Sunday, May 13, 2007

How Hardy are Garden Blog Readers?

If you hadn't noticed, I have a geographical web counter on the right column of this blog. It is supposed to track the IP addresses of blog visitors and then indicate them as red dots on the world map. Of course, it isn't totally accurate, but it's interesting nonetheless. Actually, I would expect the dot for visits from my town of La Ronge to show up a little further north. This makes me wonder if my SaskTel internet connection makes it appear like I'm further south than I really am? I'm no technological expert, so this remains a mystery to me.

Anyhow, I don't know many people in the USA (or at least, the ones I know personally probably would not read my garden blog). Therefore, I have been considering the pattern of readers from the US. Those from the so-called Midwest states (look like mid-eastern states on a map to me, but what do I know?) and the Mid-Atlantic states seem to visit the most.

  1. These people are the most avid gardeners.
  2. These people have better internet access than the rest of the Americans.
  3. These folks are reading blogs about gardening while those on the west coast and Florida are actually outside gardening.
  4. These people live in a generally cooler climate than the rest of the states (did you see that dot in Alaska?) and my blog is more applicable/interesting to them. See map of the USDA/USNA hardiness zones to compare:

  5. Some quirk in the workings of Google directs these people to my blog more often
  6. This simply reflects greater population density in these areas (see map).
  7. I also researched other thematic maps of the US to compare the blog's readership against such things as the 2004 elections results, influenza rates, racial origin, gasoline prices, etc. Complex analysis of map data (i.e. comparing maps with my analytical eyeball, in more of a right than left-brain sort of way) shows that these factors are related to the readership of my blog: Scandinavian heritage and the location of monarch butterflies in the month of May.

Well, that was enough time wasted in the name of science for one day. Sometimes, the long hot bath at the end of the day gives time for reflection on these deep issues...while you work on getting the dirt out from under your fingernails...


the Red Scot said...

I read your blog because it combines my fascination with the far north with my love of gardening. In addition, I love to read about weather and phenology.

Gardenista said...

Okay, so I had to look up the definition of phenology. Yes, I think that is one of my obsessions too. I keep a Word file of all the dates each plant in my yard blooms, just to compare from year to year. Why? I don't know.