I ♥ WordPress!

Today is my first anniversary with WordPress! Yes, that means I started this blog on Nov. 4, 2009, exactly one year ago.

In year one, this blog received 221,517 hits (views).

182,490 (or 82.4%) of these hits came from one post: US Census 2010 Win. Thank you “certain person.”

84,570 (or 38.2%) of total hits occurred on one day: March 26, 2009. As the vast majority (75,741) of these came from the Census post, my blog was, for one day (3/27/09), ranked #58 on WordPress Top Posts.

The second most popular post was StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void Ray, at 4,472 hits. Note that this is only a fraction of the the viewcount of the top post.

The third most viewed post was Tumblr vs WordPress: Simplicity vs Power at 2,582 hits. Fourth was The StarCraft II Map Editor, In Context at 2,183 hits, and fifth was Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? at 1,074 hits.

The longest single contiguous post was Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Walkthrough, Difficulty Guide at 4,946 words. The second longest is the short story One Day, and One Day Only, at 3,129 words.

The shortest non-image post was When I Can’t Think of Anything to Blog…, at 4 words (not including the title!).

The most common search term that arrived at this site was tumblr vs wordpress, with 1,269 hits. Second was void ray, at 321 hits. There was a two-way tie for third between the scarlet letter and nargaque, at 253 hits each. And fifth was the persistence of memory, at 197 hits. Note that these stats are not truly representative, simply because of overlap, e.g., protoss void ray rush brought in 144 hits, void ray rush was 138 hits, and protoss void ray was 113.

[No very precise stats here.] The most effective referral site (i.e., the site which generated the most traffic here from links) is Digg, at an estimated 125k referrals, followed by StumbleUpon, estimated at 70k. The third site, Facebook, at an estimated 2k referrals, doesn’t even come close.

The busiest month was June 2010, in which I created 33 blog posts. My longest posting streak is 42 days in a row.

My most posted category was a two-way tie between Books and Life, each with 34 posts.

There were 212 total posts, for an average of 0.58 per day, 4.1 per week, or 17.7 per month. Accompanying these were 413 comments, including pings.

Well, I hope y’all enjoyed this plethora of data. How will 2010-2011 go for this blog? Well, as most of the 221k views this year came from one post, and that one magical post is actually quite rare, it would be very unlikely for this blog to match or beat its first-year record. Let’s see what happens.

Unproductivity, and a New Theme!

The site now has a new theme, aptly named 2010! The picture I’m using in the header is cropped from a piece called Maelstrom by Greg Martin. And the background is light green—I don’t really know why. It seems that a lot of sites these days are in blue: Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter; and red is a bit harsh on the eyes. So green it is!

Also, I’ve been really unproductive the last week. I’m normally reading or writing something, but this past week, I just sat around and did nothing, essentially. I think I’m breaking out of it as I speak—err, as I type—and my previous post on Plot Similarities in Blizzard Games might be, for me, the saving key.

TV Tropes

(xkcd on TV Tropes. If you want to be unproductive, just click that second link!)

And about that novel, I’m still working on it. I managed to write about 15000 words in the first week, but I’ve accomplished virtually nothing in the previous week. If I keep this pattern up, November writing month is going to be very difficult. Anyways, my original intentions on the novel have changed a little. Instead of exploring the effects of advanced technology as my primary motif, I’m exploring a hypothetical abandonment of science and technology, and an extremist environmentalist movement. I’ll leave it as vague as that for now.

Anyways, it looks like my one-week-of-doing-nothing break is over. Oh, and Cornell’s orientation starts on August 20th, in less then two weeks. Saying goodbye to Austin will be a really difficult thing. And yet, I am reminded of the ending of Toy Story 3, in which part of the journey to the new is saying goodbye to the old. Ever since we moved to Austin in 2000, I have not ever left it for more than a month. It has been an exciting ten years in a fast, unprecedented decade. I know the 2010s will be exciting even more.

Google and this Blog

Today’s post examines how people find my blog, as I thought it would be interesting to see how this blog generates traffic. WordPress has a built-in statistics tracker including what search terms people searched to click to the site—mainly from Google. I’m going to use two different days of stats.

