The Science of Sport turns three
Well, all we can say is time sure does fly when you are having fun, because it hardly seems like three long years ago that we did our very first post. But indeed here we are, three years later, officially on 28 April. So let's take a short and fun look back and also ahead for The Science of Sport!
Growth of readership
We have to begin by thanking you, the readers, for the best birthday present of all if you run a site like this---readers! In the beginning only our own visits accounted for our hits, until we found out we could disable the counting of our own IP addresses as hits. . .after which of course we saw a plunge in daily and monthly visitors! But more and more of you come to the site each day, some just passing thru but others discovering our archives and becoming loyal followers. It was last year in August that, thanks to the incredible interest in the Caster Semenya saga, we passed 1,000,000 visitors, a milestone in our growth. And now in 2010 we are on track to make it to 2,000,000 before the year ends, and we can promise another big thank you when we hit that mark, too.
The evolution of the site
For those readers who have been with us for the better part of the past three years, you will have seen the changes. Initially it was scienceofsport.blogspot.com. . .with a basic Blogger template and design. What can we say---the price was right! But as we grow and mature as a site and brand we also try to enhance the layout in a parallel fashion, and since then we have tweaked and fiddled, learning as we go about HTML and others techie issues, eventually arriving at the design you see today with the tabs at the top and the columns down either side. Eventually we added the "Donate" button you see in the top right corner of the site. It was a tough decision for us, believe it or not, but many of you have clicked and in fact ponied up small and large sums to show your support---something we are forever grateful for because it is these donations that eventually will help us invest in and enhance the site.
So far we have been able to keep up, although perhaps we are reaching the limits of what we can deliver given our large---and vocal and intelligent---audience. Needless to say, then, that currently we are investigating changes to the site. Fear not, dear readers---the content stays the same, but we hope to make changes that will only enhance interaction and the experience you have when you decide to click and visit us.
"Voting" on the world wide web
Another area we have seen grow over time is our Google Page rank, which some of you might know is determined by a complex algorithm of how and which sites link back to this one, with each link counting as a "vote" of varying importance according to the site making the "vote" (link). It goes without saying that we started at 0/10, but currently we are quite proud of our 6/10 ranking, which placed us firmly on the level with other well known sports sites such as Letsrun.com (5/10), Runnersworld.com (7/10), and Cyclingnews.com (7/10).
Again, this is in no small part due to you, our readers, and wide and diverse nature of the audience, who help make the site what it is. Because had this never gone beyond our own clicks and visits, had there not been a growing audience out there for our musings and analysis and writing, we would have quietly slipped into obscurity and would have been spending our free time on some other endeavour!
One final note---a present of sorts also arrived for us earlier this week, this time in the form of making the Top 50 Doctoral and PhD Blogs in the Medical Field.
Our fourth year - What to expect?
Looking ahead in sports this year, the Athletics season will be heating up with much anticipated performances from the likes of Usain Bolt and others. . .the Tour de France will keep us busy in July, and then the Fall marathon season will include our acclaimed real time and post-race analysis of Berlin, Chicago, and New York. On the marathon note, Gebrselassie has mentioned he thinks he can lower his WR, and that he might run in Chicago this year. Of course October is a long way off, and signatures still have to be inked, but Chicago has been proven to be a course worthy of a WR, and although Geb talks a good talk, most of the time his intention is to deliver on that talk.
So it will be more of the same, to be sure, but thanks to our readers for an amazing third year!