How January 2021 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I did not abandon my mathematics blog in January. I felt like I did, yes. But I posted seven essays, by my count. Six, by the WordPress statistics “Insight” panel. I have no idea what post it thinks doesn’t count, but this does shake my faith in whatever Insights it’s supposed to give me. On my humor blog, which had a post a day, it correctly logs 31. I haven’t noticed other discrepancies either. And it’s not like any of my seven January posts was a reblog which might count differently. One quoted a tweet, but that’s nothing unusual.

I’ve observed that my views-per-post tend to be pretty uniform. The implication then is that the more I write, the more I’m read, which seems reasonable. So what would I expect from the most short-winded month I’ve had in at least two and a half years?

Bar chart of about 30 months' worth of readership figures. January 2021 sees a slight rise in views and visitors from December 2020, though the number's below that of October and December 2020.
It’s exciting to think what this implies for the month when I publish nothing at all.

So, this might encourage some bad habits in me. There were 2,611 page views here in January 2021. That’s above December’s total, and comfortably above the twelve-month running mean of 2,039.5. It’s also above the twelve-month running median of 2,014.5. This came from 1,849 unique visitors. That’s also above the twelve-month running mean of 1,405.8 unique visitors, and the running median of 1,349 unique visitors.

Where things fell off a bit are in likes and comments. There were 41 likes given in January 2021, below the running mean of 55.2 and running median of 55.5. There were 13 comments received, below the running mean of 16.5 and running median of 18.

Looked at per-post, though, these are fantastic numbers. 373.0 views per posting, crushing the running mean of 138.8 and running median of 135.6 visitors per posting. (And I know these were not all views of January 2021-dated posts.) There were 264.1 unique visitors per posting, similarly crushing the running mean of 95.8 and running median of 90.7 unique visitors per posting.

Even the likes and comments look good, rated that way. There were 5.9 likes per posting in January, above the running mean and median of 3.7 likes per posting. There were 1.9 comments per posting, above the running mean of 1.1 and median of 1.0 per posting. The implication is clear: people like it when I write less.

It seems absurd to list the five most popular posts from January when there were seven total, and two of them were statistics reviews. So I’ll list them all, in descending order of popularity.

WordPress claims that I published 4,231 words in January. Since the Insights panel thinks I published six things, that’s an average of 705 words per post. Since I know I published seven things, that’s an average of 604.4 words per post. I don’t know how to reconcile all this. WordPress put my 2020 average at 672 words per posting, for what that’s worth.

If I can trust anything WordPress tells me, I started February 2021 with 1,588 posts written since I started this in 2011. They’d drawn a total of 124,662 views from 71,697 logged unique visitors.

If you’d like to be a regular reader, you can add the feed for these essays to whatever your RSS reader is. If you don’t have an RSS reader yet, sign up for a free account at Dreamwidth or Livejournal. You can add any RSS feed to your Reading/Friends page from https://www.dreamwidth.org/feeds/ or https://www.livejournal.com/syn. And, if you have a WordPress account, you should be able to click the “Follow Nebusresearch” button on this page, and add this to your reader.

On Twitter I have an account that announces new posts; I guess I’m never going to work out what I have to do to access my account again. My actually slightly active social-media front is @nebusj@mathstodon.xyz on the Mastodon microblogging network. I’m still working out how to be talkative there.

Thank you all for reading. And, I hope to have a follow-up to that MLX post soon. I’m enjoying working towards it.

How January 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Let me now take a moment to review my readership figures for the last past month. I know February is already off to a sluggish start for me as a writer. I’ve had, particularly, my paying job demanding more mental focus than usual. But I got a wonderful crop of comic strips to discuss last week, so that’ll be some nice fun posts to write over the current week.

The month was, in readership, almost a repeat of December 2019. There were 1,436 page views from 951 unique visitors. December saw 1,386 page views from 909 unique visitors. These figures are both well below the twelve-month running average of 2,055.2 page views from 1,393.2 unique visitors. I am going to be filing a lot of reports like that, at least until either the great spike of October 2019 fades into history. Or I get another like it.

Bar chart of several years' worth of readership figures, by month. The great spike in October is moving into the past; January's is nearly a duplicate of December's.
I finally did it! I caught my statistics right at midnight server time! … Wait, this says 950 visitors in January, while the statistic now says 951. Did I get this before the 11:59 UTC page views were logged?

