Why I Call This ‘Another Blog, Meanwhile’


My father mentioned how he likes my blog even if the doesn’t understand it, and how he sometimes skips the e-mail notices because he forgets what this “Another Blog, Meanwhile” is. Also one of his best friends mentioned he has no idea what the name means. So I thought I’d maybe best explain it some.

When starting out here I needed a name. You can’t just go out leaving your WordPress blog nameless, because their servers hate dealing with “[ eventually, a small cough ].wordpress.com”. But I didn’t have any good names. I didn’t know what the tone and focus of the blog would be. My guess was I’d have some idea after writing it a while. A catchy name picked too early wouldn’t fit. And it’s not like my actual name lends itself to any wordplay. Go ahead, try and think of wordplay based on “Nebus”. The only one that has ever existed was way back when I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, and the inter-campus buses had a blizzard of lettered routes. So you could try to do something with the E-bus, the EE-bus, or maybe the B-bus.

At that, when I was at Rutgers, the humor editors for the unread leftist weekly I was on named their section “about herring”. The title was drawn from a section header in the Joy of Cooking and more self-confidence than I have ever had. Whimsy is dangerous. My only whimsical touches I ever think work are the ones nobody else even notices. I don’t want to pick a fight with my readers about whether the blog has a funny name. I’m too busy trying to insist there’s something funny comparing when things happened to the Battle of Manzikert.

So I went with “Joseph Nebus’s Sense Of Humor”. As a title it’s boring, but at least it’s not interesting. And nobody could say I was posting something outside the character implied by the title. Except my father, who’s also a Joseph Nebus, but it turns out we mostly find the same stuff funny anyway. And I figured if I found the blog’s true identity I’d know it.

The real focus of things around here developed when Apartment 3-G dissolved into the aimless, plotless wandering of shabbily drawn faces on random backgrounds occupied by lamps. I was fascinated. I got into explaining how much nothing was happening in Apartment 3-G. And when the comic strip was finally, mercifully, put down The Onion AV Club recapped the bloggers who were talking about the strip. Joe Blevins, a guy I knew back in the days we had a Mystery Science Theater 3000 community, mentioned my blog twice without ever actually saying my name. He started one mention of it by saying “Another blog, meanwhile, used the death of Apartment 3-G to speculate on the future of newspaper comics in general” and went on to quote a whole paragraph. It drew thousands of people to my blog, all of whom left shortly after.

But look at that start of “Another Blog, Meanwhile”. It’s dull enough that it never gives a hint that it’s an obscure joke. And it’s a daily reminder that the moment I got noticed by the Big Time they only kind-of noticed and didn’t even get my name in. It’s perfect. I had my blog’s identity, and it was talking about the story strips people just assumed had been cancelled in Like 1984. From this, I had my name. It isn’t much, but it’s something I don’t have to think about often, and that’s what I truly need.

Statistics Saturday, January 2016 Edition


For January on my blogs I did something I couldn’t have thought possible, even recently. I didn’t look at the monthly statistics partway through and start fretting about how things would go. Around the humor blog that’s probably for the best as the slide back to a post-Apocalypse 3-G world continued. My total page views were down to 1,211, compared to December’s 1,593 and November’s 4,528. Unique viewers were back down also, to 645 distinct visitors. December had seen 785, and November 2,308.

However, all that is getting pretty near in line with what readership I had before September, when the disaster at Apartment 3-G really got out of control. The statistics to suggest reader engagement have hardly changed. There were 272 likes in January, down from 278 in December and 299 in November, barely a change at all. (This is lower than a year ago, for some reason, although I don’t know what might have driven that.) There were 66 comments, up from 40 in December and a surprisingly few 45 in November. That, again, is down from a year ago. I don’t have good guesses about what drove that change.

What was popular reading in January? Mostly, anything that included bad comic strips:

To get to the popular listing of countries, here’s some: The United States, 895. Germany, 42. Canada, 32. The United Kingdom, 27. The Australia, 19. Those were the countries sending me the most page views. India sent me twelve, well up from December’s six.

My single-reader countries were Armenia, Denmark, Ecuador, Georgia, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Pakistan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Only Hungary was a repeat from last month, and no country’s on a three-month streak.

