How December 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog


With the end of December it’s the time to see what was popular around here, and just how popular it was. I keep figuring I’ll learn something useful from these explorations. Now and then I come to conclusions and one of these months I’ll even act on them.

December was an exhausting month. The last couple weeks of any A To Z sequence always are. These sequences are great fun, of course, or I wouldn’t keep doing them. But fatigue sets in, especially as I discover I’m not getting as far ahead of deadline as I imagined I would be and I get to the difficult letters of the alphabet’s end. And the Fall 2018 A To Z made up for being less frequent than past glossaries — two, rather than three, essays a week — with being crazily longer. So I was exhausted by that. And then the mathematically-themed comics for my Reading the Comics posts completely dried up. Add to that real-life obligations that I would not skip — being with family, and going to pinball events — and I ended up posting 17 things in December. Which is more than usual, yes. A typical month is 12 to 14 posts. But it’s down from the 23 of October and November, and I’m as convinced as I can be without evidence that the number of posts determines how many page views I get.

So October 2018, aided in part by my hosting the Playful Mathematics Education Blog Carnival, had 2,010 page views from 1,063 unique visitors. November I got in 1,611 page views from 847 visitors. December, well, that saw 1,409 page views from 875 visitors.

December 2018: 1,409 views; 875 visitors; 1.61 views per visitor; 17 posts published.
I’d have liked to have taken this screenshot at just past midnight, Universal Time, on the 1st of January, but I was busy with something or other. Who can really say what, or why, though?

There were 82 things liked in December. It’s a slight drop from November’s 85, and October’s 94. I suppose it’s a rise in likes per page view, at least. The number of comments utterly collapsed, which probably reflects the end of the A To Z project. In October and November I had appeals for suggested topics; December didn’t have time for them. So what was 60 comments in October and 36 in November dropped to 17 for December. It’s not my least talkative period of the last year, but it’s up there. I need, seriously, to work on opening my posts to more comments. I’d ask people for suggestions how to do that, but who would answer?

The most popular essays around here in December were two perennials, two A To Z pieces, and some comics:

What countries sent me page views, and in what quantity? These, and these:

Country Readers
United States 819
Canada 77
United Kingdom 68
India 46
Turkey 39
Philippines 31
Singapore 31
Australia 27
Denmark 23
Indonesia 15
Slovenia 14
South Africa 13
Italy 11
New Zealand 11
Sweden 10
Greece 9
Netherlands 9
South Korea 9
Bangladesh 8
Ireland 8
Lithuania 8
Germany 7
Brazil 6
Hong Kong SAR China 6
Poland 6
American Samoa 5
European Union 5
Mexico 5
Russia 5
Switzerland 5
Finland 4
France 4
Norway 4
Belgium 3
Czech Republic 3
Ghana 3
Hungary 3
Israel 3
Kenya 3
Pakistan 3
Serbia 3
Austria 2
Chile 2
Egypt 2
Libya 2
Romania 2
Spain 2
Taiwan 2
Ukraine 2
Vietnam 2
Albania 1
Algeria 1
Argentina 1
Botswana 1
China 1
Colombia 1 (****)
Iceland 1
Iraq 1
Japan 1
Jordan 1
Kuwait 1
Latvia 1
Palestinian Territories 1 (*)
Portugal 1
Puerto Rico 1
Saudi Arabia 1 (*)
Sint Maarten 1
Slovakia 1

That was 68 different countries sending readers, down from November’s 70 and October’s 74. There were 17 single-reader countries, up from November’s 13 and down from October’s 23. The Palestinian Territories and Saudi Arabia were single-reader countries in November too. Colombia’s been a single-reader country five months now. I don’t see how China can be a single-reader country, even given that English isn’t a primary language there. More than one person has to stumble across here just by accident. There’s something going on there.

According to Insights, I start the month and year with 72,915 total page views, from an admitted 36,260 unique visitors.

I published something like 18,587 words here in December, which is a drop from the 26,644 of November. I write “something like” because I don’t know how WordPress tallies stuff like words in captions, and I don’t think it counts words in comments. And the idea of a “word” in a count like this is difficult to make precise and indisputable. So don’t be fooled by the digits into thinking there’s any precision there. Also it’s still 1,093 words per post, which is a bit down from the 1,158 in an average November essay but still.

For the year-to-date, by the end of December, I was writing an average of 1,025 words per post. That is, posts for the whole of the year, rather than just in December. That’s down from the end-of-November average of 1,108 words per post. I averaged 5.2 likes per post, down from the end-of-November average of 5.3. And 2.8 comments per post, up from the end-of-November average of 2.7. That’s certainly not a significant change.

