Gwern.net Website Traffic

Meta page describing gwern.net editing activity, traffic statistics, and referrer details, primarily sourced from Google Analytics (2011-present).
personal, statistics, meta, shell, R, Bayes, Google (3 Feb 201122 Mar 2020; in progress; certainty: certain; importance: 3)


On a semi-annual basis, since 2011, I review gwern.net website traffic using Google Analytics; although what most readers value is not what I value, I find it motivating to see total traffic statistics reminding me of readers (writing can be a lonely and abstract endeavour), and useful to see what are major referrers.

gwern.net typically enjoys steady traffic in the 50–100k range per month, with occasional spikes from social media, particularly Hacker News; over the first decade (2010–2020), there were 7.98m pageviews by 3.8m unique users.

For background about the goals, tools, design, and implementation of gwern.net, see the page

2011

October 2010–February 2011

My editing activity, as generated by darcs-graph:

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): October to February
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): October to February

Traffic

“An audience, even an audience of one, is always to be treasured and respected.”

Adalric Brandl (“Uhl Eharl Khoehng”, Patricia A. Jackson)

Popularity-wise, reports that over the 150 days between 1 October 2010 and 28 February 2011, there were 4,346 page-views (average 30/day):

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)

The most popular pages were1:

  1. : 1,180
  2. : 644
  3. : 241
  4. : 108
  5. : 104
  6. : 101
  7. : 96

The rankings are not as I would prefer (I imagine Internet archivist feels much the same way about ), but it’s pretty clear that people enjoy my more practical articles the most.

February 2011–July 2011

darcs-graph for this period:

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): Repository creation to July
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): Repository creation to July

Traffic

“Streaming in the wind / the smoke from Fuji / vanishes in the sky; / I know not where / these thoughts of mine go, either.”

the monk ( XVII: #1615)

Google Analytics reports that over the 124 days between 28 February 2011 and 2 July 2011, there were 42,410 page-views (average 342/day):

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)

The most popular pages ranking changed considerably; while the DNB FAQ maintained its pre-eminent popularity, 3 new pages bumped out ‘Links’, ‘Spaced repetition’, ‘The Melancholy of Kyon’, and ‘Haskell Summer of Code’. I am a little surprised that my 2 Death Note essays seemed to’ve struck a chord, and even more surprised that my sloppy & random & un-rigorous notes about nootropics would be consistently popular:

  1. DNB FAQ: 10,406
  2. : 4,189
  3. Modafinil: 3,231
  4. : 2,633
  5. : 1,779
  6. : 1,366
  7. Nootropics: 2,056
  8. : 706

Promotion

“They accumulate / but there are none to buy them— / these leaves of words / piling up like wares for sale / beneath the Sumiyoshi Pine.”

; (#180, “Famous Market Town”, ; trans. Steven D. Carter)2

As a writer, I desire feedback. I also want to feel that my work has been of use to people. So while it would be nice if the world beat a path to my website, I recognize that I have to put some effort into marketing my work. I’ve tried a number of methods.

  1. Witcoin: I submitted any number of fairly popular articles but my total Witcoin traffic over this period was 132 visits—a traffic total I could have gotten with one slightly popular link on Reddit or a few links in comments. While I didn’t lose any Bitcoins (because my registration was funded by Kiba’s donation of \$20 and actually profited \$55), I have spent at least 6 hours figuring out how to use Witcoin, submitting articles, responding to comments, and voting. Not the best use of time.
  2. Google : initially disappointing, with after 3010 impression, there were still no clicks! It was funded by the $129 coupon for signing up for Google’s Webmaster Tools. Interface is decent given complexity of task, but deeply frustrating to have to wait many weeks for the DNB FAQ and Modafinil ads to be approved or rejected. Finally, almost in June, the DNB FAQ ads were approved and the modafinil ads rejected. From 23 March to 2 July 2011, I paid $27.20 for 98,900 impressions yielding 63 clicks through. (Those visitors only spent an average of <1.5 minutes on the site, too.) Again, not a great investment of time.
  3. : with just 3 articles ‘stumbled’ (included in the database), specifically DNB FAQ, & Nootropics, StumbleUpon was responsible for 161 visits or 2.77% of all traffic in the period I looked at. How much traffic could I expect with 30 or 40 articles stumbled? Quite a bit. SU has no ‘front page’ like other social news aggregators so traffic is more of a trickle than flood; nevertheless, “Death Note Ending” clicked with SU readers and I got >500 readers out of it in a day or two. In total over this time, SU drove 2,257 visits. SU tended to give a pretty steady 30–50 visits a day with rare spikes when an article clicked. The downside is that after looking at SU comments and at how much time they spend on pages3, I have to agree with Arvind Narayanan’s “StumbleUpon Considered Harmful”—SUers do not want quality content but quick content, for the dopamine boost.
  4. : “Girl Scouts and good governance” made it to the front page, resulting in 1,727 visits & setting gwern.net traffic records (it is that giant spike in the traffic graph), but apparently minimal viewing of other pages. Further, while I seem to get a modest amount of Reddit traffic from even unsuccessful submissions, HN submissions will sink without a trace. Kiba calls Hacker News a ‘lottery’, but it seems to be one worth playing.
  5. LessWrong is a natural place to post many of my writings. And perhaps unsurprisingly, LW is my second-largest source of traffic, coming in after SU with 1,857 visits. While few of my submissions get upvoted all that highly, most of them drove a fair amount of traffic even in the Discussion ghetto. (Linking in comments also drives a surprising amount of traffic over long periods to my practical articles like on n-back or melatonin.) At some point I hope to have a good Article and see how much of a disparity there is.

July 2011–December 2011

Res audita perit, litera scripta manet.

