Linger Longer

January 13, 2005 | 23 comments
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As of this writing, the average visitor to Times & Seasons spends 7 minutes and 28 seconds on the site. In blogtime, that is simply unparalleled.

Last week, one of my colleagues called my other blog “The gold standard for contemplative blog viewing” for attracting readers who spent 3 minutes and 25 seconds apiece on the blog. Here are some top blogs from The Truth Laid Bear for comparison:

Instapundit.com: 4 seconds
Power Line: 2 seconds
Daily Kos: 6 seconds
Little Green Footballs: 8 seconds
Eschaton: 6 seconds
The Volokh Conspiracy: 48 seconds
Andrew Sullivan: 3 seconds

Russell’s other blog, In Medias Res (which was recently nominated for Wampum’s Koufax Award for “Blog Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” … so go vote for him!) is pretty sticky, too, coming in at 2 minutes and 2 seconds. But Times & Seasons is the heavyweight in this category. Don’t you people have jobs?

UPDATE: If you are wondering how anyone can read anything in 2-6 seconds, it has to do with the way Sitemeter registers time. Here is the official explanation:

Why do some of my visitors have visit lengths of 0:00?

That means the visitors are only staying to view a single page and then leaving. The only way that Site Meter knows how long someone is on a site is by the times of each page view. If they only look at a single page and then leave, we don’t know how long they looked at the page. If they looked at two pages and left we would know they at least were on the site during the time of the first page view and the second page view. The difference between those two times would be the length of the visit.

So, I suppose that we can infer that T&S readers linger longer after switching pages once. Having extension pages definitely helps that statistic.

23 Responses to Linger Longer

  1. Kaimi on January 13, 2005 at 6:25 pm

    Gordon,

    I like to think that this is because it takes so long to get through the comment threads on T & S.

    :)

  2. Jack on January 13, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    “Don’t you people have jobs?”

    Nope.

  3. The McConkie Mafia on January 13, 2005 at 6:47 pm

    “Don’t you people have jobs?”

    Yes, and some of us leave our internet on all day at those jobs, with the T&S site up for much of that day. So for anyone who thought I spend all day at T&S, I really do.

    Aaron B

  4. Aaron B on January 13, 2005 at 6:48 pm

    Pay no attention to the identity of that last commenter!

    Aaron B

  5. Derek on January 13, 2005 at 6:49 pm

    Is that the mean or the median?

  6. Gordon Smith on January 13, 2005 at 7:03 pm

    Derek, I couldn’t find any explanation on Sitemeter about how they calculate the number, other than what appears above. It changes frequently, so I assume that it doesn’t look backward very far. Not sure on the mean/median question, but I had assumed mean for no good reason.

  7. Charles on January 13, 2005 at 8:10 pm

    At my last check mine holds people about 2 minutes 42. I feel good about that since there aren’t a lot of comments and only one person posting. I’m sure I’m deserving of much more recognition. I hardly recognize myself these days!

    Hangs head in shameful self promotion.

  8. Steve Evans on January 13, 2005 at 8:38 pm

    Bcc roughly tracks the T&S site visit length, though it’s a little shorter (libs have ADD). I don’t know about Kulturblog but I suspect it’s fairly long (due to radio.blog).

  9. Bryce I on January 13, 2005 at 10:06 pm

    You know, the page load times on some of these threads is contributing to longer visits…

    Although things are still much better than the MT days.

  10. Steve Evans on January 13, 2005 at 10:11 pm

    Well, it would be better if the main T&S page didn’t publish so many different posts. I mean, two weeks of T&S posts is far more than they should have on the front page — they should archive weekly, I think.

  11. Bryce I on January 13, 2005 at 10:14 pm

    I’m actually complaining about these 200+ comment threads that seem to be cropping up regularly. Why load all 200 comments, when I’m really only interested in the last 20 or so?

  12. Steve Evans on January 13, 2005 at 10:23 pm

    Yes, that’s equally irritating. They don’t have to have drop-down menus for them, but maybe break them up into pages like what the NY Times does for longer articles?

  13. Bill on January 13, 2005 at 10:26 pm

    I actually prefer both the two week archive and the single page for all comments.

