A Year of Blogging

Holy smokes! It has now been two years since I started this blog. It seems almost like yesterday when I posted the "A Year of Blogging" article. And now it's two! With this post I'd like to celebrate the 2nd birthday and share various interesting statistics that I managed to gather.

During this year (July 20, 2008 - July 26, 2009) I wrote 55 posts, which received around 1000 comments. According to StatCounter and Google Analytics my blog was visited by 1,050,000 unique people who viewed 1,700,000 pages. Wow, 1 million visitors! That's very impressive!

Here is a Google Analytics graph of monthly page views for the last year (click for a larger version):

Catonmat.Net Page Views Per Month (Second Year of Blogging)

In the last three months I did not manage to write much and you can see how that reflected on the page views. A good lesson to be learned is to be persistent and keep writing articles consistently.

Here is the same graph with two years of data, showing a complete picture of my blog's growth:

Catonmat.Net Page Views Per Month (Two Years of Blogging)

I like this seemingly linear growth. I hope it continues the same way the next year!

Here are the top 5 referring sites that my visitors came from:

And here are the top 5 referring blogs:

I found that just a handful of blogs had linked to me during this year. The main reason, I suspect, is that I do not link out much myself... It's something to improve upon.

If you remember, I ended the last year's post with the following words (I had only 1000 subscribers at that time):

I am setting myself a goal of reaching 5000 subscribers by the end of the next year of blogging (July 2009)! I know that this is very ambitious goal but I am ready to take the challenge!

I can proudly say that I reached my ambitious goal! My blog now has almost 7000 subscribers! If you have not yet subscribed, click here to do it!

Here is the RSS subscriber graph for the whole two years:

RSS Subscriber Count, Two Years of Blogging

Several months ago I approximated the subscriber data with an exponent function and it produced a good fit. Probably if I had continued writing articles at the same pace I did three months ago, I'd have over 10,000 subscribers now.

Anyway, let's now turn to the top 10 most viewed posts:

The article that I liked the most myself but which didn't make it to top ten was the "Set Operations in Unix Shell". I just love this Unix stuff I did there.

I am also very proud for the following three article series that I wrote:

  • 1. Review of MIT's Introduction to Algorithms course (14 parts).
  • 2. Awk One-Liners Explained (4 parts: 1, 2, 3, 4).
  • 3. Sed One-Liners Explained (3 parts: 1, 2, 3)

Finally, here is a list of ideas that I have thought for the third year of blogging:

  • Publish three e-books on Awk One-Liners, Sed One-Liners and Perl One-Liners.
  • Launch mathematics, physics and general science blog.
  • Write about mathematical foundations of cryptography and try to implement various cryptosystems and cryptography protocols.
  • Publish my review of MIT's Linear Algebra course (in math blog, so the main topic of catonmat stays computing).
  • Publish my review of MIT's Physics courses on Mechanics, Electromagnetism, and Waves (in physics blog).
  • Publish my notes on how I learned the C++ language.
  • Write more about computer security and ethical hacking.
  • Write several book reviews.
  • Create a bunch of various fun utilities and programs.
  • Create at least one useful web project.
  • Add a knowledge database to catonmat, create software to allow easy publishing to it.
  • If time allows, publish reviews of important computer science publications.

I'll document everything here as I go, so if you are interested in these topics stay with me by subscribing to my rss feed!

And to make things more challenging again, I am setting a new goal for the next year of blogging. The goal is to reach 20,000 subscribers by July 2010!

Hope to see you all on my blog again! Now it's time for this delicious cake:

Second Birthday Portal Game Cake


July 27, 2009, 16:34

Very nice. Congratulations on all of this. Keep blogging and stay cool.


-- Shlomi Fish (who has been blogging since August, 2001 - almost eight years now. :-P

July 27, 2009, 16:46

I personally came here a few times thanks to HN. You have a very ambitious goal for this year. Good luck with it. I'm sure you'll reach it.

July 27, 2009, 17:38

Congrats! Waiting to read your post on how you learned C++.

