My Math Blog Statistics, October 2014


So now let me go over the mathematics blog statistics for October. I’ll get to listing countries; people like that.

It was a good month in terms of getting people to read: total number of pages viewed was 625, up from 558, and this is the fourth-highest month on record. The number of unique visitors was up too, from 286 in September to 323 in October, and that’s the third-highest since WordPress started giving me those statistics. The views per visitor barely changed, going from 1.95 to 1.93, which I’m comfortable supposing is a statistical tie. I reached 18,507 total page views by the end of October, and maybe I’ll reach that nice round-ish 19,000 by the end of November.

The countries sending me the most visitors were the usual set: the United States with 393, the United Kingdom with 35, and Austria with 23. Curiously, Argentina sent me 20 readers, while Canada plummeted down to a mere nine. Did I say something wrong, up there? On the bright side my Indian readership has grown to nine, which is the kind of trend I like. Sending just a single reader this past month were Albania, Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Brazil, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden were single-reader countries last month, and Finland and Sweden also the month before. I feel embarrassed by the poor growth in my Scandinavian readership, but at least it isn’t dwindling.

The most popular posts in October got a little bit away from the comics posts; the ones most often read were:

There weren’t any really great bits of search term poetry this month, but there were still some evocative queries that brought people to me, among them:

  • where did negative numbers come from
  • show me how to make a comic stip for rationalnumbers
  • desert island logarithm
  • herb jamaal math ludwig
  • in the figure shown below, Δabc and Δdec are right triangles. if de = 6, ab = 20, and be = 21, what is the area of Δdec?
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe.

That “origin is the gateway” thing has come up before. I stil don’t know what it means. I’m a little scared by it.

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My July 2013 Statistics


As I’ve started keeping track of my blog statistics here where it’s all public information, let me continue.

WordPress says that in July 2013 I had 341 pages read, which is down rather catastrophically from the June score of 713. The number of distinct visitors also dropped, though less alarmingly, from 246 down to 156; this also implies the number of pages each visitor viewed dropped from 2.90 down to 2.19. That’s still the second-highest number of pages-per-visitor that I’ve had recorded since WordPress started sharing that information with me, so, I’m going to suppose that the combination of school letting out (so fewer people are looking for help about trapezoids) and my relatively fewer posts this month hit me. There are presently 215 people following the blog, if my Twitter followers are counted among them. They hear about new posts, anyway.

My most popular posts over the past 30 days have been:

  1. John Dee, the ‘Mathematicall Praeface’ and the English School of Mathematics, which is primarily a pointer to the excellent mathematics history blog The Renaissance Mathematicus, and about the really quite fascinating Doctor John Dee, advisor to England’s Queen Elizabeth I.
  2. Counting From 52 To 11,108, some further work from Professor Inder J Taneja on a lovely bit of recreational mathematics. (Professor Taneja even pops in for the comments.)
  3. Geometry The Old-Fashioned Way, pointing to a fun little web page in which you can work out geometric constructions using straightedge and compass live and direct on the web.
  4. Reading the Comics, July 5, 2013, and finally; I was wondering if people actually still liked these posts.
  5. On Exact And Inexact Differentials, another “reblog” style pointer, this time to Carnot Cycle, a thermodynamics-oriented blog.
  6. And The $64 Question Was, in which I learned something about a classic game show and started to think about how it might be used educationally.

My all-time most popular post remains How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw, because I think there are people out there who worry about how many different kinds of trapezoids there are. I hope I can bring a little peace to their minds. (I make the answer out at six.)

The countries sending me the most viewers the past month have been the United States (165), then Denmark (32), Australia (24), India (18), and the United Kingdom and Brazil (12 each). Sorry, Canada (11). Sending me a single viewer each were Estonia, Slovenia, South Africa, the Netherlands, Argentina, Pakistan, Angola, France, and Switzerland. Argentina and Slovenia did the same for me last month too.

My June 2013 Statistics


I don’t understand why, but an awful lot of the advice I see about blogging says that it’s important not just to keep track of how your blog is doing, but also to share it, so that … numbers will like you more? I don’t know. But I can give it a try, anyway.

For June 2013, according to WordPress, I had some 713 page views, out of 246 unique visitors. That’s the second-highest number of page views I’ve had in any month this year (January had 831 views), and the third-highest I’ve had for all time (there were 790 in March 2012). The number of unique visitors isn’t so impressive; since WordPress started giving me that information in December 2012, I’ve had more unique visitors … actually, in every month but May 2013. On the other hand, the pages-per-viewer count of 2.90 is the best I’ve had; the implication seems to be that I’m engaging my audience.

The most popular posts for the past month were Counting From 52 to 11,108, which I believe reflects it getting picked for a class assignment somehow; A Cedar Point Follow-Up, which hasn’t got much mathematics in it but has got pretty pictures of an amusement park, and Solving The Price Is Right’s “Any Number” Game, which has got some original mathematics but also a pretty picture.

My all-time most popular posts are from the series about Trapezoids — working out how to find their area, and how many kinds of trapezoids there are — with such catchy titles as How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw, or How Do You Make A Trapezoid Right?, or Setting Out To Trap A Zoid, which should be recognized as a Dave Barry reference.

