I wrote a post last month called State of the Blog – Year End 2009, but that was more of a “looking forward to 2010″ kind of post, with all the great stuff I want to do. I thought since I was reviewing my site statistics anyway, I’d share some of it.
In 2009, I posted 170 blog entries, and you and I together left at least 1550 comments (some of the comments on 2008 posts were left in 2009). In fact, Monday’s guest post by Nick Hebb, Programming Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 AutoShapes with VBA, is overall the 400th post since the Peltier Tech Blog was launched in early 2008.
Dick Kusleika says that a nice picture will keep readers on the page longer, so instead of the customary boring chart, I’ve asked this model to sit in.
Here are the basic statistics for the blog:
Here are the same totals for my site as a whole, including the blog:
I guess those numbers are pretty good for a limited interest blog. Everyone uses Excel, but how many users are really interested in charting and programming?
Here’s a funny story about one of these visitors. My oldest daughter is a senior in college, and one of her friends is looking for a post-graduation job. The friend called my daughter and said, “I wrote on the application that I knew pivot tables, whatever they are, so I Googled them, and landed on your dad’s web site.”
Of course, the bulk of the Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts section of my web site was written by Debra Dalgleish, before she got smart and started her own hugely popular Contextures web site, and wrote several great books about pivot tables.
Disclosure: these are affiliate links, which means if you click on one of these pictures and buy a book, Amazon will pay me like 35¢. Also, Debra sent me free copies of these books if I promised to say how great they are.
The ten most viewed posts in 2009 are listed below. Naturally the blog home page is first. Second is the tutorial on clustered-stacked charts; when I saw how much traffic this post receives, I developed the PTS Cluster Stack Chart Utility, and it has been jumping off the shelves. The next two posts covered Excel 2007 issues: using error bars and installing add-ins.
Error bars are much more difficult to use in Excel 2007 than in 2003. It’s harder to find the commands to add them, since they have been removed from the Format Series dialog. Once you’ve added them, it’s more difficult to format error bars in Excel 2007.
Add-ins are more difficult to install in Excel 2007, because the Tools menu has been dismantled. Most of its commands have been buried three or four layers deep in the Office menu, or whatever it’s called that appears when you click on the big round orb in the top left corner of the window.
- 66,851 – Peltier Tech Blog
- 44,612 – Clustered-Stacked Column Charts
- 28,916 – Error Bars in Excel 2007 Charts
- 28,576 – Installing an Add-In in Excel 2007
- 16,893 – Periodic Table of What??
- 12,570 – Example Charts
- 10,420 – Using Colors in Excel Charts
- 08,648 – Legend Entry Tricks in Excel Charts
- 07,761 – Dynamic Chart using Pivot Table and VBA
- 07,695 – Bad Graphics – Funnel Chart
The list of pageviews for the top 100 posts follows Zipf’s Law, that is, a power law fit of pageviews vs rank. A power law is a straight line on a double-log chart.
In layman’s terms Zipf’s Law means the first few pages get many views, and the rest of the pages drop off pretty quickly.
The popularity of the Error Bars and Add-Ins posts are borne out by the list of popular search phrases:
- 01 – error bars in excel 2007
- 02 – pts blog
- 03 – excel 2007 add-ins
- 04 – error bars excel 2007
- 05 – excel charts
- 06 – error bars in excel
- 07 – excel 2007 add ins
- 08 – excel 2007 error bars
- 09 – add ins excel 2007
- 10 – add-ins excel 2007
- 11 – error bars excel
- 12 – excel error bars
- 13 – peltiertech
- 14 – jon peltier
The most commented posts show that a little controversy goes a long way.
- 52 – Would the Real Dr. Chart Please Stand Up?
- 35 – Does Excel “Suck”?
- 35 – Misguided “Professional” Charting Tutorial
- 35 – My First Look at Excel 2010
- 35 – Marimekko Charts
- 34 – Referencing Pivot Table Ranges in VBA
- 28 – Whatever 25 May 2009
- 27 – Make a Copied Chart Link to New Data
- 27 – Chart Busters – Compare Employee Sales
There was some controversy when Chandoo and I kicked off our Chart Doctor series. It turns out Kelly O’Day had a “Chart Doctor” page on his Process Trends web site. In retrospect, didd remember Kelly’s page, but it had been over a year since he’d updated it, and naturally I forgot. (When you get older, memory is the second thing you lose, and I don’t remember what’s first.) Chandoo and I renamed our series Chart Busters, and one of my Chart Busters articles reached number 9 on the charts.
A physics professor ranted in Why Does Excel Suck So Much? that his students made such crappy charts in Excel. This turned into an anti-Microsoft, anti-Excel bash session. And certainly there are shortcomings to Excel’s chart wizard, which were exacerbated when the wizard was removed entirely from Excel 2007. But my comment about this rant was, “Oh my, such anger, such invective, such inability to use Google.”
There were many comments following the charting tutorial on the Microsoft site that showed the wrong way to make charts. My first peek at the Excel 2010 Technical Preview received some attention. And after my Marimekko Chart tutorial received a good number of comments, I developed the PTS Marimekko Chart Utility, which has become popular.
The “Whatever” post was really a rant about pie and other circular charts, and several readers chimed in. Finally, a few actual tutorials were also popular with commenters.
The way my business is evolving should provide me with a few extra hours to write more posts. Maybe I’ll use 200 posts as my target for 2010.
I’ve started 2010 with a series about the start to finish process of Creating an Excel Add-In, which I expect will be popular.
Excel 2010 will be released around June, so there should be some discussions about new features and hopefully about fixed misbehaviors. And hopefully not about new headaches. Preliminary reports are optimistic.
I’m sure other things will crop up. There will be more fodder for Chart Busters than I could cover in a post every day. I’ll try to keep this series active, with a post every other week or so. Chandoo and I are planning a series of podcasts covering tutorials and Chart Buster topics. I’ve connected with a few colleagues who enjoy running seminars, and I’ll try to take my show on the road more than the two events I did in 2009, at least if the economy improves and companies can send their people to training sessions.
Oh, and my blonde friend here (as if) was wondering if you’ve actually read all the way down to the bottom of the page.