How November 2015 Treated My Mathematics Blog


So after a couple dismal months my ratings appear to be up. The number of page views and of visitors, in fact, seem to be at all-time highs. At least they’re at highs for the past twelve months. I would like to think that the depressed readings of September and October — 708 page views and 381 visitors; 733 page views and 405 visitors, respectively — are behind me. November saw 1,215 page views and 519 visitors.

Some of this is an accident. My humor blog got a tidal wave of readers courtesy The Onion AV Club. The AV Club wrote up a piece about the sad end of the comic strip Apartment 3-G, and I’ve written a shocking amount about the soap strip. They mentioned me. And as I’ve used my comic strip posts there to mention my Reading the Comics series here, some curious people followed along.

That said, I’m not sure how many of those readers were AV Club curiosity-seekers. A crude estimate suggests somewhere a little over two hundred were. So even discounting that something near a thousand regular-style reders came in and looked around, and that’s nice to see. It’s back up to about where the readership was before the mysterious dropoff, in July, that many suspect results from mobile devices being incorrectly read.

For the roster of countries, well, the top was the United States as always, with some 837 page views. The United Kingdom came in with 62. The Canada appears third at 50 views, and the Philippines next at 20. The Singapore and the Australia tie at 19.

Single-reader countries this past month were Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Egypt, Finland, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Romania, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Belgium, Nigeria, and Thailand are repeats from October. No country’s on a three-month streak.

The Reading the Comics posts are as ever the most popular group and I’ve bundled them under the one category tag. But my Ramsey Theory question turned out to be slightly more popular than any of them in November. After grouping together all the comics posts, the most popular articles look like:

  1. Why Was Someone Upset With Ramsey Theory In 1979? a question about a dimly remembered Dear Abby-class question.
  2. Reading the Comics, an ongoing series.
  3. How October Treated My Mathematics Blog, and yes, I risk an endless loop by mentioning this here.
  4. How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw and goodness it’s nice to see the trapezoids turning up again.
  5. How Antifreeze Works, one of my little pointers to someone else’s interesting writing.

Nothing really dominated my search term queries this month. Some of the things that turned up were:

  • illustration of electromagnetic wave theory scientist comics strip
  • james clerk maxwell comics (I’m not sure I have any of these; this suggests I ought to be finding some.)
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe. (I’ve had this explained to me, but I forget what it means.)
  • places 1975 miles from charlotte nc (I know of none specifically 1,975 miles away.)
  • if i got 70 percent in all exams what grade do i need on final to pass course? (This I can help with.)

December starts with my blog here at 30,298 page views, and with 543 WordPress followers. I expect it’ll be overtaken in page views by my humor blog sometime soon.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

2 thoughts on “How November 2015 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

  1. I have more than one blog, one under my actual identity. The actual identity one does terrible, terrible traffic. I’ve decided it has to do with whether or not google likes you. My Ed blog does well because I do a lot of research on topics that people google. Also, I’m liked by Steve Sailer, who has tremendous traffic, and as a result of all this, I have better numbers which means people are more likely to find me and that built my readership, built my twitter following, and so on. It has been very enlightening, and not in a good way, to realize how little traffic I get without that early assistance and how impossible it is to build a readership without consistent early boosts. I had originally envisioned starting my name blog and moving a lot of topics over, but I want to be read! So I stick with Ed.

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    1. It’s hard to work out the dynamics of blog popularity. Certainly part of it has to be being referenced by, or affiliated with, big popular blogs. That’s functionally equivalent to the kind of advertising that makes someone aware there’s something they might like. It’s also pretty good advertising, since it amounts to word-of-mouth recommendations by a friend.

      But there’s also the need for a blog to have what they at least used to call unique selling propositions. That is, something that people can find there that they won’t find other places. That might be a good readership hook, like on FindTheFactors where there’s these great daily puzzles. Or it might be an interesting community that’s sprung up, such as over at James Nicoll’s Livejournal or on the Comics Curmudgeon.

      I like to think I’ve got a modestly useful hook in these Reading the Comics posts. They’re fun and they let me talk about a lot of different mathematics and try to give them accessible presentations. The A To Z and the Set Tour things are also pretty decent hooks, though the Set Tour is a tougher sell. Building a community, people who’ll talk with each other, is harder and I don’t haven’t got that nearly figured out. But, hey, 2016 is starting up and that’s good for another year’s experimentation.

      But yeah, without some assistance and some luck it’s powerfully hard to get a community going. I suppose it’s like celebrity in any field. There’s quality of the original work, which is at least in principle in your own power to control. There’s also some bit of luck and magic that connects people to an audience. It reminds me of bestselling authors that try opening up new pseudonyms and find they can’t even rise to the level of being mid list writers, at least until the secret is out.

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