Muschamp Rd

Another Year in the Blogosphere

January 10th, 2018

Back in 1995 when I went to a presentation on how to put up my own website at UVIC, I’m not sure I planned to still be maintaining HTML by hand over 20 years later. At the moment, I don’t have much time to keep up with cutting edge web technologies or the latest search engine optimization techniques, but I’ve got something all these influencers and experts lack, data, years and years of data.

Now I don’t do much with this data but at the end of every year I try to take a fresh look at Google Analytics and whole heap of other statistics and metrics that I can get out of various websites and present it for your amusement. Muskblog has been online since 2005, a very ill-fated year. My blog indeed, all my blogs used to be more popular, but I still have some content that must rank well for various keywords and every now and then someone discovers a post or page and shares it on social networks. Here is my dashboard for 2017: 2017 Google Analytics Dashboard

Dubious Popularity

As you can see if you click for the bigger version the most popular post on this blog remains one I wrote against my better judgement after it was requested by someone on Twitter. Who knew I knew something about Excel spreadsheets for entrepreneurial ventures, it’s not like that wasn’t the focus of my MBA, oh wait it was. My second most popular posting was yet more Excel spreadsheets this time for the benefit of CFA® Candidates worldwide seeking yet more study materials. In third place and painfully ironic for someone who spent as much time unemployed in Vancouver as myself is a somewhat accurate listing of the largest employers in Vancouver.

CFA Posts are PopularMy Top 10 Blog Posts actually written in 2017

Although 1000s of people read my most popular blog postings, none of them were written in 2017. Last year the most popular posting on this blog, actually written in 2017, was of course about the CFA exam, but hurting my self marketing, not the one about me actually passing the Level 2 exam. Oh well, maybe another year of being my pinned tweet will help it get a few more pageviews.

Despite being stuck behind the Great Firewall, I maintain multiple blogs. I didn’t update my miniature painting blog once, as I’m still living in Shanghai, and my miniatures and paints are not in China. I did see some painted GW miniatures at the Shanghai Comic Con however.

The blog I update the most is actually my collection of CFA Flashcards. I probably should be studying now and this could be my last non-CFA blog post for a while, but I wanted to at least update this blog for the New Year. WordPress especially on has definitely gotten bloated, I notice waiting for all kinds of ads and tracking scripts to load now.

Social Media Popularity

Although WeChat is King in China, I actually am still active on a number of other social media networks many of which offer their own analytics and stats. The social network that sent this blog the most traffic was Facebook, then Twitter, then StackOverflow which shows you how much time I spent on StackOverflow in 2017. StackOverflow still sends traffic to my web mashup code even though I haven’t had the time or determination to update it in a while.

The Most Popular Quotation

The most popular quotation, likely because I myself shared it at an opportune time was this one from one of my favourite Clint Eastwood movies when I was a kid. I don’t particularly care what my most popular tweet or pin was, though I continue to use these social networks much more than Facebook. I generally pin and tweet content from other websites.


One social network I spent a lot of time on in 2017, likely looking for fitspiration, was Instagram, so I give you my #2017BestNine:

Flickr > Instagram

I wish the include code for Instagram was less nasty, there probably is a WordPress shortcode I could be using, but I still upload my best photos, i.e. my non-selfies to Flickr when I feel like a battling the Great Firewall but nothing I’ve ever uploaded has come close to the popularity of the one loyalist Space Marine I’ve painted in the last decade or so: Inquisitor Scale Space Marine

Ironically some of my beer photos have moved into third and fourth place, they must be rare brews indeed. I of course upload my beer photos to Untappd but I also upload the best of them to Flickr.

Listened to on

The final social network I consulted prior to writing this post was It may be passé but I use it as part of my web mashup codebase and having lost play counts due to hard drive failures I use it to track and share my music listening habits. Now Apple has once again built social aspects into iTunes but I’ve so far refused to share my decades worth of carefully curated and created playlists. I was however curious who I listened to the most in 2017 and was somewhat surprised to learn it was the London Theatre Orchestra. I bought a compilation or two by them on iTunes, as I wanted background music with no lyrics for my studies, so I turned to movie soundtracks and scores. The rest of my most popular artists included:

  • Murder By Death
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Neil Young
  • Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
  • Danny Gatton

Needless to say you should give them all a listen. I’m pretty sure ‘scrobbles’ a.k.a plays get lost or double counted in but according to their app, the song I listened to the most in 2017 was a blast from the past, in fact all my most popular songs in 2017 are old due to the way my smart playlists work. Faith No More actually got back together but their most popular song may still be “Epic”.

Update: I suspected there was a bug, says I listened to this song 52 times in one day, I’m going out on a limb and saying I did not.

Do Carousels Work on Mobile?

Muskblog looks like this on an iPhoneAlthough I’ve only published one blog post all year, I’ve still been forced to spend too much time on this blog and website this year due to server moves and intellectual property theft and overzealous online marketers spamming me with requests to link to them. During all this I gave some more thought as to why certain older posts are so popular and I wondered if it was to do with the rise of the mobile web. At some point during my never ending job search I overhauled my website yet again to make it more modern including using WPTouch and slowly editing old content to make it work better on mobile devices like phones and tablets with smaller screens.

Quality and Timelessness Matter

When I set up WPTouch I carefully looked up the post IDs to posts I wanted to feature in the carousel on my blogs homepage. Sure enough these featured posts which also appear to the right as “Greatest Hits” on desktop computers are among my most popular posts in 2017. I still think they are pretty good posts so I don’t mind them getting read more often. Hopefully in 2018 I can write some more high quality posts. I’ll probably write two posts in April then just focus on my CFA studies until June 23rd after which I’ll probably blog more about my CFA exam experience and the materials I studied.

I must leverage my blog more

If I still don’t have a new job by July I’ll probably seek to leverage this blog and my other blogs even more in my job search. Hopefully writing and passing the Level 3 CFA exam will finally prove their shortsightedness to whoever is doubting me and refusing to give me an opportunity. Of course by that time it will be way too late, there are definitely companies I do not want to apply to work at anymore.

If you have any thoughts on blogging better or what passes for popularity in the blogosphere you can leave a comment below.

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Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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