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.

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How February 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Once again I spent a month not obsessing about the WordPress-gathered statistics day to day. It was somewhat soothing. But I wasn’t doing well in visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs, and I know that hurts my own readership. The economy of social media runs on sharing attention.

But it was still a decent month around here. The total number of page views dropped below a thousand again, to an official tally of 949. That’s below January’s 998 and December’s 954. It’s a higher readership per day, though. At this rate if February had 31 days there’d have been 1,014 page views. On the other hand, I published 14 things in February, compared to 13 in January. Is the proper correction not the length of the year but how much anyone reads any post?

Well, the number of unique visitors rose. It reached 538 in February, up from January’s 523 and December’s 449. This is a twelve-month high at least. I can’t find older statistics, but I imagine that’s got to be an all-time high, considering.

The number of likes held steady. Well, it dropped from 202 in January to 201 in February. I know better than to think that signifies anything. It’s down from December’s 245, but that’s surely staying right about average. The number of comments rose to 66, up from 53 in January and 56 in December. I think most of that would be people offering requests for the Leap Day Mathematics A To Z.

For a change my top-five articles of the month aren’t dominated by Reading the Comics essays. Well, number 1 and number 5 are, but in comparison that isn’t much at all. The rest of the top five is me pointing to other interesting stuff, which does imply that people like me as a curator more than they like me as an original popularizer. Well, the readership for “Ensembled”, getting at canonical and microcanonical ensembles and statistical mechanics, wasn’t bad. And the early returns for the Leap Day Mathematics A To Z are good too. They had a short time to be read. They were outranked by:

The roster of countries sending me readers was a bit odd this month. The United States was on top, as ever, with 562 page views going to it. I grant I’m in the United States, and post at times convenient to its schedule, and I write in an American idiom. But there’s a lot more English readers outside the United States than inside, and I rarely write about things of particular interest in the United States or disinterest outside. I’ve always wondered why my readership is so close to home.

And then India came in second this month, with 64 readers. I’m glad to see it fluttering up that high. I feel better being read that far from home. Canada, which is close to home but which I’ve only been to twice, changing planes, brought me 41 readers. Germany, which I’ve spent nearly two weeks in, sent 40. Hong Kong, which I’ve been to a fair number of times but always in changing airplanes, 33. I think this is the first time my top-five readership hasn’t been dominated by the United States and the British Commonwealth. (The United Kingdom was next in line, at 26 page views, and Australia 19 after that. And then there’s a whole bunch of countries in which English isn’t a primary language.)

Single-reader nations this time around were Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, European Union (not a nation), Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, and Ukraine. Bangladesh, the European Union, the Netherlands, and Sweden were there last month too. The European Union is on a three-month streak but still isn’t a nation. And I still don’t know what WordPress even means by that. Singapore sent me three page views, down from twelve the month before. Poland didn’t send me any readers, which is shockingly unpopular even for me.

Search terms bringing people here? I’m happy to provide some. Among those that turned up:

  • how many teapizoids can you get in a rectangle (what gets me is there were multiple hits for this misspelling)
  • what is happening to the toby comic by corey pandolph? (and that’s interesting: after years of being in reruns Pandolph has started writing new installments. The strip has picked up “eight years later”, which seems like about how long Toby, Robot Satan has been idle. I’m glad to see this strip resume.)
  • origin is the gateway to your entire gaming universe. (and why wouldn’t it be?)
  • math theory penguins (I was with you up to the word `penguins’)
  • are any coins unfair (no! But coin tosses can be)
  • population charlotte nc 1975 (I’d tried interpolating what it might have been back then; I’d meant to do a series of essays about different ways to interpolate data, and might again someday)
  • true almost verywhere (not waffling about true or false: “almost everywhere” is a term of art with a precise meaning)

The month starts with 33,200 page views in total, from a recorded 12,782 distinct viewers. I’m tempted to give a prize to whoever logs number 33,333. WordPress credits me with 566 WordPress.com followers. If you’re not sure whether you’re a follower, well, there’ a “Follow Blog via Email” button over on the right side of the page. And I realize I’m not sure where they do put a “Follow Blog on WordPress” button for people who’re logged in to WordPress already. Maybe I need to worry about that. I’m also on Twitter, as @Nebusj, and I’d be happy with being followed there too.

Reading the Comics, February 28, 2015: Calendar Reform Edition


It’s the last day of the shortest month of the year, a day that always makes me think about whether the calendar could be different. I was bit by the calendar-reform bug as a child and I’ve mostly recovered from the infection, but some things can make it flare up again and I’ve never stopped being fascinated by the problem of keeping track of days, which you’d think would not be so difficult.

