Gas station without pumps

2011 January 2

2010 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 12:51
Tags: ,

The helpful machines at wrote a “year in review” post for me.  I’ve cut out some of the lamer parts (like the Blog-Health-o-Meter™ which is just one digit of information, with no interpretation of the scale used to measure blog health, other than the one word “Wow”).

This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. They “helpfully” interpreted this: if each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships—not exactly a very helpful interpretation of the statistic.  I’d rather know the distribution of views for other 6-month-old blogs.  Am I getting a lot of views or very few?  Who can tell?  The only point of comparison I have is f(t)’s post Do Not Be Discouraged, which shows her jumping to 1500 a month after a year and 3000 a month within the next year.  If those are typical figures for a good blog like hers, then I’m doing fairly well having hit 2500 views in the first month and held fairly steady at 2000–3000 views a month.  I suspect that some of the other blogs I read have much higher readerships, though.

In 2010, there were 172 new posts. There were 71 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8MB—about 1 picture per week and about 115kB per picture. Obviously with those file sizes, I’m not just dumping pictures off of my camera, but taking the time to crop and scale them appropriately for a blog.  There’s not much I can do about my somewhat limited photography skills, but the post-processing in Photoshop Elements means that the pictures are a bit clearer than the usual blog fodder from non-photographer blogs.

The busiest day of the year was August 3rd with 273 views. The most popular post that day was Corrupted peer review.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were, Google Reader,,, and

As you can see, a lot of my viewers came from my announcing posts on e-mail lists (I don’t use Facebook, so the links from there were other people’s links, not my own).  Only a few of these e-mail-driven viewers have converted into regular viewers, though Riley Lark’s blog seems to bring some people my way.  There were three e-mail lists that I announced selected posts on: a private one for students, faculty, and alumni in my department, the tagfam (and tagpdq) list for parents of gifted children, and the ap-bio mailing list for teachers of AP Biology.  I’m not a teacher of AP Bio, but I’m part of a task force trying to find ways to get bioinformatics into the AP bio curriculum, and I’ve found the discussions of biology education on the blog enlightening.  I regard it as unlikely that we’d be able to get bioinformatics into many AP classes without a lot of effort: most of the teachers are struggling to cover the already overloaded curriculum, and they do not have the skills needed to incorporate bioinformatics exercises into learning the biology without a lot of hand-holding and a real mandate to do so. The AP bio curriculum only changes about every 10 years, and we’ve missed the cycle for the changes coming out next year.

Some visitors came searching, mostly  directly for the name of the blog but also for programming languages for kids.  It seems that there is a real interest in teaching kids how to program—one that is not being met by current schools (elementary, middle, or high school).  My most popular posts were ones that talked about education (generally high school level), but I’ve continued to blog about anything that interests me—no doubt turning off readers who believe that narrow focus is superior to breadth of interest.

The biggest number of views were for the home page (over 5000 views), and since the home page shows several of the recent posts, this may represent more posts read than the raw number

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts that got the most views in 2010 (they put the highest single-day post first, even though it was only about 12th on the overall list):

  1. Corrupted peer review August 2010
    15 comments, 224 views. I’ve still not gotten a good answer to the ethics questions I raised here, and I still haven’t resubmitted the paper anywhere, though that has more to do with my writer’s block and the heavy teaching load I had in the fall than with the ethical question.
  2. Computer languages for kids August 2010
    16 comments, 768 views.  This post not only got an initial burst of interest from being announced on the tagfam mailing lists, but also got a continuing low-level of activity from searches and pointers from elsewhere on the web.
  3. AP creates penalties for not guessing July 2010
    6 comments, 491 views.  This post was just passing on info about changes coming in AP scoring.  High school students seem to really believe that test-taking strategies are more important than knowing the subject when taking AP tests, so people look for information like this, rather than just learning the core material.
  4. Value-added teacher ratings August 2010
    28 comments, 414 views. This post, prompted by an LA Times article, was one of many in the blogosphere about the advantages and disadvantages of value-added teacher ratings.  I was fortunate enough to get some thoughtful comments from viewers, which made for an interesting discussion without the knee-jerk responses of much of the blogging on the subject.
  5. Group work July 2010
    13 comments, 343 views, and 1 Like on I have been bothered by the “everyone must work in groups” meme that is taking over education, even though 40% of the classes I teach are group-work classes. Group work is only appropriate when the projects are big enough to actually require groups: for projects small enough to be done more efficiently by individuals, requiring groups actually has negative educational consequences.
  6. The next several posts from my site states were all education ones:
    Bioinformatics in high school biology 319
    Placement by achievement 288
    High school stem cell curriculum 279
    Just scoring points 268
    Searching on the wayback machine 263
    Homework load 252
    Quick look at New Science Education Standards 232

I had other posts that I liked which got relatively few viewers, particularly ones from the first few weeks of my blogging.  Perhaps I’ll try to work pointers to the better ones into posts over the next month, so that people who have only recently started to read my blog will have occasion to go back to some of the old posts.  If anyone reading this posts remembers one of my 2010 posts fondly, leave a comment to direct others to it. (I can add the link to your comment if you don’t want to look for it.)

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for this post. I signed up for the new posts.

    Comment by gebelik belirtileri — 2011 January 2 @ 16:38 | Reply

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