Changes, Bugs, and Popularity

Believe it or not, there are some site-related things to talk about this week!

First off, I have upgraded WordPress to the latest version, which is 4.4. This did not break any plugins, as far as I can tell, but it did break post scheduling, which I rely on heavily. I installed a plugin that should hopefully resolve it, but I guess we’ll see.

I’ve also changed a few other things around:

  • Turned on Jetpack’s “like” button feature.
  • Enabled social comments in Jetpack. This allows people to comment on the blog using their Facebook, Twitter, etc. logins. We’ll see how that works out. If it causes problems, I will shut it off.
  • I changed the background image. It is a view from below of the Unisphere, and a photo that I took myself recently.
  • This is not a current change but a future one. I hope to have a logo in place by the end of the year. At that point, I will set up a Facebook page and Twitter account and begin publicizing this site in earnest (although not obnoxiously, I hope).

On that note, I thought it might be interesting to lay out what’s been popular on this blog and what hasn’t. Since I don’t get much comment traffic, I have to rely on page view counts. Fortunately, there are enough hits to have a good sense for what gets attention and what doesn’t, and since there are now over 60 posts on a variety of topics, I think there is sufficient content for such statistics to be meaningful.

Keeping in mind that I don’t spread this link around except for perhaps a weekly post on my personal Facebook page, here are the five most popular posts by number of views:

  1. Things That Shape History… That Aren’t White Men
  2. The Student Loan Scam
  3. Daughter Dating Declarations Deconstructed
  4. Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
  5. Stochastic Terrorism

The first thing I notice here is that three of the five posts were written by Emilia. Maybe this should be her blog! 😉

But seriously, of the two in that list which I wrote, one is an informational piece (with some editorial content), and the other describes a phenomenon (stochastic terrorism) that is not well-publicized. I am particularly happy with the latter. I haven’t posted many informational articles yet, but given their popularity, maybe I should.

For contrast, the five least viewed pieces on this site:

  1. Belligerence Toward Russia Won’t Help Anything
  2. Sex Work: Decriminalize It!
  3. Link Roundup: October 17, 2015
  4. Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!
  5. Transgender Day of Remembrance

If I were to find commonalities between these, I would note that a few of them are very early posts–maybe people just don’t go back toward the beginning of the blog. Numbers 1 and 2 perhaps hurt themselves by stating their point right in the title. I don’t want to waste people’s time by making them guess what an article is about, so I try not to obfuscate behind clickbait questions and shock statements. Three of these pieces also focus on social justice issues, and maybe those just aren’t that popular. That is entirely possible, and unfortunate for me since those are the topics I prefer to write about!

I don’t expect that I will substantially change what I write about, though. The main thing I am willing to tailor in order to court an audience is my tone–I try not to be condescending or patronizing here. But I don’t want to shy away from difficult or uncomfortable subject matter. Indeed, those are the topics that probably deserve the most attention.

The two month mark passed without any comment or fanfare. What’s two months’ worth of writing on a blog these days? On the other hand, I’ve stuck with this for over 60 days, when I wasn’t sure if I could. Let’s see how far I can take this.

As always, thanks for reading!

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About the Author

James
James runs this blog and likes to write about society, culture, politics, science, technology, social justice, and pretty much anything else. Rumor has it people read his posts sometimes.

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Changes, Bugs, and Popularity

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