How May 2022 Treated My Mathematics Blog


The easy way to put this article is, if I don’t read my mathematics blog why should anyone else? There is truth to this. I have mentioned several times that this has been a difficult year for me, and I’ve had to ration where I put my energy. I’ve avoided going a whole week without a post, but it’s only by reposting old material that I’ve managed that. Even the old standby of writing about the mathematics in comic strips has fallen short, as Comic Strip Master Command isn’t sending so many worth my attention these days. These are strange times.

The result is a decline in my readership, although it’s less of one than I had expected. There were no comments at all around here in May, which, have to say, seems fair. There wasn’t much to comment on, especially with just four essays posted. That’s my lowest posting volume in years. It’s also not the first time I had zero comments in a month, which takes some sting off.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. There was a huge peak around October 2019, and a much lower but fairly steady wave of readership after that. It's slightly increased for January 2022, dropped for February, rose slightly for March, and dropped a small bit in April and May again.
Yes, I see how WordPress claims I have 997 followers — you can join that group by using the ‘Follow Nebusresearch’ button at the upper right of the screen. I suspect a lot of them aren’t following closely, though.

So there were 2,057 page views here in May. That’s a bit below the twelve-month running mean of 2,212.3 views per month leading up to May. And below the running median of 2,114.5 views. Per posting, the number looks impressive, though, with 514.3 page views per posting. That beats the running mean of 309.1 and median of 302.8.

There were 1,358 unique visitors recorded in May. That’s again a slight decline from the 1,528.2 running mean and 1,461.5 running median. And, again, per posting the numbers seem impressive. 339.5 unique visitors with each posting, above the mean of 213.2 and median of 211.3. The implication, yes, is if I didn’t post at all I’d have infinitely many readers, a conclusion which hurts my feelings.

There were twenty likes given in May, up from April but still below the mean of 35.3 and median of 33. It’s a per-posting average of 5.0 likes per posting, above the mean of 4.6 and median of 4.2 but there’s no way there’s statistical significance to that. And, of course, no comments, compared to a running mean of 9.7 and median of 7.

With so few essays posted it’s easy to report the order of their popularity. I’m not sure whether their order depends on how interesting the text was or how early in the month they were posted. There’s no way the difference is statistically significant. But here’s the May 2022 pieces ranked most popular to least:

WordPress figures I started the month with a grand total of 1,714 posts. These all together drew 3,319 comments and 161,316 page views from 97,265 recorded unique visitors. It also figures my average post for the month had 876 words in it, bringing my average post for the year 2022 down to 1,037 words per posting. I’ve managed to put together 40,451 words so far this year. This surprises me by being close to half what I’ve managed on my humor blog, where I post every day. There, I have several regular columns, such as story comic plot summaries, that are popular and relatively easy to write.

Having said all that, will this look at May’s figures affect my writing any? I do think I have enough comic strips for a post, that should be next Wednesday, at least. If Comic Strip Master Command works with me, there could be more. But this all will depend on my emotional and energy reserves.

Some of my faithful readers may wonder: am I preparing to say something sad about this year’s A-to-Z? I’m not prepared to say, not yet. What I am is thinking about whether I want to commit to such a big, hard project. I am aware how much it would tax me to do, and while I would like to have it done, there is so much doing to get there. It will depend on how June treats me.

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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