How November 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I was barely done sulking about the drop in readership on my humor blog when I started preparing the mathematics-blog readership report. And readership did drop from October (and September). Not by much, though. There were 1,052 pages viewed here in November 2017, barely less than October’s 1,069. It’s a fair bit under September’s 1,232, but that’s to be expected when I don’t have a strong gimmick going on like an A To Z project.

The number of unique visitors dropped, down to 604 from October’s 614, again a trivial difference. September had seen 672 visitors and that’s a more noticeable drop. Still not much, considering. The number of likes rose a bit, up to 70 from October’s 64. Still down from September’s 98. And all that still way down from, like, a year ago. I don’t know if it’s my shuffling off into irrelevance or if there’s something making likes less of a thing lately. I’d be curious other bloggers’ experience.

I’d started December with 55,419 page views from an estimated 25,617 known unique visitors, although some of them I only know apart because of their nametags.

So what countries have sent me readers? 56 of them, up from October’s 51 but down from September’s 65. How many sent me multiple readers? All but 22 of those. That’s up from October — 13 single-reader countries — and September — 20 single-reader countries — but these things happen. Here’s the full roster:

Country Readers
United States 676
United Kingdom 87
Canada 46
India 40
Philippines 26
Australia 15
Singapore 11
Brazil 9
Spain 9
Bangladesh 8
Hong Kong SAR China 7
Belgium 6
Germany 6
Israel 6
Slovenia 6
Uruguay 6
European Union 5
France 5
South Africa 5
South Korea 5
Switzerland 5
Denmark 4
Italy 4
Sweden 4
Egypt 3
Iceland 3
Indonesia 3
Netherlands 3
Austria 2
Ireland 2
Lithuania 2
Poland 2
Qatar 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Algeria 1
Argentina 1
Azerbaijan 1
Estonia 1
Ethiopia 1
Japan 1 (*)
Kazakhstan 1
Kuwait 1
Lebanon 1
Maldives 1
Mexico 1
Norway 1
Oman 1
Peru 1
Portugal 1
Romania 1
Saudi Arabia 1
Slovakia 1
St. Kitts and Nevis 1
Thailand 1
Tunisia 1
Zimbabwe 1

Japan’s the only country to have sent me a single reader last month too, and no countries have sent me single readers more than two months in a row currently.

So that’s general popularity. What articles were popular around here? One traditional piece. Reading the Comics pieces. And the lovably misguided attempt by Józef Maria Hoëne-Wronski to give us a culturally neutral definition of π broke out to … well, second and third place, anyway:

Also, clearly, I need to think of more simple mathematically-answerable questions that everybody wonders since that record-side question is always popular. And when that is less popular, the question about how many kinds of trapezoid there are turns up.

Anyway, should you have read this and decided you want to be among my hundreds of WordPress followers who somehow don’t show up on the readership statistics, please, do so. There should be a ‘Follow on WordPress’ button in the upper right corner of the page. There’s also a ‘Follow by e-mail’ if you want things sent to an already-overfull box of things you haven’t time to read. Thank you.

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How October 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


October paid less attention to my mathematics blog than did September. I expected that. I published rather fewer pieces in October as the A To Z project had finished. And there’s some extent to which publishing anything is valuable in getting readership. How important I don’t know. I’ve never tried testing the relationship between how many readers I get and how many articles I post. I imagine the number of confounding factors would make their relationship vague. But I could run it anyway, as an example of how to do that kind of calculation.

It also makes me wonder whether republishing older essays is worthwhile. Or at least posting links to older content. I worry about boring longtime readers, although I’m not sure how many of those I even have. And it happens two of my most popular essays this month were fairly old bits of writing. I like to list the top five around here, but there was a three-way tie for fifth place. Big in October were:

That “here’s a thing I read” also seems to be a reliably popular post suggests maybe I need to do a weekly post about just other mathematics stuff I’d read.

Country Readers
United States 632
United Kingdom 76
India 67
Philippines 60
Canada 31
Germany 16
Slovenia 16
Singapore 15
Australia 12
France 11
Austria 10
Romania 7
Spain 7
Malaysia 6
Brazil 5
Kuwait 5
Netherlands 5
Turkey 5
Belarus 4
Hong Kong SAR China 4
Italy 4
South Africa 4
European Union 3
Poland 3
Slovakia 3
South Korea 3
Argentina 2
Denmark 2
Indonesia 2
Iraq 2
Ireland 2
Mexico 2
Norway 2
St. Kitts and Nevis 2
Sweden 2
Thailand 2
Ukraine 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Albania 1
Bangladesh 1
Belgium 1 (*)
Bulgaria 1 (*)
China 1
Hungary 1
Japan 1
Latvia 1
Macedonia 1
New Zealand 1 (*)
Russia 1
Switzerland 1
Taiwan 1

I make that out to be 51 countries sending me readers at all, down from September’s 65. There were 13 single-reader countries, down from September’s 20. Belgium, Bulgaria, and New Zealand were single-reader countries for two months in a row, and no country’s on a three-month single-reader streak. “European Union” is back after a month’s absence. I’m still surprised by the number of readers from the Philippines I’ve drawn two months in a row now.

All together there were 1,069 page views from 614 unique visitors in October. That’s down from 1,232 page views and 672 unique visitors in September, and an up-and-down split from the 1,030 page views from 680 unique visitors in August. In August there were 21 posts here, in September 20, and in October 13. I kind of get the feeling people like me, but only a certain amount of me, and then they drift off.

The number of ‘likes’ went back to cratering, down to 64 over the month of October. There’d been 98 in September and 147 in August. The number of comments fell too, to a meager 12 from September’s 42 and August’s 46. The A To Z format definitely looks more inviting and welcoming to commenters, I have to conclude.

October finished out with my page here having collected 54,336 total page views from some 25,288 admitted unique visitors. I believe there were a few more visitors but some of them were copying.

