Using SAS analytics to monitor blog posts

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As a blogger, I often wonder whether my blog posts are 'successful' - and being a graph guy, I like to visually analyze the data, to try to answer that question.

The most common measure of a blog post is probably the number of times it was viewed, so I guess the simplest approach would be to rank your blogs by the number of views and look at the top 'n'. Here's a list of the Top 10 most viewed blogs that I posted in 2014 (you can click the image below to see the interactive list, with drilldown links):

top_10_blogs

Such a list seems like a good metric, but it doesn't factor in time. The longer a blog post is out on the Web, the more views it's likely to accumulate ... which means it's not really fair to compare posts I made in January to posts I made in December. Therefore I prefer to graph the data, and then look for the 'outliers'. Click the snapshot below, and you can see the interactive version, with hover-text and drilldown for the plot markers (each marker represents a blog post). This plot shows the two posts that stood out most in 2014 were the ones on  Disappearing Airplanes and Free SAS Software.

blog_posts_2014_views

What about other metrics? - Well, there are the number of times a blog post has been tweeted about. Hopefully the people who tweet about your blog are promoting/sharing it (as opposed to making fun of it, or pointing out how bad it is, LOL), therefore let's assume that "more is better" when it comes to tweets. Looks like my blog posts on Shark Week and Santa's Dashboard got the most tweets.

blog_posts_2014_tweets

Another metric is the number of Facebook 'Likes' a blog post receives. I pretty much take this at face value - the reader has a Facebook account, and they actually liked the blog post enough that they felt compelled to click the 'Like' button. My most-Liked posts in 2014 were Disappearing Airplanes, Mead, and Santa's Dashboard:

blog_posts_2014_facebook

And one final metric - the number of comments a blog post receives. This might be considered a measure of how well the post has 'engaged' the reader (on the other hand, sometimes comments are questions about a confusing post, or corrections to an error in a post). My blog post receiving by far the most comments was the one announcing the Free SAS Software.

blog_posts_2014_comments

So, did the blog post(s) you found most memorable/useful stand out in any of these graphs?

What kind of blog posts would you like to see more of in 2015?

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About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 25 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).

5 Comments

  1. Chris Hemedinger
    Chris Hemedinger on

    We use SAS techniques for quite a lot of "operational" reports about our blogs. We can use the results to improve our content and process so that our blogs are more effective and more efficient -- here's an example of one improvement.

    I submitted a SAS Global Forum topic about how SAS uses SAS to analyze SAS blogs, which I'll present at SAS Global Forum 2015.

  2. EMS Solutions on

    SAS analytic s is very very useful, indeed! Specially to those blog owners out there. Now, they can track how their blog posts are doing. It can help them improve their blog in a faster and easier way.

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