Friday, December 30, 2011

30 December 2011: Spikier

So here are the results and indeed the spike this year proved spikier than the spike of last year, thus adding yet another spiky year to the upwardly spiky graph.

As we've yet to have New Year's Eve, the final mini-spike is yet to register, but the pattern of previous years has again proved repetitive: mini-spike in early December followed by steady growth before a huge leap leading to two days of almost-identical viewing figures on the 23rd and 24th, before dropping off somewhat on Christmas Day itself.

And the numbers? Compared with last years twin peak of 1476 and 1479 on the 23rd and 24th respective, this year gave us heights of 2056 and 2082 views on those same days this year, with Christmas Day (1221 views) actually slightly below that of 22nd December (1243 views). So with no intervention whatsoever from myself (except for my previous blog entry), the spiky spike rises to a new high, taking the video itself over fifty thousand lifetime views. Not crazy compared to some of those viral videos, but for a one-week-a-year hit, it's doing pretty well.

The other stats are much as expected - UK males aged 45-54 again dominated hugely. The only interesting one was the one I pointed out previously - viewing sources. There was a slight rise in Facebook percentage but the mysterious 'external' non-traceable source actually ended up accounting for 39.9% of this year's Bill Barclay traffic. YouTube searches came in second at 23.4% (I think that's something of a new phenomenon for that to be so high as well) with Facebook down in the teens and Google at only 8.1% of traffic sources, which is much much down on previous years.

So, Twitter does its job and proves to be the Facebook of 2011 as far as my video is concerned. In fact, if you do a few relevant twitter searches you'll see links to the video popping up at regular intervals and people extolling Bill's genius. Also weirdly this year someone made a negative-sounding comment on the YouTube page and it was sufficiently thumbs-down voted that it actually got auto-hidden. I had nothing to do with it and only saw it a couple of days ago!

Final thing: while Bill Barclay got 15206 views (so far) since the beginning of December, the 2009 Kokomo Christmas Lights video only garnered some 448 views during the same period. Goes to show that dinosaurs come and go, but Scottish comedy lasts forever.

Or something.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

18 December 2011: Spikes

Here's an interesting picture. Is it a heartbeat chart from some medical facility?

No. It's a graph indicating the YouTube statistics of the Bill Barclay '12 Days Of Christmas' video from a few years ago. As you can see, nobody views it during most of the year - if you do a close-up of those sections there are normally one or two views per week. But then at Christmas it just takes off...

Interestingly there's always a little mini-spike right at the beginning of December. Not sure why that is, but maybe that's the unofficial 'start of Christmas' period when folks begin to search for Bill's classic song. Then it drops a little before remaining somewhat steady at a few hundred views per day, then...

December 23rd it just JUMPS - 1476 views last year. Then Christmas Eve comes along and it jumps further (although in 2010 it was almost identical to the day before, at 1479 views), and this is usually the peak. Christmas Day is also pretty big (1201 last year), but never quite as much as Christmas Eve. Then...that's it. There's a very minor spike on New Year's Eve, but essentially that's it for another year and the video slips back into its coma.

And the statistics aren't limited to how many views per day - YouTube also uses 'logged in users' to give me demographic info, and there are no surprises here: vast, vast majority of viewers are from the UK, Male, aged 45-54 - the people who would have remembered the song from the 1970s when they were young. Second most popular source of viewers is the USA, presumably curious Hoosiers interested in what other videos I have up aside from the 2009 Kokomo Christmas Lights (stats for that one, incidentally, are all Indiana, aged 25-34, equal male/female split, but that video only gets a thousand or so views per year now).

It also tells me the 'Traffic Source' for the hits - at least as best as it can. The Bill Barclay video has varied over the years, but Facebook embeds tend to come out on top, followed by YouTube searches (for "Bill Barclay" and "Wee Heavy and a Half Pint" etc), Google searches for the same and a few direct links from sites where people leave it as a message or a comment (2009 featured 528 views after someone left it as a comment on a story in the online edition of The Guardian, a major UK newspaper). This year it's changed slightly - 'Mobile Apps and Direct Traffic (unknown sources)' is suddenly at the top, carrying 42.1% of the traffic for Bill Barclay so far this spike, far ahead of YouTube searches... too early yet for the Facebook embedded links to really get going. This would appear to be largely Twitter-based direct links, which YouTube tends not to trace so well. So, I guess I have some link to Twitter after all, despite being continually bemused as to its popularity.

Anyway, all that is to say that Christmas must officially be here since the spike has begun. You'll notice from that initial graph that the peak each year is bigger - last year's total of over 4000 views in the three day period 23-25 December may be under threat... we'll have to see. I could of course try to fix it by publicising the video on various sites, but it's kind of more fun not to, and just see how people find it on their own.

As for making a Christmas video this year? Hm. We'll have to see... we're in Louisiana so maybe something Cajun featuring alligators or something....