Oh, you know, how did 2021 treat anybody? I always do one of these surveys for the end of each month. It’s only fair to do one for the end of the year also.
2021 was my tenth full year blogging around here. I might have made more of that if the actual anniversary in late September hadn’t coincided with a lot of personal hardships. 2021 was a quiet year around these parts with only 94 things posted. That’s the fewest of any full year. (I posted only 41 things in 2011, but I only started posting at all in late September of that year.) That seems not to have done my readership any harm. There were 28,832 pages viewed in 2021, up from 24,474 in 2020 and a fair bit above the 24,662 given in my previously best-viewed year of 2019. Eleven data points (the partial year 2011, and the full years 2012 through 2021) aren’t many, so there’s no real drawing patterns here. But it does seem like I have a year of sharp increases and then a year of slight declines in page views. I suppose we’ll check in in 2023 and see if that pattern holds.
One thing not declining? The number of unique visitors. WordPress recorded 20,339 unique visitors in 2021, a comfortable bit above 2020’s 16,870 and 2019s 16,718. So far I haven’t seen a year-over-year decline in unique visitors. That’s gratifying.
Less gratifying: the number of likes continues its decline. It hasn’t increased, around here, since 2015 when a seemingly impossible 3,273 likes were given by readers. In 2021 there were only 481 likes, the fewest since 2013. The dropping-off of likes has looked so resembled a Poisson distribution that I’m tempted to see whether it actually fits that.
The number of comments dropped a slight bit. There were 188 given around here in 2021, but that’s only ten fewer than were given in 2020. It’s seven more than were given in 2019, so if there’s any pattern there I don’t know it.
WordPress lists 483 posts around here as having gotten four or more page views in the year. It won’t tell me everything that got even a single view, though. I’m not willing to do the work of stitching together the monthly page view data to learn everything that was of interest however passing. I’ll settle with knowing what was most popular. And what were my most popular posts of the year mercifully ended? These posts from 2021 got more views than all the others:
- No, You Can’t Say What 6/2(1+2) Equals. This was in response to a thing going around Twitter. My @nebusj account has gone feral (Safari didn’t want to load it and I don’t care enough to sort out the problem), but people bring stuff up to me now and then.
- How Did Compute!’s Gazette’s MLX Program Work? A bit of retrocomputing work I did, as I finally got enough energy together to answer something I had wondered about since the mid-80s. It turns out to be pretty straightforward.
- How To Find A Logarithm Without Much Computing Power This is a compilation post, identifying the pieces from an earlier sequence of essays. But it’s still interesting and useful, if you want to know the hard work of calculating logarithms.
- My Little 2021 Mathematics A-to-Z: Hyperbola This, finally, is something from my big project of the year showing up. I don’t know why ‘hyperbola’ got so popular. I suspect it’s that people have a lot of questions about hyperbolas. And I got to combine that with some thoughts about why hyperbolas seem scary in a way that ellipses don’t.
- Reading the Comics, March 14, 2021: Pi Day Edition One of my few comic strip posts for the year. I knew it’d be well-received, though.
- Here’s how to get rid of WordPress’s Block Editor and get the good editor back This is a public service and I hope everyone trying to use WordPress to blog can use this. Yes, I have noticed they’re trying to make the good editor annoying, by having menu bars pop up automatically opened. Don’t give up. Even the old editor hit by an annoying stick is better than the Block Editor.
- How did Compute!’s and Compute!’s Gazette’s New MLX Work? A follow-up bit of retrocomputing in which I figured out the harder MLX checksum scheme.
There were 143 countries, or country-like entities, sending me any page views in 2021. I don’t know how that compares to earlier years. But here’s the roster of where page views came from:
|Hong Kong SAR China||132|
|United Arab Emirates||100|
|Trinidad & Tobago||17|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||6|
|Antigua & Barbuda||3|
|Papua New Guinea||2|
|Isle of Man||1|
|St. Vincent & Grenadines||1|
I don’t know that I’ve gotten a reader from Vatican City before. I hope it’s not about the essay figuring what dates are most and least likely for Easter. I’d expect them to know that already.
My plan is to spend a bit more time republishing posts from old A-to-Z’s. And then I hope to finish off the Little 2021 Mathematics A-to-Z, late and battered but still carrying on. I intend to post something at least once a week after that, although I don’t have a clear idea what that will be. Perhaps I’ll finally work out the algorithm for Compute!’s New Automatic Proofreader. Perhaps I’ll fill in with A-to-Z style essays for topics I had skipped before. Or I might get back to reading the comics for their mathematics topics. I’m open to suggestions.