Traffic Report 2008

This is my 2008 year-end update in my Traffic Diary, which documents my ongoing effort to build traffic for my self-promotional web site, KeenerTech.com. It's actually #7 in a series of articles related to tuning the site to build more traffic.

Other Articles in This Series

The chart below, which was put together using Google Charts, shows the number of page views that KeenerTech.com received each month in 2008.

The site received an average of 2607 page views per month, which is fairly reasonable for a blog, particularly a technical blog that is only likely to be of interest to other techies. Still not as high as I would like, of course.

There are definitely some peaks and valleys in the traffic. August is a bad month, generally because a lot of my users are probably off on vacation. Likewise, the Christmas holiday season is bad, which also seems to drag December's numbers down and may impact January's numbers to a lesser extent.

The numbers for the first half of the year were better than the second half. There were most likely several factors that can explain this. First, the RubyNation conference, for which I was both an organizer and a speaker, was held in June. The conference and the ramp-up promotion for the conference tend to drive some traffic to my site (and vice versa — I drove more traffic to RubyNation than any single site except for the various search engines, Google, et al.).

A second factor was that I started a new job at Grab Networks, something which took up a lot of my time during the second half of the year. This also led to me producing less content, which probably also impacted traffic.

Top Articles for 2008

Here are the top 10 articles for 2008:

  1. Creating Dynamic Charts With JFreeChart
  2. Mac Office 2008 Product Key Issue Solved
  3. Reading a Resource from a Jar File
  4. Multiple Form Buttons in Rails
  5. Microsoft Screen Cleaner
  6. URL Rewriting in ASP.NET
  7. Evolution of Graphic Design Concept
  8. Embedding a Jelly Scripting Capability in Your Java Application
  9. Banner Display in the ASP.NET Ad Rotator Control
  10. Traffic Generation Progress Report, 2006 - 2007

Site Changes and Recommendations

There weren't very many changes to the site in 2008. The site was done in ASP.NET, a technology that I ended up basically abandoning in favor of open source technologies like Ruby and Java. Accordingly, I couldn't really justify spending much time upgrading .NET skills, particularly when I started a new and fast-paced job beginning in March 2008 (when I left the desperately languishing AOL). Any changes were just minor look-and-feel tweaks.

Towards the end of the year, I began planning efforts to move the site from a ASP.NET hosted on a Windows platform to Ruby on Rails hosted on a Linux box. All my site-related time was then devoted to either new content or the upgrade.

Accordingly, none of my recommendations from the previous Traffic Report entries were implemented. Sigh.

Going forward, there are clearly some enhancements that are needed. The site needs an Atom feed, more content, a platform change, more options for interactivity, more options for users to promote the content, etc.

The platform change is particularly important to me. One of the reasons I built all of the features of KeenerTech.com myself is because I want to use my web site as a test bed for playing with new technologies that will help me in my daily work. Because the site is currently in .NET, it doesn't really help me in the tech arena because I've chosen to focus on the open source route. If it's not going to function as a test bed, well, I could build the site using WordPress or Drupal.

Conclusion

This was a fairly flat year for the site. Traffic stayed at a reasonably high level, but didn't particularly grow as much as I would have liked.

The site did have some bright points. It functioned admirably as an extension of my resume, and almost certainly helped me land a new job when I needed it. I also got a good amount of exposure from the site. Within the blog world, KeenerTech.com is a nicely competitive technical blog with quite a bit of good content that doesn't look like all of the other cookie cutter blogs.



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