A Year of Blogging
by Benjamin Studebaker
I have decided to once a year permit myself to self-indulge in writing about the state of the blog near the date that marks the anniversary of my first post. I began this project on August 4, 2012, so that time has arrived. I promise I will only do this once a year. This is not the beginning of a long, slow slide into irrelevance and self-reflection.
This post serves two purposes:
- Record Keeping–it allows me to record precisely how much the blog has progressed to this point, what posts did well or poorly this year, and so on.
- Sharing–it allows me to share a few of the best (and worst) posts of the last year with regular readers, in the hope that some of them might see renewed interest.
In sum, it is principally for me, but I hope the reader enjoys it as well.
First, a few major statistics:
- The blog presently has 446 followers. Last year, it had 0.
- The blog presently has received 26,865 views. Last year, it had 0.
- The blog presently has 1,321 non-spam comments. Last year, it had 0.
- The blog presently averages around 73 hits per day. Last year, it averaged 0.
- I have written 290 blog posts for a total of approximately 300,000 words. Last year, I had written 0.
- I averaged 11 words per view. Last year, N/A
- The most popular day of blogging this year was November 4, 2012, on which I received 443 views.
The 5 most popular blog posts of last year were:
- Hollande, Homework, and the Death of Childhood (Oct 28, 2012, 882 hits, featured on Freshly Pressed)
- Stagflation: What Really Happened in the 70’s (Dec 30, 2012, 855 hits)
- Oversimplifications: “Obama is a Socialist” (Aug 15, 2012, 783 hits)
- So You Want to Overthrow the Government (Nov 21, 2012, 422 hits)
- How to Drastically Reduce Gun Violence (Dec 15, 2012, 387 hits)
Of the most popular posts, I am most proud of the stagflation piece, because it has very nearly received as many views as the homework post without the aid of being freshly pressed. It is also an unusually technical post for its level of popularity.
Interestingly, none of the most popular posts are my personal favorites. Here, in no particular order, are five of my favorites from the last year:
- Democratic Illegitimacy (Oct 26, 2012, 29 hits)
- The Democracy Pendulum (Feb 22, 2013, 26 hits)
- Divorcing Morality from Metaphysics (May 16, 2013, 39 hits)
- A Critique of Ronald Dworkin (May 19, 2013, 35 hits)
- Intellectual Hipsters: Libertarians (Nov 16, 2012, 153 hits)
I have also written my fair share of duds, posts that never really caught on with anybody. I don’t necessarily think they’re bad posts (some of them I quite like), but their titles were not sufficiently interesting to draw readers. These were the five least popular:
- How to Fix the Voting Rights Act (July 25, 2013, 7 hits)
- What is Society? (July 17, 2013, 10 hits)
- Republican Party Platform Expedition Part III: Miscellaneous and Social Policy (Sept 4, 2012, 10 hits)
- Population Pays (June 19, 2013, 10 hits)
- Dragging Behind the Horse: Making States Bigger (Oct 9, 2012, 11 hits)
“What is Society” is an especially bizarre case–it picked up 10 hits, yet nonetheless recorded 6 likes from fellow bloggers. This implies that those who did give the post a chance quite enjoyed it.
I own the domain for this website through August 2015, so I intend to continue blogging for the foreseeable future. The rate at which I put out posts will of course be determined by the two key factors:
- Do I have something worthwhile to say today?
- Do I have enough time and energy to say it right?
As I proceed to an accelerated masters program at the University of Chicago next year, I expect to find myself with more worthwhile things to say, but I may also find myself with less time and/or energy than I’d like to say those things. I promise not to write posts unless I genuinely believe both conditions hold, and I hope that will be quite often, but we’ll have to see. As for now, I intend to continue doing what I’ve been doing all summer–writing posts whenever those conditions hold, which is most of the time, but not always. On days in which I do not post, be glad, for if I were to write, it wouldn’t be worth your time to read it.
I appreciate all those of you who have decided that my writings are generally worth your time and effort. As a writer it is my duty to ensure that this remains the case, and for this reason, this is the last you shall hear of me talking about myself or meta issues concerning the blog for a while. If you’ve indulged me this far, thanks for being a good sport. I hope my future posts are sufficient reward.