Spikes Without StumbleUpon

Stats, yay! Here is a graph of this blog’s hits for the last 30 days.

The final view count for yesterday, Dec. 7, was 661. I have not had this many in one day since April. This spike is nothing compared to a couple of previous spikes, but this one is accomplished without the use of a discovery or social news site such as StumbleUpon or Digg.

Granted, I have StumbleUpon contributing about 10-30 views each day, but it’s not the majority of the views. On Dec 7, I had 17 referrals from StumbleUpon, 28 from Tumblr, 91 from Facebook (!), and 107 from search engine referrals. The rest are scattered. Why are there many more than the previous day? Well, I posted Dec. 6’s topic post at around 10 pm, so most of the views from that actually came in on Dec. 7. Furthermore, I made two posts on Dec. 7, so in total it’s as if I had 3 new posts contributing to view count.

Plus, the scavenger hunt in the last post encouraged people to look around the site, which added even more views.

*Alright, NO hidden meanings or references in this post. Okay? Okay!

Edit: Nevermind, I realized this spike DID come from StumbleUpon. Just indirectly.

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.

A Warm Welcome

Two days before my birthday, I received a most delightful gift: Sean, whom I met when he taught chess at AGWCS, and who runs this blog, offered me authorship at this blog; I gratefully accepted.

Although I only met Sean for once a week for about one and a half  years (not including summers and other miscellaneous holidays), I held an admiration for him that went beyond teacher and student; I aspired to be like him, who had none of the faults that I had. I learned more that chess from him (Though sadly I haven’t touched any chess pieces since then… oh well).

Sean extended this offer to me earlier in the evening when I replied to his about page and described how I wanted to start blogging but found the effort required to be more than I expected. In his offer, he told me that I could use this as an opportunity to take up blogging. I was nearly moved to tears (metaphorical, of course) as soon as I read this.

I have always been interested in writing in general, and the art of writing, which, sometimes, can be very different. Like blogging, I have never found any motivation to sit down and write unless it was for some sort of assignment. Like anybody who has any experience in writing in the English language, I wrote well enough for whatever assignment was at hand, but I personally thought I could do better. There were times when I stopped writing for a moment —from a cramp, or from a mental traffic jam, whatever the case— and considered starting over, or perhaps quitting, from continuing the terrible mess of an essay.

Sean has given me more than a chance to start blogging. He has given me critics who no doubt have read many of his well-written essays. He has given me editors, and publishers, and an audience who I know who will accept me and my faults ( or not). I don’t have enough words to use to express my thanks (the current count is 345).

I look forward to posting regularly at this blog.

666 (Twice)

I thought I wasn’t going to post in a while, but I just must point out this screenshot from WordPress stats:

666

These are my most viewed pages for all time as of May 15, 2010. I like how right now two posts have exactly 666 pages.