Gas station without pumps

2012 January 1

Blog year in review

Filed under: Metacomments (about the blog),Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:16
Tags: , ,

It is traditional in the blogosphere to imitate magazines and newspapers and to do a year-in-review post at the end of the year. In 2011, according to the stats, the Gas Station Without Pumps blog had 57,787 views, which is about 158 a day, 1108 a week, or 4816 a month.  The low month was April (3415 views) and the high month was December (6174 views).  My busiest day was 9 Dec 2011, with 650 views. My readership shows about an 80% growth over last year, which is nice, but not spectacular.  I have a long way to go to catch up with some of the more popular educator-bloggers I read.

About 27% of my views come from the home page, which is what subscribers and regular readers see.  The rest of the views are specific pages, which people get to either by e-mail referral or searches. When I mention a relevant blog post on mailing lists I belong to, I often see a spike for a few days for that particular post, indicating that the mailing lists have much larger audiences than my blog does.

I published 303 posts in 2011 (0.83/day), bringing my total to 478.  Many of the posts were short announcements of events or pointers to stuff I found on the web worth reading—those posts are generally of only ephemeral value.  Other posts were more substantive, often expressing an opinion or providing a critique of someone else’s.

Here are the most viewed posts in 2011 (more than 300 views):

Post Views
Home page 15,865
2011 AP Exam Score Distribution 1,880
Bring back the mammoth! 1,153
What is giftedness? 881
A use for an Ion Torrent 795
Adding bioinformatics to AP Bio 754
EteRNA, an Online Game 752
Why no digital oscilloscope for Macbooks and iPads? 752
Advice on AP Bio from those who grade 727
Advanced Placement Bio changes announced 675
Cyberslug t-shirt designs 607
DRACO: broad-spectrum antiviral drugs 564
Biology teachers teaching creationism 480
Computer languages for kids 480
Two memes colliding 447
Thanks, Dad 444
Resources for bioinformatics in AP Bio 442
Scratch plus Arduino 440
Why Discrete Math Is Important and The Calculus Trap 430
Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder 400
Death to high school English – Education – 388
Good online math classes 360
School decisions 344
Waterproofing cameras for underwater ROVs 335
Where do successful PhD students come from? 328
Evolution of superbugs 326
STEM majors do not have extremely high attrition 323
Lectures better than inquiry? 315
Science Fair judging 310
Perceptual learning 309
Home schooling week 1 306

I’m surprised a bit by some of them (I thought of the mammoth post as a throw-away post), but some of them are posts that I think provide useful information (like “Computer languages for kids” and “Resources for bioinformatics in AP Bio“), and some are ones I put a lot of care into (like “Thanks, Dad“).

Some of the posts (like Bring back the mammoth! and Why no digital oscilloscope for Macbooks and iPads?) were mainly reached from search engines, and generally had a fairly steady readership after the first few days.  Others (like the giftedness posts and the AP Bio posts) were mainly viewed in response to announcements on mailing lists.  For those views for which can collect referrer information, the largest numbers were from search engines, followed by, mail, Facebook,, and Google Reader.  A lot of the searches were looking for the blog (variants on the search “gas station without pumps”) rather than for the content of specific posts—this may be an artifact of Firefox doing searches when an incomplete URL is given. Direct links from comments on other people’s blogs also provided a lot of referrals, but these were scattered over the many blogs I comment on, though concentrated, naturally, on the most popular blogs.  The only surprise was how high the Facebook referral count was, since I don’t use Facebook—other people must have posted links to my blog on their Facebook pages.

I’m a little disappointed in how few comments I’ve gotten on my posts.  I’m averaging under 2.2 comments per post by people other than me (for the lifetime of the blog— doesn’t provide good annual statistics).  I had hoped, particularly with some of my more outrageous opinions, to spark more discussion.  The ratio of views to comments (for the lifetime of the blog) is about 71.8, which means there are a lot of people lurking. Please do comment if you have anything to say—I will try not to squelch anyone.

I am tempted to look over the blog posts that got very low readership, and see if any of those posts are ones that deserve more attention.  Some of the topics from my first months of blogging (in June and July 2010) may be worth revisiting now that I have new readers, for example.

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve written this before but it bears repeating: I find your reviews of educational research uncommonly helpful. I rarely comment on them, since I have nothing to add except “thanks — will read (or re-read) this study.” As for your “outrageous opinions,” I tend not to comment on those either, since I usually have nothing to add except “That’s what I thought. Only shorter.”

    Comment by Mylène — 2012 January 1 @ 17:33 | Reply

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