The benchmark we’re grinding away at over in Wide Finder land is computing popularity stats using this weblog’s server logs from its birth through April 2008. The benchmark is more interesting than the results, but since I write this stuff, I find the results interesting too.

Popular Fragments · Ordinary ongoing pieces in the year/month/day directory tree.

218540nXML Oh My Updated: 2003/09/18
148630XML Is Too Hard For Programmers Updated: 2004/12/31
129746Debbie Does BitTorrent Updated: 2003/11/27
110427The Door Is Ajar Updated: 2003/07/17
102513On Search, the Series Updated: 2004/12/31
100932Characters vs. Bytes Updated: 2003/04/26
94408On Not Being a Gamer Updated: 2003/07/25
93060On the Goodness of Unicode Updated: 2003/04/06
92006Protecting Your Data Updated: 2006/02/01
89795Statistics Updated: 2007/02/11

Grains of Salt · Now that you’ve seen the first readout, there are a bunch of things that need to be said:

  • The numbers are too low because they don’t include things people read via my Atom feed, which these days is the (large) majority of traffic.

  • The numbers are too high because they include accesses by bots and crawlers and so on.

  • Virtually every piece here gets read a few times a year; the popular ones a few times a day, every day. So old stuff naturally has an advantage.

  • On the other hand, when I started blogging, I started with this huge backlog of hot stuff that I really wanted to write about, so the first year or so actually does have more really meaty, long-lived pieces of writing.

  • The numbers are approximate; the Wide-Finder implementors have discovered all sorts of actual hits that aren’t caught because the requesting software sent a weird-looking request that didn’t match my regular expression. Having said that, the error is a very small fractional percentage.

Big Data · This aggregates all the successful fetches from ongoing and adds up the bytes the server pumped out for each. The picture is quite different:

871ongoing’s Atom 1.0 feed.
374The little random picture on the right side of the front page.
279ongoing’s (now discontinued) RSS 2.0 feed.
91The old orange RSS logo, no longer used.
63A picture entitled “Saskatchewan prairie grass on the skyline at sunset” from Grass—for a while it was the top Google Image search result for “grass”.
40A monster QuickTime video from Java One Day Zero Podcast.
37Video of Shonen Knife taking the stage, from Shonen Knife with The Juliet Dagger.
36ongoing’s front page.
33One of the header graphics, mossy-green.
32A photo of an Aussie street sign from Oz Out.

Referers · When people came to an ongoing page, where did they come from?

182996ongoing’s front page.
62218Google Reader.
40243Daring Fireball.
30197Reddit programming.
15182Scripting News.’s empty top level.
13618A redirect to the front page from somewhere in

Pretty Pix · This wasn’t part of the Wide Finder work, but since I had the data, I asked myself which of the pictures I’ve run here are the most popular, as in they motivated people to click on them and see the full-size version.

78338 Saskatchewan prairie grass from Grass.
66281 Australian speed-bump sign from Oz Out.
49109 Yankee Stadium, spring 2002 from Opening Day!
41763 Diablo flaming some luckless player from On Not Being a Gamer.
31664 Browser Market Share at ongoing from Statistics.
26415 Construction from Construction on Homer.
22378 Beach from February Beach Walk.
21384 Camellia blossom from White Flowers.
21208 The Concorde from Bye-bye Concorde.
19266 Silver sunreflection on yellow corian from Sun!
18204 Ice splashes from black-streaked glacier into Alaskan waters from Glacier, God, Cat.
16059 The Lebanese Flag from Free Lebanon!
13161 Autumn Leaves in Vancouver from Autumn Leaves.
12193 Tea Service at Shaktea on Main, Vancouver from Tea.
12116 Vancouver Geek Lunch from Short-notice Geek Lunch.
10753 Magnolia blooms over grass from April Flowers.
9352 Hammer and Sickle from Happy Commie Day.
9301 The Avon in Bristol from West England Web Architecture.
7724 A wet pink rose from Wet Pink.
7369 Traffic and morning light heading into San Francisco from 2003/9/11.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
June 23, 2008
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