It was mostly the usual sorts of search terms bringing people here, although I didn’t see any searches for what people found inside the 2015 penny. Maybe that bit of clickbait has had its course. Only one person got here looking for “facts about Turbo movie” too. There was a lot of searching for Apartment 3-G information too, including a bunch for “Apt 3G”, an abbreviation I couldn’t bring myself to use. Sorry.

February starts out with 31,434 total page views from 16,030 visitors. There’s 636 WordPress followers, if the stats are to be believed, although not everybody’s looking every day, I guess. That’s fair enough.

Statistics October: A Month I Will Never Have Again, Unlike All The Others


So, October. That was a month of readership I’m surely never going to have again. I know that’s because of the end of Apartment 3-G. That’s so even if the strip escapes cancellation. If it picks up a new writer and artist, the strip can’t possibly be so baffling as to send hundreds of people over to find out what might be going on. I’ll just have to write something else people want to read.

But for October — ah, what a month. There were 2,204 page views in October, the first time I’ve broken two thousand in a month. September’s record of 1,687 looks petty by comparison, and the 1,251 of last December is nothing. The number of visitors was a record, also: 1,242 unique visitors in October. That’s the first time I broke a thousand. September sent a mere 888 people baffled by Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock my way. July had sent 669.

For all that, the number of likes dwindled, to 279. That’s trivially less than September’s 281. It continues the downward trend that started in March, though. I don’t know. Maybe I need to advertise my best stuff around here more. Comments are stumbling upwards a little: there were 65 in October, up from 56 in September and 44 in August.

When I say that Apartment 3-G is driving my readership I do not exaggerate at all. As best I can make out, 763 of the page views in October were my various efforts to explain what was going on in Apartment 3-G. That’s scattered over many pages, yes, but still. I want the comic strip to be good, but, oh is that a nice bunch of readers. Non-3-G traffic is a healthy-looking 1,441 page views, but I’m sure many of them were attracted by the featureless void Margo finds herself in.

So what’s been most popular around here the past month? Bundling together all the Apartment 3-G content as one, we have:

  1. Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G, a soon-to-stop-ongoing series.
  2. Statistics Saturday: What We Found In The New 2015 Penny which by the way got 329 page views, ridiculously enough.
  3. Statistics Saturday: Why I’m Always Running Late. Plus: Apartment 3-G News? which, yeah, has that 3-G effect, but I think also struck people as true to their lives too.
  4. Why I’m Not In A Good Mood (Kinda Icky Edition) and I should say I’m feeling quite better now, thank, and I appreciate the good wishes.
  5. Mark Twain: Awful, Terrible Medieval Romance
    and I don’t know, maybe it was assigned in school or something?

The United States sent me more readers than any other country, as usual: 1,791. Canada sent me 116, the first time I think I’ve had that many from there in one month. Australia sent 38, the United Kingdom 35, and Germany 29. India gave me eight page views, though Singapore only two.

Single-reader countries this month were Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Honduras, Jordan, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, and Slovenia. The repeats from September were Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. Nobody’s on a three-month streak.

The search terms were almost all what you would expect: apartment 3-g and what happened to apartment 3-g and apartment 3g comic cancelled and mencken bathtub hoax (I hope everybody enjoyed reading that, by the way) and william costello gus the gorilla (that’s a Betty Boop search) and charles boyce compu-toon. I suppose I could try explaining baffling installments of Compu-Toon, but people aren’t nearly so emotionally invested in that. And mostly when I don’t get a Compu-Toon there’s nothing I can do to sort it out. Apartment 3-G I can at least read over and work out just what plot points really were established to exist.

Oh, yeah, I know I hit the “put stuff in silly orders” fairly often, but one of the search terms bringing folks here was what month follows november alphabetically so I am glad to be of some use to somebody.

Statistics Saturday on a Monday-ish, for July


First I want to point out that Thomas K Dye’s Newshounds web comic resumes this Monday. He’s a friend. Give it a try. It’s a longrunning strip (with precursors that go back to before the Internet was a thing), but you won’t get lost.

