Administrivia: Doing the Numbers, 4/2017

Time for another year’s “State of the WIST” post.  I last ran this report a year ago.

What’s happened over the last year?

Some changes that took place on the WordPress site this year:

  • I cleaned up the page design a bit — nothing radical, just some color and typography improvements.
  • Mobile phone access (that’s actually readable on a mobile phone)! Woot!
  • Behind the scenes, I’ve made some performance improvements (fixing some stuff that was dragging performance waaaaay down, but also putting some better technology in place).
  • I’m continuing to post one “graphic” / meme quotation each time I do my five. I’ve had to change from PixTeller, though (who changed their underlying system to suddenly become much less usable) to Canva.

Doing the Numbers

Let’s look at the numbers:

So continued progress. Generally speaking I post five quotes a day, every weekday — though, to be honest, that number was a lot spottier starting mid-2016 (due to new employment, then some more unemployment).

Broken out into a graph (and normalizing the time frame):

Note that, as always, all of these are curated to some degree or another — digging out citations when possible, finding author photos, etc. No mass uploads for me.

Top Authors

Of the authors I have, who are the most quoted in WIST?

I had nobody new on the Top 10 Quoted Authors list this year, just some shuffling around within the stats, with Emerson rising to the top when I came upon a new trove of his quotations (the man was prolific, between his lectures and his journals). Runners-up (Bertand Russell, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Fuller, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King) are all within spitting distance of getting on the list if I run across a good source of unused quotes for them.

The Top Ten Author list is shown “live” in the sidebar (“Prolific Authors”).

Top Quotations

Here are the Top 10 Most Visited Quotations (with how they’ve changed since last year):

  1. ↑ (5,019, from 4,459) Robert Frost“The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942)
  2. ↓ (4,803, from 4,587) AeschylusAgamemnon, l. 179
  3. — (4,589, from 4,120) John SteinbeckNobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962)
  4. ↑ (3,688, from 2,635) John Kenneth Galbraith, “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National Policy Committee on Pockets of Poverty (13 Dec 1963)
  5. ↑ (3,552, from 2,696) Bertand Russell“The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933)
  6. ↓ (3,350, from 2,915) James Baldwin“In Search of a Majority,” Speech, Kalamazoo College (Feb 1960) –
  7. ↑ (2,960, from 2,391) Molly Ivins“Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (9 Mar 1993)
  8. ↓ (2,797, from 2,631) Thomas Campbell“Hallowed Ground” (1825)
  9. — (1,815, from 1,660) Albert Einstein, (Spurious / Synthetic)

Nothing new on the list, just jockeying for position. That’s not surprising, since the numbers have gotten so big and have been tracked for so long.

Over the last year, the Top 10 viewed quotes were, according to Google Analytics:

  1. 803 views – John Kenneth Galbraith“Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National Policy Committee on Pockets of Poverty (13 Dec 1963)
  2. 587 views – Isaac Asimov“A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980)
  3. 566 views – Bertrand Russell, “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933)
  4. 375 views – Albert Einstein“My Credo,” speech, German League of Human Rights, Berlin (Autumn 1932)
  5. 374 views – T. S. Eliot, Preface to Transit of Venus: Poems by Harry Crosby (1931)
  6. 358 views – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.“The Path of Law,” 10 Harvard Law Review 457 (1897)
  7. 301 views – Robert Frost“The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) –
  8. 294 views – Molly Ivins“Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (9 Mar 1993)
  9. 275 views – Theodore RooseveltLetter to Henry L. Sprague (26 Jan 1900) –
  10. 273 views – Martin Luther King, Jr.“The Trumpet of Conscience,” Steeler Lecture (Nov 1967)

Not surprisingly, a number of the new entries on the list above were quotes that have graphic images associated with them.

Who Are You People?

Google Analytics shows me my traffic was up this year, vs the last two, with each day 45 visitors (vs 32) making 50 visits (vs 37) and viewing 73 pages (vs 51).

I have another 25 (vs 19) people who get a daily email (via FeedBurner) of WIST content

Over in social media, I’m posting to Twitter (127 followers, up from 112), Facebook (31 likes overall, up from 25), and Google+ (roughly 66 followers, up from 26).

I also started posting the quotations with graphics on on Tumblr (1 whole person following!) and Pinterest (10 people following!).

Those numbers aren’t huge, by any means — but this is a labor of love, and it’s nice to see that some folk are finding it of use and/or interest.

Age-wise, for the blog the biggest cohorts are 18-24 and 25-34 (24% and 22% respectively); the other cohorts are about 10-15% each. In gender, 57% of the visitors are female.

85% of visits are by English-speakers; no other cohort gets above 1.25%. Nationally, 57% are from the US, another 8% from the UK, with India, Canada, and Australia rounding off the Top 5.

51% of visits here over the last year used Chrome (up), 23% Safari, 11% Firefox, 7% IE, 3% Edge. 48% were Windows users (down), 21% Mac, 15% iOS, and 13% Android.


The Year Ahead

I don’t currently have any major plans on WIST for the coming year, but some things i do have in mind:

  • Continue backfilling tags as I come across quotes that have captured my eye again. Maybe do some tag cleanup.
  • Doing another swing through the authors to give pictures to all who have at least 3 quotes.
  • Do another “are they dead yet?” sweep of the authors.

The biggest question mark I have is how changing to being employed again (whenever that happens, soon I trust) will change posting patterns again. We’ll see.

And that’s the end of the annual report. See you next year!

Added on 8-Apr-17 | Last updated 8-Apr-17
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