Oh, hey. You’re up. Well, as long as you’re up, some stuff about the Whatever:
* As those of you who are not obscenely hung over and/or have over-aggressive Web caches may have noted, I have yet again changed the look of the Whatever, fresh for ’07, sucka. Let me just say that these new changes will allow me more flexibility in presentation than I’ve had before, which I’m naturally happy about and which I suspect you’ll see me take advantage of in the coming year.
* Being up as I am ungodly early on New Year’s Day thanks to my cat, who awoke me with a “let me out or I pinch one off on your new couch” meow, I took the time to look at the Whatever stats for 2006. Overall the visitorship of the Whatever grew quite a bit in 2006; the site had 6,125,045 unique visits, which is nearly twice the 2005 visitorship of 3,236,399 million unique visits, which is in itself more than twice my estimate for my 2004 visitorship of 1.5 million visits.
On a daily basis for 2006, Whatever averaged 16,780 visitors a day. This average doesn’t reflect the growth in visitorship over the year, which was fairly substantial. For example, in January 2006, the site averaged 11,180 visitors daily; in December, it averaged 20,575. The average numbers also don’t reflect weekly traffic trends, in which weekday traffic is substantially higher than weekend traffic; apparently, a’yall are popping in while you’re at work (actually, since the site’s daily readership tends to peak between 3pm and 4pm, this is actually probably the case). On weekdays, Whatever has been hitting between 21k – 24k on a regular basis since the unrepresentatively busy month of September, which featured the 1-2 “big post” punches of Krissy fending off a drunk loser, and, of course, BaconCat.
However, despite BaconCat’s immense popularity, it wasn’t actually the most-viewed Whatever entry for 2006 (most viewed in the sense of being visited directly in the Whatever archives as opposed to the front page of the site). The honor belongs to “Being Poor,” which quietly racks up an average of 332 visits daily. BaconCat is easily the most-viewed entry on the site for the day it was published; I got 67,000 visitors that day. But once you’ve seen BaconCat, there’s not much else to see. “Being Poor,” on the other hand, keeps getting passed around.
“Being Poor” also highlights an interesting facet of the Whatever, which I think is unusual for the blogs, which is that my archives are actually a substantial traffic driver; aside from “Being Poor,” other highly-trafficked pre-2006 entries on the site include the “Worst Christmas Specials” entry, from 2004, and “Cracking the Flag-Burning Amendment” from 2005. Other posts from earlier in 2006 also keep getting linked, especially writing pieces; both my writing tips for teens and writing tips for people who don’t want to be writers get visited a couple hundred times daily. Having active archives both increases the overall visitorship, and I think converts some of those “single visit” readers into regulars. This is one of the reasons I decided to put in a “Best Of Whatever” category over there on the sidebar, both to encourage folks to root around, and to suggest to folks that interesting reading here happens on a regular basis.
* Do I have any plans for Whatever in 2007, aside from the usual “write about whatever the hell I’m thinking about at the moment” thing? Not really, since that plan seems to be working for me, and why mess with it. The only thing I suspect I will be doing differently is possibly instituting a semi-regular “Things People Send to Me” series of entries, since now I get enough stuff sent to me that I need a way to remember it all, and also, you may have an interest in some of this stuff, too, since at least some of it is interesting. Of course, people may stop sending me stuff, in which case, I won’t write these sorts of entries, and also, I’ll have to buy stuff like a common troll. Sigh.
* Getting back for a moment to the increasing visitorship of the Whatever, I do want to note that I very strongly suspect that, in addition to whatever I may blatherate about here, another very strong component to growing the visitorship is the comment threads, which are sometimes (oh, okay, often) more interesting than the entries to which they are attached. I’ve noted before that Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s note on Making Light about the readers there works equally well here: “Our readers are the best thing about this weblog. If you’re not reading the comments, you’re missing half the fun.” Indeed. So: Thank you again for coming around and being part of the Whatever. You help make it a much better place than I could on my own.
* One final thing, since people have asked me about it and I should have it down somewhere: People want to know if the title of this place is “Whatever” or “the Whatever.” Well, as you might be able to tell from this entry, I use both interchangeably and at whim, and always have, since earlier iterations of this site include “Daily Whatever,” “The Daily Whatever,” “The (Daily) Whatever” and “The Whatever” as well as the current “Whatever.” At the moment, since the title graphic says “Whatever” and not “The Whatever,” I suspect “Whatever” is marginally more correct. However, if I can’t be bothered to get it right, why should you? Call it “Whatever” or “The Whatever”; it answers to both, happily.