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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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November 2011
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Drug WarRant site information

Just a few random updates based on questions I’ve received regarding site issues for those who are interested.


bullet image Advertising

Dear web-master, Do those ads on the top right of the blog help the website? I am skeptical that Dick Army’s group AFP is sympathetic to re-legalization issues. What does repealing Mitt’s health bill have to do with normalization and peace?

I have actually not seen those ads on Drug WarRant. I seem to get ads for Xfinity or my local TV station, or for television sets, although I’ve gotten a couple of Ron Paul ads and the ubiquitous rehab ads.

All the ads you see in the banner on the right side near the top are generated automatically by Google Ads. I don’t exercise any advance approval, so it’s the Google algorithms along with the decisions of the advertisers in terms of broad categories of sites that determines what ads show up. Additionally, ads may be determined in part by the browsing habits of the viewer. You may get different ads than someone else visiting the site.

I tried for awhile individually blacklisting various rehab sites (they weren’t doing me any good because nobody visiting this site clicks on them, and yet my site’s content seemed to draw the ads), but there are so many, I could do that for months.

I’m just happy that there seems to be a better variety now than there used to be.

The Google Ads aren’t a great revenue generator, but they help out in the range of $30-$40 a month or so, which puts a significant dent into the monthly costs.

What ads are you getting when you visit the site?

bullet image Drug Facts Week

We had a very successful effort with Drug Facts Week, pretty much dominating the Twitter feed for the event, and spreading some great facts to thousands of people. Someone asked whether Drug Facts Week cost anything, and, thinking just of the website and the twitter feed, I said “No.” However, I did spend about $300 on Google Ads to promote our version of Drug Facts Week, and that seemed to help get us some real attention in Google searches (along with over 1,000 direct clicks on the ad).

This also puts the Drug WarRant version of Drug Facts Week in great position for future years, as I see this as an annual event.

bullet image Drug WarRant bandwidth

The problems we had a month or two ago with the site going down constantly seem to have mostly resolved. Part of that came from increasing the memory for the server, which increased the monthly cost.

A big thanks to those who have contributed to the site to help cover the costs. I’ll be needing your continued support in the future.

bullet image Pop-ups

Pete,every time I come to your site it tries to open a pop-up window,,,do you have it set to do that or has someone attached a pop-up too your site?

No, I don’t have it set to do that, nor does it happen for me.

As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing that has been attached to the site to do that. If others are experiencing it, please let me know.

There are so many things that can happen, it’s hard to identify the source – it may be something in your browser, or you may have something disabled that is important for the functionality of my site.

bullet image Site statistics

In the past month, Drug WarRant has received 70,430 visits (49,107 absolutely unique visitors) and 95,866 page views. 66% of the visits were new visitors (meaning that I’m continuing to reach new people every month, although a good portion of those were visiting the “Why is Marijuana Illegal?” page).

There are also some very loyal visitors. 6,400 visits were from visitors who visited the site over 200 times this month.

Visitors came from 153 countries. Those with over 100 visits (in order from most visits): U.S., Canada, U.K., Turkey, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, India, Norway, Vietnam, New Zealand, Russia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Philippines, Romania, Hungary.

3 percent of visitors used mobile devices.

55 percent of visits were referred by Google. 22.47 percent were direct traffic (bookmark, etc.)

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this.

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27 comments to Drug WarRant site information

  • […] Drug WarRant site information Just a few random updates based on questions I've received regarding site issues for those who are interested. Dear web-master, Do those ads on the top right of the blog help the website? I am skeptical that Dick Army's group AFP is sympathetic to … Read more on Drug WarRant […]

  • Francis

    “There are also some very loyal visitors. 6,400 visits were from visitors who visited the site over 200 times this month.”

    *sheepishly raises hand*

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Francis, what’s particularly amazing is just how quickly you were assimilated [fingers snap]. But then again the conversation has improved dramatically since I started coming around. Go look at some of Pete’s columns from, oh say 2005. Back then he was talking to himself judging from the absence of comments underneath. OK, 200 times a month is obsessive, but how many people have gone back and read a substantial percentage of his older stuff? Don’t worry, I’d be more surprised if people hadn’t than had done so.

      I wonder how the counter works. I keep DWR open in a tab pretty much all the time. This morning I’m typing this post in the very same tab I posted yesterday. While I’m certain I qualify it’s like the days when I was a fan of wake and back. If someone asked me how many times in a day I enjoyed an enhanced mental state after utilizing cannabis the answer was once. I started just after waking up and finished just before lights out.

