A few interesting data points regarding November 2012 posts on this blog

December 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Before getting into detail here, I should note that there is a major caveat here in that statistical interpretation can derive certain outcomes based on authorial intent/desire and that there will most certainly exist equally (or more) compelling alternate explanations.  That being said, here are some interesting data points from November 2012 blog posts:

Top 5 Posts by Page Views:

1.  Mein Pony Kampf (posted 11/2:  209 page views as of this post)
2.  Steven Erikson, Forge of Darkness (posted 11/23:  144 page views)
3.  2012 is proving to be a bad year for fantasy* (posted 11/5:  143 page views)
4.  International spec fic news of interest (posted 11/6:  136 page views)
5 (tie).  Brandon Sanderston, The Emperor’s Soul (posted 11/18:  134 page views)
5 (tie).  J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy (posted 11/26:  134 page views)

Top 5 Genre Fantasy Reviews by Page Views:

1.  Steven Erikson, Forge of Darkness (posted 11/23:  144 page views)
2 (tie).   Brandon Sanderston, The Emperor’s Soul (posted 11/18:  134 page views)
2 (tie).  J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy (posted 11/26:  134 page views)
4.  Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns (posted 11/10:  110 page views)
5.  Luís Filipe Silva (ed.), Os Anos de Ouro da Pulp Fiction Portuguesa (posted 11/18:  108 page views)

Top 5 Literary/Non-Genre Reviews by Page Views:

1.  Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas (posted 11/7:  91 page views)
2.  Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (posted 11/8:  69 page views)
3 (tie).  Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down (posted 11/6:  67 page views)
3 (tie).  Alan Shapiro, Night at the Republic (posted 11/1:  67 page views)
5.  Louise Erdrich, The Round House (posted 11/14:  59 page views)

Top 4 Non-English/Translated Fiction Reviews by Page Views:

1.  Luís Filipe Silva (ed.), Os Anos de Ouro da Pulp Fiction Portuguesa (posted 11/18:  108 page views)
2.  Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath:  Stories (posted 11/19:  96 page views)
3.  Angélica Gorodischer, Kalpa Imperial (posted 11/22:  56 page views)
4.  Andrzej Sapkowski, Los guerreros de Dios/God’s Warriors (posted 11/20:  50 page views)

Top 5 Fiction/Non-Fiction Reviews by Male Writers:

1.  Steven Erikson, Forge of Darkness (posted 11/23:  144 page views)
2.  Brandon Sanderston, The Emperor’s Soul (posted 11/18:  134 page views)
3.  Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns (posted 11/10:  110 page views)
4.  Luís Filipe Silva (ed.), Os Anos de Ouro da Pulp Fiction Portuguesa (posted 11/18:  108 page views)
5.  Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas (posted 11/7:  91 page views)

Top 5 Fiction/Non-Fiction Reviews by Female Writers:

1.  Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath:  Stories (posted 11/19:  96 page views)
2.  Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (posted 11/8:  69 page views)
3.  Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down (posted 11/6:  67 page views)
4.  G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen (posted 11/28:  63 page views)
5.  Louise Erdrich, The Round House (posted 11/14:  59 page views)

The 5 Least-Viewed Reviews Posted Originally in November (active at least 6 days):

1.   Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (posted 11/13:  23 page views)
2.   Christian Kiefer, The Infinite Tides (posted 11/24:  24 page views)
3.   Tim Seibles,  Fast Animal (posted 11/5:  25 page views)
4.   Jennifer duBois, A Partial History of Lost Causes (posted 11/16:  26 page views)
5.   Justin Torres,  We the Animals (posted 11/17:  27 page views)

Some interesting notes:

1.  Every single post was linked to on Twitter soon after being made (exception was to the Faulkner reposts, which I did not count when compiling data.  If I had, the range would have been from 19-66 page views.  None of these were linked to on Twitter or anywhere else).

2.  Jagannath and Os Anos de Ouro da Pulp Fiction Portuguesa were linked to on Facebook by others.  This and Twitter were their only means of outside promotion.

3.  All of the National Book Award finalists were linked to on Twitter, the Westeros Literature MB, and the Read and Find Out Books MB.  For the latter two, full copy/pastes of the reviews were made to those MBs.

4.  Forge of Darkness and The Casual Vacancy received their own threads (full copy/paste) on the RAFO board and were linked to without a full copy/paste of the reviews on the Westeros board.

5.  Prince of Thorns, Kalpa Imperial, “2012 is proving to be a bad year for fantasy*”, and Alif the Unseen only linked to on Twitter.

6.  The Emperor’s Soul received its own threads (with full copy/pasting) on both the RAFO and Westeros MBs.

7.  Mein Pony Kampf received its own thread, but with a link back to the original post in lieu of a full copy/paste, on the Westeros MB alone.

8.  “International spec fic news of interest” was linked to on Twitter, a Portuguese-language MB, and Facebook.

9.  Los guerreros de Dios/God’s Warriors was linked to in a pre-existing post on Sapkowski on the Westeros MB.

10.  Only Fast Animal out of the 5 Least Viewed reviews was linked to elsewhere than just Twitter alone (Westeros, RAFO MBs – copy/pasted)

11.  If my movie review of Lincoln (posted 11/21:  122 page views), which was only linked to on Twitter and in a copy/paste on Westeros’ Entertainment MB, had been added to the list, it would have been the seventh-most viewed post and fourth-most viewed review for November 2012.

A few thoughts:

1.  Although the genre review page views were somewhat higher than the non-genre, it is likely due to heavier promotion on MBs that draw more genre than literary fiction readers/fans.

2.  The numbers for female writers were somewhat lower than male writers, but if the promotional aspect were removed (it seems I was posting links to male writers on those MBs slightly more), then the difference in page views is likely less than 10-15 views compared to a possibly suspected doubling or tripling of numbers for male writers compared to female writers.

3.  Conversely, four of the five least-viewed reviews for November were by male writers compared to female writers.  This seems to indicate that the gap in views for male/female writers is not as large as what might first be presumed.

4.  Reviews of works originally written in another language, whether or not an English translation was published, are on par and perhaps slightly higher in page views than works originally written in English.  Some, but not all, of this might be due to others linking to the reviews of the Silva, Tidbeck and Sapkowski.

5.  Readers seemed at least as much drawn to non-review essays and other posts (book porn, list of books read in October 2012, thoughts on reviewing, as these drew in the 75-209 page view range) as they were to the reviews.  More reader responses on average to these type of posts than to the reviews, most of whom received 0 responses, with 8 being the most comments on a review post.

6.  It seems, based on a quick glance at previous months’ page views for reviews that November was a relatively normal month per review page view and that there will be a “long tail” of hits for months to come from people googling for review info on books that may or may not be “mainstream.”

7.  The second-most popular post in this blog’s history, with 3672 page views since July 17, 2010, is What the Birthday Squirrel Bought for Me in 2010.  That, coupled with “squirrel porn” being the most popular option on the current poll, seems to indicate that people would like to see more squirrel-related posts in the future.

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