  14. Geoff Johnston on January 13, 2005 at 11:08 pm

    So I assume those who view the front page and leave (getting a 0:00 vote) are offset by those who keep a separate window with T&S open all day and check occasionally… Sort of a throw away stat in a vacuum but interesting relative to other similar sites…

    More impressive is your monthly uniques (which is probably really the monthly sum of daily uniques) number which has shot up every month for a year.

    It also looks like a slightly techie (or is that nerdy?) crowd frequents the site with 7% using Firefox and only 7% AOL users. Overall about 5% of Americans use Firefox and 12% use AOL…

    (Sorry about the nerdiness — I’ve worked for a Web analytics firm for the last 6+ years… See me quoted recently here and here as evidence…)

  15. Ethesis (Stephen M) on January 13, 2005 at 11:20 pm

    One thing I don’t understand is your low page rank. Compare it to some others.

    BTW, drop down menus often mean that links don’t show up in the ecosphere as links (I’m curious to see if yours work out that way or not), and they dramatically reduce the use of links — I’d say there will probably be a 98% reduction or more in the number of pages you refer to other LDS blog sites by the change to drop down menues.

  16. Gordon Smith on January 13, 2005 at 11:36 pm

    Ethesis, I hadn’t noticed that our PageRank had dropped to 4/10. I am pretty sure that we used to be a 5. I am a little rusty on PageRank, but if I recall correctly, it is driven primarily by the quality of the links to this site, right? Technorati has us being linked by 88 sources, but we are not linked by any of the Top 100 blogs on TTLB, as far as I know.

  17. Geoff Johnston on January 13, 2005 at 11:47 pm

    Quality and quantity help. 581 back links on the main page is pretty low considering how well known the site is becoming. (Others I checked had more than 1000). You are probably suffering from dilution because most links to the site are going to specific posts rather than the front page.

  18. Sheri Lynn on January 14, 2005 at 3:44 am

    You mean to say that if I go to the bathroom after opening one of these threads and get lost in a book, which I don’t do NEARLY as often as my husband does but which does still happen…you guys get the credit for that time?

    I’m in there reading Anne Rice’s THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS and you all think I’m studying Mormon blogging?

    ROTFLOL

  19. Ethesis (Stephen M) on January 14, 2005 at 4:54 am

    #

    Ethesis, I hadn’t noticed that our PageRank had dropped to 4/10. I am pretty sure that we used to be a 5. I am a little rusty on PageRank, but if I recall correctly, it is driven primarily by the quality of the links to this site, right? Technorati has us being linked by 88 sources, but we are not linked by any of the Top 100 blogs on TTLB, as far as I know.

    Yes, the pagerank you have is spectacularly low for the place this blog has in the ecosystem. Heck, the new bcc has a higher pagerank, which surprised me (I usually don’t use IE so I don’t have the google toolbar to check page ranks, but I decided to check http://adrr.com/ and http://ethesis.blogspot.com/ — and Times and Seasons should not be in the place it is relative to those two sites).

    I like the “Mormon Marsuipial” line, however …. ;)

  20. John David Payne on January 14, 2005 at 10:20 am

    Bill says: “I actually prefer both the two week archive and the single page for all comments.”

    Me, too.

  21. Kaimi on January 14, 2005 at 10:59 am

    Our page rank got messed up when we moved to WP. It was previously six.

    When we moved, I didn’t want to disturb the existing index, so I set up the files in the /wp directory. Perhaps I should move them up to the main directory.

    For now, I just set up an index.php file at the timesandseasons.org level, and inserted the line

    php include(“http://www.timesandseasons.org/wp/index.php”).

    I also removed the redirect.

    So the main page should show up at the .org level now. When I have a moment, I’ll actually move the whole setup to the .org level, rather than continue this jury-rigged setup.

    (Is it healthy to php-include a page as big as the entire index? I guess I’ll find out.)

  22. Charles on January 14, 2005 at 12:21 pm

    I seriously prefer teh single page for comments. Its a huge help with the numbering system now. I could maybe go for a 1 week archive, but I love the change on the drop down to include posts by author.

  23. Adam Greenwood on January 15, 2005 at 11:33 pm

    Keep up the good work, Shery Lynn.

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