Asking my readers a favor – Part 1

Edited to Add: I’ve already reported on the experiment, so no need to perform the test. Thank you.

~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~

That’s right . . . me, who is very reluctant to ask for anything, is asking for a favor. 

A short background as to why . . . 

Every once in a while, the Statistic for the blog show some anomalies. A few days ago was one such — although it wasn’t unique — and I got curious; curious enough to ask the Happiness Engineers.  Let me explain . . . 

. . . but first, a photo . . . 

The photo has nothing to do with the favor; I’m just throwing it in here because I’m also using the new less-intrusive watermark. If it’s working like it should, most people will miss it. 

Anyway, back to the background for my request . . . If you don’t care about the background, please scroll down to the request. 

A few days ago, I happened to notice the number of Total Views for the day was (at the time) 124. The number of Visitors for the day (at the time) was 43. The Stats also list the Posts & Pages Views. Something didn’t look right and I added up the individual views for the individual posts and it came up to 54 . . . 70 less than the total views. Typically, the Total Views number is pretty close to what you get when you add all the individual Posts & Pages Views.  

This has happened before. One day I had over 300 Total Views and the sum of my Posts & Pages Views was something like 90 for about 60 Visitors

Here’s the thing . . . those numbers don’t make sense based on what I’ve been told regarding how visitors and views are counted. 

To make a long story short, I got into an e-mail exchange with the Happiness Engineers (three different individuals) who attempted to explain how that was possible. Except, by their own explanation, it was — if not impossible — at least highly improbable.

I’ll spare you the lengthy discussions but the bottom line — from my point of view — is that either someone is reading the blog without registering as a Visitor or triggering the Post & Page Views counter — which should be impossible — OR the system WordPress uses to count stuff is flawed.  

I personally believe the latter since a long time ago (when it was still allowed) I used to get statistics from Google Analytics and a few other services that tracked stuff like that. Those numbers never matched WordPress numbers. Which is weird since if you want to monetize the site, the payout is based on visitors and views. 

To make a long story short, one of the explanations I got was that if people looked at the Home Page/Archive, that counts as just one Posts & Pages Views but each post they read adds to the Total Views.

This to me doesn’t make sense because the stats count the Home Page/Archive views (for the day in question, there were 6). That means that a number of people read many posts by scrolling down the Home Page without once stopping to click on any posts (clicking on a post would trigger a post count). It also means that people were really interested in a lot of posts but opted not to open and Comment or even “Like” any of them. 

But, how would WordPress know they are reading a post or just looking at the sidebar or just scrolling? In other words, how are they counting these supposed extra views without people actually opening up the posts? 

So, I devised a test, hence . . . 

The Request:

If you have a minute or so, click on THIS link (it’s my home page) and then just scroll down (hit page-down or use the mouse wheel) for a bit (a minute, if you have the time). However long you want (the screen will just keep scrolling). It may hang for a moment but just keep scrolling. 

If you prefer, click on THIS link (it’s my Archive) and scroll down for a spell.

I’m testing if what the Happiness Engineers say is true. If it is, and even if only a few readers do as I ask, I should have a crapload of Total Views and very few individual Posts & Pages Views.

Thank you and here are two more photos for you. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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38 Responses to Asking my readers a favor – Part 1

  1. Spent about ten minutes,breezing through a group of posts, several of which I had missed for some reason, so it was well worth it. Hope that helps!

    Like

  2. oneowner says:

    I clicked on the link, scrolled down to Post 45 in a total of 1 minute and 17 seconds (I have an atomic clock that keeps accurate time next to my monitor). I would guess that there are a lot of illegal voters or even dead people hitting the like button. This is Trump-logic so it must be right. SAD!

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Thank you, and dead people hitting the “like” button is a major problem with a lot of sites.

      Don’t know what we can do about it . . . perhaps “smudging” the website would work.

      Like

  3. I stopped scrolling at Project 313 – Post No. 038
    Warmest regards, Ed

    Like

  4. GP Cox says:

    I went and did as you asked on both links.

    Like

  5. I don’t believe any of the WP statistics.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Emily Scott says:

    Done! Will wait to see what part-2 of this post entails.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I’ll do a brief summary of the findings later on . . . but no big surprises are expected.

      Thank you for your time and contribution to this little experiment.

      Like

  7. I scrolled down for close to two minutes. I also noticed that I missed one post – don’t know how that happened!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you for your time and contribution to this little experiment and it’s not difficult to miss stuff when a lot of stuff is posted. Plus, reading blogs is probably not a life goal one should take too seriously.

      Like

  8. Yvonne says:

    Right, I am part of the experiment.

    I had a message this morning regarding our posts no longer being automatically publicised on Facebook. No big loss, really.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you for your time and contribution to this little experiment.

      I thought the Facebook change was going to take effect on August 1st. I could be wrong.

      I used to manually post the links on my Facebook timeline because I often didn’t like the photos they would choose to showcase. Since then, they’ve removed the option to choose a particular photo (Google+ did the same thing) so I had it on automatic.