My most frequent commenters, “recent”, whatever that means, are Chiaroscuro and BunnyHugger (virtually tied), with fluffy, elkelement, MJ Howard, and Geoffrey Brent rounding out the top six.

The most common source of page clicks the past month was from the United States (468), with Brazil (51) and Canada (23) taking silver and bronze. And WordPress recorded one click each from Portugal, Serbia, Hungary, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic), Indonesia, Argentina, Poland, Slovenia, and Viet Nam. I’ve been to just one of those countries.

2012 in Review


I should maybe close out the Christmas/New Year season with the report of statistics which WordPress prepared about my little blog here. Of course they keep statistics; one of the big changes in human thought in the 20th century was that pretty near everything could not only be measured but that they could be measured statistically: what are the mean, the mode, the variances, how do things correlate, what can be done to maximize the desired and minimize the unwanted?

I don’t do quite that much tracking myself, as it’s a little too much work when all I’m doing is pointing out how Cow and Boy mentioned frustum volume formulas or something, but I do like watching the counter flicker as people find that, mostly, they want to see me talking about the area of a trapezoid. That’s by far the most popular thing I wrote in 2012, and all based on my fumbling the middle of a class. Had I not attempted to improvise in class, I would be less popular on the Internet. There’s a lesson here for our times and I don’t know what it is.

Continue reading “2012 in Review”


I have not, as far as I remember, encountered this theorem before. And for the time I’ve had to think about it I realize I’ve got no idea how to prove it. However, it’s a neat little result that makes me smile to hear about, and theorems that bring smiles are certainly worth sharing.

The Math Less Traveled

I haven’t written anything here in a while, but hope to write more regularly now that the semester is over—I have a seriesoncombinatorialproofs to finish up, some books to review, and a few other things planned. But to ease back into things, here’s a little puzzle for you. Recall that the Fibonacci numbers are defined by

$latex F_0 = 0; F_1 = 1; F_{n+2} = F_{n+1} + F_n$.

Can you figure out a way to prove the following cute theorem?

If $latex m$ evenly divides $latex n$, then $latex F_m$ evenly divides $latex F_n$.

(Incidentally, the existence of this theorem constitutes good evidence that the “correct” definition of $latex F_0$ is $latex 0$, not $latex 1$.)

For example, $latex 5$ evenly divides $latex 10$, and sure enough, $latex F_5 = 5$ evenly divides $latex F_{10} = 55$. $latex 13$ evenly divides $latex 91$, and sure enough, $latex…

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Mid-Course Correction 1, Continued


The next part of examining just how well this blog is doing is to think about the mechanical details of it. I’ve been publishing something typically three times a week, which feels to me like an easy enough schedule, and posting that in the evenings, which leaves me the workdays of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to actually think and compose things. The pieces have been around a thousand words long, although that has a greater tendency to be long than short. Thinking of something to write is hard; keeping going once I’ve started is easy.

That’s all set to my convenience. But I’m curious what readers think of these properties. For one, is the three-a-week schedule a good one? I feel like a weekly blog is too easy to forget about reading, and a daily one might be too much if the subject hasn’t got the fun aspects of ridiculing comic strips or the exciting aspects of ridiculing other people’s politics. Is my instinct reasonable? Also, the publication in the evening is nice for me, but it does mean articles go up when at least one of my readers has gone to sleep, and the Friday evening article can go missing completely against the backdrop of the weekend. Is there a better time?

Is the length reasonable? Should I try writing to a shorter length so as to not present so many walls of text, particularly when I start getting into topics that need equations or algebraic manipulations; or should I let several short pieces run into a more unified and longer post? What’s the natural reading length for pop mathematics that you find interesting? Yes, yes, a good essay is never long enough, but I’m not arrogant enough to think I’m always being very interesting.

As ever I’ll try to be good-spirited about complaints. I don’t promise to take everybody’s advice, but I do promise to consider it.

Mid-Course Correction 1


I’m about three months into this particular blog-writing experiment, so it’s probably time to start over-thinking it. For the most part I’m happy; I like doing some thinking about mathematics in this kind of organized way, and I really like that I keep finding a thousand or so words to say on different topics, and that those fell to me to be topics that aren’t written about obsessively much in the rest of the pop mathematics universe. And the results have fit my typical self-estimation, that I find it all quite satisfying until the moment I publish, then realize I’ve just shown to the world the stupidest words ever strung together, and as I get some distance from publication come to find I didn’t say what I wanted quite right, but I did acceptably well.

My satisfaction’s not necessarily the important part, though; somewhere in the list of motives I have for writing is to communicate. So, I’d like to know whether you-the-presumed-reader does think I’m communicating. Am I, at least generally, writing about interesting topics; am I varying the topics at a reasonable rate, or should I keep on one thread for more or fewer posts in a row; are the individual essays as interesting as the topics demand?

I’ll try to be good-natured about criticisms, whether put out here or sent to me directly. I don’t promise to change in response to any particular complaint, but I will do my best to listen and consider whether it feels right and whether it might be something I can or want to act on. For example, one person said I harder to start than to finish reading. This feels odd to me, but I’m curious how other people see the same writings.