Now on to myself. And my blog’s readership for the month of July. I’d like to say the crisis has passed. Folklore I’ve received says WordPress stopped counting viewers from mobile web devices and that’s resulted in depressed readership numbers for people. My readership is back up this month, though, quite satisfyingly high. However, digging deeper into the numbers, I see that I had one extraordinarily popular post this month. If I remove that, then the numbers drop back to … higher than June, but not so high as before the mysterious drop.

So I had 1,126 views in July. That’s far better than June’s 739 or May’s 759. It’s a bit below the October-to-December rush times last year, when I accidentally trolled Kinks fandom. But it’s still impressive. WordPress also reports there were 669 unique visitors; that’s the third-highest I’ve ever had, after October and November of last year.

But the number of likes dwindles, for the (ugh) fifth month in a row. That’s down to 349 likes in July, compared to 365 in June and 380 in May. The number of comments rose. There were 76 of them in July, compared to 59 in June, but that’s barely down from May’s 81. This all seems to imply I got a lot of casual readers, but kept my regularly engaged set. That’s not bad.

The most popular country sending me readers was, as usual, the United States with 921 views. Canada came in a distant second at 55. The United Kingdom came in at 32. India popped in at 18, which is well up from June’s five.

The single-reader countries were Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. South Africa’s the only single-reader country from June too.

The most popular postings in this past month were:

  1. Statistics Saturday: What We Found In The New 2015 Penny with a total of 326 views, by far the most I’ve gotten on anything ever. Honest. It’s even topped the Secret Life Of Ray Davies post that accidentally got the Kinks fandom interested, and the astounding facts about Turbo post, and those have had way longer to accumulate page views. So, I guess I’ve accidentally grown a moral quandary here.
  2. I Don’t Know What’s Going On In Apartment 3-G Anymore, which is from March, and
  3. What’s Going On In Apartment 3-G, showing how confusing the comic strip has gotten lately, and
  4. The ‘Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G’ Update to emphasize this. Nothing is happening in Apartment 3-G. Believe me, it’s even more nothing than you imagine.
  5. Statistics Saturday: How I Evaluate The Truth Of A Thing, a trifle that I really think I could have done more with because I like the idea.
  6. Local Architecture Critic Running Farther Amok, showing how much fun there is to be had in teasing local alternate weeklies for minor quirks.

If you take out the 326 views the Penny clickbait gave me, then there were 800 views this month and as few as 343 unique visitors. That’s still heading upwards, at least.

WordPress tells me I start the month at my 19,096th page view, and with 599 followers.

Finally, I’ve read advice that it’s worth reminding people how to follow your blog, so that people who read it can be nagged into reading it again. This seems logical. Since I’m right now on the Twenty Fourteen theme here, there’s a green button on the upper left that reads “FOLLOW, PLEASE” which is good for that. On my machine the FOLLOW is split between two lines, because that somehow makes sense to the computer as a thing to do. I’ve looked at alternate themes, I just haven’t found one I quite like. Well, I do like P2 Classic, but I use that on my mathematics blog.

If you have an RSS reader, then I agree with you that’s a good way to follow posts and I don’t know why it’s getting so hard to do that anymore. Anyway, https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/feed/ will give you my posts. https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ should give you comments, too. And my regular old Twitter account is @Nebusj, which is about what you might figure except I sometimes chat with people you don’t know about things you have to kind of guess about. We’ll see.

2014 in review


I know that it’s late to be sharing a “WordPress annual fireworks” post, but I have good reason to be so late: I was late. Well, and I didn’t want to break up the Ian Shoales Week set of things last week, and I try to post a big original thing on Thursday evening my time, and a Statistics Saturday bit of nonsense on Saturday evening my time, and a video of some kind on Fridays, so this is really the first chance, which is why I’m late: I was late. Anyway, here’s the movie and stuff they made for it.

