Community Post

You’re not from around here, are you?

Metrics on website traffic can be so addictive.   I could spend days digging into traffic patterns and the other various non-personally-identifying data that we collect.   But one thing the stats can’t tell us are the reasons behind people’s online behavior.

For example, in the month of July we’ve had almost 3000 visitors from outside the state of Washington.   I would have assumed the appeal of our content would go down exponentially as you get outside of the neighborhood and outside the city of Seattle.  But the real numbers seem to say otherwise.

One could also assume that these would be one-hit wonders – people who accidently reached the site through google when they were searching for something else entirely.  But for most states, the number of pages viewed and time-on-site are the same as here in the city.

So my question to all of our out-of-state visitors:  why do you come here?  And don’t get me wrong – we love having you, and be sure to come check out the neighborhood if you’re ever in town.  But in trying to get a better handle on this whole neighborhood blogging area, I’m really curious what the draw is for people who aren’t directly affected by the happenings of our little locale.

If you have a few seconds, please leave a comment below and let us know what makes a neighborhood in Seattle interesting to people from such a long distance away.   We’re dying to know!

Oh, and the one state that we haven’t had a visit from this month?  West Virginia (but they did stop by back in April)

0 thoughts on “You’re not from around here, are you?

  1. I don’t pretend to understand the workings of how you identify where people are surfing in from, but my guess is it has something to do with IP addresses and their associated locales.

    Could it be some of the traffic is due to people like me who work for a multi-national corporation but I surf into the site to check up on the ‘hood at least once a day from where I am working, sometimes from other states or countries? Or could it be that people surfing in from work appear to be appearing to come from out of state because of where their company and/or it’s servers are located?

  2. I think the IP address geolocation databases are pretty accurate, but I guess there could be some network configurations that could trip them up.

    If you’re curious, go to this page and see what they tell you about your current location:

  3. Yikes! How does it know which cubicle I am sitting in!? Just kidding…

    OK, well I only explain one of the outside of Seattle locales when I check in from my normal office, but still in the greater Seattle area.

    Maybe it is government spies keeping tabs on our hotzone… ;-)

  4. I live 2 blocks from Garfield. I work for an NPO at 23rd & Jackson. My IP address is traced to Minnesota.

    So those 400 hits per day from Minneapolis? Yeah, that’s me reloading ;)

  5. You probably logged my IP from Dallas, Texas for the last couple of weeks. We will be renting a house just south of Providence (or whatever it’s called now) so I was checking up on y’all in the meantime. We’re coming home after being away from Seattle for 13 years and couldn’t be happier about it. Moving in Friday, if anyone sees lots of stuff being moved into a blue house, that’s us!

  6. Blogger used to draw maps pinpointing all your hits. I used to get sporadic hits from all over the world: I’d always assumed they were random potential (automated?) hackers sniffing around for vulnerabilities.

    Seemed to be a background of about 25 a day, so maybe that’s what you’re seeing. However, as ever I will defer to you trained professionals.

    BTW blogger also used to let you look by hour of day: a definite “just got to work” blip in the AM! And a definite lack of visits at the weekend.


  7. some corps and big ISPs definitely show up as out-of-state in IP logs — seeing a lot from Denver, for example?

    But another other factor here is people who have moved/are moving. You might move away from the CD, but you never really leave :)

  8. We definitely get our share of those bad guys, but they’re not included in these stats. (these are from Google Analytics, and most bots don’t execute the javascript that is necessary to be counted by google)

  9. I’m in Massachusetts dealing with some of my issues with my family of origin – but I still check in a number of times for news of our neighborhood – and of Seattle in general. I love this site, and actually get more news here, than is covered by Seattle Times, KING or KOMO. This site rocks … Thank you Scott!!

    I actually found out about the killing on 25th & Columbia while here in Massachusetts … BEFORE … my partner did a block and 1/2 away.

  10. as some have pointed out (and we know this from watching our stats minute by minute via stat counter in addition to the more accurate total daily/etc. Google Analytics roundups) – there are indeed a ton of local accesses that falsely ring to out of town. Right now I’m in the living room with our Verizon aircard in the MacBook, and it labels me as Livingston, NJ. But also – much of the local “old media” clicks back to out of town, if you don’t already take that into account. Belo to Texas or Rhode Island, Tribune (KCPQ) currently registers as (used to be out of Chicago and then the local networks switched, before I left Q), and Fisher (KOMO etc.) registers as someplace out of state too (I labeled it for StatCounter but am too lazy to go look for it now). That said, sure, like the preceding comment, you get people who are expats or travel for work. One of our longtime readers once sent me a photo of WSB on his laptop with the rooftops of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, out the window behind the computer. Whenever something really exotic comes up on the logs, I always figure he’s on the road solving world health crises again. – TR

  11. I read most of the stories via RSS feed. Is that traffic counted in the same way and does it look the same as regular web traffic? Just curious!

  12. Have overseas hits shown up? I checked the site when I was in Nairobi and England recently – it’s a more interesting source of news away from home than the Seattle Times, which I only check while traveling for weather.

    Keep it up!

  13. The rss feeds don’t have as rich of a set of data (yet), so the numbers above are people who actually load a page on the site

  14. The web site says I’m in Los Angeles. Funny, when I look out the window I see the same three TV towers I look out at in Seattle!

  15. I’ve lived in the CD since 1989 . . . . but spend most of my time away on work. I’m currently checking in on the ‘hood from Seoul, South Korea . . . I think there must be a lot of folks like me.

  16. I read the blog when i’m out of town to understand what is happening back in the hood. it’s a great way to keep in touch, and i’m sure i’m not the only one… :)

  17. Sure enough – South Korea does show up this month.
    Here’s the top 5 countries:
    Mozambique – 62 visits
    UK – 59 visits
    Canada – 52 visits
    Australia – 34 visits
    South Korea – 33 visits

  18. I work in Kirkland, but that website say’s I’m in Cary North Carolina.

    I’m not sure which is worse!

  19. In Mexico!

    But if there are a genuine large number of hits coming from out of state I wonder if any of them are responsible for some of the race-baiting troll comments that pop up every once in a while. They seem like they’re not made in the spirit of community organizing like most of the comments around here, but rather just trying to offend and whip up a reaction.

  20. Hi there,

    I lived in Madrona until 5 years ago when we moved out of the country (to France). I love keeping up with the area goings-on via CDN, so if you’re seeing hits from France, that’s me!

    à bientôt,

  21. In 2 weeks we are moving back to the CD (27th/Alder) after 2 years in mozambique for work. we check in to see how it is going there…

  22. I currently live in Durham,N.C.(“Duke” Country)and i like getting the information and stories from the heart of the CD as opposed to the Seattle Times who seem like outsiders .
    You guys at CD News do a great job on reporting and following up on stories on a more timely matter .
    Your coverage of the shooting of the sandwich shop owner back in 2/08 was more through than the local papers .
    I found out about CD News from the local Seattle weekly “The Stranger” ;
    The first thing i do when i am drinking my morning cup of cofee is to check in on the CD News there is always something interesting everyday .