Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Post #50

Well, this blog has been active now for roughly 3 years and thanks to long stretches of inactivity, this is only my 50th article posted. The stats have been interesting to watch. I've gotten a total of just over 2600 page views. In the past month, the browser breakdown has been Firefox: 55% Chrome: 21% Internet Explorer: 11% Safari: 6% Other: 7%. The user's OS has been: Windows: 42% Macintosh: 35% Linux: 12% Android: 2% iPad: 2% Other: 7% (including one access from Windows NT 6.1, which Google didn't lump in with "Windows").

For all time, by country, my audience is mostly in the US. 1353 pageviews. I wish that was broken down by state, but doesn't slice the data that finely.

United States 1353
Russia 204
Germany 143
India 75
China 71
Slovenia 68
France 50
United Kingdom 45
Netherlands 44
Poland 42

Origin of pageviews by country

And of course the data has a long tail that doesn't show me. I know that from time to time I've had readers from Canada, Australia and Brazil. I think that I've even had occasional clicks from somewhere in Africa, but evidently not enough to be anywhere but in the long tail of the data.

Complaint Department

If I can be allowed some complaints about my experience as a blogger:

  1. What does it take to get people to post comments on the articles? 50 articles and I've only had 12 comments all together. And 6 of those were on one article about Education and Technology. Begging for comments doesn't seem to work. Do I need to write about more incendiary topics to get any kind of reaction? Heck, even feedback like "that's kind of obvious", and "here's another web page that says that better than you did" would be useful feedback to me. Didn't everybody get the memo about Web 2.0 being interactive? It isn't supposed to be read-only.
  2. Somehow dumb humor seems more popular than anything serious that I write. The most popular of my postings has been one that linked to a cartoon about an imaginary dog breed called the Jack Bauer Terrier, not to be confused with the Jack Russell Terrier. That posting had 269 hits - more than 10% of my total. With the demise of the TV series "24", it becomes increasingly obscure with each passing month. A close second place is my "What's on your Dashboard?" article, which was mostly to make fun of how much stuff litters my friend's van. 250 hits on that one to date, and that's nearly another 10%.

    In my opinion, the most underappreciated of my postings was the one looking at JFK's "We'll go to the moon" speech, a speech that got played on TV over and over again on the recent round-number anniversary of the moon shot. He mentions both that we chose to go to the moon and "to do the other things", which led me to dig into what "the other things" were. I thought it was a nice bit of digging into an interesting bit of history, but it has so far only had 9 pageviews in close to 3 years time.

    The least viewed article on my blog is "How not to sell to me", which to date has logged zero page views. (I have things set to not count page views by me).

    The article that I think I have most promoted is the one that started out being about "Literate Programming". It pretty much mutated as I wrote it into a list of things I felt I needed to learn to master the Python Programming language. I've posted links to that article over and over in forum discussions of Python (e.g. in CS101's forum, in's pythonlang page), and for all my publicity efforts, that page has only gotten 93 pageviews, no comments and 4 +1 votes. It's just my opinions, but I sure would like to hear suggestions on how to improve the list.

  3. There's a feature on the blog for people to "subscribe" to a blog as a "follower". To date, I've only persuaded one friend to click on the button to enroll as a follower. I think it just notifies the followers when there's a new posting. Another friend tells me he follows my blog via a Google Reader "subscription". Apparently Google doesn't list Reader subscribers as followers of the blog. Since is owned by Google, that's somewhat disappointing, but I suppose it means comments are the only sure way to hear what people think of my blog.

  4. So what's the trick to get people to share links to a blog article? Seems that I only get hits on my blog when I post links myself. Sharing to appropriate Google+ Communities does seem to draw pageviews. But the life of such announcements is short. A day or 2 later the article gets no further attention. Some articles are intended to have a short life (take the one about the Jack Bauer Terrier, please), but is everything I write too dull to talk about?

I will get around soon to posting articles about the Computers-100 class I've been teaching at the local community center here in the New Cassel section of Westbury, NY. Those I know deserve only a narrow audience, but I plan to keep them short. Mostly just links to the slides I used for each class, and notes about how the session went so I remember to not repeat my mistakes in any future re-runs of that Introductory course.

I haven't run out of things I want to say on the broad topic of "education". I'm still learning what the literature in that field has to say. I keep hoping to hear from actual experienced teachers with advice on how to teach. I'm still mulling over a recent post to the STEM Community on Google+ that explained "Education is not explaining...". I feel that's a lesson I need to better take to heart.