      As part of cleaning up their act (too little, too late) Facebook isn’t allowing the automatic posts any more so I’ll go back to posting them by hand since — even though I’m seldom on Facebook — there are a number of people I know who are and that’s how they consume my blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t want anything published on facebook

      Like

    • disperser says:

      I’m reasonably certain no one is forcing (or asking) you to publish anything on Facebook.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting photos.
    WP counts have been suspicious for some time.
    Totally unreliable as far as I’m concerned, so I’ve had to stop fretting over stats. Takes some of the feedback and fun out of it, but it is what it is.
    All that counts is the comments at this point. Even the “likes” is questionable as sometimes I try to “like” but WP won’t accept it. Odd. Sigh.
    Will be interested to hear what explanation WP offers you

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you.

      The counts never matched other counting engines, but then even other counting engines don’t match each other. I have a non-Wordperfect counter widget on my sidebar and that seems to track the number of visitors pretty accurately (meaning, agreeing with other counters). The advantage of that one is that it gives a better breakdown of both when and where visitors came from.

      As for the likes (and even comments) sometimes not being accepted, a lot of that has to do with whether you allow third-party cookies. Because of the way WordPress interacts, it uses third-party cookies so the comments and Likes won’t work well unless you allow them.

      I’ll do a summary post later with whatever I find out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That explains the “likes” maybe..WP insists you have certain settings or you can’t play, so it should work, but not always on posts – can “like” from Reader without reading, but not reading on the actual blog, then deciding to like…odd. Haven’t had problems leaving comments – except it is time consuming.
        I used to have another counter that was more accurate, too, but dropped it. At one time WP offered more accurate user data/feedback for a price. (That’s about when stats became very unreliable.)
        Will stay tuned for what you find out

        Like

      • disperser says:

        The reader doesn’t work the same way as going to the actual post and that was, at one time, another source of error for views. As far as I can tell, that’s not an issue anymore (maybe).

        If you’re having problems leaving comments or likes at the actual site, try going in through the reader as that, as I said, works slightly differently. I think it may also have to do with whether a blog is self-hosted (meaning, they are running the WordPress.org software) of going through WordPress.com. I have more problems with sites that run the WordPress.org software and I’ve been told that a number of differences exist. For instance, the classic editor is geared more toward those sites as well as business sites.

        . . . or so I’ve been told . . .

        The bottom line is that we, the users, are not so much the customers as we are a commodity to be marketed and sold . . . but, that’s the same for most of the Internet.

        Like

  10. colonialist says:

    I cruised back to end of April. That was a lot of scrolling.
    Your new copyright is so invisible I can’t find it!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Right hand lower corner . . . vertical.

      It’s probably less visible on the B&W photos . . . here’s another test I did:

      The visibility will depend a lot on the colors and texture of the photo but at this point, I want to keep it as unobtrusive as possible. Its size is currently at 4% of the largest dimension and I might go up to 5%. We’ll see how the mood strikes me.

      Like

  11. Always the optimist Emilio, Readers indeed, at least I say reader followed by a :?:
    I did as you requested, and I scrolled through both, I went back at least a couple of years, by the look of it,on the archive link, and back to October 2017 on the first link, so that should stuff up the views.
    What I did notice was the great number of your posts that I never looked at, going by the like section; then again being an honest sort of bloke I probably didn’t like a lot of the STUFF so not being a hypocrite I didn’t bother lying. HUGS))) Ha!

    Like

  12. disperser says:

    To all who commented, I just posted the numbers (to about an hour ago) confirming the answers I received are not an explanation for anything. Stay tuned (if interested) for a different test tomorrow.

    I also added a segment on ClustrMaps . . . something someone might find useful for their own blog.

    Like

  13. renxkyoko says:

    Oh, well. I guess the experiment is finished ?

    Like

  14. Sorry I’m so late to the party that I couldn’t be of help here. :-(

    HUGS!!!

    Like

  15. Done, I clicked and slowly scrolled. Taking the time to re-read a few articles. Hope this helps. I too ‘glance’ at my statistics, driven by the 1,000 some odd followers who don’t really follow. As an experiment early in the year, I just stopped posting to see what effect it had. I still got sever, views a day, which makes sense. When I started actively posting, the stats why they back up to the 100 or so views I get from engaged followers. I still get the occasional ‘tourist’ who lands on my home page and the likes the next 25 posts, probably hoping I notice their interest and follow back. That is a very rare occasion, since I’m picky about what I chose to engage in. Hope this helps.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you. As far as I can tell, I have a core of about 6-7 readers that will stop by on most days when there’s a new post.

      New posts usually generate an extra 10-15 views from people who are not regulars but might be looking at their Reader feed or searching for a particular tag.

      Some posts (airplanes, cars) bring in more readers than just general photos. Next, travel stuff brings in readers.

      When I don’t post anything, stragglers account for another 4-5 reads, usually related to Firefly posts.

      I suppose if I had a cat or dog, I’d have hundreds of readers per each post.

      Liked by 1 person

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