Friday, March 04, 2011

The Mysterious Internet

It's a tangled web out there, for sure, and its ways are beyond mysterious. The Phytophactor offered kind words about FF re: the latest Berry-Go-Round, prompting me to go look at my own stats again. I'd decided last time that this is a futile exercise yielding little in the way of intelligible results. It still is. And, of course, it's hard to tell whether people are satisfied with what they find when they arrive.

Speaking of the Phactor, don't miss his posts from early this week on the evolutionary timeline, and one on endangered plants. He's been very prolific lately, and these two are great.

But I just know you'll be interested in some fascinating details about the appeal of Foothills Fancies to the online world at large. Here's a list of my all time top posts (all time being "since Blogger installed stats" or mid-2010).
  • Scales and Tails
  • Best Botany Blog
  • My Kingdom for a Domain…
  • Whatever Happened to Sphenopsida
  • High Color: Alpine Tundra
  • Live at Bear's Lair
  • Tree Cholla
  • Stuff Plants Do
  • Summer Feast BGR
  • Snowy Sunday Visitors

The moral of that story is that old posts live for...ever. A sobering thought. The twin two-year old posts on obsolete plants (Sphenopsida, 27 in Feb) and obsolete taxonomy ("My Kingdom...", 38 in Feb) are still tops in this past month's searches. Several people wanted to know about Zosterophyllum and Asteroxylon? If FF comes up, that surely speaks to the paucity of information out there on fossil plants.

It's heartening to know that people are also out there looking for botany blogs. That means I should be doing more botany, right? (We all should...) A little post I wrote five years ago, simply pointing to the wonderful Botany Photo of the Day is still a top-notch vote-getter.

How do people find us? It's clear from the above list that participating in carnivals adds to one's visibility, as most of those posts were included in one carnival or another. Google, in all its guises, is always a great source of traffic; this month the new listing FF got from Online College Courses is already being productive.

Other bloggers, and being well connected, also help. I already miss the Watcher, who sent more people my way than anyone until he stopped posting one month ago today. Inexplicably moving to the top of the referral list lately is the terrific bird-blogger Bootstrap Analysis. As far as I can tell, my only acquaintance with her was a post I submitted to I-and-the-Bird FIVE years ago! (Thanks, Nuthatch!)

juvenile Western RattlesnakeBut the all-time top of the Foothills Fancies hit parade, with more than twice as many visits as any other post, is the delightful Scales and Tails, documenting a fascination with snakes we might not have expected. In particular, strong in the search terms are things like "baby rattlesnake identification," "images of baby prairie rattlesnake," and so on. (We can only hope these weren't emergency searches.) Thanks go to this little guy. I hope you're doing well, sweetie, wherever you are.

I think I feel a rattlesnake post coming on... stay tuned!

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