Proverb

darcs-graph for this period (including 1 January 2012):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2011 to 2 January 2012
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2011 to 2 January 2012

I ran into a cool post by Christopher Done on a tool that does detailed analysis of patch patterns on a Git repository, GitStats, and this spurred me to create a Git mirror of gwern.net using darcs-to-git. GitStats produces a whole bundle of graphs and figures, some of which I found surprising. (I did not expect to see a large spike on Wednesday and relatively few patches on Saturday, or a spike around 5 PM, as opposed to the early morning.) I think I will update the GitStats output with each output, as a (large) adjunct to the darcs-graph plots.

Traffic

“Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice, / The stage but echoes back the public’s voice; / The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give, / For we that live to please must please to live. / …prompt no more the follies you decry, / As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die; / ’Tis yours this night to bid the reign commence / Of rescu’d Nature, and reviving Sense; / …Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, / And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.”

(“Prologue at the Opening of Drury Lane Theatre”)

Google Analytics reports, that over the 185 days between 2 July 2011 and 2 January 2012, there were 191,015 page-views (average 1,032/day) by 79,346 visitors for a total of 115,585 visits (average 624/day). This is better than I expected and makes me wonder about my prediction for <2000 average daily visits by 2013 (but it still seems unlikely traffic will triple over the next year).

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis)

The main change in page popularity did not surprise me; when I was writing “Silk Road 1”, I knew it would almost certainly be popular given how very popular the Gawker article was but also how lacking in practical details it was, and I also suspected that “Bitcoin is Worse is Better” would be fairly popular as it argued an interesting and controversial thesis (the original and promoted version is hosted on BitcoinWeekly.com, so its hit-count ought to be low). I’m surprised at how much the page gwern.net still gets; a surprising number of people must either visit the main page after reading another article or click on my various blog comments.

  1. Silk Road: 62,167
  2. DNB FAQ: 25,541
  3. home/main page: 16,967
  4. Modafinil: 10,437
  5. Nootropics: 10,219
  6. Spaced repetition: 6,570
  7. Bitcoin is Worse is Better: 4,297
  8. Links: 3,490

More interesting is the other signals of popularity: gave me a free set of headbands (worth ~$63) because they liked my , a software engineer/manager contacted me to see about recruiting me, ThinkGum offered me some of their eponymous product for my Nootropics page, and my request for Bitcoin donations has paid off a little with a few donations \$2\$20 and one generous donation of \$398 (worth a bit upwards of $127 at the time; I spent it on modafinil). (This is all intrinsically helpful but I value it mostly because money speaks louder than words.)

Promotion

I’ve done relatively little in this period compared with the previous period:

  1. I abandoned Witcoin not long after my experiment with it; and now Witcoin is dead, pending a possible open-sourcing of the codebase.
  2. My AdWords credit is mostly expired. For some reason, my click-through rates kept dropping.
  3. StumbleUpon remains a good traffic source (1,430 visits). I continue to ‘stumble’ my new articles when I remember to do so.
  4. Hacker News was responsible for a great deal of my traffic in this period (4,175 visits). Most of it was not my doing, however—whenever I submit links, they do poorly.
  5. LessWrong remains a major traffic driver (6,961 visits); I continue to see a lot of referrals from old posts and comments. Nor do all the links seem to be perceived negatively or as self-promotion by the LW community: I posted an article describing site updates and the article was received well to my surprise, eliciting very favorable reviews of my writings in general. That was nice.
  6. For this period, I did spend a little more effort submitting stuff to Reddit; and I was handsomely rewarded with the Silk Road submission skyrocketing and become one of the all-time most popular articles in the Bitcoin subreddit. Between that and my nootropics articles, Reddit sent me 20,842 visits.

The largest traffic sources are Google at 36,625 visits and direct/no-referrals at 24,118 visits. As I have no idea how to improve these two figures, I ignore it. I write good content, submit it places, supply metadata, and abide by my hackerly principles; I hope that that is all the SEO I need.

2012

January 2012–July 2012

“Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots will be seen. More questions!”

Frank Herbert (“Mentat Zensufi admonition”, )

darcs-graph for this period (3 January 2012–2 July 2012):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2012 to 2 July 2012
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2012 to 2 July 2012

Traffic

“If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay—in solid cash—the tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.”

(“Indian & Burma”, Jesting Pilate, 1926)

The Analytics report records traffic over those 182 days as being substantially increased: to 570,997 page-views (average 3,137/day) - almost 5 times the previous six month period—by 268,031 unique visitors in 366,301 visits (average 2012/day). If this rate continues, I will likely lose my traffic prediction (which doesn’t bother me very much). In particular, the lifetime total page-views is now at 809,000, which would seem to imply that I will break the million page-view mark by the next update! I would be very pleased by that milestone.

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2012
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2012

The popularity ranking remains mainly the same. 2 differences from the past stand out: the sudden popularity of the Zeo and “Death Note Anonymity” articles. Both owe their inclusion to 2 successful front-page appearances on Hacker News. DNA was submitted by someone I don’t know, but I submitted the Zeo page at the conclusion of my first Vitamin D experiment where I concluded that that Vitamin D consumed in the evening did indeed damage my sleep (I then followed up with a second experiment which found that Vitamin D consumed in the morning did not damage my sleep.) I am proud of these two experiments and so I was gratified that Hacker News found them worthwhile too.

  1. Silk Road: 308,895
  2. DNB FAQ: 36,488
  3. home/main page: 32,259
  4. Modafinil: 23,801
  5. Nootropics: 21,970
  6. : 15,860
  7. : 15,841
  8. Spaced repetition: 8,628
  9. Links: 7,431

Donation-wise, I received ~\$17, and a number of Paypal donations: $5, $4, $5, and $100 from a particularly generous LessWronger who wished me to backup my files more securely & remotely. Alexandra Carmichael was impressed by my Zeo experiments and asked me to write an ebook on sleep for an upcoming Quantified Self series of O’Reilly ebooks; we will see how that goes.4

Promotion

Hacker News, Reddit, and LessWrong remain major referral drivers. For recent new pages, I’ve been trying a checklist which includes submission to SU, Google+, Hacker News, Reddit, and LessWrong as appropriate; I am not sure how well it is working since popularity seems very random.

