Sunday, 13 April 2014

Six years on, and 'away until back' again

Six years of blogging led me to compare the State Of The Blog to that of one year ago. The blogger 'stats' information states that the number of page views is over 307,000. Compared to last year's 225,000 that means that some 80,000 pages were viewed, or at least flickered up on a computer screen somewhere, however briefly. The 80,000 page views of the last year make up 26% of all page views in a six year period, which suggests a big increase. But shouldn't that increase show up in the graph of page views over time?

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Here it is.  Hovering the mouse over the points of the graphs pops up the number of page views for that month. Apparently. Or not. The numbers for May 2008 to April 2009 are completely missing, and so are those for May 2010 to April 2011, and for May 2012 to April 2013. That is 36 months missing over a 155 month period. The months that are depicted in the graph together add up to 307,000 page views. Does this mean that the actual number of page views was  quite a bit higher? Blogger also provides a list of page views for each individual post.

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Here it is, after some transformation in Matlab. The horizontal axis shows time in days with the present as zero on the left. The total number of views according to this method is over 145,000, or less than half of the other estimate. I do not know which data are correct. Oh well; note that the peaks do not say when a given post accumulated its page views. For some posts the views were all gathered  in the past, whereas others still attract new views every day. That holds mostly for the big peaks, and the posts they concern have been indicated in the graph above. For a list of the specific posts and links, you will find that most can be found in last year's summary here.  

The graph shows that there haven't been any big peaks for some time. The reason for that can be found in which posts attract the most attention, and that is most often because they link to a film or book with a big media presence. There haven't been recent films with alien wildlife in it that was interesting to write about recently, so that is part of the explanation of the absence of recent big peaks. Some of the posts on biomechanical subjects still attract attention, but it has become more difficult to post more on that, as I already dealt with the most obvious subjects.

After 197 posts, this one included, I have started wondering whether it is time to stop blogging. As I wrote before I have an impression that the blog is not as  fresh as it used to be, but perhaps that this just the result of having had less time than ever to work on Furaha or on the blog. Perhaps the blog and I need to go on vacation, but probably not together; I think it is time for another sabbatical, similar to the one two years ago.

I do not know when the blog will return, but some events will make me come back. One of these is that I have been trying for several months to get a session of talks on speculative biology on the programme of the next World Science Fiction Convention. That will be 'Loncon3', next August in London (I have only been to a WorldCon once before but can recommend it to all who like science fiction; they are not often held in Europe, so perhaps you should consider going if you are in Europe; there will be some 8000 participants). My efforts seem to be paying off, so if all goes well there will be talks, not just concerning Furaha, but about other Speculative Biology projects as well. I am tempted to disclose who else is likely to be there, but as the programme is not final it is better to be prudent and stay quiet. I expect the programme to become final and public in June, and will certainly come back to write about it here.

But now it's off towards the sunset again....