Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy 4th Anniversary Honest Hypocrite - statistics on posts and comments

Today is the 4th Anniversary of the Honest Hypocrite. Please help me celebrate! I don't normally have meta-posts on this blog, posts about posting are less interesting than posts about anything else. I will allow myself the luxury of a meta-post today to celebrate both four years of the blog and over 150,000 page loads. I am sure that my high school English teacher would be delighted by my essay output and I am glad that you all are reading, and from the comments that some of you are enjoying it.

This anniversary wouldn't be complete without graphical and statistical analysis.

A plot of the posts vs. the date of posting shows that I have maintained more than a post every two days but less than a post a day over the four years. 1052 posts in four years yields an average of 0.72 posts/day.

A plot of the rate of posting shows that on occasion I have been able to keep the monthly posting average at almost two posts/day. Those rates are unsustainable and usually mean something interesting is happening or I am on vacation.

For true understanding of the data I think that histograms tell a fuller story than averages.

A histogram (click above for larger) showing the fraction of days with a given number of posts reveals that 46% of the days I have a posted on this blog (The breaks in the plot indicate a change of scale). The outlier day (6/20/2007) with 14 posts is from posts from my phone while I was at a baseball game.

My kind readers are also interested enough to comment on this blog. A histogram (click above for larger) showing the fraction of posts with a given number of comments shows almost 31% of posts have comments, some with many (The breaks in the plot indicate a change of scale). Interested or aggravated readers are commenting readers. Pointing out the uselessness of collected pull tabs for Ronald McDonald house and suggesting some high value alternatives generated 39 comments. Disparaging Ted Neely of Jesus Christ Superstar fame generated 34 comments. A post on how the cosmic background radiation might contain a message from the creator of the universe based on an article in arXiv that I also suggested to BoingBoing generated 22 comments and thousands of visitors, it was the first big hit on this blog. A post about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina generated 14 comments and a mini flame war on self-sufficiency, prejudice, federalism and common courtesy.

All of these posts have generated more than 150,000 page loads since July 20, 2009 when I started tracking the page loads using Statcounter.

The plot above (definitely click for bigger) shows a histogram of the fraction of days in a half year for with a given number of page loads binned for easier viewing. I have offset the histograms by 10% each half year to separate them and make them easier to read. The y-axis which shifts up should make reading that axis a little easier. The trend in these plots is upward as the bulk of the curve shifts from 0 to 50 page loads a day in the first year or so to 90 in year 2 to 3 and finally to 150 page loads a day in year 4. There is evidence that as I have cut down the number of posts/day in the last 6 months that page loads have suffered a little.

The highest day on this blog was 3838 page loads on December 15, 2005 when that post about the microwave background radiation was picked up by BoingBoing. These days it is consistently 150 page loads a day, which tells me that at least someone is reading. In the future we will review some more stats and some favorite posts.


Howard said...


The Virtual Ranger said...

Many congratulations! A well-deserved anniversary, let's hope for many more. I'm enjoying the stat analysis as ever - my plea for HH is more posts about stats and graphs like that please!