Statistics September: How Many People Wanted Me To Tell Them The Phantom Wasn’t Dead Last Month

If there is a refrain for 2022, it’s “boy, remember when we thought 2020 was a rough year?”. But the other is that Tony DePaul and Mike Manley’s project, to show what it would look like were The Phantom to die, sends people here to check if he’s dead. Four of the five most popular posts around here in September were various What’s Going On In The Phantom (Weekdays) essays. Seeing the list assembled like that reveals that I have not been consistent about whether to capitalize the (Weekdays). Don’t think that isn’t bothering me. (The other piece was me explaining a Far Side that I only got in October 2022, thirty-plus years after first seeing it.)

Still, I like taking this near-the-start-of-the-month chance to look at what was popular that I published recently. The five most popular things I published in September were being upset about comic strips, so I guess thanks, Tom Batiuk? Here’s what people most liked:

I sometimes write things that are not me being angry about comic strips! The ones that people are interested in are me describing what’s happening in the story strips. My plan for the next couple weeks is to publish about these strips which, yes, includes the weekday Phantom run:

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022. A smaller peak reappeared in August and September 2022.
Between The Hypothetical Death of The Phantom and the new-look Gil Thorp and Tom Batiuk being all like that it’s good times for me. I just know that we’re heading into something like four weeks of Les Moore sulking about how people don’t remember the Death of Lisa Moore the way Lisa would have wanted them to, though.

Popularity is one thing. Quantifying popularity is another thing, a way of being unhappy for no reason. WordPress has a handy reference of how many of various kinds of interaction happened here in the month. For example, it reports that in September there were 7,217 page views from 3,890 unique visitors. That is, if I haven’t missed something, my third-highest number of page views ever. It’s way above the twelve-month running mean of 5,250.5 views, and also the running median of 4,729.5 views. The number of unique visitors is also well above the running mean of 2,795.0 and the running median of 2,721. If I could just be this annoyed by Funky Winkerbean all the time …

But I am not. And looking at measures of things more like interactions and less like gawking at my rage gets us a more average month. There were 163 things liked in September, not all of them September-published pieces. This is above the running mean, 154.4, and the running median, 154.5, likes. But it’s not that more than average. There were 80 comments given, and that is a big number for me, highest since July 2021. The running mean was 46.7 and median 47.

There were 80 countries or country-like constructs sending me page views in September. 15 of them were single-view countries. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 4,455
Australia 947
United Kingdom 233
India 227
Canada 209
Italy 150
Brazil 86
Philippines 71
Germany 66
Nigeria 55
Spain 54
Portugal 53
Serbia 45
Norway 44
Japan 35
Finland 29
Saudi Arabia 28
South Africa 28
France 27
Sweden 27
Singapore 19
Austria 17
Netherlands 16
Romania 16
Mexico 15
New Zealand 14
Pakistan 14
Russia 14
Denmark 13
Thailand 13
Ireland 12
Hungary 11
Turkey 11
Argentina 10
Belgium 10
Indonesia 10
United Arab Emirates 8
Colombia 7
El Salvador 7
Barbados 6
Greece 6
Israel 6
Malaysia 6
Switzerland 6
Guatemala 5
Kenya 5
South Korea 5
Ukraine 5
Croatia 4
Cyprus 4
Kuwait 4
Hong Kong SAR China 3
Jamaica 3
Latvia 3
Slovakia 3
Taiwan 3
Trinidad & Tobago 3
Albania 2
Costa Rica 2
Czech Republic 2
Egypt 2
European Union 2
Peru 2
Poland 2
Uganda 2
Antigua & Barbuda 1
Armenia 1
Azerbaijan 1
Bosnia & Herzegovina 1
Bulgaria 1
Cameroon 1 (**)
China 1
Luxembourg 1
Montenegro 1
Mozambique 1
Puerto Rico 1
Slovenia 1
Somalia 1
Venezuela 1
Vietnam 1
Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
This month’s baffling anomaly is why I had nearly a thousand views from Australia for some reason? Did I toss in a really good Barassi Line joke I forgot about?

Cameroon has been a single-view country for three months now. No other country can presently make a multi-month claim without fibbing.

WordPress figures that I published 17,279 words in September, which brings me to 155,805 words for the year. Between the release of The Secrete of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue and the start of October I’ve published 3,529 posts that drew 321,250 views from 181,533 unique visitors.

Folks who’d like to be regular readers I suppose know what they’re doing. Still, if you need help, try using the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button that’s on the right-hand column of this page. It’s called “Another Blog, Meanwhile” because of a thing that happened to me in 2015 that I’ve explained, like, twice since then. So that’s the sort of person I am and if you still want to follow me, thanks for the patience. It’s kind of you.

Statistics September: How The Past Month Treated My Humor Blog

Since the month (October) is a third done it’s time I finally got around to looking at how it fared in September. The faring was … fair, about four-fifths of the faring I’d fain see. Page reads, and unique visitors, were down, to the lowest values they’ve had in over a year. I’m sure part of that is that I had to shift into reposting my reviews of Talkartoons, a thing that does not appeal to my key demographic, who is my Dad. I’m sorry for this, but have had to ration my energies and I’ll open up to more new-ish material as I’m able.

