2011 Stats

Happy New Year, everyone! 2011 was my first year blogging, and I’m happy with how it went. Now I want to take a moment to look back on how my overall grades worked out.

Over the course of 128 posts, I assigned 184 grades. (This is for letter grades only. For example, I refrain from giving grades in my webcomics posts, and my Origins report used number grades to avoid “final” decisions.) Here is how they broke down:

That’s actually a much more consistent curve than I was afraid I would see! It looks like the grades are fairly distributed, with the average being a B/B-. I think I’m a fairly tough grader (the Bs are still recommendations, while a B- is a mild recommendation), but I also review the things that I choose to buy for myself, so it’s not surprising that I usually liked the things I chose. I expect to see this average drop slightly now that I’m becoming more comfortable with assigning lower grades, but as long as I’m choosing my own material, it shouldn’t shift much.

If you’re curious about details, I have my grades broken down by category with more commentary below the fold.

Music was my most common type of review, so the bell curve holds up pretty well here. I somewhat arbitrarily divide all my music into three categories, which have a little more variety in their charts:

It’s hard to tell if these sample sizes were big enough to show real trends. But if so, it seems that I tend to find my favorite and least favorite music in the rock category, and that I consistently like country but am hesitant to label it as great.

My second-most common category was comics. In fact, I currently have a huge backlog of these to review, and I never even started reviewing graphic novels because there were just so many. The interlocking stories and culture surrounding comics make it easy for me to stick with ones that aren’t as good. (Not to mention the habit-forming regular weekly release schedule!) So there are definitely more titles on the low end of my grading scale, but there’s also a good percentage of As and A-s. Finding those great works hidden among the disposable crap is one of the pleasures that keeps me involved in comics.

I’m a little concerned with how consistently my book reviews result in recommendations. If you take out my summary of 2010’s books, along with those choose your own adventures that I expected to be bad, my lowest grade in 2011 were two C+s. This is at least partly because books are a larger time investment for me, so I’m more likely to stick to the ones I expect to like. Still, though, I find myself in the strange position of hoping to read a few more bad books this coming year.

I also hope to read books a little more frequently. The chart above only looks respectable because I covered two years’ worth of reviews in 2011. Without that backlog, I’ll need to read more to keep the reviews frequent. (It will help that I’m going on a two-week vacation later this month. My blog posts will dwindle away during that time, but I’ll come back with several books to review. My plan is to start posting book reviews at the end of January and see how long I can keep up a weekly pace.)

I didn’t review nearly enough games. The problem is that, unlike the other things I review, I need to work with friends in order to try these out. If I dislike a CD, I’ll still stick with it long enough to decide exactly what I think about it. For games, though, I can’t really tell my friends “Hey, guys, I know no one enjoyed this, but let’s play a couple more times so I can decide whether it’s a C or a C-.” We only play the good ones repeatedly, which is why these grades are skewed towards the high end of the scale. We also jump between a lot of games, so by the time I’ve played one enough to review it, it might not feel “new” enough to warrant an article.

For 2012, I plan to lower the bar for my game reviews. I’ll try to get more written after just a few plays, and I may resort to capsule-sized round-ups for the ones that I don’t feel are “definitive” yet.

My final category was “adventure games”, which is basically just the text adventures from this year’s IF Comp, along with a single negative review for an iPhone game. It’s kind of interesting to see just how evenly spread out these grades were.

I’m not putting up a chart for movies, as I only saw a single one in theaters all year. (That surprised me, but between starting a blog and planning a wedding, some hobbies had to give out.) And while I have an iPhone category as well, I only used it twice: Once for the adventure game included in the above chart, and once for the app version of Meanwhile.

Thank you for reading my blog. (And, if anyone actually made it this far, for being hardcore enough to read through my stats.) I’m looking forward to a good 2012.

  1. January 1st, 2013

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