2013 Stats

This blog’s third year was its most productive yet. My plan to post every other day wasn’t perfect: I threw in a few too many filler articles at times, and when I finally couldn’t keep up in August, I went a couple weeks without writing at all. But after that, I managed to keep the habit with just the occasional skipped article. That’s a pattern I hope to keep up this year. My current schedule is enough to keep me motivated, but it’s good to know I won’t force myself to post when it won’t be worthwhile.

I ended up with 165 posts for 2013, containing a total of 216 letter grades. That’s a record for me, and I doubt I’ll be able to surpass it this year. I’m learning that babies need more attention as they grow, not less, and I’m happy to make my blog a second priority to that.

Anyway, here is the grade breakdown for the past year:

2013Grades

My bell curve is a little messier than the other years. Maybe I need to be more willing to go above B+ and below C, but in general I like my approach.

For the few people who may be curious, I have further grade breakdowns and thoughts below the fold.

My biggest category this year was music, with 57 reviews:

Music I was apparently afraid to hand out B grades, and that became apparent when I was going back through my reviews to write my best-of article. It’s common for one or two B+ albums to make the cut in my best-of list, but half of the ones I gave B+s to this year were ones I’d never consider for that honor. I’d feel better about those reviews if they were Bs, and I think I might use that standard in the future: If I don’t think an album makes a plausible candidate for a year-end highlights list, it won’t get a B+.

As always, here is are my music grades broken down into three rough categories:

Rock

Pop

Country

There’s no trend worth pointing out there, except for how the lack of Bs ruins the otherwise perfect curve of my country chart.

Comics

Parenthood shook up my hobbies this year, and for somewhat arbitrary reasons, some took a bigger hit than others. My comics reading suffered the most, with about  a third of the reviews that I had in 2012. I read pretty much none in the second half of the year. That’s a pretty big drop in what had been my most common – and popular – category to write about. I am going to try to correct that this year, if for no reason other than my huge stack of bought-but-unread comics!

I should know better than to make plans like this, but I’m hoping to write three comic posts per month: One catch-up article about something I should have reviewed last year, one about comics that are new or newly-complete, and one about graphic novels (which I’ve rarely gotten around to reviewing). By the end of this year, I hope to be closer to caught up, and also to have my purchases pared down to a level I can sustain.

Books Books managed to hold steady, though, and I found a variety of good and bad ones. Best of all, it now looks like most of the people reading my reviews are actually interested in books, instead of just looking for material to copy for their school report!

I want to take this chance to point out one of my favorite articles of the past year: The Gatsby Mythos. I tried something new, and I still find it fairly amusing. If you’re actually reading this far into my annual self-indulgent post, you should check out things like that as well.

Games

While comics was my category that dropped the most, games gained the most. This year’s 43 grades were more than my previous years combined, and I also wrote plenty of essays and convention follow-ups beyond the reviews. My blog had a huge bump in readership in early July, apparently in response to my Origins wrap-ups, and games have been my most popular category since. I’ve also started getting regular traffic from people searching for “cult of the new”. I’m not sure how much of that is people looking for me specifically and how much is because that’s a common term in the board game community, but I find it gratifying either way.

I’ve enjoyed writing about games, and seeing the response from readers, so I’m now trying to post weekly on this topic. I’d also love to find time for computer games again, though that’s probably even more unrealistic than my comic-reading plans. My plan is to devote one post a month to the play-by-web board games I’ve gotten into, and otherwise mainly focus on my tabletop gaming. But if I can slip in some computer games, or at least regular iPhone articles, I’ll be very happy.

iPhone

While I’m never getting around to computer games, I do at least manage to play some on the iPhone. All but one of the apps referred to in the chart above were games. (And other than two board game apps, there’s no overlap between this chart and my game one.)

IF

After my Origins posts gave me a traffic boost in July, my IFComp writing gave me another huge one in October. Both have dropped off slightly, but I’m still going into this new year with almost twice the audience I would have predicted six months ago. Thank you to all the new readers out there.

All these interactive fiction posts were from IFComp, though. Hopefully I’ll make time for this hobby throughout 2014, instead of just October.

Movies

And finally here are my movie reviews. It was a pretty embarrassing drop-off, though from what I heard about the big blockbusters, I didn’t miss much. I don’t expect to start seeing movies regularly this year, but I should be able to do a lot better than two!

Thank you to everyone who read my blog last year. Here’s to a great 2014!

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