There were 4,080 pages viewed around here in September. That’s well below the twelve-month running mean leading up to September of 5,598.3 views per month. The median, a measure of average-ness less fooled by extreme events, was 4,996 for the twelve months ending the 1st of September. So, yeah, that’s a drop. There were 2,119 logged unique visitors, well below the twelve-month running mean of 3,383.4 visitors, or the running median of 3,306.5 visitors.

Bar chart of two and a half year's worth of monthly readership figures. After a great spike in April 2021 the figures have fluttered between 4,000 and 5,000 views per month, with the most recent month dropping to about 4,000.
I guess I did only check near the start of the last minute of September, Greenwich Time. Maybe a couple hundred views came in between 7:59:10 and 7:59:59. It’s too bad there’s no way to know.

Still, the people who came here stayed about as involved as usual, so, thank you, Garrison. There were 133 likes given to posts in September, a figure indistinguishable from the running mean of 137.8 per month or median of 135 per month. And there were 35 comments, below the running mean of 53.1 and median of 45.5, but still. That’s pretty good considering what are people supposed to do, say “No, this isn’t a Betty Boop cartoon”? If that’s important toyou then fine, but it’s not that interesting.

499 specific posts got any page views at all in September. The most popular things posted in September were:

My most popular feature around here is the comic strip plot recaps. You can read all my story strip plot recaps at this tag. My plan for specific strips for the coming month are to cover:

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
Some month I’m just going to do a post that lists countries that don’t read me and test whether that makes any difference. (It won’t.)

A mere 69 countries or country-like organizations sent me readers in September. 13 of them were single-view countries. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 2,672
India 196
Canada 172
Brazil 145
Australia 107
Sweden 96
United Kingdom 85
Philippines 81
Spain 49
Germany 48
Norway 39
Italy 38
Finland 27
South Africa 26
Greece 24
Austria 17
Ecuador 16
Ireland 16
Argentina 15
France 15
Malaysia 14
Mexico 13
European Union 12
Russia 12
Thailand 9
Netherlands 8
Belgium 7
Israel 7
New Zealand 7
Romania 7
Singapore 7
Turkey 7
Indonesia 6
Pakistan 6
Guadeloupe 5
Japan 5
Jamaica 4
Poland 4
United Arab Emirates 4
Colombia 3
El Salvador 3
Kenya 3
Nigeria 3
Serbia 3
Switzerland 3
Taiwan 3
Bahrain 2
Bangladesh 2
Bermuda 2
Denmark 2
Guernsey 2
Peru 2
Sri Lanka 2
Ukraine 2
Brunei 1
Czech Republic 1
Egypt 1
Estonia 1
Guatemala 1
Hungary 1
Iceland 1
Malawi 1
Nepal 1
Puerto Rico 1
Slovakia 1
South Korea 1
St. Vincent & Grenadines 1
Uruguay 1
Vietnam 1

None of September’s single-reader countries were also a single-reader country in August. That’s the first clean sweep to happen since August.

WordPress flatters me by claiming I published 31,546 words in September. This is an average of 1,051.5 words per posting and my most loquacious month this year. It’s a fib, of course, the numbers padded by both the MiSTings, with many words I did not write, and the Talkartoons recaps, with many words I wrote years ago. So be it. It brings my total for the year up to 206,571 words posted, with an average 757 words per posting for 2021.

Between the first time humans and monkeys flew into space on the same vehicle (April 1985, aboard the space shuttle Challenger) and the start of October I’ve posted 3,164 things to this blog. They’e drawn 255,108 views from 146,221 unique visitors. WordPress says I have 1,363 followers here, and like you, I don’t believe it.

Still, if you’d like to be the 1,364 follower, I’d be glad to have you. First, try as hard as you can to exist. Then click on the ‘Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile’ sticker in the upper right corner of this page, which adds this to your WordPress Reader. Or if you prefer getting the versions that have all the typos, you can use the panel beneath that to get posts by e-mail. I don’t ever send anything else by e-mail, but I can’t say what WordPress will do with your address.

If you’d like to read these essays in private, you can add the RSS feed for Another Blog, Meanwhile to whatever your news reader is. If you need an RSS reader you can try This Old Reader, for example, NewsBlur. Or you can sign up for a free account at Dreamwidth or Livejournal. Use or to add RSS feeds to your Reading or Friends page.

However it is you’re reading me, though, thank you, whether or not you exist.

Statistics September: How September 2020 Looked At Me, And What For

As I’ve said before I like starting the month with a look at what got read around here, and how much. I’m sure this is going to be fun. WordPress kicked me off the Classic, or “good”, post editor and the New, or “bad” one is really bad. Like, it was annoyingly many steps to embed pictures in yesterday’s Popeye cartoon post. And every attempt working through the Bad editor to embed the video starting at the right time marker failed. I had to post it and then edit it using the back path to get the Good editor back. It takes some doing to screw up stuff like that. Don’t worry. You’ll hear a lot more from me on this topic.

All the statistics I track around here were up this past month, which is to say, good. WordPress reports 4,479 page views in September, which is the third-highest month I have on record. (April 2020 and November 2015 were higher yet.) That’s a good bit above the twelve-month running average of 4,018.7 views per month.

