Gas station without pumps

2012 June 2

Second Blogoversary

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 18:14
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This, my 700th blog post, is also one day after my second blogoversary—I started this blog on 1 Jun 2010.  My readership has gone up over the past year, averaging about 2000 views a week lately (not counting the spike in the AP exam score post around AP exam time).

On the 699 previous posts, I’ve had 2005 comments, or about 2.87 comments/post, but about 40% of the comments on my blog are my own (either updates or replies to other people’s comments), so I’m getting about 1.72 external comments per post. I would appreciate a larger number of comments—feedback from intelligent readers is very valuable for improving my writing and my thinking.

My most prolific commenter is Bonnie (with 42 of the last 1000 comments), just recently edging out Mylène (with 39 of the last 1000 comments).  I offer each of them a “prize”—they can request a post on a particular topic of interest to them.  I don’t guarantee I’ll be able to write the post, but I’ll make a stab at it.

On my first blogoversary, I posted some stats about my most popular posts, so I’ll do that again this year. I’m marking those newer than 13 months old with “✾” as they did not have much of a chance to appear in last year’s list.  Despite my increase in readership, a surprising number of posts are “old favorites” rather than new posts.

Home page / Archives 32,091
2011 AP Exam Score Distribution 7,828
West Point Bridge Designer 2011 2,358
Bring back the mammoth! 1,673
Why no digital oscilloscope for Macbooks and iPads? 1,586
Computer languages for kids 1,507
What is giftedness? 1,004
Adding bioinformatics to AP Bio 981
A use for an Ion Torrent 974
Why Discrete Math Is Important and The Calculus Trap 840
AP creates penalties for not guessing 837
Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder 833
DRACO: broad-spectrum antiviral drugs 823
Advice on AP Bio from those who grade 795
EteRNA, an Online Game 788
Resources for bioinformatics in AP Bio 761
Advanced Placement Bio changes announced 731
County Fair with Pictures 693
Cyberslug t-shirt designs 675
Should high schools and colleges teach sentence diagramming? 663
Waterproofing cameras for underwater ROVs 644
Group work 638
Bioinformatics in high school biology 633
Scratch plus Arduino 571
Soda-bottle rockets 563
Science Fair judging 552
Underwater ROV 538
Value-added teacher ratings 525
Underwater ROV contest 501
Biology teachers teaching creationism 499
Thanks, Dad 498

I’ll extend this list with a few that are top hits in the last year, though not in the top 30 for all time views:

Raspberry Pi 490
Installing gnuplot—a nightmare 487
How many AP courses are too many? 430
West Point Bridge Design Contest 2012 427
School decisions 421
Teaching voice projection 408
STEM majors do not have extremely high attrition 396
Where do successful PhD students come from? 390
Learning to use I2C 382
Speed of sound lab writeup 327

Other than the home page hits, most of my hits come from search engines. Some of the most popular posts are a bit embarrassing and represent a failure of search engines more than quality in my posts. For example, the top one on AP score results is mainly a pointer to someone else’s collection of statistics, and not even to the official AP score analysis page.

The second post, on West Point Bridge Designer, is mainly used by middle-school students trying to cheat on their homework. I even had one write and ask me for the design file, claiming to be his teacher. I contacted the teacher directly, using a web search to get the school e-mail address, and the teacher had not requested the file. I’m afraid that the middle school student trying to steal his teacher’s identity got into some trouble—I don’t know how much.

The mammoth post was a throwaway post commenting on news about someone looking into the possibility of recovering the mammoth using DNA data. I doubt that it is technically feasible (at least for the next decade), but it was a cool idea.

I don’t seem to be the only one who has searched the web looking for Mac and iPad compatible oscilloscopes. They are beginning to come on the market now, but the quality and variety are not nearly what they should be by this point.

I am pleased with the “computer languages for kids” post, and most of the traffic for that has come from my recommending it on mailing lists for parents and teachers of gifted students (either directly or by word of mouth from there). It has held up pretty well for one of my early posts.

Actually, most of the posts from there down are ones that I’m reasonably pleased with, and they cover a diversity of topics. They’re a bit heavy on AP bio posts, because the AP bio mailing list has a lot of teachers on it, and when I announced a relevant post there, a lot clicked through to look at it.


  1. Congratulations on your 700th blog post and your second blogoversary! I’d never heard that term before, but love it! My most popular blog post is one on Apple removing Scratch from the iTunes Store, and most of the hits on that post come from people searching for ways to remove scratches from their Apple iPad…

    Comment by Mark Guzdial — 2012 June 2 @ 18:48 | Reply

  2. Oooh — good prize! I will have to give this some careful thought. Congrats on your second year.

    Comment by Mylène — 2012 June 3 @ 22:12 | Reply

  3. […] my other blogoversaries, I did some analysis of which posts were the most popular (1 year, 2 year), so I suppose I should do that again. Here are the posts with 1000 or more […]

    Pingback by Blogoversary 3 | Gas station without pumps — 2013 June 1 @ 19:59 | Reply

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