Tuesday May 11, 2010

Total # of Views: 117

Most viewed pages:

Title Views
StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void R 27
Home page* 23
The StarCraft II Map Editor, in Context 11
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar… 11
US Census 2010 Win 8
Testing WordPress-Facebook Posting 5
Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool 5
The Brain’s Dark Energy 4
The Persistence of Memory 3
WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook, Tw 3
Sleep: A Heuristic Examination 2
Visit to the University of Chicago 2
Philosophy of The Matrix (Part 1) 2
College Decisions 1
StarCraft II Beta Overview 1
Life, L-IB-erty, and the Pursuit of H-AP 1
On Writing Well 1
New Laptop, and Laptop Comparison 1
Candide 1
IB Theory of Knowledge 1
Negative Correlation 1
36.8% in Probability 1
The Use of Rhetoric to Obscure a Lack of 1
AP/IB Exams 1

* “Home page” involves any hit on any page number, so if someone looked at the first three pages of blog posts, that would count as three hits, not one.

So that’s a breakdown of what people viewed. It doesn’t represent Google searches exactly as some people visit the blog without searching for it while others click on links to pages from my Facebook. Here are the searches that people clicked to the blog on that day:

Search Views
sleep 5
void ray 4
starcraft 2 void ray 2
let a kiss fool you 2
starcraft 2 void ray rush 2
void rays 2
on writing well abstract 1
protoss phoenix review 1
tumblr vs wordpress vs blogger 1
candide philosophy 1
how to get sc2 map editor 1
the use of rhetoric to obscure a lack of* 1
how to counter protoss void ray 1
moving matrix code 1
best defense against void starcraft 1
what is the map editor in starcraft ii c* 1
best against void ray 1
649,740 1
map editor starcraft 2 list of condition 1
starcraft 2 terran void ray counter 1
ap physics c how do you think you did 1
clever quips on census 1
sc2 editor triggers 1
warp ray 1
code matrix 1
this isnt a chair exist philosophy 1
tumblr not facebook 1
starcraft 2 void ray counter 1
low energy state of the brain 1
how to kill protoss void 1
how does protoss work 1
best protoss anti air unit starcraft 2 1
protoss void ray counter 1
starcraft 2 map editor triggers 1
iblogo 1
laptop 1
starcraft 2 terrain editor 1
starcraft 2 stragegy void ray counter 1
starcraft ii void ray defense 1
mutalisk vs void ray 1
sc2 map editor changing unit model 1
tumblr vs facebook 1
the brain’s dark energy scientific ameri* 1
void ray rush 1
theory of knowledge ib books 1
starcraft 2 protoss best single unit 1
scientific american march 2010 1
ib history exam paper 3 2010 1
“warcraft iii” “comments” “overview” 1
nargaque 1

* The stat-tracker cuts off the stored search string if it is really long.

Interestingly, people search for the Void Ray (from StarCraft II) a LOT. Quite a few searches total are on that.

The single most searched term was “sleep” and I found this rather odd. My only post that focuses on sleep is “Sleep: A Heuristic Examination,” but from the actual view table this post only had two views. The conclusion: When you see an individual blog post from Google search of a WordPress blog, it has both the given article AND the home page. Thus, of the five clicks, two were on the article and three were on the home page.

Other interesting search terms:

  • let a kiss fool you—there’s a post called “Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You,” on a book with the same title.
  • protoss phoenix review—the post “StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void Ray” had the word “Phoenix” in it, so somehow this happened.
  • 649,740—this looks completely random, but it’s actually the denominator of the chance that you get a royal flush, i.e. 1/649,740. Linked to “36.8% in Probability.”
  • this isnt a chair exist philosophy—to one of the “Philosophy of The Matrix” posts.

Alright, let’s try a different date.

Sunday, May 9, 2010.

