Statistics Friday: How Popular I Was In 2017

WordPress used to make this nice little fireworks video to represent what blog readership was like over the year. It’d do a presentation with a firework for every post, spaced out the way your posts of the year were. And it’d compare your readership numbers and averages and peaks to the population that would fit inside various easy-to-understand concepts like baseball stadiums or buses full of people. If they did that for 2016 I missed the e-mail, and since I despair of them bringing it back this year I’ll just go ahead and report on the year’s statistics as I know them.

2017 was the year that I embraced what Apartment 3-G coverage had taught me: people want story strips explained. So this year I did that, rotating among the twelve syndicated story comics that appear in actual newspapers as far as I know. I’m glad to do it. It gives me reason to pay more attention while reading my comics. I like writing summaries. I especially like doing that while keeping to a low-daisy diet. Avoiding reflexive, unconsidered snark while reviewing comics is good for my development as a writer. It’s probably better for the reader too. Not to dismiss snark; it’s a great rhetorical tool. It’s just reflexive snark that I want to avoid.

I managed to post something each day in 2017 and I admit sometimes I had no idea how I would. That’s my fourth year straight posting something every single day, even if those somethings aren’t always big ones. Besides the What’s Going On In series I also stumbled into a review of all the available Talkartoons. I thought at first that might be a nice, easy, low-effort way to get something respectable posted once a week and that’s turning into a research monster eating me so, good work? I also brought the Another Blog, Meanwhile index to its conclusion after something like a year of drawing exactly two comments on it ever. One of them was from my love, who wanted to know what the heck it was even about. It was about me seeing how long I would find this random gibberish amusing. This turns out to be something like a year.

In 2017 I got 24,695 page views, says WordPress. That’s way above my second-best year, 2015, when Apartment 3-G turned into such a fiasco. And both are better than 2016, when I resisted embracing my fate. You know, I’m probably going to want to find this in a convenient form later on so let me make a little table.

Year Views Visitors Views Per Visitor
2013 3,874 1,869 2.07
2014 8,621 4,422 1.95
2015 17,729 9,904 1.95
2016 14,484 8,297 1.75
2017 24,695 15,187 1.63

2013 was the year I started the blog, in early February or so, and so that has a mere 335 posts. I’m curious about the steady decline in views per visitor, although I suppose with the large number of people apparently stopping in just to see what’s happening in one of the story comics there’s less reason for them to go archive-binging. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

As I’d said, what people wanted to read around here was stuff about the story strips. What was most popular among that? I admit I was surprised. I guessed four of the comics that would be particularly asked about, but got one of the questions wrong. My top five essays, by page views, for 2017 were:

Two of those essays were even posted in 2017! And yes, Has the comic strip _Momma_ come to an end? made the top ten. My most popular original-content longform piece of the year was Popeye Space Ark 2000 Pinball … I Don’t Even Know. Which I’m not sad about, since it’s funny. But it was more an act of recapping the crazypants backstory that pinball and video game artist Python Anghelo crated for the Popeye pinball machine. I didn’t have to bring much to it.

If I haven’t missed something the long-form original piece from this year that got the most views was … nothing I would have guessed. It was Probably Not A Good Idea To Get Them Playing Diplomacy Though, based on a book I read about one of the earliest murders we have good, detailed investigative records for, the 1407 murder of Louis of Orleans. I guess that’s more naturally funny than it sounds like considering the whole affair ended in great national tragedy?

Speaking of nations. I can do a list of countries by page views for the year. I make out that there were 128 countries sending me any readers at all. 22 of them were countries that sent out a single reader, and that was it, for the whole entire year. I wonder what I said to scare people off.

