It’s time for our annual look back at how this little blog performed in the last year.
I’m not going to lie, as a blogger, 2016 was a long slog. In June 2015, we had hit 1,000,000 page views and our numbers were steadily rising, with more subscribers, more daily page views, more comments. But lest we get the big head, 2016 kind of set us back, with the first annual decline in page views in MissPres’ 8-year history. The strange things is, our numbers were good until the end of May, then they dropped off in June, which is normal for the summer, but they never recovered. In fact, there were weeks this fall–a time when people generally start getting back to business and our readership goes back up–when our views were as low as they were in the first few years of the blog. I’m puzzled by this and have done some research to see if Google is the cause of the sudden drop in interest in Mississippi architecture and preservation, but so far, I don’t have any answers.
Have we just gotten boring? Are posts longer than 140 characters going out of fashion? Were people focused on the election for the last six months of the year?
Or maybe . . . the Russians have hacked us!?
General Stats (Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2016)
- Page Views: 273,467, down from 303,382 in 2015, but still up from 257,127 in 2014
- Average Views per day: 747, down from 801 in 2015, but up from 704 in 2014. I’m reminded while looking at last year’s annual report that my original goal when I started MissPres was to have 100 views per day, so I maybe I need to just stop whining.
- Posts: 216, slightly down from 224 in 2015, but in the range we’ve been steadily keeping for the last four or five years.
- Comments: 1,268, down from 1,475, which was down from 1,557 in 2014. We love comments, so please jump in if you have something to say!
- Busiest month: 28,798 (May 2016)
- Subscribers: 883, plus 88 Facebook followers, which I know has some duplicates. Even still, we have added over 100 subscribers since 2015, up from 782.
Many older posts continue to be strong–we can always tell when someone has posted a link on their Facebook page because all the sudden, an old post gets 200 views in one day. You may have noticed that, even though Abandoned Mississippi continues to be a big draw to MissPres, I haven’t done a post in that series for a while. That’s not an accident. I decided a couple of years ago that I might be doing more harm than good in drawing attention to abandoned buildings that were often open and unprotected. Ghost hunters, architectural salvagers, and just plain vandals are all interested in finding these places, and their interests don’t necessarily coincide with the preservation of the building. I’m not saying I’ll never do another Abandoned post, but I’m being much more careful about which sites I highlight, and they’ll probably be publicly owned rather than private property.
|From Former Canton High School to Canton High Apartments||8-4-2015||2,696|
WordPress tells me that the most active time for comments on MissPres is 10 PM and that we average 79 comments per month. The most active post for comments this year was Suzassippi’s Rural Gymnasiums, published on January 26, 2016, with 37 comments, followed closely by Your Southern Grandparents Loved Their Ranch Homes!, published on August 3, with 35 comments.. Unlike previous years, when WordPress sent me my annual numbers, I’m having to put some of these total together from various sources. Unfortunately, that means I can’t give totals for the whole years, just the last 1,000 comments. Given that, here are our most prolific commenters, and thanks to all of you!
- W. White: 62 comments
- Thomas Gentry: 62 comments
- Ed Polk Douglas: 29 comments
- Carunzel: 28 comments
Thomas Rosell’s summary of his favorite posts in “With Gratitude” pretty much already has this category covered. I’ve surprised myself with how much fun I’ve had doing the Industrial Mississippi series, especially with the posts that bring out commenters who used to work at a factory or whose father or grandfather did. These kinds of stories tend to get overlooked and quickly forgotten, so these comments really add research value to each post.
I’ve gotten several emails from people interested in writing a post for MissPres or even a series of posts. In 2017, my goal is that one or more of those potential guest authors will be published, because their topics and perspectives are ones that I would love to give to our readers. I’d also love to see W. White reprise his Google Streetview survey of historic districts to check up on how well our local communities are doing preservation (if you missed his first checkup on Columbus, be sure to head over and read it: “Words of the Week, or at least of the Month, again. And I intend to cheer on Suzassippi in her New Deal and 101 Places series.“). I also hope for Thomas Rosell to start bringing us
So, yeah, I guess I’m pretty much planning for everyone else to do all the work this year while I try to track down Vladimir Putin and ask him why he has hacked MissPres.
The main mission of this blog is not necessarily to keep our stats growing but to provide a forum for “building huggers” and “old-house folks” to become real, in-the-trenches preservationists who work to preserve maybe a single building, or their neighborhoods, or a whole town. I hope that, even though our viewing numbers were down this year, that we’ve made progress on this less tangible goal.
Happy 2017, y’all!