Insights says that the most popular day for page views was Monday, which drew 18 percent of page views, down just a bit from September’s 20 percent. In a major upset 6 pm was not the most popular hour for readers, though. 7 pm was, when 8 percent of page views came in. I’m not sure how that happened; 6 pm is when I set most stuff to post and readers seem to follow. Maybe it’s a Daylight Saving Time issue. Oh, come to think of it, this is one of the few weeks that Greenwich Time and Eastern Time aren’t in Daylight-Saving/Summer-Time synch, isn’t it? I started out with this as a joke but perhaps that’s really going on. (No, I guess not. 12:00 am is still my most popular hour on my humor blog.) Anyway, I’m figuring to skip future mentions of what Insights tells me about popular days or hours. I can’t figure how they’re indicating anything more than “I’m about equally popular-ish any hour of any day of the week”.

WordPress says I’m starting November with 709 WordPress.com followers, which is down from September’s 717. Well, I’m sure all 709 of them are live, active accounts from people who’ve used them more recently than three years ago when they posted twice. If you’d like to follow my mathematical chats here you can add it to your reader. Go to the upper right corner of this page and click the ‘Follow NebusResearch’ button. If you’d rather get things by e-mail, there should be a ‘Follow Blog Via E-Mail’ button there too. And if that’s all fine enough but you’d like to see me limited to about 22 words at a time, try out @Nebusj on Twitter. Thanks.

How September 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


So, pretty well. That’s a common trait to months when I’m running an A To Z. I post something in the sequence three times a week, and that, plus “Reading the Comics” features, and the occasional fill-in extra mean I have a lot of stuff that people find interesting. According to WordPress’s statistics there were 1,232 pages viewed around here in September, which is comfortably over the 1,000 mark that I think is important for some reason. It’s also the third-highest monthly total I have, coming in just behind the March-April 2016 Leap Day A To Z peak. Back then I went two whole months with something posted every day. Some of that, back then, was reblogs, but that’s all right. It looks the same to the statistics page. September it looks like somebody did a deep archive binge at least once, but again, that’s all people looking at something they find interesting enough to try. There had been 1,030 pages viewed in August, and a relatively mere 911 in July. But in August and September there were 21 and 20 posts, compared to only 13 in July.

The number of unique visitors was off, but not by much: down to 672 from August’s 680. In July there had been 568. This isn’t quite the peaks of March-April 2016, but it’s not far off. I seem to do fairly well getting a reliable number of readers in, lately, although June and July of this year were low. (But those were also months I was pulled away, repeatedly, from WordPress and writing.)

For all that, and for as happy as I was with my writing — I think this A To Z was my best glossary sequence yet — it got fewer reader ‘like’s. Only 98 in September, down from August’s 147 and even July’s 118. I’ve been in a rut with those lately and I’m not sure what I need do. In the first A to Z month I ever did there were 518 likes clicked, and where all those potential readers have gone is beyond me. Especially since the number of pages viewed has not shrunk in all that time.

Also mysterious: while the month felt like a chatty one in my comments, it wasn’t really. 42 comments posted, including my own, in September, down from August’s 46 and July’s 45. That beats the doldrom months before that, but again. June 2015: 114 comments. Same number of page views as back then. Even more unique visitors than back then. I don’t mean to say things that shy people away from commenting, but I seem to be doing it anyway.

The popular articles were one perennial, one comics, and three A To Z posts:

There’s no real sense to deciding what you want your audience to like. They’ll like what they do and you have to yield gracefully to that. But I am glad with those three being the top A To Z posts this past month. They’re ones I think I did well on. I also think that if it had come earlier in the month, then X would have made the top five. Maybe it’ll make next month.

So: what are the countries my readers come from? And is this really quite as popular a thing as I always say it is? Here we go.

Country Readers
United States 644
United Kingdom 156
Philippines 83
India 55
Canada 33
Austria 28
Singapore 19
Denmark 17
Australia 14
Germany 14
Brazil 12
Sweden 10
France 9
Spain 9
Thailand 9
Hong Kong SAR China 8
Slovenia 8
Mexico 6
Argentina 5
Russia 4
South Africa 4
Bangladesh 3
Costa Rica 3
Finland 3
Italy 3
Netherlands 3
Nigeria 3
Pakistan 3
Romania 3
Switzerland 3
Vietnam 3
Barbados 2
Hungary 2
Israel 2
Japan 2
Nepal 2
Norway 2
Portugal 2
Saudi Arabia 2
Ukraine 2
Angola 1
Armenia 1 (*)
Belarus 1
Belgium 1
Bulgaria 1
Chile 1 (*)
Cyprus 1
Ghana 1
Greece 1
Guam 1
Indonesia 1
Ireland 1
Kenya 1
Luxembourg 1
Madagascar 1
Malaysia 1
New Zealand 1
Paraguay 1
Puerto Rico 1 (*)
Serbia 1
Slovakia 1
South Korea 1
Turkey 1
United Arab Emirates 1 (*)
Venezuela 1 (*)

There were, I honestly believe, 65 countries sending me readers this past month. 25 of them were single-reader countries. In August there were 62 countries sending readers, if you count the European Union and the US Virgin Islands, and for that matter Puerto Rico, as distinct countries. This month, yeah, WordPress lists Guam and Puerto Rico as countries. Also September made me aware of how many of my countrymen apparently didn’t hear about the War of 1898 somehow? I honestly don’t know. I mean, I realize that I’m an unusually history-oriented person, in that I have, without exaggeration, delighted people with trivia about the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. But jeez, this was war with Spain and the coming-out party of American imperialism. You’d think word would have filtered through. Anyway, in September there were 20 single-reader countries with the usual sorts of notes about that.

Armenia, Chile, Puerto Rico, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela were single-reader countries last month; no country’s on a two- or more-month streak.

