjoying doing the research, putting the posts together and hopefully having a bit of a discussion about them afterwards (like now). I did have a break during the summer as I was putting myself under too much pressure to post regularly but once I got my head round the fact there is no deadline for any of this stuff and your blogging chums won’t abandon you if you have a hiatus, all was well. I don’t think I could stop now as for me it is the perfect place to get stuff out of my head and down in “print” – I used to inflict my “thoughts” on my Facebook friends but luckily for them they are now absolved!

      Finally thanks for your kind words about walking 500 miles to read my posts! Fortunately, with the www. at our disposal you don’t have to do that but as someone with a great affinity to Scotland, it means you get a little bit of Scotland in North Carolina. Enjoy the music room!

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  2. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to stats any more. I can’t help but see how many views a post has had whenever I log into the dashboard, but I seem to have settled into a pretty regular readership now. About a year ago the stats said I had a lot more readers, but the quality of comments I get from my smaller readership is much stronger. I’m not sure how much validity I place on those figures, particularly as they’re broken down by post yet regular readers won’t visit post by post, they’ll visit the homepage. If someone visits the homepage they have the option of reading the most recent posts (7 or so) but how does the blog know whether they’ve read one or all? Is it only counting the people who visit the specific link? And what about all the “bots” which visit blogs for marketing reasons and aren’t even real people?

    No, I don’t think about the stats at all… (!)

    My most visited posts appear to have a ridiculously high number of hits for no apparent reason. My only guess is that these posts were promoted on some kind of buzzfeed which attracted lots more readers than a regular post. The subject matters are diverse and not obvious “clickbait”… although, obviously I have high hopes for My Top Ten Kitten Songs if only because the internet loves kittens so very, very much.

    Liked the clips, especially Nanook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, none of us seem to think about the stats much at all…!! Right at the beginning it is exciting to see how many people seem to be reading the posts we laboriously put together but it doesn’t take long before we see the light and realise that in the main, they are pretty meaningless. I was amazed at how many views I got from far flung countries at the start but all from “bots” as you say. WordPress has a way we can block those, so just collect stats from anyone now who finds me from google searches, the WP reader or via the other blogs whose sidebars I have been kindly added to. To be honest if I hadn’t stumbled upon Jez’s site early on and joined the Chain Gang (a brave move as not many females over there) my blogging experience would have been a lot less fun as it was through that feature that I found the rest of you whose blogs I now follow.

      As for the kitten songs – I would expect a massive hike in views with that one. One of the reasons I lost interest in Facebook was because all the insightful posts I used to add (well I thought so) were pretty much ignored but the minute someone put up a clip of a kitten doing something cute, the “likes” and comments cames in thick and fast. Nothing against Millie of course, and yes, we look forward to further shots of her in all her glory!

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  3. Hi Alyson. You’re all over the map, in a very good way!

    I like looking at the stats page. It’s fascinating how we get used to having such detailed info presented to us on a real-time basis. I’ll never understand the technology that makes this kind of thing possible, but it kind of blows my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep – It doesn’t get any more diverse than Greenland and Guam. I live in hope that someone from one of these countries might drop by but a long shot probably.

      As a fellow WP user you will have the same access to stats info as I do – Amazing detail as you say but I’m never sure what exactly it tells us. The best bit is when people like yourself drop by with a comment – It’s weird how we can have all these virtual pals around the world because of this wonderful place!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I see a new series coming up here, once you’ve finished your tour round the USA state by state, you can take us on a world trip! How else would we hear music from Greenland? It could run and run….
    I look at the stats but I’ve become increasingly cynical about them – I think sometimes, at least with Blogger, a hit shows even when someone hasn’t visited the site but simply when your post/blog comes up in a Google listing, so it ‘s a bit meaningless. I probably get hits when someone looks up sun dried tomatoes! Also I think a lot of real life visitors have the do-not-track thing in place so then they don’t show up. And every now and then I get these weird peaks, like 120 hits all at the same time from the US or Russia so I presume that’s a bot or spammer. So maybe it’s all lies, damn lies and statistics… thus it’s as frustrating as it is interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I think I have enough on my plate with my tour around the USA so it might be a long time before I get round to a world tour. Then again there are only 196 countries and if you include the UK that would be 4 down already so only another 192 to go! Something for retirement – I’m not there yet honest, as our little online business is doing ok at the moment and come the new year I think I’ll look for a p/t job that has nothing to do with excel spreadsheets, hot-desking, agile working etc. – Been there done that.

      Yes I think everyone is agreed that the stats are pretty meaningless and as I just said to Neil at YAB, the best bit is when your virtual pals drop by and a wee discussion takes place about the post in question. The stats page just wouldn’t know what to make of all that at all, as it wouldn’t be able to judge how that means more than a 100 visits from a “bot”. Talking of which, thanks for dropping by!

      Like

  5. I got about 12000 when I put on the Jake Bugg song Trouble Town when Happy Valley was on the telly
    Never anything remotely close since
    No-one from Guam or Greenland to my knowledge but the occasional Mongolian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – that’s a lot of views. Whenever something really popular on telly features a song that we share the views go through the roof – My Proclaimers post spiked after their documentary aired.

      Ha ha – I can just imagine those Mongolians in Ulaanbaatar checking in for the Saturday compare and contrast!

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  6. I’ve only looked at my full stats three times since I started – and those were after I’d read someone else’s post about their stats! I’m resisting temptation this time however 🙂
    I can’t help but see the number of views per post though, it’s right there when I log in. I tick along at an average of 50 views per post, except for the odd strange abnormality that I can’t explain, when all hell breaks loose and it zooms off into the 100s. The norm is inevitably restored by the next post though.
    A fascinating post as always Alyson. I’m with C by the way – today the USA, tomorrow the World!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember you saying on John’s blog that you don’t look at the stats – How very restrained of you as I just can’t. As we’ve all said though they are pretty meaningless but it can make for fascinating reading. I find that whenever someone we write about turns up on telly there is a big spike in views – As they watch, people go onto a search engine to find out more about the artist/s and can stumble on our blogs.

      As for the journey around the world in song – No way Jose! I am struggling with the 50 states of the USA and I can see it’s going to take a long time to finish that series so no more. Also new countries keep appearing as I had thought there were 196 but there are now 197. For another lifetime perhaps!

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  7. Hi Alyson, great site! My last post ‘Why Blogging is Like a Box of Chocolates’ covered the topic of checking the stats page. I was particularly intrigued by how many religious people seem to follow me. Hopefully, my latest post ‘The Sinner Shuffle’ hasn’t put them off!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane – Nice of you to drop by. Yes I know we shouldn’t but it is hard to avoid checking out the stats pages and intriguing as you say to find out who follows your blog. Good luck with the latest post!

      Like

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