Sparklines of recent activity on my website

Inspired a bit by the work of Jeremy Keith and others, I’ve recently been playing around with some sparklines on my website. While tinkering around with things, mostly on the back end of my site, I’ve tried out several WordPress-specific plugins, both to see how they’re built and the user interfaces they provide. 

There are several simple plugins for adding sparklines to WordPress websites including:

  • Activity Sparks plugin by Greg Jackson which adds some configurable functionality for adding sparklines to WordPress sites including for posts and comments as well as for tracking categories/tags.
  • Sparkplug by Beau Lebens has similarity to the Activity Sparks plugin (above), but with a slightly older looking and somewhat less refined output.

At present, I’m using the Activity Sparks plugin in my sidebar to display the recent activity on my site in terms of my posting frequency and the comment frequency. One chart provides the daily activity on my site over the past 3 months while the other provides the monthly activity over the past 5 years.

When on particular category pages, you can see the posting velocity for those particular categories in these respective time periods. While on the homepage and other miscellaneous pages, you can see the aggregate numbers for the website.

Generally I don’t care very much about the statistics, but in aggregate they can sometimes be fun to look at. As quick examples, I can tell roughly by looking at the 5 year time span when I added certain posting features to my website or that time my site got taken down by HackerNews.


hat tip to Khürt Williams who reminded me I needed to circle back around and finish of a small piece of this project and document it.

👓 Sparkline Sound-Off | Chris Burnell

Read Sparkline Sound-Off by Chris BurnellChris Burnell (chrisburnell.com)
For a few months now I have been following in the footsteps of Jeremy Keith and displaying sparklines representing my activity over time with different post types. As an added bonus, a little tune based on the sparkline’s values plays when you click on the sparkline. With a moderate amount of musical theory under my belt, here’s how I accomplished that audio delight.

An interesting use of sparklines…

👓 The world’s first code-free sparkline typeface | After the flood

Read The world’s first code-free sparkline typeface (After the flood)

Displaying charts in text without having to use code

Data can be hard to grasp however visualising it can make comprehension faster. Sparklines (tiny charts in text, like this: 123{10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100}789) are a useful tool, but creating them for the web has always required code and using them in word documents was previously impossible.

Sparks, now in its second release, is a family of 15 fonts (three variants in five weights each) that allows for the easy combination of text and visual data by removing the need for any technical know-how. By installing the Spark font you can use them immediately without the need for custom code.

👓 WordPress: Sparkplug | Dented Reality

Read WordPress: Sparkplug (Dented Reality)
I’ve been working on a project where we were co-ordinating our efforts via a group blog, which in this case had a Prologue theme installed. I wanted to be able to see how active certain secti…

A cool looking sparklines project. Sadly the UI is looking a bit shabby and it hasn’t been updated in ages. Beau has a lot of other interesting looking projects laying around as well… I’ll have to come back and revisit some.

Reply to Chris Beckstrom about sparklines

Replied to reply to https://adactio.com/journal/14656 by Chris Beckstrom (Chris Beckstrom's Homepage)
Congrats! Fantastic stats. How’d you do those cool little graphs?

They’re known as sparklines: https://indieweb.org/sparkline and you’ll find some interesting details and implementations in the see also section in addition to (I’m sure) searching Jeremy’s site for the word “sparkline”.

👓 2018 in numbers | Adactio: Journal | Jeremy Keith

Read 2018 in numbers by Jeremy Keith (adactio.com)
I posted to adactio.com 1,387 times in 2018

An awesome and quite beautiful annual update here. I can’t imagine that I posted as much as Jeremy (or wrote as many longer posts in particular), but I do know that my posting velocity has increased since I began using my own website in preference to all other social media several years ago.