These views came from a recorded 2,623 unique visitors. That, too, is up from the running average 2,347.3. I think that’s also the third-highest unique visitor count, but WordPress doesn’t make that number easy to track. There were 130 things liked, which is above the average 94.4 and the largest number since July of 2019. And there were a positively chatty 41 comments, well above the 25.7 average. That was the greatest volume of comments since April 2020, owing to people turning caps lock on.

Bar chart of monthly readership. The last several months have seen around four thousand page views and two thousand to 2500 unique visitors each month.
You don’t suppose it’s possible I got like a thousand page views between 7:59 pm and 8:00 pm when the new month started, do you?

What articles were popular here? The most popular things published in September were:

I was, in the interest of fairness, looking for top things posted in August too, but it turns out nothing from August was as popular as the Jules Rivera news. That’ll happen.

Mercator-style map of the world with the United States in darkest pink, most of the Americas, Europe, Russia, and the Pacific Rim in light pink, and scattered African countries, plus India, also in pink.
I feel like I’m far less popular this month in Africa, but it turns out the difference is two page views from Zambia and one from Ethiopia. Well also that Ukraine wasn’t interested in me this month either.

77 countries sent me any readers last month. That’s down from August’s 78 and July’s 82, and not at all significantly so. There were ten single-view countries, noticeably down from August’s 18 or July’s 28. I suppose next month there’ll be minus two.

United States3,108
United Kingdom114
South Africa34
Trinidad & Tobago14
European Union7
New Zealand7
United Arab Emirates7
Hong Kong SAR China6
Czech Republic3
Myanmar (Burma)3
South Korea3
Puerto Rico2
Costa Rica1
El Salvador1
Paraguay1 (*)

Paraguay is the only country that was a single-view country in August. And no countries are on a three-month or longer streak. So that’s fun.

My plan for the next several weeks of story comics is to do these, on these days:

All this is subject to revision in case of news or anything getting in my way. I am thinking of what I might shuffle around to make sure the week of Election Day is as low-stress for me as possible, around here at least, for example. I’ll have some What’s Going On In The Story Comics post, or news, at this link. And hopefully a plot recap every Tuesday, Eastern time.

Also in my plans: a long-form essay Thursday evenings, Eastern Time. Also Statistics Saturday posts, Saturday evening, Eastern Time. And I’m hardly out of 1960s Popeye cartoons to talk about Sunday evenings.

Through the start of October I’d posted 2,799 things here. Those collected 188,327 views from 106,121 unique visitors. WordPress thinks I posted 16,141 words this past month, an average of 538.0 words per posting for all thirty posts. My average post, year to date, has been 548 words, so my goal of writing shorter was going great until I started this post.

If you’d like to be a regular reader here, please click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button on this page. Or if you’d rather read without being tracked, add the RSS feed for this page to your reader. If you don’t think you have a reader, get a free Dreamwidth or Livejournal account. You can add RSS feeds to your friends page from or as you like. And my @nebusj Twitter account announces posts. Don’t try to contact me through it, though. Safari often refuses to let me see Twitter. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what the pattern is. Am I going to make the surely slight effort it would be to clear up the problem? No, not this year. Why would I want to see more Twitter than I already do? In 2020? Thank you for your understanding.

Statistics September: People Want To Know What Funky Winkerbean, Judge Parker’s Issues Are

Good news, everyone. I’ve been keeping up spreadsheets, just like last month. So I am really well set up to look over what was popular around here in September, and to learn absolutely nothing about it.

September 2019 was, it appears, the second-best-read month I have ever had around here. Certainly the best-read month since the final collapse of Apartment 3-G. I don’t know how I’ll feel if I ever do cross the readership threshold from that month I briefly caught the attention of The Onion A.V. Club. It would be all right, though. Getting somewhere near that readership every month is more soothing to the part of me that wants to be popular.

There were 4,094 pages viewed around here in September. This is substantially above even the twelve-month running average of 3,229.1 page views. Unique readers were more abundant too. There were 2,293 logged unique viewers in September. The twelve-month running average was 1,837.9. These numbers, of course, do not and cannot count people using the RSS feed to get essays. So that all feels nice and popular.

Bar chart of monthly readership figures from February 2014 to September 2019. It's been rising each of the last several months and is above 4,000 again.
In that November 2015 Apartment 3-G surge I recorded 2,308 unique visitors, so September 2019 fell just short of that figure too. But then in April 2019 there were 2,418 unique visitors anyway and I don’t remember if I noticed that at the time.

The other side of popularity, of course, is that I’m afraid of interacting with people and would rather not do it if possible. And here, too, September delivered. There were 120 things liked in September. (This isn’t necessarily stuff posted in September, although recent posts tend to be more often liked than stuff in the archives.) That’s well below the twelve-month running average of 159.5. And there were 19 comments received in September, way down from the twelve-month running average of 38.3. Also I don’t know how my twelve-month average can be nearly forty comments per month. I guess it looks like the end of 2018 was chatty is all.

The per-posting averages show the same trends. There were 136.5 views per posting in September, compared to a running average of 106.0. There were 76.4 visitors per posting, compared to a running average of 60.4. 4.0 likes per posting, compared to the running average of 5.3. 0.6 comments per posting, down from the running average of 1.3. If I didn’t just somehow have something every day those per-posting averages might be funny or weird or different.

