Some bits and bobs of blog-related news. Eagle-eyed readers will note a new addition to the right hand sidebar — an exhortation to buy books at NZ’s own on-line bookshop, Fishpond. Because we’re now carrying regular climate book reviews by Bryan Walker, I’ve taken the opportunity to make Hot Topic an affiliate of the store, and as a result the site receives a cut of all sales made when people use links at HT to visit Fishpond. This will help me to cover the hosting costs for the blog, but I don’t envisage getting rich. Still, if you find HT useful, interesting — even entertaining — and buy books on line, here’s a chance to show some support. And you don’t have to buy only the books I link to — all sales made after following a link from HT will count — CDs and DVDs tooâ€¦
Being an inveterate tinkerer, I have taken the opportunity of a new gadget purchase to update Hot Topic’s look and feel. You’ll only notice a difference if you access the blog from an iPhone or iPod Touch, but if you do I can assure it’s very spiffy, thanks to an excellent WordPress plug in called WPtouch.
Finally, though I don’t often (ever) make a song and a dance about HT’s traffic statistics, I am pleased to confirm that in the NZ Blogosphere rankings, compiled as a labour of love by Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! (thanks, Tim), HT is holding its own in the mid-20s of the blog charts, despite a quiet second half to December. Our overall traffic — averaging 10,000 page loads a month in the last quarter of last year — is peanuts compared to NZ’s biggest blogs or the heavyweight climate blogs, but readership is steadily increasing. And of course, it’s a very high quality readership…
I use a number of (free) stats packages — Statcounter, Woopra, Google Analytics and WordPress — but all show the same basic picture. Half of all visitors come from NZ (which I think is surprisingly low, given we’re an explicitly New Zealand site), 20% from the USA, 5% each from Australia, the UK and Canada, with the balance provided by an eclectic mix of nationalities — India heading the list. Ignoring the visitors who arrive from Google, Open Mind provides most referrals, followed by RealClimate, No Right Turn, Brave New Climate, Scienceblogs (mostly Deltoid, sometimes Stoat), and Kiwiblog. Thanks to you all for turning up, now go and buy some booksâ€¦