27 Mar 2014

I'm quite happy with how the visits to this website of mine have developed over the last year. Here are the monthly numbers:

Visits to nicolashoening.de from April 2013 to March 2014

Btw, since March 2013 I use Piwik for my visitor analytics and am very happy. You should also be happy about that, because I don't store your metadata on Google's servers, only on mine.

An average week looks like this:

One week in visits

You can tell that people mainly come to my site on workdays, weekends are rather quiet. Why is that?

Well, in 2007 or so, I wanted to have javascript tooltips, or "popups" to display context to links when you hover them. I wanted to style them like I wanted. So I wrote a small script. It is very simple but the page explaining it creates almost all trafic to this website. Look at this example of page view numbers ("page views" are the amount of loaded web pages, where "visits" consist of one IP address performing one or more page views in one session) from (I think) one week:

The trend is clear. Around 300 people come to that page about the little javascript thingy every day, and not much else I write gets attention. And as you can tell from the long list of comments there, many people use this javascript thingy in the websites they build. I actually get some satisfaction in making them happy, so I answer many of their questions and actually improve the codebase once in a while.

But here is the problem: There are many other similar scripts for this out there, and I never get mentioned when experts list libraries for such a feature (I have been mentioned in two or three forums, I think). Why do people keep finding this? I think the dirty little secret is that I called it a "popup", while the technically more correct term is "tooltip". Look at search queries that people used when they came to this page:

There you go. Me and a significant amount of people use the slightly wrong term, and that's what drives traffic here. Accidental linguistic match-making in cyperspace. Positive things come from this. The traffic probably improves my Google ranking a lot. Our interactions help my users get something done and make me feel some fulfilment. It's a weird world.

Speaking of the world, here is where my visitors are from Mostly english-speaking countries where a lot of web development happens:

# lastedited 27 Mar 2014
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