Eeek! Last post to this blog – September 29, 2012!

Motivated by a spam comment notification received on my iPhone and not being able to spam it (for whatever reason) like I usually do on my phone ….. prompted me to log into the backend of my blog on my laptop.

Yeegads! 16 Updates required to take care of, one spam comment that made it through the always brilliant Askimet plugin for spam (yup – it needed updating!)  Love the clean, uncluttered WordPress Platform update 3.5.1 too by the way!

Moments later, updates done – including a nifty little plugin that I installed (yes, back in September – note: head hanging down in shameful silence) called Jetpack for WordPress.

Jetpack is supposed to “supercharge” your self-hosted wordpress site with a whole lot of cool enhancements.  One that caught my eye, and of course, prompted this blog post, is the Site Stats.

I actually had some stats to look at, and that really made me think.  I’m still getting site visitors even though I haven’t updated my professional blog with a blog post since September 2013.  Granted, I’ve got some pretty good stuff on here that’s relevant still for classroom teachers or technology coaches.   I could list a raft of excuses for why I haven’t updated my blog recently (ok, in forever) – but I’m not going to (that’s negative).  Instead, I’m thinking about the positive effects this little plugin had.

I have proof know now that I’ve still got visitors almost everyday visiting my site.  I know that they are probably looking for content (using inference of which posts/pages are being viewed the most).  Jetpack breaks down so much of the traffic information for you, including where your visitors are coming from.  All this information can help you make decisions about your audience and tailor your blog accordingly.  I’m impressed but most of all I’m motivated.  Motivated to write a blog post – this blog post.  So that got me thinking about my students.

My gorgeous Grade 3 students have recently begun their own journey of blogging.  Each student has their own individual blog (we’ve had a class blog together for half the year already and you can find the links to their on the right-hand sidebar if you’re interested in seeing what they are up to!) I taught all of them how to add a RevolverMap to their blog (to count site visitors and to be able to see in real time if anyone else was looking at their blog) and I also taught them how to add a flag counter.  We recently discovered that you can change the settings on flag counter to show the number of visitors beside each flag!  Both of these widgets are free and easy to install.  I know these widgets are motivating – we tracked our visitors to our class blogs and counted flags and visitor totals which was very exciting!  But ……

I’m wondering how I can go deeper with that motivation.  Our blogs are hosted on our own server at school, it’s a multi-user platform so I know I can’t just install the JetPack plugin and get access to wider, more informative statistics.

Do you have any suggestions?  What do you do to help motivate your students blog? How do you use the revolvermap or flagcounter statistics?

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