Following up

Well that was one quickly resolved New Year’s resolution! Thanks to Melissa Walshe, author and publicist, I figured out a little more about how I’m doing on google analytics.

First I go to (as Melissa told me) “the top right corner (in line with the main headings like Audience Over view, etc., is a box with the dates you’re looking at the data for.” I set my calendar to display results since May (when I installed google analytics) and looked for the most popular individual pages, which were: (1) the main page, (2) the Kingdoms of Evil pages, and (3) the individual pages for my books. I’m not surprised about (1) and (3), since I usually tell other people either about my website as a whole or about one of my book projects. It is interesting to see that a lot of people are still reading my old first novel. Keep the evil love, coming, guys!

The highlights were Wheel in the Sky, Lake Vostok, and Creating Cultures with Tex Thompson, as well as spikes of activity centered around days on which I posted podcasts about manga,  historical research, alternate history, and my announcement that I was done with my novella, Petrolea (that warms my heart, you guys). Lake Vostok, I think is probably due to people stumbling onto my site by accident and then leaving, could Wheel in the Sky be the same way?  Certainly, it seems podcasts are my major draw. That and my actual, you know, writing.


Looks like I should give my podcast some more credit, and my wonderful, awful ideas…less. Sniff. I like those ideas.

It would be nice if I could get a more concrete number for the podcast‘s listenership. Some quick math based on the most popular podcast in November (Being Professional) (28 pageviews, 5 minutes average time spent on page for the 33 minute podcast) translates to about 3 people who I can assume listened all the way through. I can compare that with the most- and second-most-visited podcast in December (Spanish SFF and Technological Frontiers) to get 7 people and 5. So I can assume an average audience of about 5 people in the last couple of months. Clearly, I need to do something to increase my listenership.

Next, I set my calendar to take me all the way back to May 2014, when I installed google analytics.

graphLong story short, what the hell happened in November? Did people stop listening to the podcast? I admit, I had some trouble with the podcasts I recorded in the spring and (because of how long my queue was) posted in the fall. Due to a bad weather, bad internet, bad computer, and bad software all working together in a glorious circle of crap, the audio quality on some of my podcasts was really poor. I think the lesson there is that I need to know when I’m likely to have bad reception or once I’ve got a bad audio file, swallow my pride and ask the guest to reschedule or re-record.

Social networks

In terms of where people are coming from, oh my God, how misguided I have been. Most of my traffic has come through the Kingdoms of Evil page on TVtropes, which I haven’t touched in years. Next comes deviantart, which I also ignore cruelly, followed by twitter, disqus (my comments system), and facebook. No sign of tumblr anywhere in there. Clearly, I need to get off tumblr and go back to my real friends on TVtropes and deviantart.

To sum up, it looks like I was right about meaningful, helpful interactions among like-minded people. I don’t need likes or even shares, I need conversation.

And don’t worry, this is the last of my self-indulgent navel-gazing for a while. Next week we go back into our regularly scheduled programs, with a podcast on Monday.


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