How May 2021 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I’ll take this chance now to look over my readership from the past month. It’s either that or actually edit this massive article I’ve had sitting for two months. I keep figuring I’ll edit it this next weekend, and then the week ends before I do. This weekend, though, I’m sure to edit it into coherence. Just you watch.

According to WordPress I had 3,068 page views in May of 2021. That’s an impressive number: my 12-month running mean, leading up to May, was 2,366.0 views per month. The 12-month running median is a similar 2,394 views per month. That startles me, especially as I don’t have any pieces that obviously drew special interest. Sometimes there’s a flood of people to a particular page, or from a particular site. That didn’t happen this month, at least as far as I can tell. There was a steady flow of readers to all kinds of things.

There were 2,085 unique visitors, according to WordPress. That’s down from April, but still well above the running mean of 1,671.9 visitors. And above the median of 1,697 unique visitors.

When we rate things per post the dominance of the past month gets even more amazing. That’s an average 340.9 views per posting this month, compared to a mean of 202.5 or a median of 175.5. (Granted, yes, the majority of those were to things from earlier months; there’s almost ten years of backlog and people notice those too.) And it’s 231.7 unique visitors per posting, versus a mean of 144.7 and a median of 127.4.

Bar chart of two and a half years's worth of monthly readership figures. The last several months have seen a steady roughly 3,000 page views and 2,000 unique visitors a month, an increase over the preceding years.
The most important thing in tracking all this is I hope to someday catch WordPress giving me the same readership statistics two months in a row.

There were 48 likes given in May. That’s below the running mean of 56.3 and median of 55.5. Per-posting, though, these numbers look better. That’s 5.3 likes per posting over the course of May. The mean per posting was 4.5 and the median 4.1 over the previous twelve months. There were 20 comments, barely above the running mean of 19.4 and running median of 18. But that’s 2.2 comments per posting, versus a mean per posting of 1.7 and a median per posting of 1.4. I make my biggest impact with readers by shutting up more.

I got around to publishing nine things in May. A startling number of them were references to other people’s work or, in one case, me talking about using an earlier bit I wrote. Here’s the posts in descending order of popularity. I’m surprised how much this differs from simple chronological order. It suggests there are things people are eager to see, and one of them is Reading the Comics posts. Which I don’t do on a schedule anymore.

As that last and least popular post says, I plan to do an A-to-Z this year. A shorter one than usual, though, one of only fifteen week’s duration, and covering only ten different letters. It’s been a hard year and I need to conserve my energies. I’ll begin appealing for subjects soon.

In May 2021 I posted 4,719 words here, figures WordPress, bringing me to a total of 22,620 words this year. This averages out at 524.3 words per posting in May, and 552 words per post for the year.

As of the start of June I’ve had 1,623 posts to here, which gathered a total 135,779 views from a logged 79,646 unique visitors.

I’d be glad to have you as a regular reader. To be one that never appears in my statistics you can use the RSS feed for my essays. If you don’t have an RSS reader you can sign up for a free account at Dreamwidth or Livejournal. You can add any RSS feed by https://www.dreamwidth.org/feeds/ or https://www.livejournal.com/syn and have it appear on your Friends page.

If you have a WordPress account, you can add my posts to your Reader. Use the “Follow NebusResearch” button to do that. Or you can use “Follow NebusResearch by E-mail” to get posts sent to your mailbox. That’s the way to get essays before I notice their most humiliating typos.

I’m @nebusj on Twitter, but don’t read or interact with it. It posts announcements of essays is all. I do read @nebusj@mathstodon.xyz, on the mathematics-themed Mastodon instance.

Thank you for reading, however it is you’re doing, and I hope you’ll do more of that. If you’re not reading, I suppose I don’t have anything more to say.

Author: Joseph Nebus

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

6 thoughts on “How May 2021 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

    1. I’m happy to offer my heaps of numbers slumping against one another.

      I don’t know if I have anything to offer about blogging generally. My impression is that the blogging world, or at least the WordPress world, has shrunk. The number of comments and the number of likes I get have been dwindling for years. There were several months in 2015, for example, when I’d get ten times as many likes as I’ve gotten any of the past year. But I don’t know how to scale that against my own moods. I read far fewer blogs than I used to, and I go out discovering fewer that catch my interest.

      But I also know that I’ve had less enthusiasm for everything the last few years, since, look at them. That does affect my eagerness to find and read and participate in things. It would be strange if other people didn’t have the same sort of weary feeling, and if that weren’t grinding down others’ enthusiasm too. But, like, every day there are new 18-year-olds who read Ender’s Game and think they can remake the world by blogging at it. That I don’t know where to find it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s just my challenge to find.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your reply, Joseph, such a thoughtful and searching one! I share your conclusion that the blogging bubble may have popped – or at least floated somewhere else! 2015 was when I began and 2017 was my peak year – but, as you say, how to factor in one’s own energy and enthusiasm? 2021 is so far struggling to get going and I’m sure that weariness you describe is a widespread thing. To reach for a boxing metaphor, we’re on the ropes! The lack of obvious solutions is a bit of a downer though I also share the optimism of your final words which somehow put me in mind of this Anglo-Saxon saying, allegedly uttered by someone on the losing side at the battle of Maldon: “Thought must be the harder, heart be the keener, mind must be the greater, while our strength lessens.”

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        1. I guess I’m glad to know it isn’t just me that feels the blogging energy passed. It happens I was just reading one blogger’s careful chapter-by-chapter read of two Orson Scott Card books and I couldn’t help noticing their posts, great insightful long things with dozens of replies in 2014, petered out to, like, three for the whole year of 2019 and nothing since then. ( http://somethingshortandsnappy.blogspot.com/search/label/Ender%27s%20Game if curious. )

          I guess I haven’t done enough following new bloggers to tell whether it’s just me and my generation of writers or the exhaustion of the world. It’s possible that what we all need is a decent break to find our centers again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for the link, Joseph. Yes, a good example of enthusiasm that ought to be flourishing but, given the times, may be fading. Your interesting observations make me wonder if we’re all gathering ourselves for some great collective leap forward. Hope so. A favourite phrase of my mum’s – ‘it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man’ …

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