WordPress comes with a fairly impressive site stats facility, which I regularly check out, to see what’s being read, what’s being searched for, and so on.
And one thing in it that’s attracted my attention recently has been the list of All Time Top Posts. Usually when I write something, there’s a burst of interest about it for a day or two, and then after that nobody reads it much. But some posts garner quite long term interest, and they gradually accrue a mounting hit count over subsequent weeks and months, and these are the ones that go to make the Top Ten.
And the Top Ten are a pretty strange bunch of posts.
In at Number 10 out of over 1000 posts is Richard Dawkins v. Rowan Williams, which was originally posted on 21 Feb 2012. It was a bit of a nothing post in which I said that I was going to be rooting for the Archbish in his encounter with Richard Dawkins (which in the end was pretty tedious). But I guess there are enough people on the web that are interested in these two to ensure a regular trickle of visitors.
Just above it, at Number 9, is We’ve Stopped Spending (rpt), originally posted on 16 Feb this year. That was an interesting post that explored how smokers not only spend less in pubs and cafes, but also on pretty much everything else. Which kinda strongly suggested that smoking bans might cause recessions. It gathered 78 comments, which is quite a lot for me.
Next up is Letter To Linda at Number 8, after being published on 3 Sep 2011. This is an open letter to Linda Bauld, one of the major professional antismokers in Britain. And it’s completely devoid of vitriol. Now the only people that I think will be reading this will be antismokers like Linda Bauld. So the high ranking of this one suggests to me that quite a few antismokers read my blog.
At Number 7 is another improbable post, in the form of What Did Cameron Veto?, a sort of non-story from December last year about how David Cameron didn’t really veto some EU proposal, because there wasn’t one on the table. I have no idea who would want to read this.
At Number 6 is a solid smoking-related post in the form of 110 Passive Smoking Studies. It’s pretty much exactly what it says it is: a list of 110 Passive Smoking studies, of which 90% or so show no significant health risk from passive smoke.
At Number 5 is another smoking-related post, Two Smokers, published 6 Feb this year. But the two smokers are Lana Del Rey and Leonard Cohen, and so I’m riding a little on Lana’s rise to international fame over the past 6 months, and Leonard Cohen’s long term fame.
At Number 4 is another oddity from December last year, Spanish Smoking Ban to be Amended? This was a story that died a few days after it first broke. The new Spanish Prime Minister, Rajoy, had said shortly before the election there that he didn’t think the smoking ban was fair or even-handed. That probably won him the votes of quite a few expectant smokers. But more or less as soon as he’d been elected, he scotched any idea that he was going to do anything of the sort. Which goes to show what bastards politicians are.
At Number 3 is what remains my all-time highest single day hit count of almost exactly 1000 hits: Miss Colombia Going Commando. It’s (one of my) my Lad Mag post(s). And it just goes to show what pulls the punters in, and why the Sun and the Mail and all the rest keep selling papers.
At Number 2 is perhaps my most tongue-in-cheek post, Pall Mall Blue. They’re the cigarettes that Lana Del Rey smokes. It’s a post I still enjoy reading occasionally. And it’s the fastest climber in this little hit parade, getting 10 or 20, and even 30 hits a day. It’s a page that seems to have its own fan club, almost. And the numbers of fans seem to be growing rather than dwindling. It overtook Miss Colombia a week back, and looks set to catch up with the current Number 1 Greatest All Time Hit in another 2 or 3 months.
And that’s Smoking Down, Lung Cancer Up, which is another solidly smoking-related piece about how the incidence of lung cancer just kept on rising while smokers were giving up smoking. It’s attracted steady interest since April 2011 when it was first published.
So from that, I figure that if you want to get lots of hits you’ve got to have a picture of a scantily-clad Lana Del Rey, and maybe David Cameron and Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury as well (although I’ve not come across too many pictures of scantily-clad Archbishops of Canterbury), at some conference where they’re all talking about passive smoking and lung cancer.
That looks like the winning combination: cheesecake and lung cancer. I bet the Editor of the Sun could never dream up that combination.
But I may have just managed to do exactly that today. I’m expecting a tidal wave of hits tomorrow.