I’m glad to have you as a reader, even if it’s just for this sort of self-preening post. You can put my posts in your RSS reader and enjoy them at your convenience. If you’re using WordPress regularly you can also add me to your WordPress Reader. That’s from the button at the upper-right corner of the page. On Twitter I’m @Nebusj. And just about every Sunday plus, usually, some other day of the week I’ll be Reading the Comics for the mathematics stuff. Thanks for being here.

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How December 2017 Treated My Mathematics Journal


Before I even look at the statistics I can say: December 2017 treated my mathematics journal better than it treated me. A third of the way in, our pet rabbit died, suddenly and unexpectedly. And this was days short of a year from our previous pet rabbit’s death. So that’s the cryptic plan-scrambling stuff I had been talking about, and why my writing productivity dropped. We don’t know when we’ll take in a new rabbit (or rabbits). Possibly this month, although not until late in January at soonest.

And … well, thank you for the condolences that I honestly do not mean to troll for. I can’t say we’re used to the idea that we lost our rabbit so soon. It’s becoming a familiar thought is all.

Our pet rabbit on the beach, nibbling a flower and peering into the camera with one big, round eye.
Don’t let the endearing cast of his eye fool you. Given the chance, he’d steal your heart.

But to the blog contents. How did they, quantifiably, go?

I fell back below a thousand page views. Just under 900, too: 899 page views over the month, from 599 unique visitors, as if both numbers were trying to tease Price Is Right Item-Up-For-Bids offerings. That’s down from the 1,052 page views in November, but only technically down from the 604 unique visitors then. October had 1,069 page views from a basically-equal 614 unique visitors. And it turns out that while I thought I stopped writing stuff, especially after our rabbit’s death, I had 11 posts in the month. That’s low but in the normal range for a month that has no A-to-Z sequence going. Curious.

There were 71 pages liked around here in December. That’s technically up from November’s 70, but not really. It’s less technically up from October’s 64. Still makes me wonder what might have happened if I’d scraped together a 12th post for the month. And the other big measure of reader involvement? 24 comments posted in December, down from November’s 28 but above October’s 12. I may need to start offering bounties for interesting comments. Or, less ridiculously, start some open threads for people who want to recommend good blogs or books or Twitter threads they’ve found.

2018 starts with a total 56,318 page views from 26,491 tracked unique visitors. The numbers don’t look bad, although I keep running across those WordPress blogs that’s, like, someone who started posting an inspirational message once a week two months ago and has just broken a million page views and gets 242 likes on every post and wonder if it’s just me. It’s not.

How about the roster of nations? For that I figure there were 53 countries sending me readers in December, technically down from November’s 56 and technically up from October’s 51. There were 15 single-reader countries, down from November’s 22 but slightly above October’s 13. And who were they? These places:

Country Readers
United States 553
Canada 47
United Kingdom 41
India 35
Ireland 19
Philippines 16
Austria 13
Germany 12
Turkey 12
Australia 11
Sweden 9
Singapore 8
France 7
Italy 7
Slovenia 7
New Zealand 6
Spain 6
Indonesia 5
Norway 5
South Korea 5
Brazil 4
Hong Kong SAR China 4
Malaysia 4
Poland 4
Belgium 3
Denmark 3
Finland 3
Japan 3
Netherlands 3
Portugal 3
Taiwan 3
Thailand 3
Argentina 2
Colombia 2
Ecuador 2
Serbia 2
Slovakia 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Albania 1
Bangladesh 1
Croatia 1
Egypt 1
Israel 1
Jamaica 1
Lebanon 1 (*)
Mexico 1 (*)
Peru 1 (*)
Romania 1 (*)
Russia 1
South Africa 1
Switzerland 1
Uruguay 1
Venezuela 1

Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, and Romania were also single-reader countries on November, and there’s no nation that’s on a three-month single-reader streak.

So what was the roster of popular posts for the month? My perennials, plus Reading the Comics, and some of that Wronski π stuff just squeaks in, tied for fifth place. What people wanted to read here was:

Have I got plans for January 2018? Yes, I have. Besides keeping on Reading the Comics, I hope to get through Wronski’s formula for π. I know there’s readers eager to find out what the punch line is. I know at least one has already worked it out and been surprised. And I’m hoping to work out a question about pinball tournaments that my love set me on. I’ve done a little thinking about the issue, and don’t believe the results, so I’m hoping to think some more and then make my computer do a bunch of simulations. Could be fun.