Cemo Koç Permalink
July 27, 2009, 17:40

Thanks for this wonderful blog Peter.


Cemo Koç

July 27, 2009, 17:57

Congrats, Peter! Keep up the amazing work! My goal is to be the #1 blog referrer next year ;)


Unknown Permalink
July 27, 2009, 18:13

The cake is a lie.

July 27, 2009, 18:32

I'm glad I was able to send so many readers! :)

July 27, 2009, 18:41

One statistic you left out was how much loot people bought for you from your Amazon wishlist.

July 27, 2009, 20:28

My congratulations!
(I saw your first two posts without comments :))

July 27, 2009, 22:01

Nicely done: 1 million hits and a growth pattern. My own blog shows only a quarter of that and less clear growth. Perhaps I should have picked a more popular topic!

miles o'brien Permalink
July 28, 2009, 01:41

Congrats and thanks!

July 28, 2009, 02:29

Congrat! Keep on, I have already subscribed.

July 28, 2009, 04:09


July 28, 2009, 04:24

I would like to congratz you on the great success! I'm a fellow programming blogger and know of hard it can be sometimes to get readers but it's fun sometimes.

July 28, 2009, 13:18

Wow! Thats amazing, great work Peter. Wish you more and more success.

July 29, 2009, 03:21

hey nice

July 29, 2009, 09:34

Hello, Peter! I only can congratulate you in your successes and wish you best luck in future!

milkyway Permalink
July 29, 2009, 10:30

Great blog! Your readers - and I'm one of them - are all deserved.
I'm looking forward to look at your other forthcoming projects and am pretty sure they will be as good as the work you've done so far.

Wael Permalink
July 29, 2009, 19:29

I'm a beginner in this whole Computer science domain. (Beginner at 20??)! I already learned little bit of C but I switched to Java because I want to work as soon as possible! I'm doing good progress! but I feel I need to study algorithms! Most of what I do now is quite literal! I write things as if I'm explaining them to somebody, they usually lack efficiency!
I bought the famous "The art of computer programming" Volume 1. but I come across the MIT algorithm videos right after! should I watch them first? they seem quite advanced!

July 31, 2009, 04:08

Thanks for your warm comments everyone!

July 31, 2009, 04:10

Wael, Thanks for your question. Yes, I'd recommend watching MIT algorithms first, and going through the Introduction to Algorithms textbook as you watch the lectures. I also recommend Steven Skiena's "The Algorithm Design Manual" instead of Knuth's famous "The Art of Computer Programming". The Algorithm Design Manual comes with pseudocode that helps to understand the algorithms better (and eases the implementation if you decide to try them out). Knuth's books are better used as reference rather than for learning.

July 31, 2009, 04:21

Unknown, the cake in not a lie!!!

July 31, 2009, 04:23

Eric Wendelin, thanks! That is the best goal ever! I'd love to see it realize! :)

July 31, 2009, 10:23

Congrats Peter!! I've been blogging for 4 years (on August 2nd) and you have accomplished all that in half the time! Keep it up and your blog will be paying your rent and allowing you to work full-time on your startup like mine haha.


August 05, 2009, 01:09

How did you get the number of feed subscribers? I'd like to get a number for my blog as well. Feedburner or another service?

August 05, 2009, 05:05

Paul Stamatiou, thanks!!! I'll surely keep up the work! :)

August 05, 2009, 05:05

Matt Ronge, yes it's Feedburner!

August 16, 2009, 16:52

My congratulations!

Karlsons Permalink
August 19, 2009, 14:05

hm.. one cake and 2 candles?

I would like 8 cakes and 1 candle.

October 10, 2009, 22:27

That rocks! I've only been blogging for a month or two. I really like your site. One of my favorites that was especially helpful to me is the Bit-Shifting Tricks one. I've subscribed to your feed and would enjoy it if you would write some more good posts. More on Unix-One-Liners would be good.

Gotta love Linux/Unix!

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