Insights says my most popular day for reading was Monday, with 20 percent of page views then. Last month it was Wednesday with 18 percent of page views. The most popular hour was 6 pm, with 8 percent of page views. 6 pm WordPress Time is when I schedule stuff to post, so you’d expect that to be popular. But 8 percent not exactly a major bump. I guess people come whenever it’s convenient to their schedule, not my publication. Which is fine.

I start the month with 53,298 page views, from an admitted 24,673, though that’s a probably incomplete count. I’ve also got 717 followers, most of them by WordPress — as you can do from the “Follow Nebusresearch” button at the upper-right corner of the page — and a handful from email. That you can do by the “Follow Blog Via E-Mail” button up there too.

On Twitter I’m @Nebusj. I’m a lot like I am here, there, but shorter. Please feel free to join me there.

How July 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


July was a slightly better-read month around here than June was. I expected that. There weren’t any more posts in July — 13 both months — but the run-up to an A-to-Z sequence usually draws in readers. Not so many as might have been. I didn’t break back above the 1,000 threshold. But there were 911 page views from 568 distinct visitors, according to WordPress. In June there were 878 page views from only 542 visitors. May saw 1,029 page views from 662 visitors and I anticipate that August should be closer to that.

The biggest measure of how engaged readers were rose dramatically. There were 45 comments posted here over the month. In June there were a meager 13 comments, and in May only eight. Asking questions that demand answers, and that hold out the prospect of making me do stuff, seems to be the trick. The number of likes rose less dramatically, with 118 things liked around here. In June there were only 99 likess; in May, 78. This isn’t like the peaks of the Summer 2015 A To Z (518 Likes in June!), but we’ll see what happens.

The most popular posts in July were the usual mix of Reading the Comics posts, the number of grooves on a record, and A To Z publicity:

There were 60 countries sending me readers in July, up from 52 in June and in May. In a twist, the United States sent the greatest number of them:

Country Views
United States 466
Philippines 59
United Kingdom 57
Canada 45
India 35
Singapore 32
Austria 31
France 16
Australia 15
Brazil 14
Germany 12
Spain 12
Hong Kong SAR China 8
Italy 7
Puerto Rico 7
Argentina 6
South Africa 6
Belgium 5
Netherlands 4
Norway 4
Russia 4
Sweden 4
Switzerland 4
Chile 3
Indonesia 3
Nigeria 3
Slovakia 3
Colombia 2
Czech Republic 2
Denmark 2
Estonia 2
Lebanon 2
Malaysia 2
New Zealand 2
Pakistan 2
Poland 2
Thailand 2
Turkey 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Bangladesh 1
Belarus 1
Bulgaria 1
Cambodia 1
Cape Verde 1
Costa Rica 1
European Union 1
Hungary 1 (*)
Israel 1
Japan 1 (**)
Kazakhstan 1
Latvia 1
Mexico 1 (*)
Oman 1
Paraguay 1
Romania 1
Saudi Arabia 1
Serbia 1
South Korea 1
Ukraine 1 (**)
Vietnam 1

There were 20 single-reader countries, up from 16 in June and down from May’s 21. Hungary and Mexico were single-reader countries the previous month. Japan and Ukraine have been single-reader countries three months running now. I’ve lost my monthly lone Portuguese reader. I hope she’s well and just busy with other projects. Still don’t know what “European Union” means in this context.

The most popular day for reading was Monday, with 19 percent of page views coming in then. Why? Good question. In June it had been Sunday, with 18 percent. In May it was Sunday, with 16 percent. This is probably a meaningless flutter. The most popular hour was, again 4 pm, when 19 percent of page views came. 4 pm Greenwich Time is when I set most stuff to appear so I understand that being a trendy hour. In June the 4 pm hour got 14 percent of my page views.

August started with the blog having 51,034 page views from 23,322 distinct viewers that WordPress will admit to. And it lists me as having 676 followers on WordPress, up from the start of July’s triangular-number (thanks, IvaSally!) 666. If you’d like this blog to appear in your wordPress reader, please use the little blue strip labelled “Follow nebusresearch” which should appear in the upper-right corner of the page. If following by e-mail is more your thing, there’s a strip labelled “Follow Blog Via E-mail” that you can use. I have finally looked up how to make that e-mail instead of “email”. It required my trying. I’m also on Twitter, as @Nebusj. And I support a humor blog as well, a nice cozy little thing that includes useful bits of information like quick summaries of the current story comics so you can avoid sounding uninformed about the plot twists of Alley Oop. It’s a need which I can fill.

There’s Still Time To Ask For Things For The Mathematics A To Z


Summer 2017 Mathematics A to Z, featuring a coati (it's kind of the Latin American raccoon) looking over alphabet blocks, with a lot of equations in the background.
Art courtesy of Thomas K Dye, creator of the web comic Newshounds. He has a Patreon for those able to support his work. He’s also open for commissions, starting from US$10.

I’m figuring to begin my Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z next week. And I’ve got the first several letters pinned down, in part by a healthy number of requests by Gaurish, a lover of mathematics. Partly by some things I wanted to talk about.

There are many letters not yet spoken for, though. If you’ve got something you’d like me to talk about, please head over to my first appeal and add a comment. The letters crossed out have been committed, but many are free. And the challenges are so much fun.

What Would You Like In The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z?


Summer 2017 Mathematics A to Z, featuring a coati (it's kind of the Latin American raccoon) looking over alphabet blocks, with a lot of equations in the background.
Art courtesy of Thomas K Dye, creator of the web comic Newshounds. He has a Patreon for those able to support his work.

I would like to now announce exactly what everyone with the ability to draw conclusions expected after I listed the things covered in previous Mathematics A To Z summaries. I’m hoping to write essays about another 26 topics, one for each of the major letters of the alphabet. And, as ever, I’d like your requests. It’s great fun to be tossed out a subject and either know enough about it, or learn enough about it in a hurry, to write a couple hundred words about it.

