How April 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Well, I deserved that. After a fair start April pretty well flopped for me: the last two weeks of the month I ended up not writing any of the things I should have. If it weren’t for reblogs and heads-up posts I wouldn’t have even reached ten posts for the month. I’m not sure when I’ve posted that little. It looks like sometime early 2014.

So April was my least-red month in a long while. Since December 2017, looks like. But of the things within my control, post count and schedule are the things that most affect readership. And boy was April a writer-blocked month for me. Here’s how bad it was.

The strikingly uniform monthly readership of my blog for the past four and a half years; there's a drop in April. 1,020 views, 667 visitors, 1.53 views per visitor, and 12 posts published.
Oh, so, how I got results going back this far. WordPress has this page that offers site owners a review of their readership figures. The URL for it looks like https://wordpress.com/stats/month/nebusresearch.wordpress.com with the name of whatever your particular WordPress blog is on the end there. If you add to the URL ?startDate=2016-12-01 — or some other starting date, in the format YYYY-MM-DD — then you get just what you’d imagine. What I haven’t figured is how to set the range. You’d think adding an endDate property would do it, and no, it does’t. But there’s little left- and right-arrows to the either side of the ‘Stats for (Given Month and Year)’ and clicking the right-arrow there will expand the range. It really doesn’t want to show more than about four and a half years in one screen, though.

So I still broke a thousand page views; I haven’t fallen below that since the depressing month of December 2017. I admit part of why I pushed that what-grade-you-need post on Monday was that I was a little short of a thousand views and hoped to get above that. March 2019 had 1,391 views, and February 1,275. In April there were 668 unique visitors, my lowest since July 2018 (also with 668) or February 2018 (611) depending on how you count “lowest”. There’d been 954 unique visitors in March and 835 in February.

The number of likes went back to its plummet in April: only 40 things liked at all around here. In March there’d been 97 likes; in February 44. And here’s where fiddling with the startDate property really hurts, because there has been this incredible secular decline in likes. I mean, in all 2015 I never dropped below 179 likes in one month, and never below 107 in 2016. In 2017 the minimum was 70. In 2018 the minimum was 37. I don’t know what’s making me less likable.

Comments were up in April, although they’d almost have to be. There were 14 in April; March saw only four. February had ten. I might do another A To Z just to get people talking to me.

Well, here’s the roster of popular essays this past month:

That’s not a bad spread of posts.

Mercator-style projection map of the world. The United States is shown in the deepest red. The rest of North and South America, mostly, is in pink; as are western Europe, the Baltics, South Asia, Russia, and Australia.
Your Victoria II challenge of the month: create this Empire with client states. Easy mode: you may start as the United Kingdom, any Indian nation, Russia, or Brazil instead. Hard mode: accomplish this by 1900.

54 countries sent me readers at all this past month. 16 of them were single-reader countries. That’s down from the 59 countries of March and 17 single-reader countries. Also from February’s 73 countries and 20 single-reader countries. But here’s the country roster:

Country Readers
United States 688
Canada 44
United Kingdom 39
Sweden 26
India 22
Australia 19
Pakistan 12
Brazil 11
France 10
Italy 9
Malaysia 9
Singapore 8
Norway 7
Slovenia 7
Belgium 6
Germany 6
Hong Kong SAR China 6
Russia 6
Spain 6
Austria 5
Philippines 5
Saudi Arabia 5
South Africa 5
United Arab Emirates 5
Finland 4
Greece 4
South Korea 4
Denmark 3
Japan 3
Nepal 3
Vietnam 3
Chile 2
Hungary 2
Israel 2
Jamaica 2
Switzerland 2
Thailand 2
Turkey 2
Bolivia 1
Costa Rica 1
Djibouti 1
European Union 1
Ghana 1
Guam 1
Ireland 1
Jordan 1 (****)
Macedonia 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 1
Peru 1 (**)
Serbia 1
U.S. Virgin Islands 1
Ukraine 1
Venezuela 1

Peru’s been a single-reader country for three months now. Jordan’s been one for five months. That’s the only ongoing streak. I don’t know what’s got so many Swedish readers in lately. I fear there might have been a misunderstanding somewhere.

This year, through the start of May I’ve posted 49 pieces. This has gotten a total of 46,677 words, according to whatever definition of ‘word’ WordPress uses. This is 9,943 words in April, which for me counts as laconic. The average post length this year has dropped to 953 words, down from the 993 at the start of April. There were twelve posts in April, technically, for an average of 829 words per post. There’ve been 221 total likes for the year, putting me at an average of 4.5 likes per post. At the start of April there had been an average of 4.9 likes per post. This year there’ve been a total of 74 comments, for an average of 1.5 comments per posting.

Or so says WordPress. But my post about March 2019 said I’d reached 52 comments by the end of March, and I’d had 14 comments in April. Something isn’t adding up here. I get these yearly totals from the Insights panel, and I wonder if that’s counting pingbacks — one WordPress post linking to another — as comments. Those aren’t counted in the monthly-comments-total mentioned above.

May starts with my having made 1,251 posts in total. These have attracted overall 77,976 page views from an acknowledged 39,572 unique visitors.

I’m always glad to have you as visitor. If you’d like to add my little efforts here to your WordPress Reader, please use the “Follow Nebusresearch” button at the upper right corner of this page. I confess despairing a bit at recent followers. Not you, of course, kind reader. But a lot of recent followers seem to be those curious blogs that just reblog articles about search-engine-optimization and that’s … all … a baffling exercise to me. Anyway, if you want to follow me without showing up in my or anyone’s analytics, good on you. Here is the RSS feed for my essays. And to get back to the surveillance, I’m @Nebusj on Twitter. And to encourage you to follow: I’m trying to start each month with a pair of rabbit pictures. Not to brag, but this month’s?

You’re welcome.

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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. He/him.

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