Cluster Maps are a free tool that anyone with a blog or site can use. I think they are an incredibly exciting tool! If you go way down to the bottom of the sidebar here, you can see the Cluster Map. It is a map of the world with little red dots. The smallest dots represent 1 – 9 visits of people to this blog. The next size up is for 10 – 99 visits to the blog.
Turtle Batik, Digital Â© Diane Clancy
After that size, the larger one is for 100 – 999 visits to the blog. Are you getting excited yet? The largest red dots represent 1000 or more separate visits to this blog (or any other blog or site). When you first get a Cluster Map, you start with a blank map of the world. According to some formula, the Cluster Map gets updated regularly.
It is such a great experience to watch the map accumulate red dots – these are PEOPLE – real, live people who have taken the time to come and visit!!! If you look at the map (at the bottom of the sidebar), you can click on the map and it will show you a much bigger version of the map.
Sometimes I check it daily and sometimes not for a few days. Besides the US (and southern Canada), I have 19 red dots that represent 10 or more visits. It is one of the most exciting things in my blogging life to think that people have been moved enough by this blog – including by your comments, of course! – to return. Overnight I went from 11 medium dots to 19 dots … I had been watching because I tell from another tool that it looked like people were returning from some places that didn’t have a medium dot yet.
When Neda was in Beriut, I watched to see when her little red dot would grow to the next size. It was like a personal connection to Neda when she jumped to 10 visits … I knew she was really there.
It is also a fun way to pay attention to geography – Australia, Asia – lots of places in Asia, South America, Europe, and North America each have at least one mid-size visitor. Africa has some small visits but it has not made the leap yet. I encourage you to click on the map so you can see how much fun it is.
Another odd thing, my web site, Diane Clancy’s Art, has 12 red dots (outside the US) that are more than 10 visits. But they are distributed somewhat differently than the blog visits. I think that is fun and it draws me into realizing that this is a real blogosphere with people from lots of parts of the world.
I bet many of you will know what I am talking about when I work very hard to set up a site and blog and then I am not sure if they are worth anything. Am I just talking to myself? These red dots are a validation that what I have shared here on the site and blog is worthwhile to some people. Thank you for visiting!!
Tomorrow (or the next day) I will explain how YOU can get a Cluster Map so you can watch all of us visit too! Thank you for letting me share my excitement about being meaningful enough to people that some people come back and visit again!
~ Diane Clancy
Technorati Tags: Cluster Maps, visits, map, Neda, geography, blogosphere
I love to look at the map too..today I got my first hit in South Africa! It took them over 30,000 hits to find me. 🙂
I like the cluster map MUCh better than my little site visit thingy (which never agrees with the Typepad site visit thingy and neither show my subscribed folks. Sigh). Will look forward to seeing more!
The turtle batik is another reincarnation of the all powerful turtle God, the one who is keeping an eye on all of us. Including all those dots on the map that are the watching eyes of the world. I am one of your latest visitors: Maastricht, Limburg, the Netherlands. How about that!
Im wondering if it picks up people who read through rss feeds?
PS I like this turtle god rendition, though to me first glance this morning it had more of a reptilian feel
Hi Julie, that is so so impressive!! 30,000!! I looked at your map and it is so so so cool! Maybe I can grow up one day and be like you! *smile*
Hi Tammy, I am glad you are wanting to hear more! I get annoyed sometimes because the different trackings are so different. On my Bloger blog, it has a total of 1 visit by Map Stats and yet the Cluster Map has a sprinkling across the world.
Hi Irene, I am delighted to have another dot from Maasstricht! To tell the truth, I have been trying to figure out which dot is you – my geography isn’t great. Like your turtle God ideas!
Hi Sue, I am pretty sure it does NOT pick up rss feeds! Because it is based on a visit to the blog (you out in a little tracking code) *preview hint* Glad you like this turtle/reptile!! Hope you are feeling better!
Note to my Canadian readers – I do value you!! I can[t really tell which country some of these dots near the border are … but in the Map Stats, I am delighted to see some provinces …
~ Diane Clancy
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