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Usage and Reddit

For the most part, I don’t live or die on the number of readers of this blog.  I’m not making money off this, so extra readers don’t  have a direct effect.  Of course, I am gratified that people want to read this:  since one of my goals is to make operations research more famous, it helps if there is a readership!  And I greatly enjoy it when people comment on my posts (something that is happening much more often):  that can’t happen without a readership.

Determining the readership of a blog is kinda tricky.  Some people wander by through the web, or have the page bookmarked, or search on a term that occurs in a blog post, or otherwise access the blog as a web page.  Somewhere around 150 or so people a day see the blog that way.  Of course a number of people are searching for “sex market” or some such, and hit a post from my past entries that includes those words. In fact, now that I have included that phrase here, they may end up on this page.  If so, then welcome:  this probably isn’t what you were looking for, but there are some fascinating posts, so browse around for a while!

Another group subscribes to the blog through RSS readers, like google reader.  They may not hit my website directly at all, but read the postings through their reader.  Feedburner tells me I have about 700 subscribers that way.  This number is an estimate, but presumably all of these subscribers are actually interested in operations research.  This is the way I access blogs:  I subscribe to all of the operations research blogs listed in the right hand column of my front page, and I subscribe to an additional twenty-five blogs that are not operations research but have caught my interest.  I also subscribe to about dozen blogs on operations research that appear to be inactive:  if a post comes through on one of those, then I can move it over to the active list.

Putting things all together, I put my readership at about 1000 people truly interested in operations research, which is a gratifying number.  I certainly have not given a technical talk in front of 1000 people (the recent EURO conference was perhaps the largest, but it was not 1000 people).

Usage at mat.tepper.cmu.edu/blog

Usage at mat.tepper.cmu.edu/blog

Once in a while I get a spike, due to an entry on other sites.  I have never had a successful entry on Digg or Slashdot, which is probably just as well, since my poor server probably couldn’t stand the strain.  But my recent posting on “P=NP (or not)” did get some play on Reddit (thanks cavedave for the shoutout), which resulted in a spike in usage (up by a factor of five or so).   It was great to see the spike, but it will be even better if this results in more permanent subscribers and more interest in operations research.

{ 6 } Comments

  1. davidc | July 26, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    “thanks cavedave for the shoutout”
    You are welcome.

  2. Michael Trick | July 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    And today cavedave posted to reddit about another post (3 city TSPs and bacteria) and the page went way over 1000 visitors. Thanks again Dave!

  3. Laura | July 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    If you write about *vampires* proving that P=NP, your hit rate will go through the roof…

  4. Michael Trick | July 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… now that vampires occurs in this entry, perhaps I’ll see another spike in usage. Vampires, vampires, vampires!

  5. Francisco Marco-Serrano | July 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget MTORB is also listed in Alltop’s OR section (http://operations-research.alltop.com/), where I happened to land after a Guy Kawasaki’s post about Alltop, then searched for OR and… there you were! (hey, and Laura).

  6. Matt G | July 31, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Keep it up – I’ve enjoyed (and recommended) this blog for quite awhile now.

    Thanks!