Statistics 2019: What Was Read Here, And How Much, Back Then


I have meant to do my usual readership-review thing, but for the whole of 2019. I can’t put it off much longer, either, or I’ll start running into February. Few people ever run into February on purpose; it just sort of settles on us instead, and then we get three weeks of our socks getting wet even through the waterproof boots. So let’s see what was popular around here last year:

Bar chart showing the mostly steady increase of readership, by year, from 2013 through 2019.
Boy, I’m glad the statistics for 2020 aren’t ending now because that would be a pretty sharp drop.

2019 was my greatest year for being read, which is nice to see. 42,746 pages got viewed at all, from 24,539 unique visitors. That’s also a record; 2018 saw only 39,130 views from 20,889 visitors. Also the unique visitors from 2019 was only slightly below the 24,695 total page views in 2017. That’s not a bad rate of growth. There were 1.74 views per visitor in 2019, which is down but probably not significantly from 2018’s 1.87. It’s up but probably not significantly from 2017’s 1.63.

Bar chart of likes per year, from 2013 to the present. It's hung around 1700 to 2300 most years, with 2015 abnormally high.
People really, really liked it when Apartment 3-G was dying and I was covering it weekly.

This is not to say I’m getting any more likable. The number of likes given out in 2019 declined to 1,715, my lowest number since 2013. Given the increase in readers, and page views, this decline’s particularly dire. I can understand the decrease in comments. There were 277 comments given last year, the lowest for a full year that I’ve ever had. But I get that: there’s little to say about a Statistics Saturday post, or any of those wordplay bits I was doing on Wednesdays. Even the What’s Going On In series only offers slight openings for discussion. I don’t make a lot of speculations about stories and since I spend three months getting back to any comic, anyone with a good joke about Mark Trail has used it in a more relevant spot first.

Bar chart of comments per year, 2013 to present. There were a good number of comments in 2014 and 2015, with a decline from there --- except for a huge number of comments in 2018.
Gosh, was it as long ago as 2018 that Ray Kassinger ran across this page and commented on everything I’d ever written? You never notice how fast time moves until it’s done, do you?

So perhaps I need, especially in the posts that are reviews, to write things that more invite comment. My brain is able to think only of adding, “What do you think?” to the ends of posts. So that’ll be a while to develop.

There were, besides the home page, 1,320 posts that got at least a single page view in 2019. 1,055 of them got at least two page views, and 524 got at least ten page views. 63 of them got over a hundred page views, and one of them was about Fearless Fred, Betty Boop’s boyfriend who even she forgot she had. The things people most wanted to read were, yes, comic strip stuff and S J Perelman:

Also someone went and put a single-star rating vote on the Rex Morgan, M.D. piece about Edward’s Dog. I don’t take any of these ratings personally but … what is their conceptual model for a two-star essay about why we don’t see Edward’s Dog on-screen? What would that have which I was lacking?

Anyway all the most popular essays in 2019 which were published in 2019 were What’s Going On In essays, and I’ll admit some overworked days I feel like I could drop everything but that and save myself some work. My most popular post of 2019 that wasn’t about comic strips was also not an attempt to be funny. It was an attempt to serve the public: Which Color Paas Tablet Is Purple? Which is Red? Which is Pink? Knowing the answer to this has become less urgent now that you can use either water or vinegar for all the colors, pink included. But it may still help people work out which color is purple and which is blue.

And the most popular long-form essay was In Which I Cannot Honestly Say I Dodged A Bullet Here, about an axe-throwing place that opened in town. It just barely beat out The Stages Of The Road Trip: Stage One, the start of a surprisingly long sequence about … just … driving. I really liked writing the road trip sequence though, and if I could manage one series like that every four months I’d feel I had reached the mastery I wanted.

The single-view pages are split between ones that I’m amazed didn’t get more views and ones I’m amazed got that many views. One view for On The Problems Of Credit In The 19th Century New England Economy is probably about right, though, given that it has a title like that. I don’t know what I was thinking with that one.