July 2012–January 2013

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.”

(“Of Cripples”, Essays)

darcs-graph for this period (3 July 2012–2 January 2013):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2012 to 2 January 2013
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2012 to 2 January 2013

Traffic

Analytics traffic records 758,843 page views by 366,028 unique visitors over the 184 days for a daily average of 4,124.1 page-views, which is double the previous half-year average of 2,012 daily page-views; traffic growth is clearly slowing, though, since the previous half-year had quadruple the traffic compared to its predecessor. My prediction of breaking the million page-view mark came true, by a very large margin: the lifetime total page-views is now 1,568,957 page-views.

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2012
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2012

Popularity rankings have changed a bit: the Death Note essay and my sleep experiments have fallen out of the top 10 (the former because not many people are still linking it, and the latter probably because my latest experiments were relatively boring), replaced by a sidebar link and one of my terrorism-related essays:

  1. Silk Road: 491,934
  2. home/main page: 37,853
  3. Modafinil: 31,047
  4. DNB FAQ: 27,433
  5. Nootropics: 22,015
  6. Drug heuristics/Algernon’s Law: 18,991
  7. Spaced repetition: 11,693
  8. Links: 8,123
  9. About: 8,075
  10. : 7,369

I am quite surprised that my essay does not even make the top 50 pages, given that it deals with an novel thesis on which there’s many interesting things to think and which is easily misunderstood.

Donations: the ebook fell through when O’Reilly decided to cancel the entire series, which was a disappointment; Carmichael had finished her book on mood and is self-publishing, but I haven’t seen tremendous interest in sleep and will probably just roll my draft material into the existing Zeo page. Paypal donations performed outstandingly: I received $10, $25, $10, $15, $200, & $10 ($270). Bitcoiners were not so generous: \$4, \$5, & \$17 (\$26, or $21 at the 2 January 2013 Mt.Gox exchange rate).

Promotion

To Hacker News, Reddit, and LessWrong, I can add as a major referrer Wikipedia—primarily to the Silk Road article, but also to a few Evangelion-related pages. StumbleUpon has declined to the 10th largest referrer:

  1. HN: 16,886
  2. Reddit: 15,219
  3. Wikipedia: 7,531
  4. LessWrong: 6,332
  5. Facebook: 3,952
  6. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 3,733
  7. google.com: 2,649
  8. youtube.com: 1,798
  9. mainstreamlos.tumblr.com: 1,694
  10. stumbleupon.com: 1,239

I haven’t spent much time promoting my content, but improving the site with metadata & writing new content: for example, I tripled the size of my database.

2013

January 2013–July 2013

“I was decimated. To program any more would be pointless. My programs would never live as long as . A computer will never live as long as The Trial. …What if was only written for ?”

_why the lucky stiff (CLOSURE)

darcs-graph for this period (3 January 2013–2 July 2013):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2013 to 2 July 2013
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2013 to 2 July 2013

Traffic

Analytics traffic records 832,415 page-views by 422,285 unique visitors over 181 days, or 4598 page-views per day. (The lifetime total page-views has thus reached 2,403,807.) This represents ~11% growth in traffic compared to the previous 6-month period of 4,124 dailies, continuing the slowdown trend—possibly the next half-year won’t see any growth, or a decline.

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early-mid 2013
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early-mid 2013

Popularity rankings have changed: Silk Road lost a lot of Wikipedia traffic when, during an editing dispute, an administrator deleted it from their article on Silk Road, and it was only restored on 2 July. 2 new statistical essays (Death Note script & ) enter the top 10, but neither were able to dethrone Silk Road as that darknet market continued to thrive & receive media coverage:

  1. Silk Road: 396,993
  2. Modafinil: 58,856
  3. Google shutdowns: 49,907
  4. DNB FAQ: 25,979
  5. Death Note script: 25,792
  6. Nootropics: 22,702
  7. home/main page: 20,051
  8. Links: 16,789
  9. About: 14,746
  10. Spaced repetition: 11,711

Financial: this period was a remarkable period. My contracting work dried up (largely my own fault) and pressed for money, I began exploring alternatives:

  1. the easiest strategy was to turn all my Amazon links for books & nootropics & miscellaneous into affiliate links; they are already there, do not affect readers, and coding it up was as simple as appending a string to links in hakyll.hs by a simple modification of my existing code for easily linking to Wikipedia. This worked as far as it went, which was not very far ($47 in Q1 2013 and $130 Q2 2013).
  2. more painfully, I decided to try Google’s . While AdWords hadn’t been the most pleasant experience in the world, it was fairly decent, and Google’s ads always seemed reasonable to me in the search engine (before I learned of AdBlock). AdSense has scary language in its terms of service forbidding detailed discussion of revenue, but I should be safe when I say that the mean CTR was 0.17% & the mean CPC was $0.57, ~40% of visitors did not have ad filtering enabled, and so over the 80 days AdSense was enabled, I earned ~$260. Helpful, but not rent-paying.
  3. donations made the difference. After “Google shutdowns” hit the front page of Hacker News, an acquaintance mentioned I could use some money. I received $408 in 14 Paypal donations; through Bitcoin, 1.62btc (then $189) in 4 donations (followup). I am grateful to all the HNers who donated.
  4. Related to that, I was contacted in May by Nava Whiteford with an offer: he had heard my financial target of $300/month and offered that (in bitcoins) in exchange for a sponsorship/banner linking to his graphical terminal HTerm—a combination purchase/donation. This was both larger & more stable than AdSense, so I accepted, and 3 months have thus far passed.