So that’s what this is for. Please, in comments, list something you’d like to see explained.

For the most part, I’ll do a letter on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll try to keep this page updated so that people know which letters have already been taken. I might try rewording or rephrasing a request if I can’t do it under the original letter if I can think of a legitimate way to cover it under another. I’m open to taking another try at something I’ve already defined in the three A To Z runs I’ve previously done, especially since many of the terms have different meanings in different contexts.

I’m always in need of requests for letters such as X and Y. But you knew that if you looked at how sparse Mathworld’s list of words for those letters are.

Letters To Request:

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

I’m flexible about what I mean by “a word” or “a term” in requesting something, especially if it gives me a good subject to write about. And if you think of a clever way to get a particular word covered under a letter that’s really inappropriate, then, good. I like cleverness. I’m not sure what makes for the best kinds of glossary terms. Sometimes a broad topic is good because I can talk about how an idea expresses itself across multiple fields. Sometimes a narrow topic is good because I can dig in to a particular way of thinking. I’m just hoping I’m not going to commit myself to three 2500-word essays a week. Those are fun, but they’re exhausting, as the time between Why Stuff Can Orbit essays may have hinted.

And finally, I’d like to thank Thomas K Dye for creating banner art for this sequence. He’s the creator of the longrunning web comic Newshounds. He’s also got the book version, Newshounds: The Complete Story freshly published, a Patreon to support his comics habit, and plans to resume his Infinity Refugees spinoff strip shortly.

How June 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I’m a little behind my usual review of the month’s readership and what’s popular around here, but I have good reason for it: I was busy earlier this week. Expect to be busy next week, too. Really, it’s going to be a bit of a mad month so do please watch this spot next week when I unleash some extra madness on myself. Thank you.

So. Readers in June 2017: how many did I have? Disappointingly few of them, it turns out. Only 878, down from the 1029 in May and 994 in April. Heck, that’s not even close to what I had been running in previous months. Not sure what happened there. Maybe it’s everybody getting out of (US) schools and not needing comic strips read to them anymore. The number of unique visitors fell too, to 542 down from May’s 662 and April’s 696. It’s not a phenomenon related to the number of things posted, either; I had 13 posts in June versus 12 in May, and 13 in April, and 12 in March, which suggests that July I can take relatively easy, come to think of it. I finally had an uptick in the number of likes, at least, with that rising to 99 from the 78 of May and the 90 of April. I don’t think that’s statistically significant a difference, though. The number of comments also rose, but to only 13; that beats May’s 8, but April only had 16. Well, I have a scheme in mind to increase the number of comments too. You’ll know it when you see it. But, wow, a statistics page like that and I worry that I’ve passed my prime here.

The popular stuff around here was about what I’d expected: the count of grooves in a record, and a bunch of Reading the Comics posts. And then one of the supplemental pieces in my Why Stuff Can Orbit series, which was helped by Elke Stangl’s most gracious words about it. The top articles, since there was a three-way tie for fourth place:

Now the roster of the 52 countries that sent me readers in June, and how many each of them did. Spoiler: the United States tops the list.

Country Views
United States 472
Turkey 74
India 52
United Kingdom 40
Canada 38
Austria 23
Puerto Rico 17
Australia 16
Germany 15
Singapore 12
Brazil 11
China 9
France 7
Italy 7
Slovenia 7
Philippines 5
Norway 4
Spain 4
Switzerland 4
Argentina 3
Hong Kong SAR China 3
Israel 3
Netherlands 3
New Zealand 3
Russia 3
Sweden 3
Cambodia 2
Chile 2
Indonesia 2
Kenya 2
Malaysia 2
Poland 2
Saudi Arabia 2
South Africa 2
South Korea 2
Thailand 2
Azerbaijan 1
Bahrain 1
Bangladesh 1
Belgium 1 (*)
Colombia 1 (*)
Estonia 1
Ghana 1
Hungary 1
Ireland 1
Japan 1 (*)
Jordan 1
Macedonia 1
Mexico 1
Palestinian Territories 1
Portugal 1 (***)
Ukraine 1 (*)

I make that out as readers coming from 52 countries, same as in May and slightly more than there were in April. There were 16 single-reader countries in June, down from May’s 21 and up from April’s 10. Belgium, Colombia, Japan, and Ukraine have been single-reader countries for two months running now. Portugal is on a four-month single-reader streak. Hi, person from Portugal. I’m glad you like me a little bit. That’s better than not at all. I have no idea why I’m suddenly popular in Turkey.

The most popular day for posts was Sunday, with 18 percent of page views. That’s marginally up from 16 percent in May, but the same as April’s count. The most popular hour was 4 pm, when 14 percent of my page views came. I rather suspected that would happen; I tried moving the default posting time two hours earlier this past month and sure enough, the readers followed. People stop in here right after something’s posted or not much at all. Hm.

The mathematics blog started the month with 50,125 page views, so hey, finally broke 50,000! Nice. These came from something like 22,754 distinct viewers that WordPress is aware of existing.

WordPress’s report of what search terms people are looking for has collapsed into uselessness. About all it admits to people wanting in June, besides “unknown search terms”, were Jumble — I want it too, but can’t find a good source that just gives me the day’s puzzle in a static picture — and “concept of pythagorean theorem” and “short conversation to explain algebra”. The Pythagorean theorem I can do, but a short conversation to explain algebra? … Well, which kind of algebra? I suppose they don’t want the fun kinds. They never do.