460 different posts, other than my home page, got any page views in September. 166 of them got only a single page view, which is all right. For some of those that was too big a readership. The most popular postings were, as usual, comic strip reports:

The piece about Richard Thompson was some thoughts written after he died. Thompson’s Cul de Sac was such a fantastic comic strip, the best of this century so far. It’s in eternal reruns on GoComics and worth reading.

This is also a good moment to reiterate a content warning about Funky Winkerbean. That comic is in the midst of a story including a character’s suicide. If that’s not stuff you need in your recreational reading, be advised. I’ll post a note when the storyline’s concluded.

The most-read of my original long-form essays, the things that I foolishly once thought would be the center of this blog, was October 2018’s Everything There Is To Say In Explaining How Computer Graphics Work. I don’t know. I would have thought at least one of that road trip series I’ve been doing would be the best-read. It’s certainly been getting a great number of likes, compared to my average posts.

73 countries sent me at least one reader in September. 13 of them sent me a single reader. In August that had been 74 countries and 14 single-reader countries. I assume this means that some country which existed in August has just evaporated. It’s the only answer that makes sense. Anyway, here’s the roster of what countries in the world are left:

Mercator-style map of the world with the United States in the darkest red, most of the rest of the Americas, Western Europe, Australia, and South Asia in lighter red. Curiously lacking in visitors: the Baltic states.
As ever I’m surprised to have so many readers from India or, really, considering how provincial I am in what I write about, any readers who aren’t from New Jersey or from Michigan’s lower peninsula.

Country Readers
United States 3,117
India 231
Canada 84
United Kingdom 70
Australia 55
Philippines 54
Sweden 37
Germany 32
Romania 32
France 28
Brazil 27
Italy 27
El Salvador 26
Mexico 25
Spain 22
South Africa 12
Kenya 11
Portugal 11
Serbia 9
Morocco 8
Netherlands 8
Belgium 7
Norway 7
Poland 7
South Korea 7
Austria 6
China 6
Jamaica 6
Thailand 6
Argentina 5
Ireland 5
Singapore 5
Switzerland 5
Turkey 5
Bangladesh 4
Egypt 4
European Union 4
Finland 4
Greece 4
Indonesia 4
Japan 4
New Zealand 4
Russia 4
Saudi Arabia 4
Taiwan 4
Colombia 3
Hungary 3
Pakistan 3
United Arab Emirates 3
Croatia 2
Cyprus 2
Denmark 2
Hong Kong SAR China 2
Macedonia 2
Malaysia 2
Peru 2
Puerto Rico 2
Slovenia 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
Zambia 2
Algeria 1
American Samoa 1
Bahamas 1
Bahrain 1
Barbados 1
Bolivia 1 (*)
Cayman Islands 1
Dominican Republic 1
Ghana 1
Nigeria 1
Qatar 1
Tunisia 1
Uruguay 1

Bolivia is the only country that was also a single-reader country the previous month. No countries are on a three-month single-reader streak. I’m surprised to have as many Hong Kong readers as I did, considering how busy things seem to be over there. On the other hand, look at the United States and how are people thinking about Funky Winkerbean against that backdrop?

My plans for the coming month? A long-form essay of about 700 words posted every Thursday evening, Eastern Time. And the usual Statistics Saturday post as long as I can think of formal structures that seem kind of joke-like. And, the important thing, What’s Going On In posts. Scheduled for the next several weeks, barring breaking news or important surprises:

The Amazing Spider-Man is still in repeats and I haven’t heard any reason to think it’s coming out anytime soon. But, what the heck, I stuck with Gasoline Alley when it was in unexplained reruns for nearly a year. I can extend Spider-Man some patience.

From the dawn of 2019 through the dawn of October 2019 I’d published 271 pieces, with a total of 157,438 words among them all. This was 16,685 words published in September. That makes for an average of 556.2 words per posting in September, up from the August 505.0 words per post. It’s also down from the 581 average words per post for the year so far.

For the whole year there’ve been 361 total comments around here for an average of 1.3 comments per post. That rate has stayed constant for four months now. There were 1,337 total likes on the year, so far, for an average of 4.9 likes per posting in 2019. That average has been dwindling down; it was 5.0 at the start of September, 5.2 at the start of August, and 5.3 at the start of July.

If you’d like to be a regular reader, thank you. You can add the blog to your WordPress reader by using the “Follow Another Blog Meanwhile” button on the upper right corner of this page. Or you can use the RSS feed, in whatever reader you like. A free Livejournal or Dreamwidth account will do, for example.

While I am still officially on Twitter as @Nebusj I haven’t posted there in over a month. There’s an automated scheme from WordPress that posts announcements of new essays, for this and for my mathematics blog. But Twitter’s been timing out rather than let me connect and I haven’t had the energy to do something like try from a different web browser or anything. Sorry. I’ll say something if I ever can again, I suppose.

