25 November 2017

Metrics of TYWKIWDBI readers

For many years I've followed this blog's traffic and metrics using Blogger and Google, but this fall I also signed the blog up for monitoring by Quantcast.  They have now compiled a couple months of data, some of which I'll display here FYI.

Of particular interest to me is that 84% of visitors have education levels at college or above.  This summer Boing Boing reported that their readership was among the web's most educated -

- at 81.1%.  Our 84% would place us at #4... BUT the data above probably applies only to blogs with large audiences.  There must be an abundance of blogs about string theory or pancreatic enzymes or whatever that would be even higher.  

Here is what Quantcast considers to be your top interests:

And in pursuit of those interests, here are your favorite other websites:

The "linkwithin" association comes because those small pix at the bottom of each post that show "related" material elsewhere in the blog are generated by LinkWithin.  The others are probably generated by an analysis of who links to me and where my links send readers.

And finally, here are your political leanings:

These data are intended to be used to allow the blogger to make decisions re advertising and marketing his/her blog.  Since I don't do either one of those, for me it's just a mass of interesting numbers.  Thought you guys might want to see it to know what your fellow readers are like.


  1. Am I the only one who is a bit taken aback with the amount of info about ... us?

  2. @Anonymous -- you are surprised? I'm not, although I don't like being categorized. They know all about us on the web. I'm not happy about it, but it was inevitable. The fact that they know that I'm democrat (liberal) is that I'm attracted by the environmental slant of this site and therefore I must be a liberal. And I am. I don't necessarily want everyone to know this about me, but they do. Is this a bad thing? I don't mind people knowing that I care about the environment, but I hate being categorized... I love this earth and want to save it from pollution and waster. I suppose that make me a "tree worshipper" but I can think of worse declarations... This site is a haven for those who wish to save our world and our wildlife. If you care, you'll keep coming here. If you don't, you won't.

  3. About the extent of data available, what Stan's posted doesn't even scratch the surface. Try looking at the admin panel of an ad placement platform sometime if you can. Any nuance about you is probably known for these top two reasons:

    1) The ads on sites you visit are feeding the machine, because the ads know what site they're on, and keywords on that site, and the IP of the person visiting (also OS, browser which can help differentiate family members).

    2) What about the facebook, tweet this, google buttons on every site? I'll bet most people never log out of any of these services, I know I don't. Well, when you hit a site with those buttons, and you're still logged in, bingo. They know the content of the site and exactly who you are, who your friends are, what you engage in. You are then targeted not only on facebook, or google searches, but also on other sites you visit with advertising.

    Other ways you are being tracked is through what wifi networks you phone is asking for. Every time you walk around you phone is contantly pinging for a list of all networks you signed into to see if they're available. You are being tracked through stores, the mall, and street using this right now. Not even kidding. It's being used to establish traffic patterns.

    I got off facebook when I saw a grid of 16 profile pictures who looked at that page, and the top folks were my friends. This was probably 7 years ago, they probably don't do this any longer, but it made me realize what's happening.

    It's one thing if this knowledge is used only for advertising. It could be very powerful if used in another context.

    When you sign your blog up for quantcast, you get better granularity about your readers so you can tailor your content towards them. What quantcast gets is some of the info mentioned above, for sale to exchanges / etc. Their site under 'Products' has two segments: Audience Insights & Advertise.

    My comments on the purpose of the post:
    ° Weird that reddit only shows up on the other site list as redditmedia.

    ° I hit 4 sites when I sit down but before I start work everyday:
    - Craigslist search for old full sized jeeps & parts
    - Full sized jeep forums
    - Reddit front page
    - Reddit local reddit
    - TYWKIWDBI to catch anything not on reddit
    - Maybe neatorama

    ° Have noticed that in the last year there has been a lot of stuff from reddit, which is fine since you still post other stuff, and great for the majority of your readers.

    ° Selfishly though, I love your book stuff, ephemera, CCC stonework stuff. Have read at least two dozen books on your recommendation (even look at your site when needing something else to read). The links I share from your site are not the reddit links, but the other stuff.

    ° Now that I think about it, when sharing a link (usually through SMS) it's either from reddit or your site, sometime colossal.

    ° When talking about really cool stuff I learned, it's probably from a book you recommended.

    ° What I'm saying, I am straight up the middle of your demographics, aside from the metrics people can be expected to misreport.

    ° I like that so many people identify as independent. I can go either way, as would many people in my 35-44 age group. We know we can get snowed by anyone. I can get into Ron Paul, or Barack Obama. Or, in this last election - Bernie.

    ° Don't change a thing. Seriously!!!

  4. that is creepy as fuck. i suddenly feel like i should quit the internet.

  5. So you know, I am one of those people who is not logged into social media when I visit this site, have more privacy protections in place than the average web surfer, and I don't fit your average reader profile on any demographic marker from that first chart - and I assume I am not alone in that. It is likely that your blog attracts a much more varied readership than those numbers suggest. That's a good thing.

  6. thanks for the stats! those lists gave me a few new sites to look at. that means i will be less-reading this site, so expect a big slew in your upcoming stats.


  7. Further to Anonymous #1's comment about tracking, CBC Marketplace just published a video and cheat sheet on how companies are using cookies to set prices. They price the same product differently for different people.


    Well worth a listen.


  8. I can understand how the internet knows my political leanings, since I write about it. But how could they possibly know how much money I make or what my education level is? Are they just assuming by my surfing activities?

    1. I for sure don't know (remember, I'm an English major), but my best guess would be through the IP address of a visitor. That can probably be correlated with a ZIP code, and thus provide at least a range of probable income and education.

    2. every website including this one has trackers. i use a browser extension called ghostery its blocks trackers and shows a count of how many trackers its blocked. right now on this website its blocking 8 trackers. if you live in the usa all these tracking companies sell and share data. your bank knows how much money you spend at the liquor store but so can a current or potential employer. a website can buy data on how much you earn, where you live, how many times you have been pregnant, and the size of shoes you buy. look here for a good example https://www.forbes.com/sites/metabrown/2015/09/30/when-and-where-to-buy-consumer-data-and-12-companies-who-sell-it

  9. I just wanted to say that before I even got halfway through your Donald Trump linkdump, I said to myself, "$100 says comments on this thread are closed." :)


  10. I don't know. According to Google, I was categorized as a college aged man (I'm a 36 yo woman) so the data should be considered probabilistic rather than exact. If that helps. It makes me feel somewhat less creeped out at least.


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