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Aug 01

Frankly Curious in Top Million Websites

Knight on Horseback - Don QuixoteI am three days of posts ahead as I write this. Normally, I would have moved this one to the Wednesday 5:05 pm post. But as you may have noticed, we’ve been having some server problems around here. Mostly they don’t stop pages from displaying. But they cause the categories to go away and, I assume, no one can post comments. At least I know that I can’t write anything online. The database can only be read — not written to. But nonetheless, today is a very big day: Frankly Curious dropped into the top one million most visited websites.

Now I know that this probably doesn’t sound like that big a deal. Top million?! But you have to look at this in context. There are roughly a billion websites on the internet. And yes, I would say that most of them are pretty boring and not active. But there are a lot of people toiling away out there. There are currently about 75 million WordPress installations up and running. And that’s just one content management system (CMS). So I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that there are at least a hundred million notable websites in the world. So being in the top million is being in the top one percent. And I’ve never really hoped for more.

You may be wondering how I know that Frankly Curious in the top one million websites. Well, I don’t. I’m going on its Alexa rating, and it is certainly not perfect. It is basically a poll. And when a website isn’t that popular, the polling is noisy. Just the same, I’ve been watching it for years. It was parked out at about five million for a long time. And then it went through a period in the two million rang. But the main thing is that the Alexa rating has gone up along with my known Google Analytics numbers.

The current rank is: 914,051 (day); 932,292 (week); 1,158,662 (month); and 990,068 (three month). It’s this last number that I always look at. The daily number fluctuates wildly. The other day (because Bruce Bartlett was kind enough to link to me), the daily number was up at 200,000. But I’m not that interested in that kind of thing. Every website has good days now and then. As with most things, I’m interested in what Frankly Curious is as a kind of Platonic ideal — what would happen if I didn’t post anything.

There are other aspects of the traffic that aren’t as impressive. For one thing, Frankly Curious gets a lot of search engine traffic because of odd things I’ve written about. For example: Bugs: Rabbit or Hare? and College of Architecture and Planning Sign Is a Joke both get a tremendous amount of traffic. But people don’t hang around. They just want to know the truth (as I see it) about these very important topics. And then they move along.

On the other hand, the number of people who go straight to our home page without referral continues to go up. So that’s nice. And there are a half dozen regular commenters, which is even nicer. But the main thing is the idea of building something. I can’t say what it is. It’s great to have something tangible to represent what is, in fact, nothing but an addiction to writing.

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