The blog is officially over six months old. Yipee!
We’ve come a long way from the very first post on March 17, 2013. There have been 53 posts (including this one), 84 comments, and 3,958 pageviews. The growth over time has been tremendous, especially considering what a geeky niche the blog occupies.
I’ve also seen quite a bit of fluctuation between posts, with the popularity of some topics trouncing the popularity of others. Now is a good time to look back on the past six months and see which posts have been the most successful, which will give me a good idea where to direct my focus in the future.
Below are the top 15 most viewed pages, not counting the Home Page, during the life of the blog. It may not be the most accurate measure, since visitors can view an individual post from the Home Page without clicking the link for the post, but it does give a general idea of relative popularity.
Immediately, the posts based on Game of Thrones and Star Trek stand out, with 239 and 231 total views, respectively. Following that, I am a little surprised to see that the #3 post of all time is from just one week ago, regarding GTA V. But the game launched on Tuesday, and has actually been the fastest-selling video game of all time (earning $800 million in 24 hours), so this explains its popularity at the moment which is sure to dip as time goes on. Rounding out the top 5 are the Map of Narnia and my tribute to obscure cartographer Al-Idrisi, which I did not expect to see so high up. I guess I underestimated his rockstar appeal!
So, here are my conclusions based on this data:
1. People love fantasy and sci-fi. Especially when it’s current. Game of Thrones had another massively popular season this spring, and Star Trek had a movie come out in May. Narnia was a very popular post even though there have not been any recent movie installments, because it still a widely read and watched fantasy series. The map from 1984 came in at number 8, showing that people are still very interested in George Orwell’s dystopian novel from 1949. The popularity of these sci-fi and fantasy posts encourages me to visit even more fictional worlds in the future.
2. People love videogames, especially current ones. GTA V has been a stunningly popular game, and readers were clamoring to see the map for it. But Intro to Videogame Cartography, about Super Mario World, was also somewhat popular even though that game came out 12 years ago. It just goes to show that videogames in general are an increasingly popular medium.
3. People love Myths and Legends. The number 7 post was about the location of Atlantis, that mythological island supposedly located in the Mediterranean Sea, or Atlantic Ocean, or any number of other places around the world. While major current pop culture phenomena from Game of Thrones to Grand Theft Auto generate buzz and pageviews, it’s fascinating that age-old myths like Atlantis still continue to drive search engine traffic.
4. To a lesser extent, people love interesting historical or political maps if presented in an interesting way. A few posts in the Top 15 concern maps in a historical or political context, such as map projections (#9), border irregularities (#10), and the geographical curiosity of exclaves (#14). I still wonder why the post on Al-Idrisi’s 12th century map of the world was so much more popular than all other historical maps. Could it be due to the unusual look of the map? The branding of Al-Idrisi as a rockstar? It comes down to a question of whether the topic itself is interesting or whether it was presented in an interesting way. Or, possibly, both.
5. Writing Topics are not as popular, but still generate interest. My posts regarding the writing process (such as Storymapping) or the progress of my novel (such as A Description of the World of Tinggo) have not garnered as many pageviews, and only one of them cracked the top 15. But they do encourage helpful comments and new followers, and their audience is slightly different from posts about maps from popular media or history. I hope I can continue to tap into both audiences and look into ways to blend these differents kinds of posts together in the future.
Please feel free to leave a comment if there is a topic you want me to spend more time on. And thank you all for all the comments, follows, and likes over these past six months! Let’s keep the momentum going!