The Insights panel thinks there are 666 WordPress.com followers to start the month. I can accept that. Not all of them seem to visit, but that might just be that they’re following me in their Readers rather than clicking individual links. I’ve given up on leaving a teaser of text out front and hiding the rest behind a click. That stuff might record, but nobody likes it, me included. If you’d like to follow this blog in your WordPress reader, there’s a little blue strip labelled “Follow nebusresearch” in the upper-right corner of the page. If you’d rather follow by e-mail, it’s under “Follow Blog Via Email” and don’t think I want a – in there. And I am on Twitter as well, as @Nebusj. That account sometimes gets into talking about non-mathematical stuff, including my humor blog which is a slightly more popular hangout, since I regularly explain what’s going on in the story strips. So if you looked at Mary Worth the last couple months and couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, I can tell you: it’s CRUISE SHIPS. Only in more detail.

How May 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


The big news is that in May my mathematics blog crept back above a thousand page views. It had been a whole month since it had reached this threshold of purely imaginary significance. For what was a slow writing month — only twelve posts — marred by my computer dying and a nasty cold the final week, the numbers aren’t bad.

In May there were 1,029 pages viewed here. That’s up from April’s 994 and March’s 1,026. The number of unique visitors is down for the third month running, though, down to 662 from April’s 696 and March’s 699. The happy implication: people reading more posts as they visit. You know, liking my writing more.

Views and Visitors for my mathematics blog, January 2015 through May 2017 with as much June as there's been so far. It's all been kind of stable, rocking back and forth around 1,000 views and like 650 visitors per month, for the past year or so.
I still feel like trying to rig up some compensation for that bizarre event back in … September 2015, wasn’t it? … when suddenly everybody’s statistics everywhere dropped and we blamed it on them no longer counting mobile devices. But if that were so, surely they’ve put them back? There’s no way the non-mobile-device readership is growing fast enough that these numbers should be about stable.

I’d think, anyway. There were 78 posts liked in May, down from April’s 90 and March’s 85. Not to pout or anything but WordPress does tell me that in June 2015 there were 518 likes around here and I can’t think, gosh, what was different then? … Well, it was one of my A To Z months, with posts 28 days of the month, and that usually encourages cross-reading. The number of comments just cratered, though: there were only 8 all month, down from 16 in April and 15 in May. Clearly I’m failing to encourage conversation and I don’t know how to turn that around.

The low comments count does confirm something for me, though. I switched the way I cross-link to posts here so that I use the full URLs for articles instead of the wp.me tinyURLs. The full URLs create trackback links and are regarded as comments that need approval from me, but they clearly don’t count as comments in the monthly totals. Since I like the trackback links — I fool myself into thinking people use them to learn about related subjects — I’ll stick with that. I had shifted so as not to confound my comment counts on these statistics pages.

According to Insights the most popular day for reading stuff was Thursday, with 16 percent of page views then. In April Sunday was the busiest day again with 16 percent of page views; in March it was 18 percent, on Tuesdays. I may give up on tracking this; obviously, each day is about equally likely to be the most popular. The most popular reading time was the hour of 6 pm, with 11 percent of page views coming before 7 pm. In April the same hour got 11 percent of page views again. In March it got 12 percent. I might experiment with the designated posting hour to find a more popular time, but obviously most people are going to read right after the thing is published.

So what was popular writing around here in April? I don’t want to say I knew this would happen, but one of the top five posts was one for which I wrote eleven words, and which I predicted to myself would be among the motnh’s top posts.

  1. How Many Grooves Are On A Record’s Side? People want simple answers to their questions.
  2. Reading the Comics, May 27, 2017: Panels Edition and I’m surprised this took the lead in the month’s Reading the Comics races, given how little time it had to do it.
  3. How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw as see above comment about people wanting answers
  4. Theorem Thursday: The Jordan Curve Theorem which I was thinking about at the mall on Thursday. Something or other made me think of it and how much I liked my description of how you prove the theorem.
  5. Dabbing and the Pythagorean Theorem which, really, I should do more like given how popular this kind of post is.

Now the roster of the 52 countries that sent me readers in May, and how many each of them did. Spoiler: the United States tops the list.

Country Views
United States 658
Canada 40
United Kingdom 38
Australia 28
Italy 23
India 19
Singapore 15
Slovenia 13
Turkey 13
Spain 12
South Africa 11
Austria 10
Switzerland 10
Denmark 7
Mexico 7
New Zealand 7
Puerto Rico 7
Philippines 6
Brazil 5
Oman 5
Russia 5
Sweden 5
Germany 4
Chile 3
France 3
Netherlands 3
Bangladesh 2
European Union 2
Indonesia 2
Pakistan 2
Peru 2
Argentina 1 (*)
Bahamas 1
Belgium 1
Colombia 1
Czech Republic 1
Finland 1 (**)
Iceland 1
Israel 1
Japan 1
Nigeria 1
Poland 1
Portugal 1 (**)
Saudi Arabia 1
Slovakia 1
Sri Lanka 1
St. Kitts & Nevis 1
Taiwan 1
US Virgin Islands 1
Ukraine 1
Uruguay 1
Venezuela 1

There had been 45 countries sending readers in April and 56 in March. European Union makes its big return.

There were 21 single-reader countries in May, way up from April’s 10 but still down from March’s 26. Argentina was a single-reader country in April also. Finland and Portugal have been single-reader countries for three months.

The month starts with 49,247 page views from some 22,212 logged distinct visitors since WordPress started telling us about those. WordPress tells me also there are 662 followers on WordPress, people who’ve gone and clicked the ‘Follow On WordPress’ button at the top right of the page in the hopes that I’ll follow back and increase their readership count. We all know how the game works.

And then what are popular search terms bringing folks here? What you’d expect given the most popular posts.

  • comics conversation
  • how many grooves are on typical record or cd ? how they are arranged?
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe.
  • peacetips football prediction
  • only yestetday dividing fractions
  • animated rolling dice 7

Plus some 146 unknown search terms. I’d be interested to know what those are too.

Well, thanks all of you for being around for this. I hope it’s a good month ahead.