Statistics Monday: How September 2018 Treated Another Blog, Meanwhile

Time again for my monthly review of how many people come around this blog, and what they seem to be coming for. I’m not sure what I expected. A decline, I suppose. I always feel like I’m fighting a battle against popularity. But now that Jim Scancarelli is back and producing new Gasoline Alley comics, there’s no reason for people to come around trying to understand what’s going on with the comic. People are curious about Alley Oop, but not as intently. People might come to miss Hazel and Henry, but … like … really? And Henry hasn’t quite stopped running yet. Anyway, here’s the big picture and it’s about as I expected:

For September 2018: 2,644 views. 1,436 visitors. 1.84 views per visitor. 30 posts published.
I mean, it’s not all a steady little decline. The views-per-visitor was 1.84, up from 1.76 in August. But it was 1.90 in July, so, yeah, maybe let’s not talk about that either. Anyway it’s always in the range from 1.75 to about 2.00 page views for each visitor.

So I didn’t earn another two hundred or so page views last month. 2,644 views in September, down from 2,848 in August and 2,984 in July. Lost nearly two hundred unique visitors, too. 1,436 visitors in September, down from 1,619 in August and 1,569 in July. I had expected that going from cartoons — in the Betty Boop and Popeye two-reelers — to half-hour-long radio — the Stan Freberg Show — would hurt readership. A half-hour densely-written radio show seems harder to skim than a cartoon short. But there’s evidence I’m wrong about that, too.

For all that I’ve got fewer readers, they’re staying involved, at least per capita. 174 things were liked around here in September. That’s basically the same number as were liked every month going back to April. It’s March since there was last a like-total outside the 165-to-180 range. There were 50 comments total in September, up from August’s 39 and July’s 36. It’s nice to have any month where there’s more than one and a half comments per day, anyway.

OK. So which of the comic strip explanation posts were most popular in September?

I’m really happy people are finding that Phantom Weekdays update, since for once they’re finding the most current update. And stuff is happening pretty fast and big right now.

My schedule — subject to change to respect breaking news — for comics updates in October is:

My most popular non-comic-strip thing was the recap of The Stan Freberg Show‘s second episode. The first episode was rather popular too. I’m wondering if I’m filling one of those gaps in Internet Knowledge by providing an episode guide for these. My most popular long-form piece was Yes, I Am Aware Of The Historical Irony. This makes sense. What’s more universally communicable than me geeking out over some tiny bit of local history?

In August there were 60 countries sending me any readers at all. 16 of them were single-reader countries. How does this compare to September?

Country Readers
United States 2,039
Canada 80
India 74
Australia 71
United Kingdom 58
Italy 34
Germany 22
European Union 19
Romania 18
Hong Kong SAR China 14
Philippines 14
Singapore 14
Norway 13
Brazil 12
Austria 11
Malaysia 10
Spain 10
France 9
Japan 9
Sweden 9
Netherlands 8
Mexico 7
South Africa 7
Russia 6
South Korea 6
Czech Republic 5
Egypt 5
Croatia 4
Denmark 4
Indonesia 4
Uruguay 4
Switzerland 3
Taiwan 3
Belgium 2
Finland 2
Greece 2
Jamaica 2
Peru 2
Qatar 2
Saudi Arabia 2
Sri Lanka 2
Thailand 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Bangladesh 1
Belize 1
Bulgaria 1
Chile 1
Colombia 1 (*)
Fiji 1
Honduras 1
Iceland 1
Iraq 1
Israel 1
Kenya 1
Kuwait 1
Macedonia 1
New Zealand 1 (*)
Poland 1
Turkey 1 (*)

Once again 60 countries sent me readers. Yes, I double-checked that I didn’t look at the wrong month’s data. 16 of them were single-reader countries. Yes, I checked again that I was looking at the correct month. Colombia, New Zealand, and Turkey were the only single-reader countries two months in a row. See? I have to be looking at the correct month. And yeah, 2,039 readers from the United States. Yes, I checked that I didn’t hit the Chuckletrousers number. Still weird. Looking at month-to-month totals it seems like half my readership decline was just people in India and Canada not coming around. Maybe I need to comment more about Australian politics to get them back?

October started with my blog having reached 99,519 viewers, from 54,713 unique visitors. Yes, I’m excited by the idea of reaching 100,000 viewers too. When I do reach that I can start the countdown to the Fibonacci number of viewers, 112358. Won’t that be exciting? It will too.

As of the start of October I’ve posted 273 things on this blog for 2018. There’ve been 177,181 words published total. That’s 18,197 total words published over the month, down from August’s 20,725. I’m averaging 641 words per post this year, down from 654 at the start of the month. There’ve been 641 comments total, for an average 2.3 comments per post this year. That’s the same average as at the start of September. There’ve been 1,671 total likes this year so far. That’s an average of 6.1 likes per posting, down from the start of September’s 6.2.

You can follow Another Blog, Meanwhile by RSS, using whatever reading tool you like. If you’d rather put it in your WordPress Reader, use the button that says something about adding the blog to your reader. It should be at the upper right corner of the page. You can find me as @nebusj on Twitter. All my postings should be announced there as they happen. Thanks for reading.

Statistics Monday: How September 2017 Treated My Humor Blog

So the first thing is readership was up again, back above the 2,000-pageview mark. WordPress says I had 2,126 pages viewed in September, back from August’s 1,965 to about July’s 2,132. This seems to be roughly my level, now that I’ve made “summarizing the plots of the story strips” a regular feature around here. The regular monthly page view count is just about what it was in October 2015, shortly before the espers completed the final demolition of Margo, Lu Ann, and I suppose there must have been another woman living in Apartment 3-G.