There were 34 things liked here in January, down even from December’s figure and about half the twelve-month average of 66.5. There were also seven comments in January, not quite half the twelve-month average of 15.0. But, compared to December’s 0, that’s a great rise.

The per-post figures look generally better. This is because January was a laconic month, with a mere ten posts. And two of them were statistics-review posts. But that gives me 143.6 views per posting, above the average of 114.2. And 95.1 visitors per posting, above the average of 76.6. There were 3.4 likes per posting, below the average of 4.2. And 0.7 comments per posting, a statistic I didn’t need my spreadsheet to calculate. But that’s still below the twelve-month running average of 1.0.

218 pages, including my home page, got any page views in January. There’d been 224 getting such in December. 102 pages got more than one view in January, which is exactly the count that got more than one view in December. This underscores what a duplicate month January was. 23 got at least ten views, down from 27, so that’s a difference finally.

The most popular posts in January included two perennials, that one linear programming post that got linked from somewhere, and one that seems like it must have fit some weird search engine term:

Really, though, why would a comics post from January 2019 get back to the top of the pile suddenly?

63 countries sent me any page views at all in January, down from 60 in December and 94 in November. There were 15 single-view countries, down fro 18 the previous month and 24 the month before that. Here’s the roster:

Mercator-style map of the world with the United States in darkest pink. Western Europe, South Asia, Australia, and much of South America are in a more uniform pink.
Oh, hi, Tunisia. Nice to see you! I hope everything’s okay. Uganda’s the landlocked African country to show up here and that’s honestly going to help me remember where Uganda is now.
Country Readers
United States 847
United Kingdom 65
Philippines 60
Canada 58
India 47
Germany 41
Australia 37
Argentina 35
Brazil 22
Singapore 21
Spain 19
Finland 12
Japan 12
Thailand 9
Sweden 8
France 7
Netherlands 7
Romania 7
South Africa 7
Norway 6
Greece 5
Italy 5
Malaysia 5
Mexico 5
Nigeria 5
Uganda 5
Austria 4
Denmark 4
Guyana 4
New Zealand 4
Russia 4
Costa Rica 3
Croatia 3
Hungary 3
Israel 3
Lithuania 3
Poland 3
Serbia 3
Switzerland 3
U.S. Virgin Islands 3
Vietnam 3
Bahrain 2
Brunei 2
Hong Kong SAR China 2
Ireland 2
Pakistan 2
Taiwan 2
Turkey 2
American Samoa 1 (*)
Bangladesh 1
Belgium 1
Cambodia 1
Chile 1
Ecuador 1
Indonesia 1
Panama 1
Portugal 1
Saudi Arabia 1 (*)
Slovakia 1 (*)
Slovenia 1
South Korea 1
Tunisia 1
United Arab Emirates 1

American Samoa, Saudi Arabia, and Slovakia were single-view countries in December. None of these were also single-view countries in November.

In January I published 6,158 words, says WordPress. I don’t know how that counts things like subject lines and image captions. It’s a shame there’s literally no way to find out, ever. But with that spread over ten posts, I have an average of 616 words per posting for the month, and so far for the year. My average post for 2019 was 861 words. This was driven up by things like the A-to-Z sequence.

As of the start of February I’d posted 1,413 things on this blog. They attracted 99,013 views from a recorded 53,928 unique visitors. I’m trying to not watch obsessively as I approach 100,000.

If you’d like to take a chance at being reader number 100,000, please visit this page, or click on the “Follow Nebusresearch” button at the upper right corner of this page. If you don’t care about being reader 100,000, I don’t mind. You can use your RSS reader to watch the https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/feed/ at your leisure. And my automated-but-lost-to-me Twitter account @Nebusj posts announcements of things as they are published.

Thank you for reading, whatever way you choose to do it.

How January 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


It seems like about fifteen minutes ago I was looking over how 2018 treated my mathematics blog. But who am I to argue with the calendar? I have a hard enough time convincing the calendar that 1998 was at most eight years ago. My arguments are useless. Look, I clearly remember watching Star Trek Nemesis, opening weekend, alone except for the friend I talked into seeing this with, and there is no possible way that this was one minute more than six years ago. Well, here’s what I can say about my readership and how much blame I can take for it, within the scope of the first month of 2019.

January 2019: 1,375 views, 856 visitors, 1.61 views per visitor, and 12 posts published.
I’m sure someday I’ll reach the heights of 2,000 page views in a month again, if I can find a way to write the how-many-grooves-are-on-a-record’s-side article again.