That’s why I’m leading this review of comics with Jef Mallet’s Frazz (February 27) even if it’s not transparently a mathematics topic. The biggest problem with calendar reform is there really aren’t fully satisfactory ways to do it. If you want every month to be as equal as possible, yeah, 13 months of 28 days each, plus one day (in leap years, two days) that doesn’t belong to any month or week is probably the least obnoxious, if you don’t mind 13 months to the year meaning there’s no good way to make a year-at-a-glance calendar tolerably symmetric. If you don’t want the unlucky, prime number of 13 months, you can go with four blocks of months with 31-30-30 days and toss in a leap day that’s again, not in any month or week. But people don’t seem perfectly comfortable with days that belong to no month — suggest it to folks, see how they get weirded out — and a month that doesn’t belong to any week is right out. Ask them. Changing the default map projection in schools is an easier task to complete.

There are several problems with the calendar, starting with the year being more nearly 365 days than a nice, round, supremely divisible 360. Also a factor is that the calendar tries to hack together the moon-based months with the sun-based year, and those don’t fit together on any cycle that’s convenient to human use. Add to that the need for Easter to be close to the vernal equinox without being right at Passover and you have a muddle of requirements, and the best we can hope for is that the system doesn’t get too bad.

Continue reading “Reading the Comics, February 28, 2015: Calendar Reform Edition”

How My Mathematics Blog Was Read, For January 2015


And after reaching 20,000 views on the final day of December, 2014, could I reach 21,000 views by the end of January? Probably I could have, but in point of fact I did not. I am not complaining, though: I finished the month with 20,956 page views all told, after a record 944 pages got viewed by somebody, somewhere, for some reason. This is a record high for me, going well past the 831 that had been the January 2013 and December 2014 (tied) record. And likely I’ll reach 21,000 in the next couple days anyway.

According to WordPress, this was read by 438 distinct visitors, reading 2.16 views per visitor on average. That isn’t quite a record: January 2013 remains my high count for visitors, at 473, but it’s still, all told, some pretty nice numbers especially considering I don’t think I had my best month of blog-writing. I can’t wait to get some interesting new topics in here for February and see that they interest absolutely nobody.

The new WordPress statistics page is still awful, don’t get me wrong, but it has been getting a little bit better, and it does offer some new data I couldn’t gather easily before. Among them: that in January 205 I received 197 likes overall — a high for the past twelvemonth, which is as far as I can figure out how to get it, and up from 128 in December — and 51 comments, up from December 29, and also a high for the twelvemonth.

The three countries sending me viewers were, once again, the big three of the United States (594), Canada (56), and the United Kingdom (52), with Austria sending in 32 viewers, and Germany and Argentina ending 22 each. And India, for a wonder sent me a noticeable-to-me 18 readers, although on a per capita basis that still isn’t very many, I admit.

There was a bumper crop of single-reader countries, though, up from last month’s six: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Mexico, Paraguay, Slovakia, and the United Arab Emirates each found only one person viewing anything around here. Greece and Mexico are repeats from December.

This month’s most popular articles were mostly comic strip posts, although they were a pretty popular set; none of these had fewer than 35 views per, which feels high to me. The top posts of the last 30 days, then, were:

  1. Reading the Comics, January 6, 2015: First of the Year Edition, in which I included drawing a sloppy `2′ as a snoring `Z’ as somehow connected to mathematics.
  2. Reading the Comics, January 24, 2015: Many, But Not Complicated Edition, which includes an explanation for why margins of errors on surveys are always like three or four percent.
  3. Reading the Comics, January 11, 2015: Standard Genres And Bloom County Edition, in which I reveal my best guess for Jon Bon Jovi’s shorts size in the late 80s.
  4. 20,000: My Math Blog’s Statistics, because my narcissism is apparently quite popular?
  5. Reading the Comics, January 17, 2015: Finding Your Place Edition, where, again, I can flog that thing about a watch as a compass.
  6. How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw, which also reveals how many trapeziums I think are different in interesting ways.
  7. A bit more about Thomas Hobbes, and his attempt to redefine the very nature of mathematics, which didn’t succeed in quite the way he wanted.

Among the interesting search terms that brought people here the past month have been ([sic] on all of them):

  • science fiction and trapazoids (Somebody should totally write the definitive SFnal treatment of trapezoids, I agree.)
  • food. stotagre nebus (I feel strangely threatened by this.)
  • a group of student offer at least one of mathematics,physics, and statistcs , 14 of them offer mathematics, 12 offer physics,and 16 offer statistics.7 offer statistics and maths 6 offer maths and physics, 4 offer physics and statistics only, while 5 offer all the three subject (Help?)
  • hiw to draw diffrent trameziums
  • soglow otto radio (Pretty sure I used to listen to that back on WRSU in my undergrad days.)
  • if a calendar has two consecutive months with friday the 13th which would they be (February and March, in a non-bissextile — that is, non-leap — year)
  • how to measure a christmas tree made of triangles and trapeziums (I would use a tape measure, myself)

So if I would summarize January 2015 in my readership here, I would say: tramezium?