2011 was an expansion year for the Weekly Sift. I redesigned the blog, moved it to weeklysift.com, and added the Link of the Day feature to its Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Traffic is up: The Sift got 137,000 views since it moved in July. Pre-July statistics aren’t really comparable, since an entire week’s Sift used to be one post and now is four or five — but trust me, readership is up.
The increase, though, is mostly due to a few posts going viral. One post: Six True Things Politicians Can’t Say accounts for half of those post-July views (68K), with 58K coming on one day. Add in Why I’m Not a Libertarian (21K), and One Word Turns the Tea Party Around (18K) and you’re over 100,000. Other posts that got kiloviews are Turn the Shame Around (7.6K) and Liberal Media, Conservative Manipulation (2.7K)
Regular readership is also up, but not as dramatically. The email list is steady at a little over 100. In addition, 104 people follow the blog via WordPress, while another 140 or so subscribe via Google Reader. I’m not sure how many people get the RSS feed some other way. There may be some overlap in those numbers, but probably something like 300-500 people consider themselves subscribers in one form or another.
The viewship numbers on weeklysift.com are in addition to that. On a typical non-viral week, about 300 people view the lead post and around 100-150 read the short notes.
Also, I typically repost the week’s lead post on Daily Kos. Some of them drop like stones, while others do better there than here. (Barack, Can We Talk? got a better-than-average 611 page views on the Sift, but went crazy on Kos, drawing 806 comments and 825 recommendations. DKos doesn’t provide page-view numbers.)
Posts have gone viral over two main avenues: Reddit and Facebook, with an occasional mention from some other small blog. The next level of viral would be to get quoted by some of the big-name people I often link to: Digby, Matt Yglesias, Glenn Greenwald, or (dreaming big) Rachel Maddow.
Maybe next year.