As goes the Internet, so goes the world. That seems to be the modern wisdom. If you know what the Internet thinks of you, then you pretty much have a handle on your popularity - or lack thereof.
The thing that gives me, a blogger, an idea of how well or not my blog is doing are analytics. You can see a small example of that with the Who's Calling widget I've got on the left side of the page. However, that is a very weak measurement. It only records hits from IP addresses and doesn't really tell me what that traffic is, how long it's hanging around or anything else.
That's what Google Analytics is for. Blogspot, which is a Google domain, has some measurements along those lines but they are not as full featured as the real deal. Fortunately, Google allows just about anyone to set up an analytics page and integration with Blogger is quite straight forward. Here's my last month's visitation numbers in a slightly more useful accounting, and this is just the most basic report.
The short answer is yes, but only if I a) spend a lot of money on surveys or b) work for CCP and they give me such access. But are those the only two ways? I mean, I've been very curious about a great many things related to EVE Online since I've been playing. So to quench that curiosity, I do as much reading and poking around as I've time for.
Most of the time this doesn't really go anywhere. That's probably because I'm not willing to do anything unethical or even questionable to get information. I'd as soon just walk away from a promising lead than stoop to that sort of behavior. But once in awhile I get lucky.
This morning I was reading a tech article and the columnist had used a Google service I'd never come across before. He used Google Trends to make a point about Smart Watches being a bad idea because there is just no consumer interest in such a thing. I immediately thought, "hey, can this be done for EVE Online?" In the words of Vir Cotto, "Oh, you betcha!"
here. So what's with all that trend activity out of Russia? That's got to be the single most intriguing thing about this trend search. What's even better is drilling down by country. Google breaks the trending down by not only city, but geographic region as well. I could spend DAYS just following links.
But wait, there's more! Notice the letters? Google attempts to relate points on the trend with notable events linked to EVE Online. Notice the near vertical climb of the trend line in November 2005? The event denoted as "I" (your letter may vary) is a Canada NewsWire Press Release, "EVE Online Growing at a Phenomenal Rate." And then it did! Is that more than coincidence. Probably not.
But wait, there's even more!! The details are awesome, but sometimes relationships are a more telling indication of how things are going. To that end, you can put in multiple search criteria and plot the trend lines relative to one another. Here's my first go at it.