Mystery solved

The mystery of what was hitting CA so hard has been solved (or at least identified). It’s all because of statistics.

Since Steve started this blog, we’ve been interested in trying to measure how much interest the blog receives from out there on the Internet. So I installed a statistics package (WP-Stattraq).

The problem is, that WP-Stattraq stored all of its data, including who linked to the site, who referred us to the site, what are the keywords used to search for the blog etc. This quickly filled up the database and caused the whole shebang to fall over.

So we uninstalled WP-stattraq and Steve bought a lot more space in any case.

In late Feb this year I installed a different statistics plugin called Shortstats. It gave less information and was less intensively hitting the SQL database engine, but after eight months, this too started to fill the 1GB disk space allocated. The first signs were a slowdown in the performance of the blog. The stats package script was getting frustrated too, repeatedly requesting to store information.

Because CA is on a shared host, the web provider decided that CA should be taken off line because CA was monopolizing the processor time (why couldn’t webserve.ca tell Steve that there was a problem before taking it down? That’s another question)

Climate Audit isn’t an ordinary personal weblog. It gets on the order of 10000-15000 hits per day, running at 1,000,000 hits per month for quite some time.

Here is the graphic of monthly hit totals since the weblog was inaugurated in late January 2005:

CA stats to Oct 2006

Be that as it may, the statistics package has been zeroed. I’ll probably have to zero it again every four months or so from now on.

By the way, the "2 million hits per day" claim was caused by me misreading some of the webserver statistics. Fortunately this is a quiet blog and nobody will notice or remember it.

In other news, Climate Audit will soon be upgraded and have a new look. Hopefully we can put all this unpleasantness behind us.

Throw your bouquets for Steve and your brickbats for me in the comments below.

10 Comments

  1. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    To preempt Peter H or someone like that, you notice that there’s pronounced decline in the site for some time now. I estimate that based on present trends there will be no hits at all in less than two years.

    The blog is falling, the blog is falling!

  2. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    I remember a similar event at an unnamed place a number of years ago. It caused some panic among the computer operators for some hours!!

  3. Gary
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    hmm, that chart looks awfully like a hockey stick…if you extrapolate the stick part back before the blog existed which could easily be done using a linear trend for 2006 only, subtracting 700k hits and splicing… I’m just sayin’.

  4. Indur Goklany
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    Methinks I see a hockey stick in your data. I hope you don’t bristle at my suggestion.

  5. Indur Goklany
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Darn, # 3, you beat me to it, according to the clock.

  6. Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    You lot have got Hockey Sticks on the brain. We on Climate Audit have “moved on”

  7. Pat Frank
    Posted Oct 27, 2006 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Re: #6 — “You lot have got Hockey Sticks on the brain.”

    I’ll say they do. It’s very clear that the hit statistics track the instrumental temperature record between about 1900-1950. How did they all miss that?

    On the basis of that Mannifestly true analytical model, I predict CA is due for several months of cooling attention, leading to worried predictions of englaciated blogosis, followed by 18 months of accelerating hits and inverted alarms about runaway greenblog effects.

  8. Demesure
    Posted Oct 28, 2006 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

    Fine, my favorite blog is back.
    Though your server was down because of excessive (climate) warming.

  9. L Nettles
    Posted Oct 28, 2006 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    It’s all because of statistics.

    LOL, isn’t what this debate is all about?

  10. BradH
    Posted Oct 29, 2006 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    I do believe that CA hits are a temperature proxy!

    How about that – and we didn’t have to use a single chainsaw.

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