I’m delighted that I was able to keep up to my goal of posting something daily, so that I have a “longest streak” of 365 posting days. Despite that there’s a single “best day”, Wednesday, with 53 posts on Wednesdays, which is about as well-organized as you could hope for from the Gregorian calendar what with its familiar and well-explained flaws. Anyway, I’ll be back with another one of these after 2015 ends, sometime in early 2016 or extremely late 2014. They used the Sydney Opera House as a reference point for my readership size.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Statistics Saturday: What I Should Be Thinking About Versus What I Am


Things I Should Be Thinking About Things I Am Thinking About
How can I keep that Visual Studio issue from happening again? That guy on TrekBBS is right: Spock was killed by the first guy to play Mr Roarke on Fantasy Island and Kirk was killed by the second guy to play Mr Roarke. (Remember they did that remake of Fantasy Island a couple years ago? No? Well, that’s fair enough. I didn’t see it either.) That’s kind of a neat coincidence.
What blog entries can I get ahead of on writing?
That whole field of mathematics I studied and want to do useful work in, that’d be nice to think about sometimes.
How could a saucepan just go missing from the stove and never appear again anywhere in the whole house?

This Is What I Get For Noticing Stuff (Also, Mathematics Comics)


I don’t want to sound like somebody neurotically obsessed with the exceedingly minor fluctuations in his readership, but, you know, I do blog. And I noticed over the past month that I had been getting pretty consistently more than 20 page views a day, as WordPress makes this out, and I was feeling pretty good about this, since a one-day readership spike is great but people coming back regularly suggests I’m at least amusing some people dependably and 20 is a nice round number bigger than ten. And I figured, well, the daily statistics graph WordPress offers gives thirty days of results and why not see if I can get thirty days in a row of at least 20 readers per day before saying anything and come December 6th I was just all ready to have a petty little celebration and, of course, what happens but the 6th topped out at 19 views. (It’s almost as though an essay about how this forgotten Popeye cartoon was disappointing didn’t appeal to people, or something.)

Oh, I rebounded, sure — in fact, the 7th had more readers than any other of the past thirty days — but yeah, I feel like maybe I shouldn’t have started noticing things in the first place.


Anyway, Over on my mathematics blog, which has a completely different theme where the search current-favorites stuff and list of tags and stuff is on the right side rather than the left side of the page, I’ve got another article describing stuff that comic strips make me think of. I know that a lot of people get tense at the idea of mathematics, but if it helps, I don’t get into anything that requires more effort than figuring out about how many seconds there are in a year.

Mathematics Comics and Some Star Trek Business, with Turtles


Over on my mathematics blog there’s a fresh group of mathematics comics reviewed and judged wanting in mathematical content. If that doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, I’ve also got the review of that blog’s statistics for last month, in case you like seeing countries listed, which is one of the more popular things I do around these parts.

Meanwhile I’m busy working out just the right riposte for a thread on this Star Trek forum that started out with someone asking why the timecops the shows have didn’t go fix the time-travelling Romulan idiot that created the alternate timeline of the new, popular, movies, and someone suggested that the department which did that maybe was only created around the time of the Original Star Trek, which the New Movie timeline hasn’t reached yet, and that with the timeline being corrupted by time-travelling Romulan idiots so far back in their past they might’ve figured their new timeline was meant to be just as much as the old history was. Anyway, I figure there’s some really good snark to be delivered here about the Department of Teleological Investigations in the 23rd century and I just need to frame it right, so I’m kind of sitting here waiting for someone to tackle me, wrestle the computer out of my hands, drag me out to the pond and rub turtles across my face until I come to my senses. Can’t wait!

Statistics Saturday on Labor Day: Humor Blogging In August 2014


So on to my monthly examination of whether anyone actually read my little humor blog here anytime recently. The good news is people seem to have: WordPress’s statistics in fact say I had my greatest number yet of unique visitors this past month, 369 of them, up from July’s then-record of 332. The total number of page views declined very slightly, to 682 from July’s record 704, and this suggests the number of views per visitor collapsed very modestly from 2.12 down to 1.85, but I’m comfortable with that. I reached viewer number 7,864 by the end of the month, and 7,865 just after the start of the next.