You know, the arrangement of CDs is probably an interesting subject. I love that sort of technical-detail stuff too. It’s probably only slightly mathematics but I bet I can find a pretext to include it here. If someone’s interested.

How April 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Didn’t think I’d forget to post my readership review, did you? I just ran out of good posting slots for it last week, as I didn’t want to put off my return to Why Stuff Can Orbit more.

So, my page views dropped back below a thousand for the month. I knew it would happen sooner or later. It just barely missed a thousand, too: WordPress says I had 994 pages viewed over the month. It’s not significantly different to March’s 1,026, although given that I posted one more thing over the month than I did the previous month it hurts. At its rate I’d have had 1,027.1 views were April a 31-day month. That sort of excuse won’t fly; in so-short February there were 1,063 page views here. I’m just in a thousand-view groove right now.

The number of distinct visitors was technically down, but I can’t say it’s by anything significant. There were 696 visitors in April, down from 699 in March, and up from 680 in February. That’s no difference at all.

The number of likes were up slightly, to 90 in April. There had been 85 in March and 77 in February. There’s no disapproving of that trend, although as happened on my humor blog I noticed the long-term trend and realized my likability peaked sometime around June of 2015. That was the month of my first-ever A To Z project, but I’m surprised to not have had anything near that peak (518 likes!) since.

WordPress's bar chart of likes received per month. Special peaks during the Summer 2015 and the Leap Day 2016 A To Z posting seasons. A lot of dwindling since then.
Not pictured: the rising curve of how much my Mom likes my posts.

Comments were flat again, 16 for April. There were 15 in March and 18 in February. I’m going to screw up my month-to-month comparisons again. I’m switching my links to previous posts back to the way that gets counted as a comment. So I’ll lose track of how often people actually say something versus how often I point people to my own writing. And I need to ask more engaging questions anyway.

So what articles were popular here in April? Two perennials, a couple of did-you-read-this bits, and then the answer to a trivia question people sometimes think to ask. Have some fun, if you’re a loyal reader: take your guesses what they are and see if you’re right. I’ll put the answers underneath the Big Geography Table, where I list the countries that sent readers here and how many they sent.

So the most-read stuff for April was:

So I make out that 45 separate countries sent me readers in April, down from 56 in March and 64 in February. “European Union” remains strangely absent. There were ten single-reader countries, down from 26 in March and 22 in February. Finland, Portugal, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam were single-reader countries last month, and Vietnam is on a three-month streak.

The month started at 48,218 page views from 21,550 logged unique visitors. And I’m listed at having 655 followers on WordPress. You could be among them, by clicking the ‘Follow on WordPress’ button. There’s also a smaller number of e-mail followers, who followed by e-mail instead. There are advantages to following by e-mail, such as that then I don’t know if I’m read at all, and I can’t fix the typos and grammatical messes that I notice only after a post has gone live.

WordPress insights say the most popular day for readership around here in Sunday, when 16 percent of views come in. That’s what I would expect, except that in March the most popular day was Tuesday (18 percent of views), and in February it was Monday (16 percent). These are so close to one-seventh — 14.3 percent — that I figure there’s not any real difference. The most popular hour was that of 6 pm, which is when I normally schedule things to appear. 11 percent of page views came between 6 and 7 pm (Universal Time), down from March’s 12 percent but back to February’s number.

So allow me now to close with some of the search terms bringing people here:

  • comic script of the apple by plato (Huh?)
  • how many grooves are on a cd
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe. (thank goodness)
  • worst ways to pack (there’s a lot of room to do badly!)
  • puzzle pool ball large table frictionless
  • particle theory comic strip (fair enough)

Thanks for being around, though, and thanks for reading this. I’m hoping to get to some more interesting stuff in the Why Stuff Can Orbit series this month and then I’m figuring what I want my big summer project to be. Stick around for updates, please.

How March 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


It’s a good time for my occasional review of how blogging here is going. And it turns out from WordPress’s statistics that apparently I don’t need to blog anymore for things to turn out all right. But March ended up a slow and outright lazy month for me, with only twelve posts (one of them the monthly statistics report) and I feared what would happen to my readership numbers.

Turns out, nothing. There were 1,026 page views in March from 699 unique visitors. In February there’d been 1,063 views from 680 unique visitors, and in January some 1,031 page views from 586 unique visitors. That’s reassuring, especially as I work out when I’m going to have the energy for a new A to Z sequence.

Oh, reader engagement might have dropped, since most of what I wrote was Reading the Comics posts and they’re pretty closed topics. I can’t think of a way to turn “here’s one where the student misinterprets the word problem” into something debatable. Maybe “here’s one where the student does not misinterpret the word problem”, since posting an error is the surest way to get a correction. There were only 15 comments in March, down from February’s 18 and way down from January’s 34. Maybe I need to do a blog potluck or something to encourage chatter. I was slightly more liked, though. There were 85 likes clicked around here in March. This is technically different from February’s 77 and January’s 97.

Three of the month’s top five articles were ones I would have expected. One is becoming a perennial. The remarkable thing to me is none of my March Madness themed pieces was a top-five. Maybe everyone was too angry about their brackets collapsing the first day. But popular were:

Among the popular search terms this month were:

  • isosceles trapezoid pretty
  • what are the priorities of teen agers 20 years ago and in the present? venn diagram
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe
  • how many grooves on a vinyl record
  • teetotallers might get a laugh out of this jumble
  • cartoon spank bot 3000
  • comics about law of conservation

Yeah, I’m not putting some of those terms into Google. I’m scared enough after I searched on a technical issue and got the note that there were some more results I could see if I turned Safe Search off. I don’t know what might be in there but I don’t need to see that.

