I’ve been using MapStats, which is a function of Blogflux, as an additional statistics tool on this website for a while. What I like about Mapstats is that you get the real number of actual visitors to your website. It eliminates spammers & bots and also anyone reading from an aggregator. As for the latter, I at least have an indicator of regular subscribers from Bloglines.
Mapstats also shows where each visitor comes from, what browser was used and what search query was presented to a search engine. Since it’s in beta, the system has had a few hiccups but it is quite promising and gives some interesting detail that I don’t get with my ISP-provided search package. For instance, since October:
- 91% of visitors using a search engine use Google (no surprise)
- 47% of visitors use Internet Explorer while 42% use Firefox (not exactly reflective of what the popular press is saying about Firefox’s 10% of market share, but I’m sure that I have a lot of "early adopters" visiting this site)
- 45% of visitors are from Canada, 26% from the USA, 4% from the UK, 2% from India and 7% unknown
- +99.99% have Flash enabled (looks like Adobe-Macromedia has won the game)
- Top search queries include "lms comparison", "benefits of blogging" and "training vs education"
- The most popular blog post since October has been the one on the Blackboard WebCT merger
I’d recommend Mapstats for any blogger (only bloggers can use this free tool) as it provides just another level of feedback that may keep you motivated on those long cold winter days.