Year-end statistics: who watched what and said stuff

January 1, 2013 • 5:07 am

WordPress sent me my year-end stats on Sunday, and I thought I’d put them up if anyone’s interested.

First, the total views for the year.  On August 21 of this year, I put up one post got the most views ever: “Kentucky Republicans realize that they screwed up: students will have to learn evolution!” It was about Kentucky lawmakers who, unwittingly, approved school standards that, because they were designed to prepare students for a national test, mandated that they learn evolution. That garnered an astouding 72,280 views, almost certainly because someone put it on reddit.

Total views

Below are the posts garnering the most views. I can never predict the popularity of a given post, not only because I try to avoid writing posts designed to garner traffic, but also because I’m mystified by which posts inspire a lot of discussion (for example, I wouldn’t have thought that free will would get much interest). And posts that get picked up by sites like reddit (something else that is fortuitous) are the ones that get the most views:


The stuff about Liechtenstein above is confusing, and I don’t understand that calculation. But never mind; below the search terms used to find the site:


Narwhal? What’s up with that?

I took a screenshot from the dashboard, that’s a bit more informative—and amusing:

Picture 3
“Shaved cat” continues to enjoy a puzzling popularity; perhaps it’s based on something I’d rather not know.

The readership-by-country map was confusing, so I’ll put up the yearly total from the dashboard. We had readers from 223 countries:

Picture 3

Sadly, readers from Central Africa—or Turkmenistan.

Finally, the most prolific commenters:


Ben Goren wins by several lengths, with about nine posts per day. I wonder how many of those posts contain the word “intestines”?

Thanks to all for another great year!

54 thoughts on “Year-end statistics: who watched what and said stuff

  1. I must object to the Liechtenstein comparison. They are comparing IRL visits to a country to web hits. I’ll bet a lot more than 55.000 people visit Liechtenstein web sites every year. You can book hotel rooms directly from the country’s official tourism site. And they even have a service to fulfil photo requests. Why don’t you request a photo of something and see if it works.

    1. I might not be remembering this correctly, but I seem to recall that at one point Liechtenstein’s official tourism motto was “Liechtenstein: drive to it, not through it”. It is indeed rather easy to miss, and it does moreover somewhat lack “idiosyncratic charm”… They need more cats and boots!

    1. Yes. He is. He’s almost single-handedly my favorite blog activity. The combination of his intelligence and incredible persistence make him almost unbeatable in an argument. If he disagrees with your comment, he’s going to drill you until you’re a grease spot–or until Jerry shuts him off. I’m known to be pig-headed, but Ben is in a class by himself.

      My favorite commenter, however, is Jeff Johnson (I hope I’ve remembered his nym correctly.)

      1. Wow Marta, if you mean me you’ve got the name right, and thanks so much for that. This is a surprise, but very good news.

        There are so many interesting people commenting here with so much to say, it really is a joy to be part of it in some way.

        1. I usually agree with Jeff and I frequently wish my comments were as well-reasoned and even-tempered as his.

    2. Thanks, guys. Nice to know my SIWOTI is appreciated, even if I really should do something to curb it….


      P.S. rather than “nine comments per day,” I prefer the statistic of “under two comments per post”…. b&

          1. I was watching something on tv that involved Catholic Mass and detectives solving a grizzly murder, and the combination of evidence and gore made me think of you Ben, and your intestinal fondleness.

            Really, the burning question is why didn’t entrails ever become an important part of the holy sacraments? Or did they? Now I’m having deja vu, or have we actually covered this one and I forgot?

            1. It’s a little-known fact that chitlins are an acceptable — nay, even preferable — substitute for crackers in the Eucharist.

              I’m still waiting for my neighbor, Joe (José), to make his menudo this year. I’ve never had it, and he’s bragged about his, so….