Promotion

Wikipedia declines in this period due to the aforementioned removal, and more obscure sites become chief referrers:

  1. news.ycombinator.com: 45,186
  2. reddit.com: 34,225
  3. en.wikipedia.org: 16,527
  4. lesswrong.com: 11,177
  5. Twitter: 6,717
  6. facebook.com: 5,675
  7. mainstreamlos.tumblr.com: 5,576
  8. boingboing.net: 4,982
  9. motherboard.vice.com: 4,496
  10. bulletproofexec.com: 4,336

July 2013–January 2014

“The great globe reels in the solar fire, / Spinning the trivial and unique away. / (How all things flash! How all things flare!) / …Time is the school in which we learn / Time is the fire in which we burn…”

(“Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day”)

darcs-graph for this period (3 July 2013–2 January 2014):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2013 to 2 January 2014
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2013 to 2 January 2014

Traffic

Analytics traffic records 770,264 page-views by 340,104 unique visitors over 184 days, or 4186 page-views per day. (Lifetime total: 3,173,172 page-views by 1,472,606 unique visitors.) Since the previous period was 4598/day, that means traffic fell by ~9%. (Traffic would have fallen even more if I hadn’t happened to be engaged in a successful campaign of Hacker News submissions at the time.) My guess is that this is largely attributable to the fall of Silk Road in early October rendering my page of much less interest, and that was one of my most popular pages. It was inevitable, really, but I had hoped SR would last more than <3 years. Traffic may fall or increase during the next period.

Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), mid-late 2013
Plot of page-hits (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), mid-late 2013

This rebalancing is evident in the traffic rankings, where SR is still #1 and bigger than #2 (Modafinil), but by a much smaller factor this time (1.26x rather than 6.66x):

  1. Silk Road: 80,233
  2. Modafinil: 63,966
  3. home/main page: 65,203
  4. Melatonin: 50,952
  5. : 36,573
  6. Spaced repetition: 35768
  7. : 26,825
  8. Nicotine: 25,370
  9. DNB FAQ: 23,169
  10. Nootropics: 20,883

My finances continued to improve in part due to Whiteford, additional donations (I explored Flattr & Gratipay; the latter seems to be working out better), another more-targeted banner on the modafinil page, and a major appreciation in Bitcoin. (Takes a real load off me.) I thank all my donators. I think the results show in my .

Promotion

  1. reddit.com: 148,940
  2. news.ycombinator.com: 84,163
  3. lesswrong.com: 41,511
  4. en.wikipedia.org: 31,967
  5. facebook.com: 20,394
  6. t.co [Twitter]: 19,628
  7. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 16,808
  8. bulletproofexec.com: 11,135
  9. google.com [Google+?]: 10,154
  10. mainstreamlos.tumblr.com: 10,128

Interestingly, despite my Hacker News experiment (which resulted in dozens of my pages reaching its main page), news.ycombinator.com is still beaten out traffic-wise by Reddit, by a huge factor (almost double).

2014

January–July 2014

“A courteous handsome young man / well-versed in the Classics and Histories / people address him sir / everyone calls him a scholar / but he hasn’t found a position yet / and he doesn’t know how to farm / in winter he wears a tattered robe / this is how books fool us”

(#28, The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain)

Activity graph5 for this period (3 January 2014–2 July 2014):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January to July 2014
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January to July 2014

Traffic

Analytics traffic records 370,592 page-views by 162,032 unique visitors over 181 days, or 2047 page-views per day. (Lifetime total: 3,544,489 page-views by 1,628,173 unique visitors.) Since the previous period was 4186/day, that means traffic fell by a disastrous ~50%, defeating my hopes that traffic might recover post-Silk-Road & Hacker News experiment

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early-mid 2014
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early-mid 2014

The traffic rankings show a continue in the plummet of SR, and its dethroning by Modafinil and even the index page, while hosting some early Satoshi Nakamoto drew considerable interest & my page was surprisingly linked on Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution blog:

  1. Modafinil: 54,992
  2. home/main page: 43,984
  3. Silk Road: 27,998
  4. Spaced repetition: 27,680
  5. DNB FAQ: 17,833
  6. Nootropics: 15,935
  7. Mistakes: 15,267
  8. Nicotine: 11,936
  9. : 9,827
  10. : 9,391

On the plus side, it’s hard to see how traffic could fall much more.

Finance-wise, Gratipay has worked out much better than I expected. I thank all my donators.

Promotion

Hacker News turns out to no longer show up in the referrals analytics due to stripping referrals (apparently related to HTTPS use?), which is unfortunate; I suspect other sites are also “going dark”, given that the numbers are more than halving:

  1. reddit.com: 24,176
  2. marginalrevolution.com: 5,695
  3. bulletproofexec.com: 5,504
  4. disqus.com: 4,051
  5. lesswrong.com: 3,954
  6. longecity.org: 3,051
  7. Twitter: 2,771
  8. boldanddetermined.com: 2,54
  9. vice.com: 1,812
  10. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 1,625

I also began ; with 300 people on it, it doesn’t seem to make a big difference to traffic but it’s a good way to curate my links and non-gwern.net writings, and may be quite useful.

July 2014–January 2015

“Writing is in itself a joy, / Yet saints and sages have long since held it in awe.”

“For it is being, created from a void; / It is sound rung out of profound silence. / In a sheet of paper is contained the infinite, / And, evolved from an inch-sized heart, an endless panorama.”

Lu Chi’s (section 4, ‘The Joy of Writing’, of “The Art of Writing”).

