A couple of days ago, Mitt Romney released his tax returns for the last two years, and Newt Gingrich disclosed his consulting contract with Freddie Mac. So, in the spirit of full disclosure and upon repeated requests by Greg Aymond who recently wrote, “ A couple of local blogs have been trying to get Freddy (that’s me) for years now to tell us how many people read his blog, to no avail,” I’m more than happy to disclose my readership, and fair warning, this may seem more convoluted than Romney’s tax returns.
But let’s get a couple of things out of the way first: Until I changed blog templates a few months ago, my “hit counter” was clearly visible on the front page. Also, given as frequently as Mr. Aymond has chided and insulted the blogger Ed Hooper for referring to himself as “we” on his blog WeSawThat, Mr. Aymond is, actually, the only local blog to have ever requested my hit count. And lastly and perhaps most importantly, CenLamar is actually hosted on two different platforms, WordPress and Blogspot (really, four, as posts occasionally appear on Facebook and on the website HumidBeings.com).
I migrated to WordPress and stopped publishing the Blogspot site on March 21, 2007, though it has remained open and served as an archive of those early years. On December 12, 2006, my site on Blogspot received its 100,000th unique visitor, which I marked in this post. A little more than three months later, immediately before I migrated to the WordPress platform, CenLamar has received approximately 120,000 total unique visitors.
When I launched the WordPress version, the hit count went down to zero, yet the Blogspot site, because it remains, still, to this day, continues to receive hits. Unfortunately, though, Blogger’s hit counter software had changed in May of 2009, and it’s impossible to precisely know how many visitors the site had received between March of 2007 and May of 2009, So, in fairness and despite the fact that the site likely continued to more receive hits during the first weeks and months before it was migrated, there’s still an easy enough way to extrapolate a total number. Thankfully, Blogger still provides the most current unique visitor hit counts, beginning in June 2009 and ending in January 2012.
Remember, this is from the CenLamar blogspot archives:
Again, we’re beginning in June of 2009 (which is why May is indicated as a zero-baseline) and tracking until last the end of January 2012. So far, in raw numbers, the archives received 14,167 unique viewers during this time.
Either way, extrapolating (conservatively) from this data, the website CenLamar on blogspot, which serves only as an archive, has a monthly average of 746 viewers throughout the last nineteen months. And just to be extremely conservative, we can take that new baseline number and apply it evenly from April 2006 to May 2009: 37 months times 746 average monthly readers equals an additional 27,602 hits (though I have ample reason to believe the CenLamar blogspot site received much more traffic then).
So let’s recap Blogspot:
100,000 hits on December 12, 2006
+ 20,000 hits from January 2007 to late-March 2007
+ 27,602 hits* approximate from late-March 2007 to May 2009
+ 14,161 hits from June 2009- Present
Approximately, 161,763 total unique viewers on CenLamar blogspot archives.
Now, we already know the hits Greg Aymond receives on his website; he calls himself the most popular and most read blogger in Central Louisiana. From his website:
And here are my most current stats via WordPress (retrieved at 7:11AM CST):
Simple math involved here, because while Greg Aymond may claim to Central Louisiana’s “most popular” blogger, the real, aggregate numbers tell a much different story.
In plain terms:
CenLamar Blogspot Archives: 161,763 (which still receives between two dozen and 14o unique visitors per day)
CenLamar WordPress: 500,133 (with an average of nearly 11,000 unique visitors per month and an average of 356 unique visitors per day)
661,896 total unique visitors*+#
*A conservative estimate of Blogspot traffic between April 2007 and May 2009
+ Does not include unique viewers who utilize social media applications like Facebook or other news aggregators.
# When including those other platforms and applications, a more accurate number of total unique readers is around 800,000-852,5000 people. (Admittedly, still less than half of Tony Brown’s entire daily audience, according to Greg Aymond).
All told, thus far, CenLamar has attracted between 106,000 – 295,000 MORE unique visitors than Greg Aymond. (If I could only claim, like Mitt Romney, that I was also taxed at a substantially lower rate, maybe then it’d be real news).
Some may suggest it’s disingenuous to include the hit count numbers from the CenLamar archives. No, it’s not, though, because the archives continue to be operated and moderated, and the site continues to attract dozens of readers every single day; it’s merely a different component of the same website.
There’s one other component to this that merits some attention.
Social media presence is equally important, in many ways.
Greg Aymond has 87 friends on Facebook.
I have 1,043 friends and over 115 people subscribed specifically to the CenLamar Facebook group.
Greg Aymond, under the name centrallapoliti, has 84 followers on Twitter.
I, under the name CenLamar, have 611.
According to Klout, an organization that tracks, ranks, and monitors, those most influential in social and online media, Greg Aymond doesn’t even register.
CenLamar, however, is the highest-ranked social media “specialist” in Central Louisiana:
By comparison, my friend Matt Bailey scores a 56, and my friend Zack Kopplin scores a 52. Not to brag on the three of us, but it’s not exactly easy to get a score over 50.
Honestly, this is not just about tooting my own horn.
I am thankful and deeply appreciative for each and every single reader, and building this website and establishing my presence online have been labors of love. I haven’t made a red dime from any of my work on CenLamar; Matt doesn’t make money advocating for progressive policies and helping to cultivate the next generation of progressive leaders in Louisiana, and Zack doesn’t make money fighting for the repeals of laws that undermine the credibility of Louisiana public education.
We all do this because we’re all gluttons for criticism, and more importantly, I think, we’re all deeply and passionately committed to the future of our home state.
I felt compelled to respond and disclose all of this after reading, over and over again, another blogger suggest I was withholding my blog stats because they’d be embarrassing to me or prove, once and for all, that he’s somehow more “popular,” as if this is nothing more than a contest.
No, it’s not. It’s a competition for ideas and discussion.
But guess what? If it was a popularity contest, Greg, you’re still not winning. It’s not even close.