And I’ll be spending it hoping that you, the reader, are around. If you’re here now there’s a good chance you’re reading this. If you’d like to follow on your WordPress reader, there’s a ‘Follow on WordPress’ button in the upper right corner of the page. If you’d rather get it by e-mail, before I’ve made corrections to things that are only obviously wrong two minutes after publication, there’s the ‘Follow by e-mail’ button near that. And if you’d like to follow me on Twitter, try @Nebusj. I’m currently running only like four weeks behind on responding to follow-up tweets or direct messages, which is practically living a year in the future compared to my e-mail. Thanks for being here.

How December 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I’m getting back to normal. And getting to suspect WordPress just isn’t sending out “Fireworks” reports on how the year for my blog went. Fine then; I’ll carry on. Going back to the Official WordPress statistics page and sharing it for whatever value that has we find that … apparently I just held November 2016 all over again. Gads what a prospect.

As ever I exaggerate, and as ever, not by much. There were 956 page views from 589 distinct readers in December. In November there were 923 page views from 575 distinct readers. There were 21 posts in December, compared to 21 posts in November. Both are up from October, 907 page views from 536 visitors, although that was a nice and easy month with only 13 posts published. I’m a little disappointed to fall under a thousand page views for four months running, but, like, I tried posting stuff more often. What else can I do, besides answer comments the same year they’re posted and chat with people on their blogs? You know?

There were 136 pages liked in December, down from November’s 157 and up from October’s 115. Comments were down to 29 from November’s 35, and while that’s up from October’s 24 I should point out some of January’s comments are really me answering December comments. I had a lot of things slurping up time and energy. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to count the comments I wrote in January as anything other than January’s comments, though.

According to Insights, my most popular day for reading is Sunday, with 17 percent of page views coming then. I expected that; Sunday’s been the most popular day the last few months. It’s only slightly most popular, though. 17 percent (18 percent last month) is about what you’d expect for people reading here without any regard for the day of the week. 6 pm was the most popular hour, barely, with 9 percent of page views then. That’s the hour I’ve settled on for posting stuff. But that hour’s down from being 14 percent of page views in November. I don’t know what that signifies.

My roster of countries and the page views from them looks like this. I’m curiously delighted that India’s becoming a regular top-five country.

Country Views
United States 587
United Kingdom 61
India 47
Canada 44
Germany 25
Austria 22
Slovenia 15
Philippines 13
Netherlands 10
Spain 9
Australia 9
Italy 7
Puerto Rico 7
Finland 6
Norway 6
Singapore 6
France 5
Ireland 5
Switzerland 5
Indonesia 4
Sweden 4
Thailand 4
Bahrain 3
Barbados 3
Estonia 3
Israel 3
Turkey 3
Chile 2
Greece 2
New Zealand 2
Nigeria 2
Peru 2
Poland 2
Sri Lanka 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Bangladesh 1
Belgium 1
Denmark 1 (*)
Egypt 1
European Union 1
Japan 1 (**)
Kuwait 1
Lebanon 1
Luxembourg 1
Nepal 1
Pakistan 1
Romania 1
Saudi Arabia 1 (**)
Slovakia 1
South Africa 1 (**)

There’s 50 countries altogether that sent me viewers, if we take “European Union” as a country. That’s up from November’s 46. There were 15 single-view countries, the same as in November. Denmark was a single-view country last month. Japan, Saudia Arabia, and South Africa are on three-month single-view streaks. “European Union” is back after a brief absence.

For the second month in a row none of my most popular posts were Reading the Comics essays. They instead were split between the A To Z, some useful-mathematics stuff, and some idle trivia. The most popular stuff in December here was:

There weren’t many specific search terms; most were just “unknown”. Of the search terms that could be known I got this bunch that started out normal enough and then got weird.

  • comics strip of production function
  • comics of production function theory
  • comics about compound event in math
  • comics trip math probability
  • example of probability comics trip
  • population of charlotte nc 1975
  • a to z image 2017
  • mathematics dark secrets

I, um, maybe have an idea what that last one ought to find.

January starts with my mathematics blog having gotten 44,104 page views total from 18,889 distinct known visitors. That’s still a little page view lead on my humor blog, but that’s going to be lost by the start of February. My humor blog’s been more popular consistently the several months, and the humor blog got some little wave of popularity the past couple days. Why should it have had that? My best guess: I’m able to use that platform to explain what’s going on in Judge Parker, which I can’t quite justify here. Maybe next month.

If you’d like to follow my mathematics blog, please, click the buttons in the upper-right corner of the page to follow the blog on WordPress or by e-mail. You can also find me on Twitter as @nebusj where I try not to be one of those people who somehow has fifty tweets or retweets every hour of the day. But I haven’t done any livetweeting of a bad cartoon in ages. Might change.