I wanted to get some quick feedback on my new maps, so I posted my site on a website of "geeks" called Hacker News. In addition to 1049 unique visitors and over 3000 page views (!!!!), they posted many helpful comments. The general consensus was that the site name is not great, the clusters concept is a bit too complicated, some of the charts and tables are not clearly explained, and the colors on the map seemed backwards.
So, with those suggestions in mind, I have made these changes:
- Changed the map colors: bright (saturated) red/blue is now for states where the name is most popular, and light (low saturation - closer to white) is for less popular. Thank you for that suggestion, I agree that it is more intuitive now. The only trick with this is to get the top 10 to show some differences, which on a linear scale did not work, so I had to make it on a log scale (see js code for details).
- I changed some column headings. "Rank (modified)" is now just "rank," "Cluster Popularity" is now "Popularity (1880-2006)". I think some people thought all the bars on the chart had to do with the popularity of the individual names in the cluster, as opposed to the popularity of the names over time. Hopefully that change will make it more clear.
- I will get a new domain name. My thought right now is: BabyNamesAcrossAmerica.com But, that might be too long of a name.
- Simplify: I plan to condense the "cluster" page and "single name" page into one page so that people don't get lost. I have not done this.
But, wow, I'm glad that I got so many people visiting this site from that great HN community. Hopefully with these changes (and some press) I can start getting more visitors.