Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I Write (and Why?)

I used to blog a lot more than I do these days. I started "Music of the Spheres" in October 2005 (about 88 months ago), mainly to write about the Orbiter spaceflight simulator that was a heavy obsession at that time (I wrote a tutorial book about Orbiter that year). I wrote over 200 posts a year from 2006 to 2009 (366 was my peak in 2008 when I pushed for one a day for some reason). But I wrote only 55 posts 2011 and 2012, closer to one a week. Nobody seems to especially care how much I blog, including me. But I've written 1,447 posts since I started this thing - an average of 16 a month. That's a lot of words!

I'm not into blogging as much as I once was, but occasionally I will still take a look at the stats. Google started tracking my blog stats in May 2008 (maybe that's when I decided to turn tracking on). Since then I have had 243,800 page views. I had about 11,000 last month, running around 300-400 a day. I sometimes wonder who all these page viewers are, and what they are viewing. Google has some information about this (e.g., "Carnival of Space #12," July 19, 2007, 913 page views), but it still blows my mind. I could probably find out a lot more detail, but I don't want to spend the time right now. Oddly enough my page views jumped to around 1,300 yesterday, and I have no idea why. I recently wrote about Mars-One and Elon Musk; maybe someone with a lot of readers or an interest in Mars colonization linked to that article.

This post was triggered when I looked at the list of keyword topics on the right side of the my blog. These are keywords that I chose myself and use to categorize my posts. I was surprised at how much I have written on some topics, and how little on some others that I find quite interesting. I grabbed everything down to 20 posts and put them into Excel (note that I usually apply multiple keywords to each post). Here's the graph (total posts to date, 1,447):

Orbiter was the original impetus for the blog, and I have written 250 posts about it (heavy overlap with "add-on" and "tutorial" topics), my #3 topic. Astronomy is #1 (308 posts), NASA is #2 (290). Books (216) and education (194) are pretty strong, as are blogs (219), space history (174), and people (170). I would have expected more on music (162), but these things come and go. When I do blog now, it is often about music, but my big years (2006-2009) were heavy with space stuff, totaling 1143 posts. Very little on optics (42), considering this is my profession. Not much on humor or religion.

Judging from this and from the hundreds of small notebooks that I still have from my pre-blog days when I would keep paper journals on various subjects of interest (flight simulators, Japanese, flight lessons, songwriting, travel, etc.), I like to write stuff, no matter who is reading it. For most of my life, I was the only one reading my stuff (unless that stuff was email). That's still mostly true, but there now seems to be dozens to hundreds of people a day who are also reading some of my stuff, for whatever reason. To all of you I say, thanks for your interest! Feel free to drop me a line (or a blog comment) if you think of it. Unless you are one of my many comment spammers (if so, you probably aren't actually reading this, nor are you actually a person, and I don't need to encourage you to comment!).

And WHY do I write all this stuff? Ah yes. Not for money. I have not taken any steps to "monetize" my blog, which was probably a mistake, though probably not a big one. As near as I can tell, I just like the sound of my own fingers.

1 comment:

Jacek Kupras said...

All the best. Bruce. Keep blogging. And write sometime something about Orbiter.