[408/441] Does not compute

The Stats on WordPress are quite strange, with regards to how visits are counted, or not counted.  In particular, the fact that a person can comment or Like a post from the Reader (and maybe even something like Bloglovin’) skews the stats.  I am not especially CONCERNED about my stats, but this idiosyncrasy fascinates me.

Follow along for a screenshot of yesterday morning’s stats at 08:00:

Stats from early yesterday.  One page view and three likes.  That doesn't add up!

Stats from early yesterday. One page view and three likes. That doesn’t add up!

On the WordPress Reader interface, you can read the opening excerpts of blog posts.  At the bottom of each excerpt, there is a clock image with the amount of time since it was posted, as well as options to Reblog, Like, or Comment.

Well, even if people read the post from the Reader, they can comment or like it… based JUST ON THE EXCERPT GIVEN IN THE READER!  This is perfectly fine for short posts (e.g., one-photo posts), but for most other cases, the opening would not give enough information for me to Like or Comment on it.

Furthermore, the ability to Like without going to the blog site leads to some weird idiosyncrasies.  The blog does not get credited with a view when the post is only read from the Reader.  Thus, as seen in the screenshot above, you might be able to see that there was one view, three likes, and one visitor at 08:00.

Just like on Facebook, you can only “Like” a post once.  The “views” stat is supposed to increment by one for each page on the blog that is opened, whether this be a part of the home page, or a post from the home page or archives.  But, as aforementioned, views from the Reader do not count up! Thus, there is a double whammy in counting there!

The idea which got me going on this post: observe that, from the Notifications dropdown combined with the stats given, each of the three Likes were of the recently-published post “Who’s on First.” Yet, that post had zero views at the time!  Of course, I know that there are some “likes” that come from robots or spammers, but all of the likes that were itemized on my notifications bar were from legitimate bloggers.  Thus, they all read from the Reader (or maybe a platform like Bloglovin’), but didn’t go directly to my site.

Another weird thing about the stats: back when WordPress started listing number of visitors as well as number of total views, there were a few times where it would claim something along the lines of “2 visitors, 3 countries.”  And these three countries were the USA, the UK, and Israel–not exactly contiguous in any reasonable metric!

I am not horribly obsessed about my stats, but it is always fun to point out patterns of truth, or patterns of lies!

Now is the time to add in the \TeX code $\blitza$ or $\lightning$.


Today is the four-hundred and eighth day of Mission 441.  Thirty-three days remain.



2 thoughts on “[408/441] Does not compute

  1. Oh, well spotted, Noah – and I totally agree with you. The whole thing strikes me, at times, as barking mad! Loved your droll comment about views and countries – well said!


    • Thanks for the comment, Ali! Indeed, as a mathematician, however, I could probably find some sort of bogus-sounding mapping which would place someone simultaneously in two of those three countries 😉


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