I posted twelve things in January, and two of them were looks at what was popular previously. Considering that, though, people were interested. I suspect it’s spillover of the A-To-Z posts. There were 1,375 pages viewed, down a little from December’s 1,409 and November’s 1,611. Considering how much less effort January was, this seems like a great tradeoff. There were 856 unique visitors, compared to December’s 875 and November’s 847. In November I had 23 posts and December 17, so I’m at least being very efficient, per post, at drawing readers. I hadn’t had a 12-post month since July, when there were 1,058 page views and 668 unique visitors. Probably people were hanging around hoping to see more A-To-Z grade stuff.

The number of items liked dropped to 63. There had been 82 in December and 85 in November. Again, per post, that’s a pretty good rate of growth. There were 22 comments, up from December’s 17, down from November’s 36, and still pretty close to nothing when you consider I try to answer every comment, so half of all that writing is just me.

There was an outright surprise among the most popular posts of the month. Do you see which one doesn’t seem to belong here? And can you spot in which one I originally wrote ‘2018’ in the subject line, and corrected it, but it’s too much trouble to correct a WordPress URL for me to bother with?

Well, I’m delighted to see interest in the Five-Color Map theorem. It’s not so famous as the (correct) Four-Color Map theorem. But it’s one with a proof a normal mortal can follow.

The Insights panel tells me there were an average of 1.9 comments per post, through the end of January. 4.8 average likes per post, too. There were a meager 11,588 words posted in January, but that still averages to 966 words per post. That’s down from the 2018 average. It’s still my second-highest word count, though. It’s all right. I’ve thought of some things I could post that would be amusing and quite short to write, and that require I do calculations that might be fun in my spare time. This supposes that I have spare time.

How about the running of the countries?

Mercator-style projection of the world. The United States is the most darkly red-colored country, with Canada, the United Kingdom, and India faintly darker. There are almost no African countries with any pink in them; nor are most of the countries along the Silk Road, somehow.
Really the most startling part to me are the eighteen page views each from Macedonia and American Samoa. This seems like more per-capita readers than I might expect.
Country Readers
United States 835
Canada 84
United Kingdom 61
India 60
Philippines 54
Denmark 26
Italy 21
American Samoa 18
Macedonia 18
Slovenia 18
Germany 17
Australia 13
Poland 11
Netherlands 10
Ireland 9
Singapore 9
South Africa 7
Brazil 6
Croatia 6
Sweden 6
United Arab Emirates 6
France 5
Malaysia 5
New Zealand 5
Czech Republic 4
Indonesia 4
Israel 4
Mexico 4
Turkey 4
European Union 3
Pakistan 3
Romania 3
Russia 3
Spain 3
Taiwan 3
Bangladesh 2
Nepal 2
Norway 2
Argentina 1 (*)
Austria 1
Bosnia & Herzegovina 1
Chile 1
Colombia 1 (*****)
Ecuador 1
Finland 1
Georgia 1
Greece 1
Hong Kong SAR China 1
Iraq 1 (*)
Jamaica 1
Japan 1 (*)
Jordan 1 (*)
Kazakhstan 1
Lithuania 1
Morocco 1
Saudi Arabia 1 (**)
Switzerland 1
Thailand 1
Ukraine 1

There were 59 countries listed as sending me any readers in January. That’s way down from December’s 68 and November’s 70. 19 of them were single-reader countries, up from December’s 17 and November’s 13. Argentina, Iraq, Japan, and Jordan were single-reader countries last month too. Saudi Arabia’s been a single-reader country for three months now. Colombia’s on a six-month streak now. I could swear Colombia has done this before, too, although good luck my finding the time when. Searching for ‘Colombia’ in my archives is not as helpful as you might imagine. Oh, I can find a time in late 2015 through early 2016 when I had a single European Union reader each month, six months in a row. Maybe that’s what I was thinking of.

I began the month having ever had 74,290 page views, from an acknowledged 37,119 unique readers. I’m glad you’re one of them, at least right now. You can put my posts in your RSS reader and enjoy them at your convenience. If you do that, you won’t show up in any of my statistics. I’ll never know you read any of this unless you comment. And that’s fine by me. I’m happy with people keeping their privacy. 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 at least once a week I go around Reading the Comics for the mathematics stuff. Thanks for being here.