Country Readers
United States 18,672
Canada 857
India 742
United Kingdom 658
Australia 309
Germany 309
Brazil 254
Philippines 189
France 165
Mexico 133
Romania 133
Sweden 122
Spain 116
New Zealand 112
Italy 109
Netherlands 101
South Africa 99
Russia 94
Ukraine 68
Norway 67
Argentina 66
Hong Kong SAR China 60
Vietnam 59
Ireland 58
Poland 57
Indonesia 54
Singapore 48
Japan 42
Denmark 40
Finland 38
Hungary 36
Malaysia 36
Bangladesh 35
Switzerland 34
Austria 30
Turkey 30
European Union 29
Israel 27
Pakistan 25
Belgium 22
Greece 21
Serbia 21
Thailand 20
Kenya 19
Trinidad & Tobago 18
Portugal 17
South Korea 17
Chile 16
United Arab Emirates 14
Cambodia 12
Colombia 12
Czech Republic 12
Peru 12
Lithuania 11
Taiwan 11
Armenia 10
Georgia 9
Madagascar 9
Croatia 8
El Salvador 8
Kuwait 8
Puerto Rico 8
Slovakia 8
Belarus 7
Ghana 7
Jamaica 7
Laos 7
Panama 7
Bulgaria 6
Egypt 6
Estonia 6
Iceland 6
Lebanon 6
Uruguay 6
Moldova 5
Nepal 5
Nicaragua 5
Venezuela 5
Ecuador 4
Guadeloupe 4
Latvia 4
Malta 4
Paraguay 4
Qatar 4
Saudi Arabia 4
St. Kitts & Nevis 4
Tunisia 4
Angola 3
Barbados 3
Bermuda 3
Jordan 3
Maldives 3
Slovenia 3
U.S. Virgin Islands 3
Afghanistan 2
Albania 2
Algeria 2
Bosnia & Herzegovina 2
China 2
Kazakhstan 2
Luxembourg 2
Macedonia 2
Mongolia 2
Mozambique 2
Myanmar (Burma) 2
Nigeria 2
Bhutan 1
Bolivia 1
Cameroon 1
Cape Verde 1
Costa Rica 1
Curaçao 1
Cyprus 1
Dominican Republic 1
Ethiopia 1
Fiji 1
Haiti 1
Libya 1
Malawi 1
Northern Mariana Islands 1
Oman 1
Palestinian Territories 1
Réunion 1
Sri Lanka 1
St. Lucia 1
Turks & Caicos Islands 1
Uganda 1
Zambia 1

Won’t lie; I’m curious just what the single page some reader in Bhutan felt like reading. Also whether they were satisfied. I suppose not, or there’d have been more than the one page viewed.

Oh, yes, and comparisons between page views and some easy-to-understand alternative. 24,695 pages is a lot of views. It’s more than the number of people who’d go on 8,231 Apollo-style lunar landing missions. It’s more than 69 times the number of people who flew on every space shuttle mission combined. It’s more than one times the number of people who lived in Rockaway Township, New Jersey, in 2010, although not so many as lived in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The 15,187 unique visitors is almost exactly equal to the 2010 population of Hopatcong, New Jersey, but not quite equal to that of Mantua Township.

I hope that makes things easier to understand.


An Apology In My Dreams

So to the seagull in my dream who was trying to apologize by delivering a fully functional rocket to my backyard: I appreciate the gesture. It’s a most impressive gift. And I do appreciate the work gone in to getting a Saturn I — not a V, not even the more hip I-B but an actual Saturn I as used in flight testing and development from 1961 through 1965. It’s a true connoisseur’s choice of rocket vehicle. Nevertheless, while I’ll accept presents as tokens of reconciliation they are not, by themselves, reconciliation. It is harder to deliver a simple “I’m sorry” from your own beak, but it would mean something that no present ever could, and I promise to accept it with as much grace as possible given our history. And I do thank you for the gesture.

Still, on another level, I can’t see any way to launch the blasted thing from my backyard, what with how the goldfish pond isn’t nearly deep enough a water trench for the necessary sound suppression. Not to mention not being deep enough for the goldfish to come out well afterwards. Plus who’s got a launch gantry in mid-Michigan anyway? I’ve got too much stuff just hanging around to show to accept something that hasn’t got practical use.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Traders showed a sharp loss of confidence today when they learned that contestants on The Price Is Right are not drawn randomly from the audience but are instead screened while entering to see if they’d probably look good on camera and have a bunch of people cheering specifically for them.


Oh Yeah, That’s How To Live Like This

So that Star Trek forum finally came back up and everything’s fine. And in the Original Series subforum I’m now stuck in a pretty vicious squabble over NASA Associate Administrator for Space Transportation System John Yardley’s famous May 1978 memorandum on standards for the naming of space shuttle orbiters, so I can’t wait for the forum to go back down again. I mean it’s like some of these Star Trek fans don’t even understand the concept of primary versus secondary documentation or something. Furrfu.