I had a nice, broad-based popularity this past month, with a remarkable-to-me 27 posts getting ten or more views, so it isn’t like people just find the one, probably Turbo-based, page and ignore the rest of what I have to write. That’s comforting. August 2014’s most popular posts around here were apparently:

From all the nations of the world the United States sent me the most readers in August (514). The United Kingdom nearly doubled its readership (57, up from 32), and Australia came in at 30 which is again some kind of increase though I admit I don’t know how many. And Spain popped in with ten readers which I didn’t see coming. A single reader each came from Germany, Moldova, Qatar, Sweden, and Uruguay. Germany was the only single-reader country last month. India, which went from one reader in May and June, to three in July, was up to six in August. This is a pretty good trend, though I’m still doing rather better per-capita in Singapore (three).

And, so, what search terms bring people around here? It hasn’t been the kind of month to inspire much poetry but among the search terms have een:

  • robert benchley
  • koko clown end of world
  • turbo the film facts kids (also) what was an interesting fact about turbo the movie
  • 2038 dave barry
  • joan randall barefoot captain future

I don’t understand that last one either.

Statistics Saturday for a Monday: July 2014 on This Humor Blog


And now to return to the very funny question of how well-read I was in the month of July. The answer is very well indeed: I had my most popular month on record according to WordPress. My total number of page views climbed from June’s 495 to fully 704, the highest on record, and the number of unique viewers rose from 181 to a just plain enormous for me 332. I’m stunned. There’s three months since I started the humor blog that didn’t have 332 views total, never mind unique viewers. (The views-per-visitor dropped from 2.73 to 2.12, but that’s still respectable, suggesting most folks who stop in find at least something else worth reading.) By the end of July I’d gotten a total of 7,187 pages read.

The countries sending me the most readers the past month were the United States (562), Australia (34), the United Kingdom (32), and Canada (20). I got only a single reader each from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Kuwait, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines. Indonesia and the Philippines were single-reader countries last month too. And India, which I worried about for sending me just one reader in May and June, found three people who could find me not perfectly repellant in the past thirty days. That’s not so good on a per capita basis as Portugal (two readers), but, really, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

The five most popular postings this past month were:

  1. Questions Inspired By Great Science Fiction Covers of the Past, which involves a lot of Lyndon Johnson.
  2. From The Technology Centers That Brought You Towels, about a patent pending notice I saw.
  3. Five Astounding Facts About Turbo, That Movie About A Snail in The Indianapolis 500, always liked.
  4. Statistics Saturday: My Reactions To Everything After It’s Been Read, letting you know how much I like being liked, or not being liked, as the case may be.
  5. Theme Park Flashing from the Dream World, my subconscious giving out advice again.

I should say, though, there’s 21 different posts which got at least ten viewers the past month, which I believe is a high but I didn’t track that before. This is just something else I can start neurotically following, isn’t it?

Some popular search terms bringing people here include:

  • “ron|russell mael”
  • charles boyce compu-toon
  • captain future block that kick
  • mark twain a medieval romance
  • can a snail race in the indy 500 (people have got to be looking this up as a lark)
  • transdimensional dream other worlds
  • melies films with spider

Statistics Saturday on a Tuesday: June 2014 In Humor Blogging


Now if I may my monthly post on how the daily posts are doing. In June 2014 I didn’t have quite as good a month for being read as I did in May: the number of total views dropped from a record 571 down to a second-best 495. The number of unique visitors, as WordPress defines these things, dropped only from 186 to 181, which is pretty much getting lost in the noise, which means the views per visitor went from a record 3.07 to a less recorded 2.73. That’s actually also a second-best-on-record for me, so I’m not too hurt by all that. I swear. And I reached my 6,478th page view that WordPress will tell me about. Between WordPress and Twitter there’s allegedly 498 people following the blog, although they probably don’t all check at once.

The countries sending me the greatest number of viewers were the United States (407), Jamaica (12), and Canada (10), and I could swear that’s the first time Jamaica’s made the top three. It’s certainly the first top-two appearance. Hi, whoever you are in Jamaica. Sending a lone visitor each in June were Ecuador, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Venezuela. That’s a fair showing from the “the” countries, I suppose (the Lesser Antilles were nowhere to be seen). India’s the only country to have also sent me a single visitor in May. I admit feeling a little disappointed by this; I mean, there’s more than a billion people in India. I’d think at least two would have happened across my humor blog just by accident, while they were looking for something else. Maybe I’m being vain. Maybe I need to measure per-capita readership since my faithful Singaporean audience would really help my statistics there.