How January 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog


First of all, I would like to say this about this tweet:

And that is: I don’t feel threatened at all so nyah.

(And if you want to help them out, please, do send any Calvin and Hobbes strips with mathematical themes over their way.)

Back to my usual self-preening. January 2018 was a successful month around here, in terms of people reading stuff I write. According to WordPress, there were some 1,274 pages viewed from 670 unique visitors. That’s the largest number of pages viewed since March and April 2016, when I had a particularly successful A To Z going. It’s the greatest number of unique visitors since September 2017 when I had a less successful but still pretty good A To Z going. The page views were well above December 2017’s 899, and November’s 1,052. The unique visitors were well above December’s 599 and November’s 604.

I don’t have any real explanation for this. I suspect it’s spillover from my humor blog, which had its most popular month since the comic strip Apartment 3-G died a sad, slow, baffling death. Long story. I think my humor blog was popular because people don’t know what happened to the guy who writes Gasoline Alley. I don’t know either, but I tell people if I do find out anything I’ll tell them, and that’s almost as good as knowing something.

Still, this popularity was accompanied by readers actually liking stuff. There were 112 pages liked in January, beating out the 71 in December and 70 in November by literally dozens of clicks. It’s the highest count since August of 2017 and summer’s A To Z sequence. There were more comments, too, 39 of them. December saw 24 and November 28 and, you see this coming, that’s the largest number of comments since summer 2017’s A To Z sequence.

The popular articles for January were two of the ones I expected, one of the Reading the Comics posts, and then two surprises. What were they? These.

Yes, it’s clickbait-y to talk about weird tricks for limits that mathematicians use. In my defense: mathematicians really do rely on these tricks all the time. So if it’s getting people stuff that’s useful then my conscience is as clear as it is for asking “How many grooves are on a record’s side?” and (implicitly) “How many kinds of trapezoid are there?”

If I’m counting right there were 50 countries from which I drew readers, if “European Union” counts as a country and if “Trinidad and Tobago” don’t count as two. Plus there’s Hong Kong and when you get down to it, “country” is a hard concept to pin down exactly. There were 14 single-reader countries. Here’s the roster of them all:

Country Readers
United States 879
India 89
Philippines 59
United Kingdom 37
Canada 28
Singapore 15
Hong Kong SAR China 11
Netherlands 11
Sweden 11
Belgium 9
Algeria 8
Austria 8
Australia 7
France 7
Italy 7
Switzerland 7
South Africa 6
Brazil 5
Slovenia 5
Argentina 4
Germany 4
Japan 4
Pakistan 4
Indonesia 3
Spain 3
Denmark 2
Egypt 2
European Union 2
Greece 2
Iraq 2
New Zealand 2
Portugal 2
South Korea 2
Thailand 2
Ukraine 2
Bulgaria 1
Czech Republic 1
Ireland 1
Malaysia 1
Mexico 1 (**)
Namibia 1
Norway 1
Russia 1 (*)
Saudi Arabia 1
Sri Lanka 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1
Turkey 1
Uruguay 1 (*)
Vietnam 1

There were 53 countries sending me readers in December and 56 in November so I guess I’m concentrating? There were 15 single-reader countries in December and 22 in November. Russia and Uruguay were single-reader countries in December; Mexico’s been a single-reader country for three months now.

WordPress’s Insights panel says I started the month with 57,592 page views recorded, from 27,161 recorded unique visitors. It also shares with me the interesting statistics that, as I write this and before I post it, I’ve written 16 total posts this year, which have drawn an average two comments and seven likes per post. There’ve been 900 words per post, on average. Overall this year I’ve gotten 39 comments, 110 likes, and have published 14,398 words. I don’t know whether that counts image captions. But this also leads me to learn what previous year statistics were like; I’ve been averaging over 900 words per post since 2015. In 2015 I averaged about 750 words per post, and got three times as many likes and about twice as many comments per post. I’m sure that doesn’t teach me anything. At the least I won’t learn from it.

If all this has convinced you to read my posts, please, keep reading them. You can add them to a WordPress reader by way of the “Follow nebusresearch” sticker on the center-right of the page. Or you can get it delivered by e-mail using the “Follow Blog Via E-Mail” button underneath it. If you’ve got your own RSS reader, you can follow from this feed. There’s probably more ways to follow this, too. And if you want to follow me on Twitter, try @Nebusj, because that’s me and I like having company 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?