              1. Yes, well, a good paté should be more light and fluffy than dense. And I think that’s why the eggs actually make Dad’s version better than ones without: they take the place of the additional fat in the duck / goose livers after force-feeding. Chicken livers are already pretty fatty, but not as fatty as the ones used for foie gras, and the eggs add that certain je ne sais quoi.



    3. Ben Goren is one of the few commenters I regularly enjoy getting “snaky”* with. 😉

      * snaky: in nested comments, to reply to a reply to a reply to a reply so that the ensuing discussion trails down the page in a narrow column which resembles a ‘snake.’

      1. Thanks.

        I feel like our extended conversations like that generally go in interesting directions and rarely loop back on themselves.

        When that happens with Gary W, on the other hand….


    4. If your favorite commenter is someone who claims that President Obama is a mass murderer (a position that our host, among others, described as “ludicrous”) among countless other ridiculous statements, I’d suggest you need to rethink your criteria.

      1. I find that intelligent people have different opinions on that topic (among others), which can be discussed without a definitive result. I disagree with Ben on this also, but am willing to listen to his informed commentary. Maybe someday I’ll change my mind, that’s what rational people do.

        1. I find that intelligent people have different opinions on that topic

          I find that few people believe that President Obama is a mass murderer, and even fewer intelligent people. I agree with Jerry that the accusation is simply ludicrous.

  2. Apparently someone is following this site in all the predominantly Muslim countries. I hope it’s the good guys.

  3. Narwhal: unless there’s some New-Agey implication, it’s the title. It’s the only post you’ve ever put up with Mysteries of Evolution in the title.

  4. Those statistics would look even more impressive when the page views of WEIT are compared to the number of tourists visiting Pitcairn… 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  5. I happen to like all commenters that isn’t me on that list. A good sample of a good community.

    [OK, OK, so I have to like me too. I live with that bastard I have you know. ;-)]

    And the posts. And the cats.

    I guess that became my personal “top 3 list”.

  6. That narwhal thing could be a fluke because the Romney software that crashed on election night was called Narwhal I believe.

    1. Hate to have to point out the obvious, so I won’t. (I’m sure you know already). Suffice to say that if Hawaii was big enough to show a colour on the map, Niihau and French Frigate Shoals would have 3.4 million readers too…

  7. I’m !*much*! further behind Ben by word count. Sometimes there’s just no stopping him…

    Thanks for providing such a stimulating and sometimes provocative bl— … website, Jerry.


    1. Hey! I can be brief. Honestly, I can! Why, just the other day, I think I wrote something that was short enough to be a twit. Here, let me check…no…not that…nor this one…

      …er, where was I…?


  8. Someone, somewhere, is probably putting together a recipe for narwhal penis paella which will garner even more hits. Sounds like a recipe for the “Endangered Species Dining Club” (motto : ‘we don’t eat it unless it’s already endangered’).
    I don’t think that I’m scheduled to drill for oil off Svalbard in the near future, but if my colleagues Ali or Robin go back to the Barents Sea, I’ll try to persuade them to fill in one of your “grey spots”. I’ll keep my ears peeled for people going into Turkmenistan, Chad, CAR. South Sudan … I think that one is likely to be punted my way if anything comes up. But it sounds pretty gnarly.

    1. Perhaps Antarctica and Svalbard can have a contest as to who gets there first. But maybe the former has some, but the cartographer is ‘challenged’

      1. I notice that Antarctica isn’t shown at all. Given the number of scientists and the good internet connectivity, I’d be surprised if there weren’t readers there. But where the internet access points are (Chile, Argentina, New Zealand?) is a bit of a stab in the dark. I routinely get spams offering me “hook-ups” in my area, which is where my ISP comes off the national telephone system and onto the general internet – some 500 miles from my address.
        I used to attach an “ICBM address” to the “DNS address” in my mail headers ; then a friend sent me an aerial photo of my car and advised me to re-consider the habit.
        Well, we have an idea where we’ll start drilling. When the demands for “more oil” get loud enough. (Notice the “when” not “if” there.)

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