If there is a troubling sign, and I can find a troubling sign in anything, it’s that this reading comes from fewer people. WordPress says there were 1,089 unique visitors in September, noticeably down from August’s 1,301 and July’s 1,349. But there is a good sign, and I can find a good sign in anything, it’s that the number of pages viewed per visitor rose. So at least enough people went archive-binging to change the views-per-visitor average. It’s usually around 1.4 to 1.6 page views per visitor; for September, it was 1.95.

The long, long secular decline of “likes” took a pause. 143 things were liked around here in September, as opposed to August’s 137 and July’s 154. Nothing like the heady days of summer 2015, but still, any delay in my unavoidable collapse is welcome. Comments rebounded, happy to say, to 38 in September. They’d been at 19 in August and 11 in July. This one’s easier to explain: Roy Kassinger, of the fun web comic Housepets!, is in that happy stage between discovering me and discovering he’s seen about all of my tricks. I’m going to enjoy that while it lasts. You might enjoy the comic; please, give it a try.

My most popular readership day has switched to Thursday, when 17 percent of page views were logged in September. The long-form pieces that I put the most effort into I post on Fridays, per the WordPress clock, so I’m going to cling to how 17 percent isn’t really that much more than 1/7th to tell myself that’s all right. The most popular hour is that starting 12 am, WordPress time, which is when I set stuff to post anyway. That hour saw 13 percent of page views. Last several months it had seen 12 percent.

Now for the Running of the Countries: How many page views went to each country, per WordPress’s statistics, plus that European Union entry that’s there for the reasons:

Country Readers
United States 1550
Canada 77
United Kingdom 62
India 60
Brazil 43
Spain 32
Australia 21
Mexico 20
Philippines 19
Romania 16
New Zealand 15
Germany 14
Russia 14
Ireland 13
Norway 11
Italy 10
South Africa 10
Sweden 9
Malaysia 8
Vietnam 8
France 7
Ukraine 7
Argentina 6
Bangladesh 6
Netherlands 6
Turkey 6
Finland 5
Switzerland 5
European Union 4
Indonesia 4
Poland 4
Chile 3
Hong Kong SAR China 3
Pakistan 3
Belarus 2
Denmark 2
Iceland 2
Lithuania 2
Peru 2
Singapore 2
Thailand 2
Armenia 1 (*)
Cambodia 1 (****)
Colombia 1 (*)
Croatia 1
Hungary 1
Jamaica 1
Jordan 1
Laos 1
Latvia 1
Luxembourg 1
Malta 1 (*)
Nepal 1
Nicaragua 1
Nigeria 1 (*)
Oman 1
Paraguay 1 (*)
Saudi Arabia 1
Serbia 1 (*)
Slovakia 1
St. Kitts & Nevis 1
St. Lucia 1
Taiwan 1
Uruguay 1
Venezuela 1

WordPress there were 65 separate countries sending readers in September. In August there were 68, and in July 69. World politics is complicated. There were 24 single-reader countries, up from August’s 20 and July’s 17. Armenia, Colombia, Malta, Nigeria, Paraguay, and Serbia were single-reader countries last month too. Cambodia’s been a single-reader country for five months now. I’m curious what gets read.

So what were the most popular posts around here? Like I said, my recaps of the story strips. The specific top five were:

So this shows me what I should do to keep growing ever-more-popular: talk about Rex Morgan and republish public-domain pieces from the great humorists of the 20th century. My most popular bit of original, written-by-me, stuff was Statistics Saturday: Some Chemical Elements Whose Names Sound Fake, which caused my love to learn, and disapprove, of the existence of “Tennessine”, with which I can’t argue. My most popular bit of long-form original writing was How To Clean A Thing, part of my little theme of how-to pieces that I stumbled into by accident over September. (And let me tell you: having a specific theme like that makes it so much easier to write stuff.) I suspect this is going to have what the trades call a “long tail”, as it resembles a rat or maybe Marsupilami. People would always like to know about how to do stuff, since that saves us the pain of actually doing stuff.

October starts with my page here having gotten 63,019 page views from an admitted 35,074 unique readers. Hi, whoever was number 35,000. It says I’ve got 780 followers on WordPress, which is sixteen more than I supposedly had at the start of September. Hi, people who I suppose are watching on my Reader page, then.

Do you think you might enjoy reading Another Blog, Meanwhile? Why, you’re doing it already. Why, I don’t know. But if this feels like the sort of thing you could do indefinitely, please, consider the button to Follow `Another Blog, Meanwhile’ that’s in the upper right of the page here. You can also get the essays delivered by e-mail, like my father does. He enjoys reading my stuff, when he remembers who this mysterious `Another Blog, Meanwhile’ that keeps sending him e-mail is. You, too, can enjoy this sort of fun!

On Twitter I’m @Nebusj. On tumblr I’m a confused visitor, screaming at pictures of kinda neat stuff comments like, “WHO POSTED THIS?” and “HOW DO YOU FOLLOW A COMMENTS THREAD?” and “WHAT ARE THINGS EVEN?” It’s not a social medium I understand is all. Thank you, won’t you? On to October.

