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NWHog Stats

Good morning.  This little hobby of a motorcycle blog logged its 1 millionth viewer today. Woo hoo!

Unfortunately there will be no falling balloons, bells and whistles or motorcycle give away as it’s a low budget operation.

There once was a time where I thought a million was a massive amount of views.  At one point I had “Content-Creation Madness”… thinking that all I had to do was post new content every day and then sit back and watch the hordes of new readers and the corporate decision makers find me.  I watched and waited for my clout score to skyrocket.

It didn’t.

And in today’s social media over hyped up marketing world with the aggregators, intermediaries and pyramid viral tricks,  I’m now thinking that I should be asking why is it only a million?!  If you were to benchmark entertainment or compare this blog to other viral legends like Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga, Old Spice Guy and Rebecca Black it’s really nothing but a dismal failure.

Number of Days To 100 Million Views

For example, let’s look at the number of days it took each of them to reach 100 million views:  Susan Boyle did it in nine. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, which currently has over 900 million views, took 18 days. Rebecca Black’s Friday, currently at 430+ million views, took 45 days. Even Justin Bieber’s Baby, which has topped 1.1 billion views, took 56 days, one day faster than Miley Cyrus’ Party in the U.S.  Even Modern Warfare 2, one of the biggest entertainment gaming launches ever, hit 100 million views after 77 days.  I won’t go through all of them, but you can see how long it took some of the biggest viral names ever to reach 100 million views in the chart above.

This blog is about one-tenth that amount.  Yeah, I know it’s not an A-to-A comparison, but a million views is hardly a blip on the score board these days when you contrast it with entertainment.

In the beginning, the plethora of content distribution “paths” once exited me.  I developed a Twitter feed.  I started a Facebook feed then stopped it due to privacy concerns.  Early on I caught the eye of some savvy social media folks at Harley-Davidson who were convinced that product reviews (HERE) were the wave of the blog future.  It wasn’t.  I developed an iPhone app for mobile users.  There was even a shout out from the reality series man himself… Kurt Sutter (FX – Sons of Anarchy) HERE.  Then there was the Daily Newspaper (HERE).  Most of these were all attempts to help scale out the blog or content reach.

NWHog Geo Stats

Now, I realize that much of the blog content is landing in the “cloud dumpster” and I no longer think “view statistics” are a good gauge of a blog.  This blog has never been about attracting leads and transforming them into customers.  Customers of what?  I don’t sell anything so creating content for each stage of the buying process (awareness, consideration, and decision) is silly.  The characteristics that make for a great blog are typically never tracked.

Characteristics like:

Clarity – Is the blog/author clear about details such as the time period and subject.  Who or what does it apply to and are there updates to the information as new data unfolds over the days/weeks ahead.  Content should appear or link to many forms, ranging from videos, infographics and/or links to legal or report summaries.

Credibility – Is the information the author posted derived from sound research and is the methodology related to the facts.  Is the article sharing an opinion or is just biased?  Is the blog nothing but a repost-er of previously reported news articles or does it provide commentary and analysis of the potential impact to the motorcycle community?

Attribution – Is there clear attribution to the original source and an accurate/valid link to that source provided when possible.  Does the author/article provide links to the study or legal filing/report or just refer to it as “information found on the web.”

Though I generally don’t hold to a “hits mean much” worldview, I’m intrigued by the search results that send readers to the site and that readers are coming to this blog from all continents including places that I wouldn’t have thought — for example: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Guam.

The point of this post today is to say that I appreciate all the readers who’ve joined in the discussion on this blog.  More importantly I’ve realized that some readers had better ideas than I or had important insights that I wanted to share.  The blog has evolved a bit from my original intention and is far better.

I learn every day and for that I thank you.

Photo courtesy of Visible Measures and WordPress.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Northwest Harley Blog Health-o-Meter

Contrary to some of my previous posts, I’m just not a numbers guy.

I’m no mathematician, but I know the odds of winning the lottery are astronomical and for the most part I balance my checkbook, so when earlier in the month I received an email from the WordPress crew congratulating me on the Northwest Harley Blog stats for 2010 I was a bit skeptical.

The dichotomy doesn’t escape me.  It’s like the advertising industry promoting itself through ads or how Fox Business News promotes itself with on-air promos that declare it the best [pick your adjective here].  So it is with some speculation and a good deal of in trepidation that I offer up this (as some will see it) self-promo and recap for 2010:

Stats: This blog was viewed more than 207,000 times in 2010. I wrote 170 new posts, growing the total archive on the blog to 708 posts. I uploaded 307 pictures – about 6 pictures per week – with the busiest day of the year being September 10th.  Since starting the blog, the all time busiest day was March 9, 2009 (9,120 page views) from this blog post HERE.

