OTB: 2004 Year in Review

OTB went through some exciting changes in 2004, including a conversion to WordPress; taking on advertising with BlogAds, Google Adsense, and Adure thereby diminishing the site’s aesthetic appeal but generating significant revenue; and the addition of several additional authors to the site. On a personal note, I got substantial blogospheric help in my job search, landing my current job after my program manager saw this note at Glenn Reynolds’ InstaPundit.

Site traffic was up approximately tenfold over 2003. According to the stats kept by HostingMatters, OTB had 2.4 million unique visits, over 5 million page views, and over 17 million hits in 2004:

According to Site Meter, my traffic looked something like this:

(It’s off a smidge because I captured the image on December 30th)

Regardless, traffic is up exponentially from 2003, when I had something on the order of 250,000 total visits (having started the site on January 31). As the graphs illustrate, there was a huge spike in May. Unfortunately, this was the first of several spikes that came from news of hostages in Iraq being beheaded, with Nick Berg being the first victim.

The blogosphere as a whole seemed to explode after that, although with a mild post-election correction. Interestingly, OTB’s traffic now averages somewhere between 5,000- 7,000 unique visits a day. Eighteen months ago, that was what Top 20 blogs were getting. Not anymore.

The following sites referred the most traffic to OTB in 2004:

They’ll be enshrined in the left sidebar until they’re replaced by the next batch.

Several other notable milestones:

All-in-all, a pretty good year.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, OTB History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kappiy says:

    Congrats on the numbers James. I didn’t find your site until November–just curious, what accounts for the big spike in May/June?

  2. James Joyner says:

    Thanks, Kappiy. I actually just edited the post to explain the traffic spike before I saw your comment.

  3. Jay says:

    Great job!

  4. Zed says:

    I’m fairly confident that by this time next year I’ll make your top referrers list for 2005. It will be so.

  5. Rodney Dill says:

    Wizbang 110,000+

    The majority of which was me, jumping back and forth between caption contests.

  6. Attila Girl says:

    Also: you changed from being a one-man band to presiding over a group blog.

  7. James Joyner says:

    LMA: See sentence one, final clause. 🙂