Apple II Bits turns three!

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Today marks exactly three years since Apple II Bits’ first blog post.

Holy crap, did that go quickly.

I once wrote a quarterly column for Juiced.GS entitled "A Word or II". It was a short piece, only half a page, and could be on any topic on which I had a personal opinion. Figuring out what to write about was never easy, but I did so sixteen times before editorial responsibilities shifted and Eric Shepherd took over the column. Now I write Juiced.GS‘s monthly editorial, "My Home Page", and have so far done so 29 times. It’s still challenging.

So if three years ago you had asked me to write 263 columns about the Apple II, I would’ve laughed in your face.

Birthday cake

Happy birthday, blog!

And yet, Apple II Bits has done exactly that! It astonishes me. Although there’s more effort required to produce online content than print due to the blog’s capacity for embedded multimedia and researched hyperlinks, those same resources provide an almost infinite wealth of topics on which to opine.

Despite that, a year ago this month, I changed the blog’s publication frequency from twice-weekly to weekly. I’m glad to have done so, as it’s freed me up to produce content for other channels, such as YouTube and TechHive. But there’s still plenty more to be said about the Apple II, and as one of the three pillars of my Apple II publishing empire — Juiced.GS and Open Apple being the others — it helps improve the discoverability of the entire network. So let’s keep this outlet going, too

In the meantime, here are some random numbers about the blog.

  • • As of today, the site hosts 263 posts (53 more than this time last year), 1,428 tags (+191), 358 comments (+92) from 119 readers (+35), and 1 blogger.
  • • As expected, the decrease in original content being published here led to a drop in traffic. But having 50% fewer posts resulted in only 6.9% fewer visits, and 7.6% fewer pageviews. The number of unique visitors was up 0.25% though returning visitors was down.
  • • Direct traffic and traffic from search engines were both up, while referral traffic was down. For the first time ever, more than half my traffic is from search engines.
  • • Referral traffic from Facebook, StumbleUpon, and was down, whereas referrals from Twitter, Open Apple, and Reddit were all up.
  • • The top keywords that led searchers to this site: "apple ii", "jeri ellsworth", "best apple ii games", "apple iigs for sale", "80s computer games", and "lode runner ios".
  • • Only two posts written in the past year were among the ten most popular posts of the past year: "Lode Runner Classic comes to iOS" and "Apple II at PAX East 2013". Traffic to older posts, including "Selling to Pawn Stars", "Apple II screensaver for Mac OS X" and "Garry Kasparov", were all significantly up from their year of publication.
  • • In the past year, the top browsers used to visit this site were Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, in that order — though it was a tight race!
  • • Traffic from mobile devices was up 150%.
  • • I predicted that this blog would block 67,635 pieces of spam in the past year. The actual number is 82,721 — 15,086 more than expected, and 26,601 more than in the previous year (a 47% increase). Spam dropped 300% from May to June 2012 but was back up by November.