## How April 2022 Treated My Mathematics Blog

This past month I moved towards the sort of thing that’s normal for my blog here. Mostly, Reading the Comics posts, with another piece that was about a mathematical curiosity. That is a typical selection of posts when I’m not doing something special, such as an A-to-Z sequence. So, with a new month begun, I like to see how it was received. As usual, I check WordPress’s statistics for the past month, and compare it to the running average for the twelve months leading up to that.

WordPress figures there were 2,121 page views here in April. That’s a little below the running mean of 2,286.8 page views. It’s almost exactly at the running median, though, of 2,122 page views in a month. So this suggests April turned out quite average. There were 1,404 recorded unique visitors. This is below the running mean of 1,602.7 unique visitors, and noticeably below the running median of 1,479. This suggests a month a bit below average.

Per posting, though? That suggests an increasing readership. There were 424.2 page views recorded per posting in April, above the running mean of 301.7 and running median of 302.8. There were 280.8 unique visitors per posting, also well above the 211.1 mean and 211.3 median. That’s not to say every post got 281 visitors, since many of the visitors looked at stuff from before April. This is what keeps me from re-blogging even more repeats.

That it was a slow month seems supported by the record of likes and comments, though. There were 19 likes given in April, well below the mean of 39.5 and median of 39. That’s a little less bad considered per posting, but still. That’s 3.8 likes per posting, below the running mean of 5.0 and running median of 4.5. There were an anemic two comments, way below the mean of 11.3 and median of 9.5. That’s just 0.4 comments per posting, compared to an already not-great mean of 1.4 and median of 1.2.

I had thought I posted more in April than a mere five pieces. Not so. Here’s the order of popularity of my posts, which are not quite in chronological order. I too quirk an eye at what the most popular thing of April was:

WordPress figures I posted 3,089 words in April, my fewest since September. And that comes to an average of 617.8 words per posting, again my lowest since September. For the year I’ve published 36,947 words, and have averaged 1,056 words per posting.

I started May with a total of 159,259 recorded page views from a recorded 95,907 unique visitors. But WordPress didn’t start telling us unique visitor counts until my blog here was a couple years old, so don’t take that too literally.

## How April 2021 Treated My Mathematics Blog, and a question about my A-to-Z’s

I grant that I’m later even than usual in doing my readership recap. That news about how to get rid of the awful awful awful Block Editor was too important to not give last Wednesday’s publication slot. But let me get back to the self-preening and self-examination that people always seem to like and that I never take any lessons from.

In April 2021 there were 3,016 page views recorded here, according to WordPress. These came from 2,298 unique visitors. These are some impressive-looking numbers, especially given that in April I only published nine pieces. And one of those was the readership report for March.

The 3,016 page views is appreciably above the running mean of 2,267.9 views per month for the twelve months leading up to April. It’s also above the running median of 2,266.5 for the twelve months before. And, per posting, the apparent growth is the more impressive. This averages at 335.1 views per posting. The twelve-month running mean was 185.5 views per posting, and twelve-month running median 161.0.

Similarly, unique visitors are well above the averages. 2,298 unique visitors in April is well above the running mean of 1,589.9, and the running median of 1,609.5. The total comes out to 255.3 unique visitors per posting. The running mean, per posting, for the twelve months prior to April was 130.7 unique visitors per posting. The median was a mere 114.1 views per posting.

There were even nice results in the things that show engagement. There were 70 things liked in April, compared to the mean of 54.1 and median of 49. That’s 7.8 likes per posting, well above the mean of 4.1 and median of 4.0. There were for a wonder even more comments than average, 22 given in April compared to a mean of 18.3 and median of 18. Per-posting, that’s 2.4 comments per posting, comfortably above the 1.5 comments per posting mean and 1.2 comments per posting median. It all suggests that I’m finally finding readers who appreciate my genius, or at least style.

I have doubts, of course, because I don’t have the self-confidence to be a successful writer. But I also notice, for example, that quite a few of these views, and visitors, came in a rush from about the 12th through 16th of April. That’s significant because my humor blog logged an incredible number of visits that week. Someone on the Fandom Drama reddit, explaining James Allen’s departure from Mark Trail, linked to a comic strip I’d saved for my own plot recaps. I’m not sure that this resulted in anyone on the Fandom Drama reddit reading a word I wrote. I also don’t know how this would have brought even a few people to my mathematics blog. The most I can find is several hundred people coming to the mathematics blog from Facebook. As far as I know Facebook had nothing to do with the Fandom Drama reddit. But the coincidence is hard to ignore.

As said, I posted nine things in April. Here they are in decreasing order of popularity. This isn’t quite chronological order, even though pieces from earlier in the month have more time to gather views. It likely means something that one of the more popular pieces is a Reading the Comics post for a comic strip which has run in no newspapers since the 1960s.

My writing plans? I do keep reading the comics. I’m trying to read more for comic strips that offer interesting mathematics points or puzzles to discuss. There’ve been few of those, it seems. But I’m burned out on pointing out how a student got a story problem. And it does seem there’ve been fewer of those, too. But since I don’t want to gather the data needed to do statistics I’ll go with my impression. If I am wrong, what harm will it do?

For each of the past several years I’ve done an A-to-Z, writing an essay for each letter in the alphabet. I am almost resolved to do one for this year. My reservation is that I have felt close to burnout for a long while. This is part of why I am posting two or even one things per week, and have since the 2020 A-to-Z finished. I think that if I do a 2021 A-to-Z it will have to be under some constraints. First is space. A 2,500-word essay lets me put in a lot of nice discoveries and thoughts about topics. It also takes forever to write. Planning to write an 800-word essay trains me to look at smaller scopes, and be easier to find energy and time to write.

