Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Some useless Dreamtime stats

But what the heck, I'm a geek, and geeks like stats. Here's the top 10 Dreamtime podcasts over the past 14 months...

  1. Episode 14 - Working for the Yankee dollar (1279 downloads) - released 9/19/06
  2. Episode 5 - Two voices from Chronicles (1263 downloads) - released 7/25/06
  3. Episode 7 - The donkey that wouldn't die (1132 downloads) - released 8/4/06
  4. Episode 12 - Love, Theft, and Emails (1122 downloads) - released 9/7/06
  5. Episode 16 – "Gene Vincent said, 'Bubba, let's go on tour'" (1100 downloads) - released 10/6/06
  6. Episode 22- All Along the Watchtower (1047 downloads) - released 11/27/06
  7. Episode 1 - Elvis & Dino (1033 downloads) - released 6/30/06
  8. Episode 13 - Stay away from planes and automobiles (1025 downloads) - released 9/14/06
  9. Episode 21 - Def Poets' Society (1015 downloads) - released 11/16/06
  10. Episode 17 - October in the Railroad Earth (996 downloads) -released 10/12/06
The first time a 2007 episode appears on the full list of 40 podcasts is in slot 13 - Episode 30, A Good Walk Spoiled, which aired on 2/19/07 and has had 889 downloads to date.

Probably not much you can read into the numbers without getting into speculation. I'm not surprised about Working for the Yankee Dollar, which from emails and blog posts appears to be the most popular Dreamtime I've created to date. The Tommy Facenda story in spot #5 might be a surprise, but there's an active rockabilly community on the Web that regularly points to that story. Love, Theft and Emails gets a lot of traffic from people searching for the roots of "Love and Theft" the album. Possibly the only false positive is #10, whose title is taken from one of the subject's - Jack Kerouac - poems, but shares part of its name with a popular Americana band. But who knows? Put the phrase into Google, and Dreamtime is #1 on its hit parade. So maybe I do get a lot of people looking for the poem.

I won't talk about "least popular," as they're all my favorites.

Other thoughts: When I started out, over 75 percent of my monthly traffic was coming from 2 or 3 sites that had linked to Dreamtime. Sometime towards the end of `06 that started shifting, and now about 60 percent of my monthly traffic is from Google/Yahoo/MSN searches. Bad news connected to that is that I don't retain many reader/listeners who come in through search. About 80 percent of my traffic is first-time visitors.

I'm currently getting around 2,000 visitors to Dreamtime a month, a minuscule figure by Web standards, and less than half what I was getting at my height of popularity - right around this time last year - when Theme Time was airing new shows weekly. I expect the numbers to get back to around the 5,000 visitors figure in a few months or so after TTRH Season 2 starts up next week, since Dreamtime rides on the shoulders of that giant.

It pays to advertise, of course. A graph of visitor traffic shows a dramatic spike every time I make an announcement of a new episode on Dylan-related sites. But the nice thing about the Web and podcasts is the ever-green factor. Even the oldest Dreamtimes still get regular downloads, as you can see from #7 above, a show that sounds like it was recorded in a barrel, too.

I wish I could get a better breakdown of who is listening and how they're listening. I've had around 40,000 visitors to the site since I started measurements in late July 2006, and about 31,000 "downloads" in toto of the 40 podcasts to date. But "downloads" as all good lil podcasters know can mean just about anything. My stats also indicate that I have around 5,000 podcast "subscribers," (I wish) but that figure is highly suspect too, and I think based on more than a little Kentucky windage, given the numbers above. In any case, it's pretty obvious that my listening audience is a much smaller percentage of my readership, and my podcast subscribers probably number in the 100s, rather than thousands. But who knows? I knew when I started this I wasn't going to get rich from it - or even make more than ceegar and poker money - but making bread was never the point.

Having fun and writing well was the point... and those two goals are accomplished.

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