Locate Your Visitors (2)

30 09 2008

A few months ago I blogged about how to use ClustrMaps for locating your visitors (see here). I still use Clustrmaps.
The map is cumulative: you get an overview of where the visits cluster (depicted as large or small clusters, see below) and an approximate idea of the locations. Approximate, because you can’t zoom in or look up locations.

Recently I put a new free widget in the side bar, Flagcounter. This tool also gives a cumulative overview, but it summarizes the counts per country, visualized with flags. Judging from the number of clicks on my Flagcounter, the flags seem popular. You can easily set your preferences (colors, number of colums and flags) and change it afterwards in your widget, i.e. by changing columns=2/maxflags=20 (2 columns with 10 flags) into columns=3/maxflags=21 (3 columns with 7 flags each). Please, consult the FlagCounter-Faq for these and other tips (to avoid starting over again and loose your gathered info).
It is cumulative, thus you get an idea of the countries of origin of visitors over time. On basis of the counts since September it can be concluded that I’m mostly visited (this month) by English speaking people from the United States, UK, Canada and Australia. Of course I’m also frequented by Dutch speaking people form the Netherlands and Belgium.
It is also nice to see from which exotic places visitors found their way to this blog: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Aruba, Vietnam, Belarus. Also surprising that India, Phillipines and Malaysia are in the top 15 this month, rather than Spain and Denmark for instance.
Who’s Among us
Also visually attractive is the “who is among us button”. It shows how many visitors are simultaneously present at your blog (within a time span of 10 minutes). The highest number I’ve seen on my blog is 7. For some blogs it’s ‘as usual’, for this blog it is exceptional.
While writing this post I found a bunch of other possibilities hidden behind this button, for instance a world map showing the locations of your visitors, with the people who are currently on your site blinking (light blue in the picture below; not working as a widget in WordPress, but visible when you click on the counter). In addition there is a map with statistics per hour, day, month, year. However, I don’t grasp what the numbers actually stand for. These certainly don’t represent a cumulative number per hour. (if I have 4 visitors per 10 min. than I don’t expect a maximum of 3 per hour or 3 per day?).
Many of these functionalities are also present in the Sitemeter, a widget that is inconspicuously present at this blog’s sidebar, but is most frequently consulted by me together with the WordPress stats.
Similar to “who’s among us” there is a nice world map, with the most recent visit in red, the last 2-10 visits in green and the other 90 visits in white. You can zoom in, look at the exact location and ip-number of the visitor whether in day or night zone.
It is a good way to improve your topographical knowledge. 😉
Alas you can only observe the last 100 visitors, which means that in my top days I loose the statistics within a day.
If you want to upgrade, you have to pay a few dollar per month at least.

What I like the most, besides the map: the Visit Details of last 100 visitors. This list shows visit time, visit length (however if someone is just reading the frontpage without clicking, it counts as zero seconds), number of pages visited, entry and last page, IP address etc.
You can exclude your own visits and make the stats public or privat.
By using the sitemeter (in conjunction with the WordPress stats) you get an impression which visitors visit which pages.
Sitemeter has helped me to identify the IP address and domain of someone sending me a Google Doc invitation that was really meant as spam (I found out because that IP linked to someone referred to at my blog and later found in that Google doc (see earlier post)).
The sitemeter also helped me to identify the 10.000st visitor: Wowter from Wageningen.

Locate your visitors!

12 04 2008

Perhaps you noticed a new widget on the right side-bar. It is a thumbnail map obtained freely from ClustrMaps, allowing you to see at a glance where your site’s visitors are located. After (free) registration you obtain a (html-) code which you can insert in a text box widget. It works very similar to Librarything, Flickr etcetera. It is clearly explained how you should proceed for any blog-type and in my hands (!!!) it succeeded immediately.

However it took a day before anything happened. Quite frustrating an empty map.

Yesterday afternoon I suddenly noticed the appearance of 5 little spots, representing the number of visitors in the past day. Strikingly, just one spot was from the Netherlands and 4 from the USA/Canada, which of course relates to my recent English postings and mail list subscriptions.

My English posts are an experiment. At this moment I’m not sure about the right tactics. There is just a small niche for medical libraries and evidence based searching in the Netherlands. For a vivid discussion it would be nice if people abroad were able to participate as well. On the other hand there are many excellent English Blogs already. Who needs another-look-alike? In addition it takes me lots and lots of time to write in English. Finally I do seem to loose my Dutch followers. They seem to have gone with the wind.

So I wait and see. In a couple of weeks I will decide if and how to continue.


13-04-08: And here is the map of visitors from 10-04 till 13-04. Luckily the map is cumulative, earlier visits still count.

If you click on: Map with smaller clustrs you get a more detailed view.

Yeah, I’m a kind of statistic-freak. However deep in my heart I know the number of visitors and their location does not mean a lot. The main question is: did they find their visit worth wile?