July 20th, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

How to add a counter to a Livejournal Blog

A while back I was having a discussion about adding a traffic counter to a Livejournal blog. The general consensus, backed up by Livejournal FAQs, was that it was impossible. All the counters require you to add a chunk of HTML to your page and Livejournal doesn't allow that.

However, my kittens - who successfully reprogrammed my Internet Explorer options and translated sections of my novels into Polish - have done it again. They found a way of sneaking a counter onto a Livejournal Blog. It's not perfect but it works.

First you need a stats package like Advance Web Statistics that can count the number of times a file is accessed. Awstats is a free package avaliable here: http://awstats.sourceforge.net/

Second you need access to a website that you can load a file to and whose server has a log file that Awstats, or its equivalent, can analyse.

Third, you need a kitten like this:

Then you load a jpg file to your website and link to it in your Blog using the Livejournal insert image facility. Something I discovered by a kitten inspired accident when I needed to add some pictures to an LJ entry.

The Awstats package also gives you the url of the page the picture was requested from. This was quite an eyeopener as besides the usual suspects - the individual entry, the main blog, SFnovelists, Bloglines and LJ friends - there were a host of others: blogs devoted to collecting the most recent or random LJ pictures or articles and sites I'd never heard of.

For numberholics the breakdown for how people accessed my blog was:

Direct: 50%
Via Friends page: 23%
SF Novelists: 8%
Bloglines: 4%
Other: 15%

All statistics verified by Kai the Kitten.

My website: http://www.humor.me.uk/mambo/