Activity graph6 for this period (3 July 2014–2 January 2015):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2014 to January 2015
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2014 to January 2015

Traffic: Late 2014

Analytics traffic records 347,482 page-views by 154,599 unique visitors over the 184 days, or 1888 page-views per day for a daily drop of 159 compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 3,891,971 page-views by 1,778,197 unique visitors.) This drop is not nearly as bad before, and may represent a bottom.

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2014
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2014

Page rankings:

  1. Modafinil: 44,420
  2. home/main page: 41,499
  3. Nootropics: 41,499
  4. Silk Road: 21,863
  5. Spaced repetition: 17,620
  6. Causality: 15,396
  7. DNB FAQ: 14,463
  8. : 11,313
  9. Nicotine: 9,804
  10. Links: 8,823

Silk Road declines a little more; the Wei Dai/Satoshi Nakamoto emails & Mistakes pages drop out after their moments in the limelight; and we see 2 new entries: I wrote a statistical essay on quantifying how often correlation ≠ causality (a topic of burning importance in almost any health-related research), and an older cryptography essay became abruptly more relevant when one of my proposals was implemented using Bitcoin.

Gratipay continues to work well, and I am grateful for all my donators.

Promotion: Late 2014

I did minimal active promotion of my content, letting my AdWords credit be used up and not spending much effort on Reddit or Hacker News,

Confusingly, HN is back in my referrals:

  1. reddit.com: 27,182
  2. news.ycombinator.com: 18,420
  3. lesswrong.com: 4,583
  4. Twitter: 3,559
  5. slatestarcodex.com: 2,327
  6. Longecity: 2,143
  7. bulletproofexec.com: 2,123
  8. boldanddetermined.com: 1,488
  9. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 1,346
  10. disqus.com: 1,276

My continued, having reached 456 subscribers.

2015

January 2015–July 2015

‘“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never never forget!” “You will, though”, the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”’

Lewis Carroll ()

Activity graph for this period (3 January 2015–2 July 2015):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2015 to July 2015
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2015 to July 2015

Traffic: Early 2015

Analytics traffic records 378,580 page-views by 175,303 unique visitors over the 181 days, or 2091 page-views per day for a daily increase of +203 compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 4,270,551 page-views by 1,949,700 unique visitors.) This is better than the previous drop but may be due mostly to some additional spikes from HN.

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2015
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2015

Page rankings:

  1. Modafinil: 48,259
  2. home/main page: 48,614
  3. : 20,312
  4. Spaced repetition: 17,522
  5. DNB FAQ: 16,076
  6. Silk Road: 15,116
  7. LSD microdosing: 13,673
  8. Nicotine: 9,804
  9. Links: 9,234
  10. Death Note Anonymity: 9,234

The new entry here, “DNM arrests”, is a long-term project in which I compile all the several hundred known and inferable arrests/prosecutions related to Silk Road 1 and its successor DNMs; it can be very difficult to find details for individual cases (often requiring hours reading court documents for a key detail) or keep track of them, and only recently was I able to clear out my backlog and present it to the community. But it’s useful in giving people an authoritative idea of the risks and what people are arrested for, and I’m pleased to see that it’s being read & consulted. “LSD microdosing” seems to be getting more traffic due to some recent media coverage of the idea and people linking to my writeup as (still) the only blinded self-experiment on the topic.

Gratipay, unfortunately, has been forced to change due to financial regulations and is no longer useful for donations. It had a good run but I will probably be switching to Patreon.

Promotion: Early 2015

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content.

  1. reddit.com: 27,783
  2. news.ycombinator.com: 11,538
  3. lesswrong.com: 3,264
  4. Twitter (t.co): 2,700
  5. Slate Star Codex: 2,357
  6. Longecity: 1,871
  7. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 1,403
  8. Deep Dot Web: 1,226
  9. rs.io: 1,197
  10. Facebook: 1,148

My monthly mailing list has reached 606 subscribers.

July 2015–January 2016

“We will never run out of things to program as long as there is a single program around.”

( 1982)

Activity graph for this period (3 July 2015–3 January 2016):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2015 to January 2016
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2015 to January 2016

Traffic: Late 2015

Analytics traffic records 472,244 page-views by 400,305 unique visitors over the 185 days, or 2552 page-views per day for a daily increase of +461 compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 4,742,795 page-views by 2,191,138 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2015
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2015

Page rankings:

  1. Modafinil: 67,152
  2. home/main page: 50708
  3. : 44,164
  4. : 23,879
  5. LSD microdosing: 22,078
  6. : 20,581
  7. DNM arrests: 18,524
  8. Nootropics: 15,709
  9. Terrorism is not about Terror: 15,223
  10. Spaced repetition: 14,903
  11. DNB FAQ: 13,954
  12. Silk Road: 11,606

The new entry here, “DNM archives”, is the culmination of my DNM work: mirrors/scrapes of dozens of markets, along with all sorts of archives and datasets related to the DNMs, covering years of market activity (1.2tb in total, to give an idea of scope). The other 2 surprises were a tutorial on how to set up char-rnn on an Amazon EC2 instance and train it to generate remarkably valid CSS (suggesting that it may be possible to train a reinforcement-learning deep neural network to design the visual appearance of websites and optimize the appearance based on visitor experiments), and an old little compilation I made of things exhibiting Turing-completeness which I found bizarre or surprising or disturbing (which naturally led to a lot of nitpicking and debate over definitions).

My Patreon profile, set up after I was forced out of Gratipay, has been a smashing success, with generally ~$300/month in donations.

Promotion: Late 2015

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content.

  1. news.ycombinator.com: 51,256
  2. reddit.com: 25,479
  3. Twitter (t.co): 7,748
  4. Slate Star Codex: 3,166
  5. Facebook: 3,044
  6. lesswrong.com: 3,035
  7. Disqus: 2,042
  8. Bullet Proof Exec: 1,931
  9. Longecity: 1,887
  10. Wired: 1,854

(I have no idea why Facebook traffic increased so much, since the referrers are useless.)

