I got a notification from WordPress.com today that my blog is now three years old. In that time, I’ve posted 1070 posts and gotten 235,600 views and almost 3000 comments (about 40% of which are mine, though, so only about 1800 comments from readers). My comment-to-post ratio is 2.80, nearly the same as previous years, and Bonnie and Mylène are still the top two commenters. I offered them a prize last year of a suggesting a blog topic, but I don’t remember either of them claiming the prize—the offer is still good.
No single post gets more hits than the home page, which is viewed by those people who read the blog on a regular basis, but overall I get over 41% of my views from people referred by search engines. People are reading my stuff for the content, not because the posts are by me. I’m not sure whether that is good or bad.
Some of the popular posts are artifacts of search engines: like the mammoth post, the pointers to AP score distributions, or the pictures from the County Fair. Some are from middle-school students trying to cheat on homework (the West Point Bridge Designer posts), and some are just weird choices (why the instrumentation amp lab post out of the 173 posts for the circuits course?). A lot of the posts are coming up because of useful content, though (like how to install gnuplot, bioinformatics resources, or soda-bottle rockets).
Only two of those most-popular hits are from the last year, so perhaps I should list the posts with over 300 views that were written in the last year:
Of these, only the 2012 AP score distribution is embarrassing (it is just a pointer to a post where someone else collected the stats from a third person’s tweets, so it is really 3rd-hand info). Interestingly, the pages that serve as tables of contents for the home school physics and the circuits course have both been fairly popular. I would not have pulled out the instrumentation lab post nor the Chapter 6 summary out of the circuits-course posts as being particularly valuable, though.
I’ve not been pushing my posts on mailing lists much this year—of the new posts, probably only the two tables of contents and the two college-visit posts have been boosted by my telling people on mailing lists about them.
I’ve been averaging about 10,000 views a month lately (though the stupid AP score posts cause a spike in May each year, and December, August, and June were slow months—a lot of my readers are students or academics, so vacation times result in lower numbers of viewers).