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:
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.
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.
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:
- What The Heck Happened To Nancy and Why Does It Look Weird?
- Is the comic strip Henry ending? Is the comic strip Hazel ending?
- S J Perelman: Insert Flap ‘A’ And Throw Away
- What’s Going On In Rex Morgan, M.D.? What’s With Edward’s Dog Not Being Seen? February – April 2019
- What’s Going On In The Phantom (Weekdays)? What’s The Plan To Kill Heloise Walker? July – September 2018
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.
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:
|Hong Kong SAR China||187|
|United Arab Emirates||55|
|Trinidad & Tobago||20|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||4|
|Antigua & Barbuda||1|
|British Virgin Islands||1|
|Isle of Man||1|
|Papua New Guinea||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?