My monthly mailing list has reached 857 subscribers.

2016

January 2016–July 2016

“It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.”

William Faulkner (1950 Nobel Prize speech)

Activity graph for this period (4 January 2016–3 July 2016):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2016 to July 2016
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2016 to July 2016

Traffic: Early 2016

Analytics traffic records 294,009 page-views by 141,795 unique visitors over the 182 days, or 1615 page-views per day for a daily decrease of 937 compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 5,036,804 page-views by 2,329,713 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2016
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2016

Page rankings:

  1. homepage/index: 35,673
  2. Modafinil: 33,928
  3. LSD microdosing: 21,712
  4. DNM arrests: 14,322
  5. Spaced repetition: 14,044
  6. Nootropics: 12,117
  7. DNB FAQ: 10,983
  8. Silk Road: 7,654
  9. About: 6,642
  10. Links: 6,410

My Patreon profile continues to be a success.

Promotion: Early 2016

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content.

  1. Reddit: 17,792
  2. Facebook: 4119
  3. Twitter: 2,572
  4. HN: 2,518
  5. Slate Star Codex: 2,467
  6. LessWrong: 2,135
  7. Longecity: 1,555
  8. rs.io: 1,440
  9. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 1,035
  10. MetaFilter: 1,018

My monthly mailing list has reached 1053 subscribers.

July 2016–January 2017

“With the people of the past / How I wish I could share the beauty / Of these cherry blossoms. // Have each of us across the years / Left behind this very thought?”

(“Shogaku Hyakushu”, 1181 AD, trans. Bundy 1990)

Activity graph for this period (4 July 2016–3 January 2017):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2016–January 2017
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2016–January 2017

Traffic: Late 2016

Analytics traffic records 339,529 page-views by 172,203 unique visitors over the 184 days, or 1845 page-views per day for a daily increase of 230 compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 5,376,333 page-views by 2,499,949 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2016
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2016

Page rankings:

  1. Nootropics: 43,266
  2. index/main page: 39,161
  3. Spaced repetition: 26,965
  4. Modafinil: 26,849
  5. DNM arrests: 16,279
  6. LSD microdosing: 12,943
  7. DNB FAQ: 10,501
  8. : 8,026
  9. In Defense of Inclusionism: 7,037
  10. Links: 6,677

My Patreon profile has largely leveled off at a constant $310.

Promotion: Late 2016

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content.

  1. HN: 42,341

    Traffic was driven primarily by a few big HN submissions by other people.

  2. Reddit: 16,151

  3. Twitter: 4,915

  4. Facebook: 4,702

  5. rs.io: 1,585

  6. Longecity: 1,175

  7. thethirdwave.co: 1,171

  8. DuckDuckGo search: 990

  9. brainworkshop.sourceforge.net: 912

  10. Wikipedia: 794

My monthly mailing list has reached 1212 subscribers, up ~200.

2017

January 2017–July 2017

“Authors write things down so as to have to think of them less.”

Activity graph for this period (4 January 2017–3 July 2017):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2017–July 2017
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2017–July 2017

Traffic: Early 2017

Analytics traffic records 228,652 page-views by 112,814 unique visitors over the 181 days, or 1263 page-views per day for a daily decrease of 582 visits compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 5,604,985 page-views by 2,609,657 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2017
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2017

Page rankings:

  1. Modafinil: 16,980
  2. Spaced repetition: 14,484
  3. LSD microdosing: 13,394
  4. DNB FAQ: 10,145
  5. : 9,760
  6. Nootropics: 9,309
  7. DNM arrests: 8,148
  8. Silk Road: 6,456
  9. Links: 5,668
  10. About: 5,176

Aside from a critical exegesis of “Story Of Your Life” (prompted by its successful movie adaptation), I spent much of early 2017 tweaking gwern.net and working on unpopular statistics projects (particularly , which though thorough and highly educational for myself, like , will never be popular reading). In late 2017, I hope to finish up many draft or in-progress works, which may help maintain traffic.

After rewriting & including social proof & tweeting, my Patreon profile has increased to $600.

Promotion: Early 2017

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content. Referrals:

  1. HN: 10,881 (“Story Of Your Life” was an unexpected hit)
  2. Reddit: 9,538
  3. Twitter: 3,702
  4. Facebook: 2,274
  5. LessWrong: 1,568
  6. Slate Star Codex: 1,462
  7. rs.io: 1,315
  8. Longecity: 1,071
  9. Brain Workshop: 861
  10. DuckDuckGo: 820

My monthly mailing list has reached 1419 subscribers, up ~207.

July 2017–January 2018

“It is only the attempt to write down your ideas that enables them to develop.”

Wittgenstein to Drury (Recollections of Wittgenstein, Rhees 1984)

Activity graph for this period (4 July 2017–3 January 2018):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2017–January 2018
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2017–January 2018

Traffic: Late 2017

Analytics traffic records 326,852 page-views by 155,532 unique visitors over the 184 days, or 1776 page-views per day for a daily increase of 513 visits compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 5,931,837 page-views by 2,763,402 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2017
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2017

Page rankings (somewhat scrambled due to the big renaming and GA not merging analytics across URLs):

  1. index: 43,863
  2. : 20,013
  3. Modafinil: 14,340
  4. DNM arrests: 14,115
  5. : 13,808
  6. DNB FAQ: 13,650
  7. : 11,401
  8. Spaced repetition: 12,428
  9. : 11,150
  10. Nootropics: 7,615