      Perhaps Pete will be gratified to learn that DWR is my lead tab, which means if I lose my tabs that DWR is the first that I’ll re-open. That doesn’t mean as much as it did back in the days when just closing the browser meant that everything had to be rebuilt, but it still means something.

      • Sometimes I was talking to myself back then, but it wasn’t as bad as it looks when you read columns prior to August 8, 2009… From the About page:

        Drug WarRant was started on July 26, 2003 as a blog hosted at Salon Blogs at http://blogs.salon.com/0002762 using Radio UserLand blogging software. Between July 26, 2003 and August 8, 2009, Drug WarRant had over 3.8 million page views (moving up to 3rd in the all-time popularity of Salon Blogs) with over 3,500 posts and over 20,000 comments.

        On August 8, 2009, facing the imminent shutdown of SalonBlogs and Radio, Drug WarRant moved to a WordPress format and a private server at DreamHost. All the posts were able to be converted, but all comments (which were stored on Salon Blogs’ servers) were lost. So if you visit old posts, the lack of comments probably means that they didn’t make the transition.

        So that was 20,000 comments in the first 6 years or so, and we’re already up to around 27,000 comments so far in the 3 years since the transition, so there’s been a dramatic increase.

        I am gratified that it’s your lead tab! And no, I’m not sure exactly how the counter works. But I do find the general information interesting and useful.

        • darkcycle

          Pete, have you analysed your growth curve? Bet your new traffic is still increasing. What’s it look like?

      • darkcycle

        Make DWR your home page. I did a coupla years ago. If you’re on and off this thing all day like I am, it’ll drive your numbers up FAST. Also, sice I’m presented with it each tome I log on to the web, I ALWAYS stroll through the comments section.
        Really, Pete’s site is the only QUALITY site on the entire internet, Right? Why ever leave (except to link to the stories and go leave little droppings everywhere)? Where wold you go? WHAT would you do?
        So, really, there’s no need to go anywhere else, is there? Don’t bother, it’s all spam and viruses and porn (and unsolicited ads for boner pills, right Windy?) anyway. One stop shopping, right here at DWR.

      • Francis

        What can I say? Resistance was futile.

  • darkcycle

    Heh, heh, heh, I’ve been OUTED!

  • visitor stats… and gosh, folks from lots of countries, another good reason to pick the empty potato chip bags up from the coffee table…

  • tensity1

    I like to mostly lurk . . . aww, dang.

    Okay, occasionally chiming in, too.

    As far as the ads, when they’re clicked on, don’t they cost the maker of the ad a tiny bit of money? And it seems to bring DrugWarRant a bit of revenue, too, right?

    I know not much about how this works, but if this is the case, I think I’ll be opening all the ads for the rehab places and drug-free whatever orgs in a new window (and promtly closing before my brain cells wither) just to stick it to them financially.

  • N.T. Greene

    I have been known to read this site at work when things are down. Mobile devices represent! The mobile version of this site works pretty well on my Android device using Opera and the built in browser.

    Without a doubt, I’m one of those lucky folks with 200+ visits per month. I check in a few times a day.

  • I think I’m one of those people that visited this site 200+ times this month. I love it that Pete updates his content very often. Go Pete!

    • darkcycle

      Aw, I’ve come to depend on Pete’s regular posting. If he’s gone for a while, I start to get sweaty…

  • palemalemarcher

    I also see those ads on websites of foreign newspapers. It’s interesting because it may be easy to pigeonhole 1 side of American issues as originating from that foreign nation. I wish I could be clear of them. It happens on the Crooksandliars ‘site also. The “right to work” website, another dodgy ad; ad on the page of C&L does make an interesting juxtaposition.

  • Maria

    I tend to get lots of ads for educational, online degrees type of stuff, like Phoenix University or something like that. Then mostly the rehab ones, then occasionally very topic specific. This page is generating a few ads for online advertising, analytics, and marketing.

    Oh and no popups for me, but then again I have most scripting disabled. You never know what you might catch. 😛

    How does RSS feed into your traffic because I mostly read your stuff in my reader and click through to comment.

    • Good question, Maria. I don’t actually track the RSS traffic, though I probably should. Unlike many sites, I don’t just tease the RSS feed with part of the post requiring people to come to the site to read the rest. You can actually read every Drug WarRant post without ever coming to the site (obviously except to comment, or for some features like videos, etc.) I’m just happy to have another way to make it easy for people to read Drug WarRant.