But seriously, why is it always Rex Morgan and Mark Trail people want to know about? Other story strips come and go, but these two seem like they’re always on my most-popular list.

Phantom Enjoys Daring Last-Minute Escape From Certain Doom

Tony DePaul, writer for The Phantom, was kind enough to stop in and give news about his strip.

The news is that he and King Features Syndicate have reached an agreement about the rights to the stories he’d produced for the comic since 1999. And they have an agreement to have him keep writing as long as both sides are happy with the way things are working. The breakthrough apparently grew over June, after he’d announced the intention to leave. King Features’ general manager for syndication, who hadn’t been directly involved in negotiations, asked for an informal meeting to see what could be done, and after — well, suppose it can’t have been more than a month of talks, yes, something could be done. And just in time, too; DePaul says Jeff Weigel, the Sunday artist, had just run out of story to draw. Mike Manley, the weekdays artist, had about six weeks of story yet.

I’m glad, certainly. The Phantom‘s been reliably interesting and who would want that messed up? Also the hint about how long the current Sunday storyline has to run confirms my resolve to change some of my “What’s Going On In” schedule. I’d been thinking to separate the weekday and the Sunday summaries for better pacing. Moving the next Sundays recap to closer to the end of the current storyline suits me. I was also thinking to move around some of the other strip recaps. I’d set the order without any plan, and I’d like to break up what seem like blocks of too-similar comics.

DePaul teases the idea that the current daily storyline will end in the death of the current Phantom, especially in saying how the story “would have been a superb sign-off to my Phantom career” and describes just how screwed up things would be if the 21st Phantom were to die just now. Me, I’m not making guesses. While the narrative would fully justify the current Phantom’s death this year, escaping certain death is just what superheroes are all about.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose an astounding fourteen points after looking up the lyrics and finding that the karaoke machine had it right. There is a bit in “I Just Called To Say I Love You” that goes “no Libra sun”, and hey, there’s this whole stanza that just goes through the months, one at a time, and counts Libra for September which is fair enough, although is there really anything distinctive about September’s sun? Granted that April is the cruelest month, what is September? The snarkiest month? When it’s up against November? No, that doesn’t make sense.


How My Week Is Starting

Well, I wrote down the day of the week and it came out “Thursday”. I wrote down the day of the month and it came out “22nd”. I wrote down the month and it came out “September”. And the year? That turned out to be “2016” because remember that? Yeah. So in that big flaming pile of fantastic wrongness I just have to ask: wait, was the 22nd of September a Thursday last year? … It was. How the heck did I get that right?

I did not get stuff wrong on my mathematics blog where I talked about comic strips, which is a different thing from when I talk about comic strips here on my humor blog, somehow. I think.

And how is your late-September working out?

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index dropped … no, wait it didn’t. I’m sorry. The index rose … oh, no, wait, it didn’t do that either. Well, it did a little of both, but it did just as much of both, so it ended up where it began, is what I’m saying. I think? Maybe everybody took off to commemorate Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. They should have. But they should’ve said something about that, too. Nobody tells me enough anymore. It’s all mysterious, that’s what I’m saying.


From The September 2016 Scraps File

The month may have got started later than usual, but that’s no reason not to empty out the scraps bin. Here’s stuff I couldn’t use in September and if you’re able to, please, go wild. All I ask is a simple acknowledgement that you couldn’t have done your work without me. I need it to pad my CV.

Connoisseur. Cut from several pieces when I realize that even with spell check and entering it into DuckDuckGo I can’t come close to spelling it right. I don’t know. It shouldn’t be this hard and it’s not like I wasn’t able to get the hang of ‘kigurumi’ eventually. So this goes into the special bin for “words that have appeared in Peanuts that I somehow can’t get straight”.

Really I never understood what problem the Federation was solving in dividing the galaxy into just four quadrants, especially when two of them were off on the far side where they’d only interact following freak events like the Bajor wormhole or whatever crazy pipeline sends everything from Earth, including dinosaurs and Amelia Earhart, into the Delta Quadrant. Cut from a post on TrekBBS about why the aliens on Star Trek: Voyager say they’re in the Delta Quadrant when that’s a human designation and surely can’t match any local description of space. Because you know, the part of TrekBBS I like best is how many people are sincerely worried that Benjamin Sisko might never come to reconcile with Jean-Luc Picard, even though they could go through the rest of their lives never seeing or thinking about the other. The part I like least is people starting threads straightplaining why Star Trek is at its best on issues of gender and sexual orientation when it mostly shows men worrying over their womenfolk. In any case the other people there aren’t living long enough for me to argue about how Delta Quadrant species make large-scale divisions of the Milky Way.

Cybernarc. Title of a novel by William H Keith, Jr, and cut from a piece where I was going to try to list the Most 90s Science Fiction Novel Titles ever. And it’s a good idea but it’s just so hard to try finding a bunch of 90s Science Fiction Novels, since they don’t sell novels from after 1991 back to used book stores anymore. And while that’s great if you’re looking for a 70s novel about the extremely sex-partner-ready inhabitants of a great domed city that get pushed outside it doesn’t help you scan the shelves and see what titles really jump out of the 90s and make you giggle. Oh, I guess there’s also Robert Thurston’s Bloodname: Legend of the Jade Phoenix II but you could probably make that a Most Science Fiction Novel Title Of Today too.