Here’s the roster of countries and page views:

Country Views
United States 609
India 58
United Kingdom 39
Canada 38
Singapore 29
Germany 24
Austria 18
Australia 17
Slovenia 14
Puerto Rico 11
France 10
Romania 10
Sweden 10
Hong Kong SAR China 9
Spain 8
Philippines 7
South Africa 7
Brazil 6
Greece 6
Italy 6
New Zealand 6
Croatia 4
Japan 4
Malaysia 4
Russia 4
Denmark 3
Netherlands 3
Taiwan 3
Belgium 2
Indonesia 2
Ireland 2
Israel 2
Lebanon 2
Poland 2
Turkey 2
Argentina 1
Cyprus 1
Finland 1 (*)
Pakistan 1
Portugal 1 (*)
South Korea 1
Switzerland 1 (*)
Thailand 1 (*)
United Arab Emirates 1
Vietnam 1 (**)
Country Views
United States 661
Canada 42
India 37
Philippines 31
United Kingdom 30
Australia 27
Germany 19
Singapore 18
Turkey 13
Sweden 13
South Africa 12
Austria 8
Brazil 8
Netherlands 8
Puerto Rico 8
Spain 7
France 6
Belgium 5
Italy 5
Mexico 5
Oman 5
South Korea 4
Portugal 3
Argentina 2
Hungary 2
Indonesia 2
Iraq 2
New Zealand 2
Norway 2
Uruguay 2
Algeria 1 (*)
Bulgaria 1
Chile 1
Colombia 1
Czech Republic 1
Denmark 1
Finland 1
Georgia 1
Greece 1
Hong Kong SAR China 1
Ireland 1 (*)
Jamaica 1
Malaysia 1
Malta 1
Pakistan 1
Peru 1
Romania 1 (*)
Saudi Arabia 1 (*)
Serbia 1
Slovakia 1
Slovenia 1
Switzerland 1
Taiwan 1 (*)
Thailand 1
Trinidad and Tobago 1
Vietnam 1 (*)

I make that out to be 56 separate countries, not counting the “European Union” since that mystery wasn’t there. That’s down from February’s 64 and about back to January’s 53. There were, I estimate, 26 single-reader countries, up from February’s 22 and January’s 13. Algeria, Ireland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Vietnam were all single-reader countries in February. Nobody’s on a three-month streak.

The month started with 47,224 recorded visits from a stated 20,854 distinct readers. Insights tells me the most popular hour was 6 pm, as expected. It’s when stuff is normally posted. 12 percent of views came that hour, up from 11 percent in February and 10 percent in March. Tuesday was the most popular day, with 18 percent of views. In February it was Monday, with 16 percent, and in January it was Thursdays again with 16 percent. This is all so close to one-seventh that I figure there’s no real difference in readership per day.

WordPress thinks I started the month with 650 followers on the site, up from 642 at the start of February. You can be one of those WordPress viewers by using the ‘Follow On WordPress’ button that’s in the upper-right corner as I see the page. Or you can follow by e-mail. There’s other people who do that. You won’t be totally weird if you do. And again, I am on Twitter, as @nebusj, so perhaps you’d like the experience of me in fewer characters. I understand.

How February 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


It was another pretty busy month around these parts. According to WordPress’s statistics page there were 1,063 page views from 680 unique visitors. That’s slightly up from January’s 1,031 page views and 586 unique visitors, and pretty substantially up from December 2016’s 956 page views an 589 unique visitors. And that for what was a pretty easy month of writing. Most of my posts were Reading the Comics essays, for which I don’t have to think about what to write. I just have to write it. That’s way easier.

If it was one of the most popular months I’ve had i a while, it was also one of the least popular months I’ve had in a while. There were only 77 posts given ‘likes’ in February, compared to 97 in January and 136 in December. Indeed, this was the lowest number of likes in a month in the past two years. Comments were down too, to 18, the lowest count since August 2016. January had had 34 comments and December 29. The Reading the Comics posts don’t give a lot to discuss, I suppose.

According to the Insights tab, the most popular day for reading was Monday, with 16 percent of page views. In January it had ben Thursdays, also with 16 percent of page views; in December it was Sundays. Sunday makes sense because that’s when Reading the Comics post go up. Monday? I don’t know.

The most popular hour was 6:00 pm, which got 11 percent of page views. The hour’s stayed consistent for the last several months, although in January it saw only 10 percent of page views. 6:00 pm Universal Time is when I put up most of my posts, so that makes sense.

There were 64 countries in this month’s roster of country views, up from January’s 53. 22 of them were single-viewer countries, up from 13 too. My “European Union” audience is back and in force.

Country Views
United States 544
United Kingdom 84
India 52
Canada 40
Hong Kong SAR China 27
Singapore 26
Philippines 25
Germany 19
Puerto Rico 19
Australia 16
Brazil 13
France 13
US Virgin Islands 12
Netherlands 10
Slovenia 9
Israel 8
Thailand 8
Czech Republic 5
Spain 5
Sweden 5
Switzerland 5
Croatia 4
Italy 4
New Zealand 4
Oman 4
South Africa 4
Argentina 3
Austria 3
Belgium 3
Colombia 3
European Union 3
Greece 3
Jamaica 3
Poland 3
Bulgaria 2
Denmark 2
Estonia 2
Finland 2
Indonesia 2
Mexico 2
Morocco 2
Ukraine 2
Albania 1
Algeria 1
Armenia 1
Bahrain 1
Bermuda 1
Cyprus 1
Hungary 1
Ireland 1
Japan 1
Luxembourg 1
Macedonia 1
Nepal 1
Norway 1
Romania 1
Saudi Arabia 1
South Korea 1 (*)
Sri Lanka 1
Taiwan 1
Uganda 1
United Arab Emirates 1
Venezuela 1
Vietnam 1

South Korea is the only country that was single-reader two months in a row. I think that’s the closest to a complete turnover I’ve gotten since I started tracking this.

The most popular posts this month were three of the Immortals and then one that just captured people’s imagination:

Clearly I need to do more how-to mathematics posts.