The five most popular posts in June were:

The ones about wanton purchases of pliers and about Dave Barry’s Chuckletrousers Incident were also popular, just, not quite as popular.

Chuckletrousers in various guises were a popular search term, as was the search for Python Anghelo’s crazy backstory for the Popeye pinball game. The several people looking for “sanitarium museum missouri” I hope weren’t disappointed, and, turns out, people are looking for Compu-Toon, maybe because they can’t quite believe what they read either. I don’t know.

Poising For Success


I don’t want to sound like one of those people who’s averse to making money by blogging. Actually, I think the idea is a pretty good one and if I can’t make money myself by blogging then I’d like to see it done by someone like me, keeping in mind as ever that there are few people who are more like me than I am myself. I know two of them.

Also I have to admit that I don’t know who these people are who are averse to making money by blogging, but apparently there’s a lot of them, since pretty much everybody who starts following my blog turns out to be writing about how other people can make money while blogging. I suppose everybody in the world has to know something that I don’t, even if it isn’t just what the back of my neck looks like, so what the heck. Maybe I need to figure out what’s needed to make money while blogging.

If I understand what I see properly, the most important thing is search engines. I had always thought search engines were these shadowy corporations in thrall to the surveillance state and working hard to divert queries like “who invented photocopiers” into investigations of “are sloths ticklish?” and DeviantArt pictures showing what the Signing of the Declaration of Independence would look like if everybody in it were Care Bears and “if sloths are ticklish how long does it take them to laugh?”. Maybe I’m not using it right, but the point is, I figured that if you were around, sooner or later a search engine would find you, and the search engine would get some money for it, and you would not.

But apparently that isn’t enough, and you have to get yourself optimized, so that a search engine has a chance of finding you. I think a search engine that can’t find me isn’t trying very hard. I stick around the house most of the time and don’t do a lot of travelling, and even if I’m somewhere unexpected I can be picked out as the person who clearly picked his own clothes without thinking about the fact that other people were going to have to see me dressed like that. If you can’t find me, surrounded by people who are wincing and not looking too directly at my shirt, then nothing I do to optimize is going to help. Of course, I’m not the one making money at this, so maybe Google is earning its vast profits by helping people to pretend they haven’t noticed me. I guess we all feel like that some days.

Another piece is that I have to give some way of classifying everybody into one of the major characters from The Wizard of Oz. I don’t doubt the benefits of classifying everybody, since I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know one of the most popular activities on it is protesting that you were put into the wrong group by some web site’s classification scheme and making sure all your friends know about it so they can be classified wrongly too. About the only thing people like better is taking dialect quizzes, because people love to think about how they’re the only ones who deploy the English language sensibly and everybody else is crazy, but classification pages give you more repeat readers because people have already heard about the soda/pop division and they’re getting kind of tired of “in line” versus “on line”.

What I don’t know is why it has to be The Wizard of Oz. I mean, I know the obvious, that we all think what it would be like to be the Tin Man visiting the Emerald City and have a huge circular feather duster rubbing the backs of our knees to a rich shine, but can that really be enough for everyone? I mean except for the people who’re looking to be grabbed by enraged apple trees. Maybe that’s the categorization I can use for my fortune: which Wizard of Oz characters figure everyone can be sorted into groups of Wizard of Oz characters based on what scenes and which ones don’t. Yes, I suppose that will do it.

After that I guess I have to make a whole bunch of tweets in which I say I wrote this thing, and if you don’t go looking at it enough to make me rich then I have to tweet it again. That’s going to be really hard. I hate making a spectacle like that.

Numbers the August 2013 Way


I said last month I was going to carry on tracking numbers, even if some of them are kind of disappointments, such as the square root of five. The big number according to WordPress’s statistics counters. The number of views dropped from 375 in July to 349 in August, and I don’t have the excuse of a shorter month for that. The number of visitors also dropped from 178 to 141. But this does mean the number of pages per viewer has risen from 2.11 to 2.48, which is the highest on record. I may not be getting many readers in, but they’re reading more of me.