I like to think of this as a place where I occasionally buy queen-size bedsheets. Cut from the start of a new tumblr that I cancelled when I realized I couldn’t think what a third post on it would be. Also that I don’t understand tumblr because you respond to stuff by posting it from somewhere else and people looking at the original don’t see it and I don’t know. There are people who can explain this to me but they give up in disgust when they see my cell phone.

In his 40 years as Jacksonian Professor at Cambridge University James Dewar, pioneer of the study of heat flow, never fulfilled the requirement of the post that he find a cure for gout. Cut because while it is a wonder it doesn’t seem to be on-point to anything I’d be writing. I mean, I guess I admire James Dewar. Anyone who could get his name attached to Thermos bottles has to be doing something right. But why would it come up in September when I’m not even in school anymore and don’t need something to hit my siblings with? We’re adults now, we can just punch and gossip on social media.

You’re Steve Allen, aren’t you? Cut from an episode of Stan Freberg’s 1957 radio series where, even if it doesn’t look like much, it’s a pretty solid laugh. It’s in Daws Butler’s delivery unless it was someone else delivering it. I put the line back where I got it and I bet you’d like it there after all. It’s the show with the Grey Flannel Hat Full Of Teenaged Werewolves sketch and the advertising campaign for Food, so, you know, good stuff there.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Index was up a solid eight points and must admit it would be feeling invulnerable if it weren’t sure feeling invulnerable was the prelude to suddenly feeling very, very vulnerable. I mean, we’ve been through this before, we know what hubris is. And we’re not looking to see a demonstration of hubris brought against someone who claims to know perfectlyw ell what hubris is. That’s just not fair.


Curiosities On The Highway

Pumpkin Is Back. Unexplained sign in the midst of a patch of those trees they have lining every Interstate-grade highway. It’s an invitation to wonder: pumpkin was away? I suppose technically. We worry a lot about pumpkin-spice things in fall and I guess it’s fall enough for most practical purposes around here. But pumpkin isn’t pumpkin-spice, as your pedantic friend on Facebook is already trying to contact me to complain about. I’m not on Facebook, but if you like I’ll give you some inaccurate names that might well be people your friend could complain to instead. Still, pumpkin what? Pie? Bread? Spice? Some other pumpkin product, such as pumpkin-inspired gatherings of squirrels? All great thoughts before you smash into the back of the Two Guys And A Pumpkin moving van that stopped short.

An Unspeakably Great Mass Of Foam On The Median. This overstates things. It’s more of a speakable mass of foam, but that’s because there isn’t a whole lot to foam. Most of it is air and the parts that aren’t air are … water? Soap? Something, anyway. What makes it so speakable is that it seems to be going on for quite a way. A quarter-mile or more of dribbles of foam resting in the grass, almost all the way to the Pumpkin sign. Why foam? Is someone trying to scrub the highway? Sure it needs it, but why the median? Or is this what’s left over after an inadequate rinse job? If they’re rinsing, is it just washing the road or are they trying to dye the highway so it looks younger? But why would a highway want to look younger? Is it trying to attract a new partner after Old Business 17 got re-routed five years back? Ends at Thump Road, gateway to the industrial bubble district.

Lego Buck Rogers. Another inexplicable sign. Is this a movie? A toy line? One social commentator’s cryptic message about the recycling and mashing-up of ideas to produce a franchise that feels worn out at its newest? Is Buck Rogers different from Flash Gordon in any way we have to have an opinion about? Is it about leaving the spaceships all over the rumble strips on the edges of the road? Did they dispense foam on the median in the attempt to escape killer trucks? If so, why is it not Lego Foam?

Inexplicable speedup. The less-appreciated counterpart to those weird little vortices of tardiness that roll around highways. Those spots where everybody suddenly drops to like twenty miles per hour. Here for no especial reason all the traffic gets going twenty or even thirty miles per hour faster. This lasts until the spot is passed, which takes only a couple seconds. Many people don’t even know they were in it unless somebody remarks how they arrived as much as five seconds ahead of expectations. This happens maybe four percent more often than you would expect.

Highway Sign Displaying The Message “September 5”. This one seems straightforward enough, what with there being a September and it having a “5” in it. No warning about anything starting then, or ending then, or continuing then, or even not being done at all then. And it isn’t the 5th of September or any date particularly near it either, except on a cosmic or historical scale. Possibly someone hopes to raise the brand awareness of September. Or “5”. If it’s an attempt to raise awareness of 5 that might explain why it didn’t say “September 15”. That would bring “1” even more attention than it already gets.

Customers Welcome. Sign painted to the wall of the … cement shop? Had they not been taking customers before? Were they just sitting behind cement desks thinking how nice and peaceful everything was and then they got worried about meeting payroll? Or is the cement industry only now getting tired of old-fashioned ways? They’re now looking to sell cement to people who need cement for whatever it is they do? Maybe something like creating tiny Brutalist public libraries for their backyard patio? Easily the strangest customer appeal since the shop with the sign Nominated One Of Three Places To Buy Paint that was off the foamy exit like six months ago. Maybe they were celebrating the return of someone nicknamed Pumpkin up there? That kind of makes sense.

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