Among the search terms bringing people here:

  • what do you think would a trapezoid look like we rotate it by quarter-turn?
  • comic strip about statistics and probability
  • comic strip about velocity and scalar
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe
  • comics about gay-lussac law
  • comics about liquefaction
  • comics of pythagoras ideas about model of the universe

I hesitate to swipe Math With Bad Drawings’ schtick, but this does suggest I ought to be commissioning some comic strips for here.

WordPress thinks I started the month with 642 followers on WordPress. You can be among them by using the link in the upper-right corner of this theme. There’s also the chance to follow by e-mail, which a couple of people do. The advantage of following by e-mail is you get the blog by e-mail, so that I don’t have the chance to fix typos and clumsy word choices before you can see it. And I’m on Twitter, as @nebusj, if you want to see that. You get some hints of it from one of the panels on the right.

March 2017 starts with my page here having got 46,198 views from something like 20,155 recorded unique visitors. (The blog started before WordPress counted unique visitors in any way they tell us about.) So my humor blog’s overtaken this one in both counts, but that’s all right. I post more stuff over there.

How January 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog


My mathematics blog finally broke the psychologically important barrier of 1,000 page views in January! It’s an important barrier to me. WordPress’s statistics say I drew 1,031 page views in January, the largest number since July. In December 2016 I’d puttered around 956, and November 923. This came from only 586 distinct readers, about the same as in December (589) and November (575), but that just implies more archive-binging going on.

What’s baffling and a tiny bit disheartening about this is it came on one of my least-written months. I posted only 11 articles in January, compared to 21 in December and November. This was my laziest month since September. I have no idea what’s the most economical balance between time spent writing and instances of being read. But given two of the top-five articles this past month I suspect I got identified as an authority on a couple of questions.

Part of why I suspect that’s so: there were only 97 pages liked around here in January. That’s the lowest count I’ve seen in the past twelve months, and it’s down a fair bit from December’s 136 and November’s 157. Maybe I need a couple more posts per month to encourage reader engagement. Or maybe not. There were 33 comments in January, not that different to December’s 29 and November’s 35. I think that a lot of January’s comments were examinations of December’s readership review. That counts, of course, although it suggests people have more fun talking about blogging than they do about mathematics. I can’t fault them; there’s a natural limit to how much there is to say about a comic strip filling a blackboard full of mathematics symbols.

According to Insights my most popular day for page views here was Thursday, which throws me. It’s usually Sundays, when there’s always a Reading the Comics post. But for January it was Thursdays, with 16 percent of page views. That’s not very much above 1/7th of the days, though, so I suspect there’s not much link between what day it is and whether anybody reads me. The most popular hour, with 10 percent of page views, was yet again 6:00 pm, which I’m assuming is 6 pm Universal Time. I set most posts to appear at 6:00 pm Universal Time.

So here’s what was popular around here in January:

Here’s always-liked list of countries and number of page views from each. And for another month running India’s a top-five country; I don’t know why that should satisfy me so. Singapore comes in pretty high too, but I can explain why that satisfies me. I used to work there.

Country Views
United States 598
United Kingdom 94
Hong Kong SAR China 33
India 33
Philippines 30
Germany 24
Singapore 22
Canada 19
Austria 16
Slovenia 13
Spain 12
France 11
Taiwan 10
Australia 7
Puerto Rico 7
Japan 6
Israel 5
Russia 5
Pakistan 4
South Africa 4
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3
Egypt 3
Greece 3
New Zealand 3
Norway 3
Poland 3
Portugal 3
Sweden 3
Ukraine 3
Brazil 2
Croatia 2
Denmark 2
Indonesia 2
Ireland 2
Nepal 2
Nigeria 2
Northern Mariana Islands 2
Saudi Arabia 2
Switzerland 2
Thailand 2
Bangladesh 1 (*)
Belgium 1 (*)
Estonia 1
Finland 1
Italy 1
Kuwait 1 (*)
Lithuania 1
Malaysia 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 1
Paraguay 1
South Korea 1
Trinidad and Tobago 1

Bangladesh, Belgium, and Kuwait were single-reader countries last month. No country’s on a three-month single-reader streak. There were 53 countries altogether sending me readers, up from December’s 50 and November’s 46. I make that out as 13 single-view countries, technically down from December and November’s 15. The mysterious “European Union” reader is gone again.

Search terms were the usual meager set of things, including:

  • comics strip of production function
  • little iodine comics
  • 5 color map theory (way easier than the four-color map theorem, plus it let me rag on New England so I’m glad someone was looking)
  • how to do pinball league and how does pinball league work (get some players and some pinball machines, and have them play each other. It’s easy and fun! Try to get it in a bar somewhere, as that’s good for giving the place a pleasant casual air; but there’s interesting probability stuff going on in the topic)
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe (with and without a period on the end)
  • what engineering taught in school dy/dx what society expect him to do mason image (um … I don’t know?)
  • urban legend venn diagram (I know of no urban legends about Venn diagrams and would be delighted if someone shared one. I also don’t know any Venn diagrams showing elements in common among various urban legends, but that would probably be a neat way of organizing at least some tales and I’d be glad at least for seeing those).

February starts with my blog having 45,135 page views from 19,475 admitted distinct viewers. (My first year or so WordPress didn’t record unique visitors in any way they’ve told us about.) I seem to start February with 646 WordPress.com followers and I don’t know how that compares to the start of January. I failed to keep track of that. I do wonder how many of those are active yet.

If you’d like to follow my blog here please click the buttons on the upper-right corner of the page. You can have new posts e-mailed to you, or you can follow in the WordPress reader, which gives me the chance to fix my stupid typoes. And I’m on Twitter as @Nebus, with usually just a couple posts a day. I don’t understand those folks who have 86 things to tweet about every hour day and night either. Thank you, won’t you please?