Where did they come from?: The top referring sites in 2010 were hdforums.comen.wikipedia.orgmahalo.com, and en.wordpress.com.  A lot of visitors came to the site by searching, mostly for sons of anarchysusanne klatten, occ, vagos mcjay dobynsyakuza, and old motorcycles.

Main attractions in 2010: Below are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010:

1.    Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Are New Media Darlings May 2008; 85 comments
2.    Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Flying Colors in Oregon May 2008; 44 comments
3.    Vagos MC Meeting In Grants Pass August 2008; 63 comments
4.    OCC Family Feud Ends February 2010; 4 comments
5.    Vintage Motorcycles – Honda CB750 April 2008; 7 comments

It’s unfortunate that only one post in 2010 hit the top 5, but it’s gratifying that some of the more popular posts written before 2010 indicate that the content has staying power.

What about Facebook?: According to AllThingsNow.com the highest shared post on Facebook related to the Patriot Guard HERE.  If interested you can see all the details of shared articles via Facebook HERE.

My take away from all the stats?  I’m fairly objective when it comes to evangelization, but if I had to write a 10 second news headline it would be something like:  “Northwest Harley Blog: After three years a solid start, has a few rough spots.  Sometimes brings deep motorcycle news to the masses. It’s an informative site to surf and may well draw both avid motorcyclists and the non- riding public viewers in which Harley-Davidson seeks”.

Okay, back to quality writing and time to put away the self-promo soapbox!

Photo courtesy of WordPress.com

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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blog_infoToday is somewhat memorable as the Northwest Harley Blog hit 200,235 total views.  This is in large part thanks to all of you around the world for your daily support, participation and classy comments.  I appreciate your readership and I thank you.  I want to acknowledge the positive contributions and high degree of intelligence shown in most all comments.  I also want to thank the many bloggers who helped expand readership by placing incoming links to this blog.

Clearly the blog is not a commercial venture.  I don’t care much about people trying to sell me things and I’ve declined multiple requests to run advertisements.  The site is a “hobby” and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the audience growth.  For example it took 13 months to hit the first 100K views and less than 5 months later to double it.  I’m not sure why, but that makes me smile.  This growth rate is not sustainable without more resources and candidly I have a day job which takes up a lot of my time.  The visit numbers will be whatever they will be…because statistics do not drive my posts.

However you may find it interesting, as I did, to know which are the top posts that people visit on the site.  The stats in the above graphic indicate the highest level of readership coming from outlaw motorcycle “club” posts.  I suppose that’s the power of “train-wreck” value as I can’t make sense of our culture.   The internet allows the word (anything “craptastic“) to spread instantly, far and wide, to essentially everybody.

In this largely phony world there are few honest filters out there and I feel quality is king! 

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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A quick shout out to the readers of this blog.  You pushed the total number of views over 100,000 today and I thank you!

Putting up a blog takes commitment, organization, time and to a certain degree some passion about the topic matter.  Of course, a one-of-a-kind product like Harley-Davidson and the motorcycle industry helps me accomplish all of this and more.  I guess that “more” is the riding experiences and friendships made on the road.

But it’s you the readers and especially the folks who have taken time to comment that make the site real.

Again Thank You!

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This site hit a milestone today, surpassing 2500 comments.  Of course when I did a deep dive of the stats nearly half of the comments were outright SPAM that Askimet took appropriate action.  And a fair number of the remaining seemed a massive campaign in the practice of planting positive comments about a service on other blogs, or affiliate schemes — often referred to as “astroturfing“. 

But, at the end of the day, I’m pleased that so many of you decided to spend time sharing your thoughts and insights. I know it sounds a bit corny like “Happy Days“, but this wouldn’t work as a one-way conversation.  I look for comments not only as way to gauge the overall sentiment of the motorcycle community, but to tell me if someone is blowing smoke up my “skirt” or if I got something totally wrong. It’s also proven to be a useful source of some news tips.

Of course, some comments have been more informative than others. And since this blog was started a year ago, I’ve seen discussions on a wide range of topics from HOG events to blockbuster acquisitions to — yes — my coverage of OMG in Oregon.  Let me set the record straight right now that I don’t have “a swooning man-crush” on any outlaw motorcycle club member as was stated in a couple comments…which somehow got deleted!

Again, thank you.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/PSD

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