I have been perusing my past bogs and looking at numbers. Specifically, the number of comments, views, and likes. In the featured image above, there is a lot of irregularity. Some of it is due to successful blog posts. Some of it is random noise.

Success – by my definition – is relative and can only be measured against its audience and its exposure. A post that has been up for a month will naturally have more views, likes, and comments than if it had only been up for a week. If they have the same number, the newer one is more of a success.

Another factor is how many followers I had at the time. I might have only had a hundred followers viewing a post in 2017. “Success” can’t be measured by a straight-up numbers comparison. Very few new followers are going to go back to read posts from years ago. Some may, but not most. I’d say 99% of all follower reactions come within a month of the original post.

OTOH, the rest of the reactions come from search engines, internal links, pingbacks, and external referrals. As we know search engine hits are primarily a function of SEO, something I am lazy about. I can get increasing views from search engine hits years after a successful post. Search engine success feeds itself.

Do I want to give equal weight to each kind of response? How much is a “like” worth relative to a “view” or a comment?

A view means someone saw the title and maybe the featured image and clicked. It is a measure of immediate interest. Most of these might come from WP Reader, emails to followers, some of them might come from search engines, some from Twitter, and some from pingbacks where I’ve been shared. Do I care where my views come from? What about “tags” and showcases? Are they all equal or should I give greater emphasis to one referer than another?

I can enhance my views with an unambiguous title, good keywords/phrases, and a clear excerpt. (SEO) But often I want to be a bit “clever” in the title and maybe the excerpt. That bit of creativity conflicts with maximizing views.

A like means someone appreciated the content. Or it could be a “social” like. No way to distinguish between the two but I have to assume that I’m getting mostly honest reactions because some posts get very few likes. There’s no frown button to select, so I don’t have a way to measure how much people are turned off by a post. This is probably a good thing for my psychological well-being but also risks the false assumption that I’m universally liked.

Comments are the most reliable measure of interest. The number of negative comments I’ve gotten in 4 years of blogging is like 2 or 3 – and they weren’t all that negative. I thought for sure that the occasional full-frontal would draw some hostile responses but to my amazement, my readers are extremely accepting of my idiosyncrasies. (You can’t possibly know how warm and fuzzy this makes an aging nudist feel.) There have also been a few comments that were unintelligible. 😀

I usually don’t get a lot of comments. IMHO, even one makes a post a success. I comment on other posts many more times than I am commented upon. The pingback is potentially the most useful “comment” as it demonstrates I’ve been shared and will potentially drive other viewers to the sight. (It can also be the least useful if it happens because I linked to myself from another post.) I really ought to subtract my own comments from the total since I’m only interested in other people.

One interesting number is the ratio between views and likes. Lots of views would indicate the topic was interesting but few likes on the same post would indicate it was seen mostly by non-WordPress viewers. (IIRC, you have to have a WP account to like a post.) What is the meaning of a post with few views but a high like-to-view ratio?

My post with the most comments, ever, is Get Naked, Go Hiking with 25 comments. It also has the most likes at 30.

The second most commented on was my post about the ^%$#@! Block Editor! with 17 comments. All my editor-related posts seem to be somewhat popular. At the time it was a very much disliked change we were forced into. My second most liked was my anime review of Kimi ni Todoke, with 20 likes.

My most viewed page of all time is my Home page/Archives with 757 hits. The second most viewed is my anime review of Yosuga no Sora with 440. I remember it also as having a lot of likes but somehow they disappeared. Then come Get Naked, Go Hiking with 281 and Out of the Closet and Into the Frying Pan with 233. All three have consistently been top view getters even though they were originally posted years ago. I can only assume I’m getting a lot of search engine hits.

The most clicked video so far is Meet PenPen from Shinji is Broken, Misato Tries to Fix Him. The most clicked external link is The Naturist Society.

And it looks like I am about to snag follower 300. How should I celebrate?