2014: The Rest of Things

December 31, 2014 In The News, Personal Comments (0) 549

Popular consensus seems to be that 2014 was just the worst. We had ISIS, Russia invading Ukraine, Ebola, Police assassinations, Gamergate, disappearing airplanes, the GOP taking over Congress and most of the states, and assorted other horribleness. I certainly can’t argue with any of that, but it also strikes me that things seem worse because of the way our culture is evolving: There’s always something terrible happening somewhere, and we now have more ways than ever to bring those terrible things into our homes.

To illustrate, take Slate’s fabulous “Year of Outrage.” It’s a great piece, and outrage has certainly become the steam that fills the Internet’s tangled tubes, but their methodology presumes a new outrage each day, whether that outrage consists of millions of raised voices, or just a few hundred. I’m not sure whether the core problem is that Internet though-leaders are constantly manufacturing outrage, or that readers sign on not wondering “what’s happening in the world today,” but, “what should I be angry about today?”

At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I doubt it’s healthy for any human psyche for the individual to rate his or her quality of life based on everything that’s happening worldwide. So while I sympathize with the families of those harmed by all the horribleness, I have to say that 2014 was a pretty good year for Yours Truly. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of the year’s highlights–all positive–in no particular order. Continue Reading

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2014 Blog Wrapup

December 31, 2014 Blogging, Personal Comments (0) 404

I went a little crazy experimenting with a lot of different channels in 2014, and it ended up being the quietest year around here since 2010. I suspect these two things may be related. I’m not going to lie: a 67% drop in traffic incites a little panic in me, but I have to remind myself that I blog for my own enjoyment, and not for commercial gain.

My Top 5 Posts

  1. Breaking Bad Outside the US
  2. The Myth of the Brown Recluse Spider Bite
  3. True Detective Finale / Will the Yellow King Return?
  4. The demons within the walls
  5. In case you’d like to debate about yesterday’s cartoon

Of my top five posts in 2014, only two were written in 2014. Two are tied in with the Breaking Bad cartoon that went viral last September, and one (the fourth) is my perennial traffic-driver. This is the first year it’s been overtaken by anything other than the Breaking Bad cartoon, which is interesting (to me, at least).


I had a little over 28,000 visitors in 2014, or about 77 folks a day who stopped by this site. Last year, that number was closer to 234 visitors per day, or about 85,000 visitors in total.

In truth, my blog traffic has generally been dropping over the last seven years. I think this is a general trend across blogs as an “industry,” as online communication moves more toward centralized services like Tumblr, Facebook, etc. I’ve also made decisions in the last few years that have cost me traffic–removing my early attempts to mimic Gawker and Perez with photos of half-naked celebrities (which were great for traffic, incidentally) and then purging my site of photos whose copyrights were questionable.

2013 was my biggest year, thanks to that Breaking Bad comic that went viral. Before that, my biggest year was 2009, before I moved from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog, and before I decided to commit myself to quality content and a sense of basic decency. Last year, 77% of my traffic came in September, the month I published that cartoon. Take out the top month of each year (September 2013 and March 2014) and 2014 was actually a bigger by almost 20 percent.

Is there a bottom line here, or any kind of theme? Not really. As I said, this blog is something I keep because I want to, not because I’m looking for traffic. Ultimately, my hope is this becomes a place to connect with people who are interested in my writing. We made some progress on that front in 2014… but that’s for another post.

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