Hurricane Sandy is gone and so is this blog’s sudden increase in number of page views

In a blog posting from yesterday I wrote about how I unintentionally caused a 200% increase in page views on this blog on October 29th by publishing a blog posting talking about Hurricane Sandy, the United States Postal Service, and FedEx, prompted mostly by searches on Bing for information about whether or not the United States Postal Service would be operating.

Yesterday, on October 30th the number of page views grew even further, with the blog achieving an astonishing 400% increase in page views compared to the average number of views. Interestingly, the Bing search originated page views had tapered of, but had been replaced by Facebook search originated page view.

This is doubly interesting because of the fact that until yesterday my blog had not had received any Facebook originated traffic. Unfortunately, because of Facebook’s privacy restrictions, I am unable to see what search criteria led to this increase in Facebook originated traffic, and so I am not able to draw any conclusion as to the reason for the Facebook originated traffic.

Today, October 31st, the traffic has normalized and, in fact, the blog posting that caused the traffic spike in the first place has received no page views whatsoever — zero… none.

Our discovery was accidental, but, regardless, what we can conclude is that it is possible to attract readers to a blog by tagging postings and using snazzy headings, but it is not clear if it is a sustainable approach. Perhaps someone else will experiment further and report the results on their blogs.

Changes

In related news, as of today we no longer allow commenting on this blog through WordPress’ Reply function, we have changed our point-of-contact electronic mail address, and we have begun adding descriptive, teaser information to our listing of upcoming postings.

New electronic mail address

The first change is rather benign, reflecting the increased amount of activity that we are experiences with this blog and corresponding need to funnel incoming communications. Effectively today, we can be reached via electronic mail at the address:

engineeredreal [at] gmail [dot] com

No more Reply

The second change is more profound.

Effective immediately, it will not be possible for readers to comment on postings on this blog through WordPress’ Reply function. Of course, you can still comment on a posting by sending us an electronic mail with your comments, hitting WordPress’ Like button, or by rating the posting, re-blogging, or Twittering about the posting. Look for the handy-dandy icons at the top and bottom of the posting.

I have many reasons for making this decision to no longer allow commenting via WordPress’ Reply function, and I have been postponing its implementation for a while, dreading having to document these reasons — which I sort of, in the interest of … well… journalistic integrity, perhaps, I figured that I had to.

Fortunately, I discovered a posting by Eric D. Snider on his excellent blog, Snide Remarks, in which he eloquently laid out the same reasons for not allowing comments on the part of his blog that related to film reviews. So, having been freed up by Mr. Snider to finally do what is right, I am pulling the plug on comments. If you wonder why I am doing so, read Mr. Snider’s posting.

By the way, you may have heard about Mr. Snider. Besides being very funny, he is quasi-famous for being the only movie reviewer to have been banned from Rotten Tomatoes. His sin? As reported by Ben Child from the Guardian, Mr. Snider executed a combined practical joke and blogging experiment that involved giving the movie Dark Knight Rises a bad review without actually having seen the movie. The resulting fire-storm was of Dresden-like proportions, and I imagine this may have had something to do with his decision, although it is not one of the reasons that he mentions in his posting.

Description of upcoming postings

The third change is not really a change, but, rather, a follow-through.

As you may recall, the side-bar (on the right, people!) lists some of the upcoming postings. A complete list of the upcoming postings can be found here.

I am now — finally — getting around to adding descriptive, teaser information to the list. As usual, I provide no guarantee that I will actually ever write these postings, but if you are overly optimistic, perhaps you can consider them an indication of what is to come.

On this note, if you feel that one posting should be written earlier than another, please feel free to contact me to suggest elevating the priority of a posting.  Moreover, if you have a subject that you would like me to blog on, please feel free to contact me and let me know (of course, I reserve the rights to not do so!)

That’s it for now… Over and out…

Advertisements