Then, too, I may forego making a complete tour of the alphabet. Some letters are so near tapped out that they stop being fun. Some letters end up getting more subject nominations than I can fulfil. It feels a bit off to start an A-to-Z that won’t ever hit Z, but we do live in difficult times. If I end up doing only thirteen essays? That is probably better than none at all.

If you have thoughts about how I could do a different A-to-Z, or better, please let me know. I’m open to outside thoughts about what’s good in these series and what’s bad in them.

In April 2021 I posted 5,057 words here, by WordPress’s estimate. Over nine posts that averages 561,9 words per post. Things brings me to a total of 17,901 words for the year and an average 559 words per post for 2021.

As of the start of May I’ve posted 1,614 things here. They had gathered 131,712 views from 77,564 logged unique visitors.

If you have a WordPress account, you can use the “Follow NebusResearch” button, and posts will appear in your Reader here. If you’d rather get posts in e-mail, typos and all, you can click the “Follow NebusResearch by E-mail” button.

On Twitter my @nebusj account still exists, and posts announcements of things. But Safari doesn’t want to reliably let me read Twitter and I don’t care enough to get that sorted out, so you can’t use it to communicate with me. If you’re on Mastodon, you can find me as @nebusj@mathstodon.xyz, the mathematics-themed server there. Safari does mostly like and let me read that. (It has an annoying tendency to jump back to the top of the timeline. But since Mathstodon is a quiet neighborhood this jumping around is not a major nuisance.)

Thank you for reading. I hope you’re enjoying it. And if you do have thoughts for a 2021 A-to-Z, I hope you’ll share them.

## How April 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog

Yes, I feel a bit weird looking at the past month’s readership this early in the month too. I was tempted to go back and look at March’s figures all over again just so I stay tardy. But, no sense putting it off further, especially as I’m thinking to over-commit myself again already.

In April I managed to publish 15 things. This amazes me given that my spirits are about like everyone’s spirits are. I did not repeat having 2,000 readers this past month. But it came surprisingly close. Here’s a look at the readership figures.

There were 1,959 pages viewed over the course of April. This is a bit under the twelve-month running average of 2,127.1. But I’m going to be under the twelve-month running average at least until that October 2019 spike fades into the background. I’m all right with that. There were 1,314 unique visitors, which again is under the running average of 1,440.2 unique visitors in a month.

The measures that I think of as showing engagement were poor, as they usually are. There were nine comments received over the month, down from the 15.3 average. More surprisingly there were only 44 likes given over the month, noticeably below the 60.4 average.

Everything looks a bit better when pro-rated per posting. The 130.6 views per posting are above even the twelve-month average for that of 120.8 views per posting. The 87.6 unique visitors per posting beats the average of 81.1. It’s still 0.6 comments per posting, below the average of 1.0. And only 2.9 likes per posting, below the average of 3.8. Can’t have everything, I suppose. But I may be doing something to affect that pattern.

There were, counting my home page, 265 postings that got any kind of views in April. That’s up from the 255 of March and 210 of February. 134 of them got more than one view, down from March’s 145 but up from February’s 108. 36 of them got at least ten views, compared to 35 in March and 25 in February. And what got the most page views? About what you’d expect:

The most popular thing I published in April was Rjlipton’s thoughts on the possible ABC Conjecture proof, which is pretty good performance for a post that just says someone else wrote a thing. I don’t know why my headsup posts like that are so reliably popular. But I suppose if people trust my judgement about stuff that’s almost as good as people trusting my prose.

73 countries or country-like things sent me readers in April. 12 of them were single-view countries. This is down from the 78 countries in March, but up from the 67 in February. There had been 30 single-view countries in March and 19 in February, so I guess people are doing more archive-reading, though. Here’s the details for that:

United States 1,160
India 105
United Kingdom 102
Australia 34
Singapore 31
Germany 29
Poland 21
Romania 21
Austria 15
Brazil 15
Philippines 15
Finland 14
Netherlands 14
China 13
Italy 13
Ireland 12
Kazakhstan 10
South Korea 10
Thailand 10
American Samoa 9
Japan 9
Saudi Arabia 9
South Africa 9
France 8
Spain 8
Hong Kong SAR China 7
United Arab Emirates 7
Albania 6
Belgium 6
Indonesia 6
Portugal 6
Turkey 6
Kenya 5
Israel 4
Malaysia 4
Slovenia 4
Sweden 4
Switzerland 4
Argentina 3
Croatia 3
Egypt 3
European Union 3
Greece 3
New Zealand 3
Russia 3
Uruguay 3
Vietnam 3
Czech Republic 2
Denmark 2
Dominican Republic 2
Estonia 2
Greenland 2
Mexico 2
Norway 2
Peru 2
Puerto Rico 2
Serbia 2
Taiwan 2
Bahrain 1
Bosnia & Herzegovina 1
Bulgaria 1
Hungary 1
Kyrgyzstan 1
Lithuania 1 (**)
Malawi 1
Nigeria 1
Pakistan 1
Seychelles 1
Sri Lanka 1
St. Lucia 1

Lithuania has given me a single view each of the last three months. No other countries are on a similar streak.

WordPress says I published a mere 8,566 words in April. That’s my most laconic month since January. With 15 posts, that gives me an average of just under 571.1 words per posting, which is my shortest of the year. It brings my average words per posting for the year down to 691; it had been 721 at the start of April. As of the start of May I’d published 50 posts and 34,536 words since the start of the year.

As of the start of May I’ve posted 1,454 pieces altogether. They’ve drawn 104,439 views from 57,501 acknowledged unique visitors.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you read more, and maybe comment some. Please take care.

## 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.

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:

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:

United States 688
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.

You’re welcome.

## 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.

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.

Country Views
United States 609
India 58
United Kingdom 39
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 (**)