My A/B test of banner ads turned in an unexpected result of substantial harm, which was of considerable general interest (especially to anyone who runs an ad-supported website), so no surprise that had a lot of traffic. I wrote off the obscure neural net/tank story years ago after some cursory investigation showed it had all the classic traits of an urban legend; but it has kept coming up, and at Anders Sandberg’s request, I wrote it up in considerably more detail, and was surprised that people took such an interest in it and even defended it as probably genuine, in the absence of all evidence—I guess people like debunkings? The final oddity was the resurgence of my old essay on an extremely obscure bit of US historical trivia, that it had tried to acquire Greenland in the early Cold War, where I noted that Denmark’s refusal was a costly one; I don’t know why anyone was reading it, but I was annoyed at the idiotic objections people made, typically either pure fantasy, already refuted like the many suggestions that Greenland oil would yet pay off, or illogical virtue signaling—ironically demonstrating my point. (Considerable effort invested in defining hundreds of redirects for 404 errors didn’t pay off as people kept discovering ever new ways to misspell URLs, but it did allow me to rename pages without destroying traffic by breaking most incoming links, switching from spaces to hyphens in order to idiot-proof them.)

My Patreon profile has increased to $700.

Promotion: Late 2017

As before, I did minimal active promotion of my content. Referrals:

  1. HN: 26,112
  2. Reddit: 10,715
  3. Marginal Revolution: 8,064
  4. Twitter: 7,111
  5. Slate Star Codex: 5,906
  6. Facebook: 2228
  7. LessWrong: 1,547
  8. The Browser: 1,057 (this would have been higher if The Browser had not carelessly broken its URL due to the space-escaping issue, which prompted my site-wide renaming)
  9. Duck Duck Go: 782
  10. Longecity: 777

My monthly mailing list has reached 1786 subscribers, up ~367.

2018

January 2018–July 2018

“People will have their miracles, their stories, their heroes and heroines and saints and martyrs and divinities to exercise their gifts of affection, admiration, wonder, and worship, and their Judases and devils to enable them to be angry and yet feel that they do well to be angry. Every one of these legends is the common heritage of the human race; and there is only one inexorable condition attached to their healthy enjoyment, which is that no one shall believe them literally. The reading of stories and delighting in them made Don Quixote a gentleman: the believing them literally made him a madman who slew lambs instead of feeding them.”

(A Touchstone For Dogma)

Activity graph for this period (4 January 2018–3 July 2018):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2018–July 2018
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January 2018–July 2018

Traffic: Early 2018

Analytics traffic records 329,057 page-views by 148,481 unique visitors over the 181 days, or 1818 page-views per day for a daily increase of 42 pageviews a day compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 6,236,345 page-views by 2,945,757 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2018
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2018

Page rankings:

  1. index: 43,535
  2. : 29,755
  3. Modafinil: 16,339
  4. DNB FAQ: 15,922
  5. Spaced repetition: 15,599
  6. : 10,531
  7. Nootropics: 8,020
  8. Links: 7,105
  9. DNM arrests: 6,707
  10. Death Note Anonymity: 6,464

“Laws of Tech: Commoditize Your Complement” is based on an old Joel Spolsky essay I found insightful and to explain a lot of puzzling behaviors in Silicon Valley, so I was surprised when, during my SF trip, no one who I mentioned it to in discussions of technology had heard of it; I returned resolved to try to promote it some more by re-emphasizing it and collating a list of examples so no one could fail to see the pattern, and I believe I succeeded. The launch of Danbooru2017 was less satisfying. I kept running into difficulties and delays, most associated with how to format the metadata (provided in a not-too-useful JSON format)—indeed, I had expected to launch it in April 2017 and build my deep learning workstation in December 2017. Instead, it wasn’t until February 2018 that I gave up on the metadata, reasoning that I was letting the perfect be the enemy of better, and until July 2018 that I finished building my workstation with 2 GPUs (after 2 dead motherboards, among other problems). There have been somewhere around 200 downloads of the dataset as far as I can extrapolate from the torrent client upload & rsync logs, but thus far I only know of 1 serious use of it (a CycleGAN paper). I remain hopeful that uses will gradually increase over the next few years, the way they did for my darknet market dataset; in any case, I’ve begun working on some uses of Danbooru2017 myself.

My Patreon profile decreased to $670.

Promotion: Early 2018

Referrals:

  1. HN: 13,533
  2. Reddit: 6,686
  3. Twitter: 6,529
  4. Slate Star Codex: 6,246
  5. Facebook: 2,830
  6. adme.ru: 2,414
  7. Android Google Search: 788
  8. The Browser: 562
  9. 4chan: 523
  10. Duck Duck Go: 521

My monthly mailing list has reached 2183 subscribers, up ~307. By crossing the 2000 subscriber mark, MailChimp disabled my account and began charging ~$30 a month to send out a single newsletter; as it’s a little hard for me to justify spending anywhere up to $400/year on my newsletter, which I don’t directly make any money on, I had to stop using MailChimp. after looking around some, I switched to TinyLetter, which oddly enough is also run by MailChimp but doesn’t have that arbitrary subscriber limit (though it lacks many features of MailChimp proper).

July 2018–January 2019

“Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?”

Samuel Johnson (, 1755)

Activity graph for this period (4 July 2018–3 January 2019):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2018–January 2019
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2018–January 2019

Traffic: Late 2018

Analytics traffic records 407,395 page-views by 185,141 unique visitors over the 184 days, or 2214 page-views per day for an increase of 396 pageviews a day compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 6,638,722 page-views by 3,113,460 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2018
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2018

Page rankings:

  1. index: 50,849
  2. : 27,241
  3. Turing-complete: 26,662
  4. Notes: (for /): 17,706
  5. Spaced repetition: 14,471
  6. Modafinil: 13,958
  7. “Bitcoin Is Worse Is Better”: 13,169
  8. DNB FAQ: 10,344
  9. Links: 9,729
  10. Drug heuristics/Algernon’s Law: 9,724
  11. And honorable mentions for the new pages which almost made it to the top 10 (#13) despite being released mid-way December 2018, and (on cat psychology, genetics, domestication, & dysgenics) at #21.