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in darkest red, and the rest of the world in a more roughly uniform pink. Countries sending no readers at all include Greenland, Cuba, the Guianas, a swath of central Africa, and Iran, Afghanistan, and some neighboring countries. Also Syria, apparently.
I notice the lack of Madagascar readers, mostly because I have always had an irrational fondness for the island-nation owing to its appearance in a Donald Duck comic book which asserted that it was the premier nation if you wanted papier-mache. I have no idea where the comic book got that idea but, some country has to be the best at papier-mache, so why not Madagascar?

136 country-like things sent me readers in 2019. The United States alone sent me 31,339 page views. This is more page views than I had in any year before 2018 and also shows just how amazingly provincial my writing is. Here’s the full list of page views, though:

Country Readers
United States 31,339
India 2,458
Canada 1,229
United Kingdom 957
Australia 722
Sweden 470
Philippines 422
Germany 385
Brazil 367
European Union 264
Italy 237
Spain 237
France 202
Hong Kong SAR China 187
South Africa 170
Mexico 153
Finland 145
Romania 137
Netherlands 131
Norway 131
Japan 115
Peru 112
Denmark 104
Kenya 94
El Salvador 89
Malaysia 88
New Zealand 84
Turkey 81
South Korea 75
Portugal 69
Indonesia 68
Singapore 68
Thailand 59
Ireland 58
Belgium 57
Russia 56
Taiwan 55
United Arab Emirates 55
Poland 49
Argentina 48
Colombia 46
Switzerland 46
American Samoa 42
Austria 42
Serbia 36
Israel 35
Slovenia 32
Greece 30
Pakistan 30
Chile 29
Jamaica 28
Ukraine 28
Puerto Rico 27
Nigeria 26
Hungary 24
Bangladesh 21
Saudi Arabia 20
Trinidad & Tobago 20
Nepal 19
Croatia 18
Czech Republic 18
Egypt 16
Uruguay 16
Slovakia 15
Ecuador 13
China 12
Vietnam 12
Morocco 9
Venezuela 9
Iraq 8
Kuwait 8
Georgia 7
Jordan 7
Macedonia 7
Zambia 7
Bolivia 6
Bulgaria 6
Cyprus 6
Guam 6
Guatemala 6
Kazakhstan 5
Lithuania 5
Sri Lanka 5
Bermuda 4
Bosnia & Herzegovina 4
Dominican Republic 4
Latvia 4
Mongolia 4
Montenegro 4
Qatar 4
South Sudan 4
Albania 3
Algeria 3
Bahrain 3
Estonia 3
Ghana 3
Honduras 3
Iceland 3
Lebanon 3
Malta 3
Moldova 3
Tunisia 3
Angola 2
Armenia 2
Brunei 2
Cambodia 2
Cameroon 2
Cayman Islands 2
Costa Rica 2
Curaçao 2
Liberia 2
Panama 2
Réunion 2
Uganda 2
Antigua & Barbuda 1
Bahamas 1
Barbados 1
British Virgin Islands 1
Gibraltar 1
Guadeloupe 1
Guernsey 1
Isle of Man 1
Libya 1
Luxembourg 1
Mauritania 1
Mauritius 1
Myanmar (Burma) 1
Nicaragua 1
Oman 1
Papua New Guinea 1
Paraguay 1
Sint Maarten 1
St. Martin 1
Tanzania 1
Uzbekistan 1
Zimbabwe 1

Hey, three countries with more than a thousand page views each! That’s … not different from my 2018 record. It still feels accomplished, though. My India readership almost doubled.

In all, WordPress says I published 204,420 words in 2019. It also says I published 363 posts, which does not square with my having published something every day. I have no explanation for this. This is my second-most-loquacious year, a bit down from 2018 with 233,406 words. I averaged, according to WordPress, 563 words per posting. I make out 204,420 divided by 365 to be just over 560 myself. Either way, it’s just a little more wordy than 2017 was, and with fewer comments and likes. Hm.

While it’s still early to say what the year ahead will offer, I know my plans. What’s Going On In the story comics, once a week. On Thursday evenings, US time, a long-form essay. On Saturday evenings, US time, a Statistics Saturday quick little joke. And I guess I’m reviewing the Popeye cartoons nobody cares about too. Plus whatever fills in the gaps, the other days.

Thank you for reading. What do you think?

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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