My sabbatical review is finally going to occur in a couple weeks, and I am trying to find some metrics to validate the time I've spent on this blog. I had known that the primary metric was a blog's Technorati rating. This blog had been as high as 60 for awhile and now floats along around 50 or so, but Technorati has come under increasing criticism for its anomalies and for its inability to measure new forms of popularity as expressed by micro-reporting tools like Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed.
Of more interest to me than some kind of rank, however, is the number and scope of people checking out this blog. With a bit of code embedded on this page, I have been using Google Analytics. It provides all sorts of helpful ways of looking at a site: visits, unique visitors, pageviews, referrers, geography, etc. I have never been able to determine, however, if the number it reports includes views by people who have subscribed to the blog.
I think I have some idea of the number of subscribers using the "Details" view in my GoogleReader. If you are one of my 398 current subscribers, thanks!
The reason I wonder if GoogleAnalytics was including all readers is because I also use ShareThis, both as a tool for quick posting on some other sites I have but also as that little link at the end of each post on this blog that lets one share the post in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, I don't see much correlation between page views reported by ShareThis as compared to GoogleAnalytics.
I also have a couple tools to see where visitors are from. I have both ClustrMap data shown hereand whos.amung.us data. As you would imagine, most visitors are from the United States and other English speaking countries, but there is a surprisingly large number of visitors from Italy. Viva Italia!Maybe another tool that can measure the value of a blog is Stimator.
Stimator is a real-time website value estimator. The engine deliveries the most accurate economical value that a website could worth by collecting important data from different sources. The results are indexed to database references and to the financial market in order to re-produce, as real as possible, how much investors are prepared to invest. Stimator is in beta stage as we keep improving this project.If anyone is interested in paying me USD $11,809 for this blog subdomain, let me know!
In any case, I figure these provide some perspectives to validate this blog as worthwhile work that contributes in some way to the scholarship in my areas of interest in a global context. If you have better ideas about how to gauge a blog's value as an academic form of expression, let us know! Thanks.