I was disappointed that two of my new ones had little or no interest ( & ), and that Danbooru2017, despite its use in the impressive , saw little uptake. Maybe Danbooru2018 will do better.

My Patreon profile increased to $835.

Promotion: Late 2018

Referrals saw some unusual changes:

  1. HN: 37,603
  2. Twitter: 10,909
  3. Reddit: 6,046
  4. Slate Star Codex: 4,479
  5. Facebook: 1,389
  6. Github: 1,209
  7. CoinMarketCap: 1,115
  8. TinyLetter: 1,089
  9. : 795
  10. LessWrong: 782

My monthly mailing list has reached 2753 subscribers, up ~570.

2019

January 2019–July 2019

“You think you know when you learn, are more sure when you can write, even more when you can teach, but certain when you can program.”

( 1982)

Activity graph for this period (4 January 2019–2 July 2019):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January–July 2019
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): January–July 2019

Traffic: Early 2019

Analytics traffic records 653,876 page-views by 325,842 unique visitors over the 181 days, or 3612 page-views per day for an increase of 1398 pageviews a day compared to the previous six months. (Lifetime total: 7,286,760 page-views by 3,431,759 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2019
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), early 2019

Page rankings:

  1. site writeup: 95,635
  2. index: 97,767
  3. Danbooru2018: 30,936
  4. Complement: 28,165
  5. Spaced-repetition: 26,846
  6. : 20,368
  7. tutorial: 17,616
  8. Links: 14,594
  9. Modafinil: 14,488
  10. About: 14,057
  11. : 11,738

The main event in early 2019 was the release of the StyleGAN codebase, which I immediately began using to generate anime faces; it worked even better than I hoped, creating amusing 512px anime faces in a fraction of the time of ProGAN. For a lark, in February I created a simple little static website, to show off random face samples, which then went viral, quickly receiving over a million visits (mostly from China). I enhanced TWDNE with additional StyleGAN improvements and anime plot summaries generated by , and wrote up and the as tutorials, which benefit from the still-considerable traffic and have been useful to many people training their own StyleGANs.

My Patreon profile was steady at $838.

Promotion: Early 2019

Referrals changed dramatically, driven mostly by TWDNE:

  1. thiswaifudoesnotexist.net: 75,707
  2. news.ycombinator.com: 34,761
  3. t.co: 12,744
  4. reddit.com: 7,993
  5. slatestarcodex.com: 4,754
  6. m.facebook.com: 2,476
  7. link.zhihu.com: 1,886
  8. github.com: 1,746
  9. mail01.tinyletterapp.com: 1,342
  10. old.reddit.com: 1,164

My monthly mailing list has reached 3559 subscribers, up ~806.

July 2019–January 2020

“Editing is a rewording activity.”

( 1982)

Activity graph for this period (3 July 2019–2 January 2020):

Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2019–Jan 2020
Plot of patch creations (y-axis) versus date (x-axis): July 2019–Jan 2020

Traffic: Late 2019

Analytics traffic records 715,601 page-views by 349,472 unique visitors over the 184 days, or 3889 page-views per day for an increase of 277 page-views a day compared to the previous 6 months. This is inflated by hosting various HTML archives, particularly the which I need for my —taking that out, net traffic appears to have decreased. (Lifetime total: 8,004,312 page-views by 3,814,522 unique visitors.)

Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2019
Plot of page-views (y-axis) versus date (x-axis), late 2019

Page rankings (excluding hosted pages):

  1. index: 50,757 + 28,276
  2. TWDNE: 44,335
  3. Death Note Anonymity: 27,006
  4. Greenland: 22,887
  5. Faces: 21,124
  6. About: 15,678
  7. Spaced repetition: 14,918
  8. Links: 14,231
  9. Modafinil: 14,229
  10. Danbooru2018: 14,121
  11. DNB FAQ: 10,368

None of the 7 new pages or 5 new long sections were major traffic successes (as much as I was fond of some like or ); I continued several -related projects, but they didn’t finish before 2020. Site design was a major focus of my efforts during this period, and I’m pleased with the suite of new popup tools & new margin notes features;

My Patreon profile was up to $884.

Promotion: Late 2019

Referrals remained similar:

  1. TWDNE: 29,075
  2. HN: 25,630
  3. Twitter: 10,911
  4. Reddit: 4,516
  5. SlateStarCodex: 4,040
  6. Facebook: 3,841
  7. wykop.pl: 3,400
  8. Github: 1,905
  9. Alexey Guzey: 1,381
  10. link.zhihu.com: 1,083

My monthly mailing list has reached 4347 subscribers, up 788.


  1. Anecdotally, the rankings seem correct. When I went to a LessWrong meetup in California, many knew of or had read the DNB FAQ, some had read or used my modafinil price-chart, and few remembered reading anything else.↩︎

  2. I am sometimes reminded of another waka, by Ikkyu:

    To write something and leave it behind us,
    Is but a dream.
    When we awake we know
    There is not even anyone to read it.

    ↩︎
  3. They spend an average of 27 seconds; in comparison, my second largest source of traffic, LessWrongers, average 3 minutes and 29 seconds; even my third largest traffic source, Redditers, manage almost 2 minutes. Even random people coming from Google manage to spend 44 seconds on their visit!↩︎

  4. It ultimately fell through as O’Reilly decided the QS moment had passed, and killed the series.↩︎

  5. Since I converted the repo to use git, darcs-graph was no longer available, so I wrote my own script in R using splines rather than a 7-day moving average:

    ↩︎
  6. I rewrote the script a little to use the nicer plots of ggplot2 and switches to LOESS for the smoothed curve:

    ↩︎