According to WordPress, the top articles of the past thirty days were:

  1. You Can Send Me Any Obsoleted Bills For Responsible Care in which I do some thinking about how to arrange money;
  2. What I Notice In Every Old Picture Of Me and what’s horribly wrong about all those pictures, based on the real actual me;
  3. Community Calendar: Streetlight Counting Day for a little event;
  4. Getting Started and my troubles with that;
  5. In Which I See Through A Chipmunk and the odd story of the squirrels and their comedy club develops; and
  6. Some Parts Of The Horse, a quick useful guide.

None of these was a top-five article last month (the last two were tied for most views). S J Perelman: Captain Future, Block That Kick! was tied for tenth place, so it’s staying popular. My top commenter is again Corvidae in the Fields, whom I thank for loyal readership, followed by Chiaroscuro, who just edges out Ervin Shlopnick, all friends loyal, true, and talkative.

I learned also how to find the most-commented-upon articles, which do include backlinks or trackbacks or whatever the heck they’re called. For this month the top five of those were:

  1. In Which I See Through A Chipmunk (as above);
  2. You Can Send Me Any Obsoleted Bills For Responsible Care (ibid);
  3. Comic Strip Celebrities Named (one from late July that was liked);
  4. Some Now-Forgotten HTML Tags (one of last month’s most popular bits);
  5. Fly The Little Skies (a short bit from late May and about the tiny airport in Trenton, New Jersey).

Once again the countries sending me the most visitors were the United States (268), Canada (8), and the United Kingdom (7). Countries sending only one visitor include Singapore, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Albania, Portland, Mexico, and France, so while I may be losing popularity in Sweden, Poland is holding steady.

It does strike me that the shorts, usually one or two hundred word pieces, get a lot more views than the weekly essays that aim at seven hundred words. This may be telling me something important about how I write.

Here Are Some Numbers (July 2013)


Since my last monthly-statistics roundup post was successful, in that it was a thing that existed and didn’t produce any unwanted explosions or anything, let me repeat the thing. This is just for generally tracking the health of this humor initiative and whatnot, and who knows where that’ll end up? Your guess is as good as mine, although this coming month probably isn’t going to see me get to Altoona, which is a shame.

WordPress says the blog got 375 views in July, which is disappointing only because in June it got 441, and July is a longer month given that it has the whole summer’s heat to expand it. There were also only 178 distinct visitors, as opposed to the 227 distinct viewers in June. This does have a positive side, though: it means the average number of pages each reader went to increased from 1.94 to 2.11, although that’s probably not statistically significant and besides I had 2.17 pages per visitor back in May, but you don’t see me telling everyone that. There’s right now 239 people following announcements about this blog, at least, through e-mail, WordPress, or Twitter, that I know of.

My top five most popular pages of the past 30 days were:

  1. About The Spider-Man Comic Strip, which I did expect to be a popular one since it involved (a) the chance to put up a comic strip that (b) was ridiculous on its own, thus needing no work on my part to amuse.
  2. Basic Dishwasher Repair, which has also gotten some curious attempts at linking from what look like big dishwasher-repair fan sites on the web, which can’t possibly exist, except it is the Internet so who am I to say there aren’t vast dishwasher-repair fan communities, other than a sane person?
  3. Five Astounding Facts About Turbo, That Movie About A Snail In The Indianapolis 500, another rare venture into direct pop-culture commentary for me and again something I thought would be popular because even after seeing the movie I can’t believe this thing actually exists.
  4. Argument With The Rabbit, which I again thought was destined for success given how it’s about a cute pet.
  5. Some Now-Forgotten HTML Tags, which rests comfortably in that set of nerdly jokes that lets me talk about Usenet, which was really great in its heyday and still has flashes of greatness.

Nothing that was in the top-five last month made it over to this month, a bit surprising, since S J Perelman’s “Captain Future, Block That Kick!” was one of last month’s big winners and I posted that back in March. That one dropped to around number 23 in the rankings.

My top recent commenters include, again, Corvidae In The Fields, and thank you for that, then Chiaroscuro (similarly), fluffy (again, thanks), and Ervin Sholpnick.