Total views: 225

Title Views
Home page 59
US Census 2010 Win 39
StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void R 29
Senioritis 27
The StarCraft II Map Editor, in Context 15
WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook, Tw 8
Negative Correlation 7
Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool 5
AP/IB Exams 5
The Brain’s Dark Energy 4
Quotations from Alice in Wonderland 3
College Decisions 3
“The Larvas are Being Larvated” 3
About 3
College, and the 15% Rule 2
Quotations from Through the Looking Glas 2
The Great Gatsby 2
The Riemann Hypothesis 1
College Acceptance Status 1
The Use of Rhetoric to Obscure a Lack of 1
Essays 1
IB Theory of Knowledge 1
Alice in Wonderland 1
Kevin Tian 1
The Aims of Education 1
The Scarlet Letter Mock Trial 1

This was the day I posted “Senioritis,” and its view count is mostly from Facebook. It would make sense that the Home page has the most views, but to someone new to this blog, the high number of views of “US Census 2010 Win” might be confusing. These hits are mostly from StumbleUpon. Digg was able to bring 80,000+ visitors in one day, but the traffic it generates dies down after about a week. StumbleUpon had a lower spike, at around 20,000 visitors, but is continuously generating traffic. Now, the search stats.

Search Views
starcraft ii unit review 3
sc2 editor freeze unit animations 2
sleep 2
protoss ground unit anti air 2
nargaque 2
starcraft 2 map editor dota 2
marcus raichle 2
the great gatsby global statement 2
nargaque blog 1
how to beat void ray rush 1
hypothesis 1
starcraft 2 protoss counter void ray 1
starcraft 2 terran build order 1
caltech waitlist 2010 1
starcraft 2 how to kill void ray 1
tweedledum and tweedledee contrariwise 1
starcraft 2 map editor script 1
“they were learning” alice quote 1
facebook post appear on tumblr 1
starcraft 2 map editor modify terrain 1
starcraft 2 map editor scripting 1
the use of rhetoric to obscure a lack of 1
how do void ray charges work? 1
iraq war tok 1
scarlet letter 1
how to use the void ray 1
phoenix rush protoss 1
what do the codes in the matrix mean 1
where can i find my starcraft 2 map edit 1
starcraft 2 air defense protoss 1
terran how to counter void ray rush 1
how void ray works 1
things that happened the week after next 1
kevin tian 1
wordpress.com (clash of the titans) 1
how to change upgrade in starcraft 2 map 1
“marcus e. raichle” 1
voidray 1
ib exams waiting for godot 1
starcraft 2 map editor triggers 1
my birthday is tomorrow 1
starcraft 2 protoss block ramp 1
ib may exam 2010 physics 1
counter protoss void ray 1
tumblr over facebook 1
counter massed void rays 1
cornell college of arts and sciences wai 1
starcraft 2 units protoss ray 1
void ray 1
void ray attack 1

As the tables indicate, there is not really one exact search string that brings a lot of traffic to this blog. It’s very dispersed actually. There are quite a few bizarre ways people got to the site, for example: iraq war tok, hypothesis, my birthday is tomorrow, kevin tian, caltech waitlist 2010, and ib exams waiting for godot. Google seems to do a whole-blog search at times, because I do have Iraq and war in one article, and TOK in another, but not together. Similarly, I have IB exams in one article and Waiting for Godot in another, but someone got here by searching for both. Weird.

Site Update

Today I discovered that all the HTML links in my Essays page were invalid. Rather, they linked to the right pages, but WordPress wasn’t displaying those pages.

Basically, I put up a long time ago some of my essays in both HTML and PDF format. It turns out that when you create a WordPress “page,” it actually adds it to the tabbed pane on the top (right now there’s Home, About, Essays). I didn’t want that, so I thought I found a loophole by setting up the post to be scheduled at a later date (i.e. 2100), so that I could still see the page, but it wouldn’t show up on the pane at the top.

This worked, but as I found out today: only for myself. That is, WordPress allowed me, the admin, to see the posts, but a normal user cannot. So if you were to have clicked on one of my HTML links from Essays, you would have gotten a blank page. I didn’t know about this because it was giving me the full page.

So, my solution for now has been to remove all the HTML links, so that only PDF versions show. This is probably how it’s going to stay, unless I find a way to correctly add the HTML versions.

EDIT: 8/9/10

This is now irrelevant due to the custom menu feature of the 2010 theme!