Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Universal Preschooler

For the past month I’ve been horsing around with something called Google Analytics, which is a tool for website operators and bloggers to measure, calculate, and otherwise evaluate the statistical performance of their online ventures. It’s mainly designed for people trying to earn money, but it’s free, so I’ve been having fun playing with it.

The two most interesting stats to me are the measurements of what posts are being read, and where readers are coming from.

By a fairly large margin, the two most read posts over the past month are Messy Summer Art, and How I Deal With Hitting (And Kicking, Biting, Taking, Scratching . . .).

I take this to mean two things:

1) people around the world are looking to have a good old time with their preschoolers this summer, and

2) preschoolers everywhere are acting like preschoolers.

Obviously, the preponderance of Teacher Tom’s readers come from Seattle, but increasingly people are checking in from across the US (32 states) and even the world. In the past 30 days, readers have visited from 128 cities in 18 countries on 5 continents. I have no idea how this measures up to other blogs. Maybe it’s typical, but frankly, it still blows my mind.

The most interesting thing to me is that the two posts about “art” and “hitting” continue to be the most popular no matter how I parse it by state, country or continent. I have access to the “keywords” being used in their search engine queries and it’s amazing how often the phrases “messy art” and “preschooler hitting” are being used. From Seattle to Perth to Bangelore to Nairobi to Paris to La Victoria (Peru) this admittedly small sampling of parents of preschoolers seems to show a universal desire to splatter paint and stop the violence. I think it’s pretty cool.

But the coolest thing of all is the one visitor from Saudi Arabia who landed on the post, Growing Brave Children. This is a post in which I encourage parents and teachers to help children learn the skills and find the courage to stand up for themselves with words rather than fists. You don’t need me to point out that this query came from a part of the world with which the US has a history of “fisticuffs” and very little productive dialog.

This reader from Riyadh spent several minutes reading what a teacher in Seattle had to say about peaceful conflict resolution, then clicked through to read about messy art and hitting. It’s a thin, thin strand, but it’s a personal connection between two strangers who are often called enemies. Of course, we’re not enemies, and we’re really not even strangers. We’re just people who want to make art and peace with preschoolers.

For that one visitor alone I’m glad I’m blogging.



Haha, I lie the sense of humor of your blog. I haven't tried that program out yet, I might check it out.

BTW, thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you about the conservative, liberal thing. I'm the type of girl that does care what the guy thinks, as long as I like it.

Monkey's Mama said...

You might try statcounter.com too. That's what I use and it's really fun to see all the info. They do a map too (not sure how different it is as I've never used Google Analytics).