Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Years on The Hoof Blog: A Little Bit About You

The 10th anniversary of The Hoof Blog almost slipped by unnoticed. There were no stars on the calendar, no reminders popped up in email. Time just flies by and there's way too much to do and it's far too risky to stop and reflect on all that's happened or all that may happen, so let's celebrate by sharing some statistics about you, the ones who make it all possible!

Thanks to all the gadgets connected to the blog software, I think I know who you are, and I'm glad you're here. Today I was working on some site statistics for advertisers (yes! The Hoof Blog will take ads from companies, practices and individuals) and I thought I'd share with you some of the information I was able to sort out.

Hoof Blog by the countries (varies monthly but this is typical, except for Russia and Poland; both those countries seemed really interested in the farriers at the World Equestrian Games):

1. USA; 2. Great Britain; 3. Germany; 4. Canada; 5. France; 6. Russia; 7. Australia; 8. Sweden; 9. Poland; 10. China.

The Hoofcare and Lameness Facebook page has a slightly different demographic:

1. USA; 2. Great Britain; 3. Canada; 4. Australia; 5. Spain; 6. Germany; 7. Netherlands and New Zealand (tie); 8. Italy; 9. Brazil; 10. Ireland.

Urban readers

The top cities for the Facebook page are 1. London, England; 2. Lexington, Kentucky; 3. Madrid, Spain; 4. Wellington, Florida; 5. Phoenix, Arizona; 6. Nashville, Tennessee; 7. Ocala, Florida; 8. Brisbane, Australia; 9. Tie between Jacksonville, Toronto, Auckland, Perth (Australia) and Los Angeles.

For the blog (this month), it's 1. London, England; 2. Los Angeles; 3. Melbourne, Australia; 4. Stockholm, Sweden; 5. Sydney, Australia; 6. New York, New York; 7. Brisbane, Australia; 8. Dublin, Ireland; 9. Houston, Texas; 10. Toronto, Ontario.

Cities are a little tricky, because most readers probably don't live in urban areas if they work with horses, but it's still interesting to see which cities show up.

And to get more personal: 54% of you are male, and 60% of you are aged 18-34.

Maybe the dwarves aren't all "Happy", but hopefully most Hoof Blog readers are.

Your preference for technology

Here on the blog, there has been a marked shift away from the Internet Explorer browser. Stats show that 59% of blog visitors in the past month were Windows users, but only 21% used IE. Firefox had 23%, Chrome 29% and Safari with 16%.

Time Warner, Comcast and Verizon are the three most popular service providers when people are at home or work.

The regular readers

The best statistic of all is that there are 1800 people who have already visited the blog more than 200 times in 2014; whether that means reading one story ten times or checking the blog on an almost daily basis isn't clear. It's probably a mix, but since we are only 258 days into 2014, that's a wonderful base readership to have, with 156,000 more sporadic visitors to try to analyze on top of the core. Even so, only half were one-time visitors for super-popular stories like the premiere of the Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl commercial or details of California Chrome's Kentucky Derby and Preakness shoes.

The mobile format for your phone

The big news in the stats continues to be how many people--22% this month--are visiting from their phones or iPads. That number is often as high as 30%. So far in 2014, 27% of visits have been from mobile phones and 15% from iPads.

Blog readers love their iPhones; 38% of mobile visits were on an iPhone.

If that includes you, remember that there is a special mobile site for the blog. Your phone web browser should switch over to it automatically, and the blog appears in a column to fit your phone's screen.

To access the mobile version, just use your regular cell phone browser to reach the blog. Once you reach it, it will change from the normal format to the single column.

Depending on what type of phone you have, you can either bookmark the blog (if you haven't already) or create a desktop icon for it to be able to access it directly. This method works with the iPhone by clicking on the arrow symbol and choosing "Add to home screen". Then the icon is always there for you.

An easier-to-remember address

Another development to make the blog easier to find and use has been a shortening of the URL to reach the blog. The new url of www.hoofblog.com now re-directs to the blog and requires less typing, which is especially helpful on a cellphone or mobile device. (And it's easier to remember if you referring someone else to the blog.)

But there's no need to remember anything if you subscribe to the Hoof Blog's email alerts. This easy system sends you a short email on days when new stories are published. You can just click on the link (whether you are on your smartphone, ipad or computer) and go right to the new story).

Email headlines
If you haven't already signed up for The Hoof Blog's email alerts, you can use the sign-up box at the top right of this blog page, under the search box, or send an email and I'll do it for you but you will still need to click on a confirmation link in an email from the service that will be sent to you, to verify your email address.

These are all ways I've tried to make it easier for you to connect with the blog and have access at any time you like to the 1,578 articles that are stored there. Without you, there is no blog and the numbers in the statistics reports are encouraging and heart-warming.

Old friends and new, old hoof problems and new, the news gathering and sharing process goes on. Please let me know what you need help with or what interests you. Chances are, it's on the list. The next few months should see the publication of some stories and special reports that have been months in the making. With sponsorship support, print editions with full papers and feature-length articles can return.

If any of you have been reading the blog since 2004, hooray for you, or Hoofcare + Lameness since 1985, an even bigger hooray! I didn't know what I was getting into when I started either the journal or the blog but it has been a remarkable experience that has opened up a whole new world of readers, information and possibilities to explore what can be done for horses now and in the future.

Thanks for reading. It is a joy to write for and to and about you all (and your horses). If you keep reading, I'll keep writing.
--Fran Jurga

Thanks to Andrew Tarvin for the dwarves Powerpoint slide and Jim D for the birthday cake (with candles, no less).

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.