Sitemeter does a cool job of counting the visitors to your site. You can also:-
- display your site visitors by location / country of origin (listed or as dots on a world map),
- the page on your blog they enter by,
- amount of time and number of pages the visitor reads and
- how your visitor found out about your blog (referrals - search engines, aggregators).
I have found the last application a good learning exercise on the use of tagging. Although the bulk of the visitors to my blog enter via search engines, many enter via tags put up by blog readers on aggregators like del.ico.us and jot.com. Following the links back to the source often brings up interesting related sites, blogs etc. that I can then add on to my own aggregators.
This month, I have had to do a vicious selection exercise on bloglines to trim down the number of blogs I follow as some of them accumulate into the 100s of articles in just a couple of days. The large volume really means that I end up skim reading the majority of the articles. I am therefore not doing much justice to the writers of the blogs & also probably missing important bits that I should be taking note of.
I am now down to several really good reflective blogs, some of my favourites are blogs by archichoke (who are you?), Barbara Ganley, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Leigh Blackall and Jeremy Heibert.. I have also kept semi commercial blogs like Palm Addicts (which does a good summary of many of the other commercial blogs like Endgadget and some of the Treo blogs like Treonauts), Techcrunch and texually.org. I have also taken to checking on other subscribers to the blogs I follow on bloglines to see what blogs others follow & this has helped me consolidate my own list of blogs to keep reading.
This all leads towards a distillation of information that is pertinent to what I need to find out now. However, I still trawl the web, googling or blog hunting whenever I have a few minutes to see what is out there. A surprising amount of information is being generated and I always find something interesting, relevant, thought provoking, new or applicable to my teaching context.