In July the countries which sent the most visitors to me were the United States again (308), the United Kingdom (11) and Canada (also 11), with last month’s number three, Brazil, falling off the charts altogether. If anyone’s going to be down that way please ask someone what’s wrong. Sending me only a single visitor each were Poland, Lebanon, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia, and Sweden, so at least I haven’t lost my Polish or my Swedish viewers.

Here Are Some Numbers (June 2013)


I’m told statistics are all the rage among bloggers, because this way they can put in numbers where text might go, and that makes everything better. So, here goes.

According to WordPress this little humor blog got 441 views in June, the most it’s managed since it began at the start of February. It also had 227 unique visitors, again the most since it started. Also apparently 214 pages were just looked at by themselves, or maybe each other, to account for the gap there. Or I’m being viewed by people in other dimensions, which would be kind of flattering considering all the dimensions they have to look at.

My top five most popular posts for the past 30 days have been:

  1. Science Fiction versus Fantasy Explained, which I kind of expected might be popular.
  2. What Father’s Day Card-Shopping Taught Me, which is surprisingly just a little less popular.
  3. Jokes You Can’t Play Anymore, which I didn’t expect anyone would notice.
  4. S J Perlman’s “Captain Future, Block That Kick!” which is one of the great pieces of one of the century’s master humorists.
  5. What Skeuomorphism Means To Me (it doesn’t), which I also kind of expected to be popular what with it making fun of Apple and all that.

My top “recent” commenters have been Corvidae in the Fields (by far), then Chiaroscuro (following), BunnyHugger, Jim, Alyssa, and pouringmyartout.

In June, the countries which sent the most visitors to me were the United States (336), Canada (20), and Brazil (8). The countries that sent only one visitor my way included Poland, the Czech Republic, the United Republic of Tanzania, Bulgaria, Spain, Iraq, Moldova, Ireland, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Denmark, and Italy. I have not been to any of those nations. My parents honeymooned in Spain.

Where Has My Buzz Gone


I finally learned why it’s been so hard building any kind of buzz for my little humor blog here. Buzz is an essential component of building a blog that doesn’t peter out after a couple of months and become a series of “Sorry I haven’t been writing more but I’m going to get back into it now” messages at 78-week intervals.

It turns out — and I had no idea — that one of the key ingredients of buzz is molybdenum. Can you believe that I haven’t had any since I did the big apartment-cleaning ahead of moving out of my grad school apartment? I feel like an utter fool carrying on, and it’s only been the supportive phone calls of Pablo Bascur, the founder and CEO of the Chilean molybdenum consulting firm MolyExp, that’s kept me going. “It’s all right,” he’s explained, “Nobody ever tells you these things, and any responsible blogging platform should when you sign up.” Thanks, Pablo. Friends forever.

He couldn’t set me up with any right away, because of futures exchanges, but he did point out they expect there to be a tolerable surplus of molybdenum production this year as the word appears in more spelling bees.

Hype, meanwhile, looks to be in plenty supply as its most critical ingredient — nickel — continues record production levels. So I’ve got that right at least.

Molybdenum, man. I just … well, again, thanks, Pablo. I just have to tailor my writing to my molybdenum needs is all.

On The New Blogging Standards


I’m sure everyone’s heard by now that the International Organization for Standardization — the group that’s brought us best-selling hits like ISO 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 2000, and their mashup, ISO 9001-2000 — is proposing a change to the fundamental unit of blogging as set out in ISO 764 (“Horology: Magnetic Resistant Watches”). Naturally I’m torn about this and I’m surprised more people aren’t bewailing them. I grant that the old unit of blogging — making fun of the Superfriends — is tired, and not just because I’ve been desperately trying to think of anything fresh I could possibly say about the episode where the Wonder Twins are so wholly overwhelmed by a roller coaster with defective brakes they need the help of an actual superhero. But it’s been the style for a good long while, and it’s shaped how we think about blogging, and goodness knows, what if they change it to something like “pointing out Animaniacs episodes that don’t have jokes, just a big pile of pop culture references draped over each other” instead? I need to know what they’re changing things to before I can vehemently oppose the change correctly.