Muschamp Rd

First Post of 2022

January 3rd, 2022
God-Like Victory!

It has taken a while, but my traditional year end blog post was delayed along with many many Westjet flights and now I’ll probably do a shoddy job but I don’t think too many people care about my year end summary posts anyway.

Music

A lot of people on Twitter were embarrassed by their Spotify stats. I switched to Apple Music about half way through the year so I get a fancy playlist which consists mostly of songs I put on mixes for my sister and an a whole lot of MF Doom. Last.fm doesn’t seem compatible with Apple Music especially because I use the browser on my work laptop to listen to some of this, but they did send me an email, one of three companies to do so.

I don’t seem to be able to embed my 2021 Last.fm statistics but they clearly show when I bought Apple Music because I didn’t stop listening to music in July.

My music listening per Last.fm
2020 VS 2021

According to Last.fm my Top 5 artists were:

  1. Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  2. John Moreland
  3. Guy Clark
  4. Scott H. Biram
  5. Cory Branan

Special mention to East Van band Just a Season who produced my top track according to Last.fm they haven’t yet been requested at work, but they are in the queue. Let me embed their best YouTube video I can find. I watched a lot of YouTube videos in 2021.

Besides the deaths of more musicians and the continued dearth of live music the other big story for me was the death of my favourite record label. I placed one last order, even had to create a new login because they apparently changed e-commerce systems again. Still haven’t gotten those records. That’s right I mostly bought vinyl along with digital downloads and Apple Music gives me more music than I can possibly listen to, but if it isn’t on YouTube can you really share it?

Social Media

Social media is taking over the world. I spent a lot of time over the holidays at my mom’s looking at Instagram but I didn’t post. I barely use Pinterest and don’t plan on using it much in 2022. The social network I use the most is Twitter. So lets see if I can figure out my most popular tweet of 2021.

Apparently stopping using a platform affects your popularity on it, good thing I’m not trying to be popular. My Pinterest impressions went off a cliff at the start of the year and I doubt they will ever recover as the miniature painting community seems to prefer Instagram/Facebook.

My Pinterest Popularity
My popularity on Pinterest

Blogging

I didn’t blog that much in 2021, but I did spend a lot of my holidays doing what Yoast calls blog maintenance or content maintenance. I also changed webhosts in 2021 but not by choice. Now my blog and my whole website seem slower. I got them to upgrade to PHP version 7.4 so I could run the latest version of WordPress but all that does is make it slower. They want me to pay them more money for faster hosting and I might in 2022.

In 2022 I will update to the latest version of SimplePie and try to fix whatever has gone wrong, but if I can’t do it easily I may remove yet more features from my website as I just don’t have time and energy to maintain and I never wanted to write that much code in PHP anyway…

In the coming year, I’ll probably blog more over at WordPress.com, I don’t like the ads and it isn’t good for my personal branding, but that crap didn’t work for me. I’m going to make more times for my hobbies. I of course want to exercise more and I must lose weight in 2022 but I hope to paint some models and gain some Instafame.

After I published this, I read a post by Eric Sim about personal branding and blogging. His website of choice is LinkedIn not WordPress but his tips reinforced decisions I already made, to stop blogging about things like my CFA® studies which are finished and instead focus more on my hobbies. He also advised to “do interesting things offline”. Blogging about blogging remains popular, witness the last four paragraphs, but the danger of blogosphere and Twitterverse is you surround yourself with only likeminded individuals and become out of touch with the everyday. What makes you unique in 2022 isn’t that you have a blog or you use social media, it is what you choose to do with those tools.

Beer

One niche social network I continued to use in 2021 was Untappd. They sent me my year in beer. I probably drank too much during Covid, but it was Covid, you were supposed to stay home and amuse yourself, but in 2022 I’ll drink less and exercise more as I’ve just gotten too fat.

Books

Another niche social network I wrote about and have continued to use even after they got bought out by Amazon is GoodReeds. I don’t read as much as I used to unless you count Twitter. I spend too much time on Twitter and YouTube and plan to spend less in 2022 and instead read more real friggin’ books. Anyway GoodReeds sent me my year in books. But I don’t seem to be able to share it on my blog, just Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Google Analytics

I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision or a reflection on how uninterested I’ve become in online popularity, but I did not consult Google Analytics when I originally wrote this post. I did consult Google Analytics when I made updates to other portions of my web empire. As the Pinterest analytics screenshot above reveals, I’ve become proficient at becoming unpopular through inactivity or becoming to niche or unfocussed in my writing to be of interest to most.

As a longtime user of Google Analytics since the Urchin days, I have a non-typical setup which relies on an old WordPress plugin and advise from Yoast and Avinash. The service has changed a lot since the 90s. Apparently back on January 30th there was a massive swarm of bots on my website this resulted in over 90% of my annual web traffic. I’m not sure I even noticed, literally over 800,000 pages views of URLs that don’t exist. I bet my old webhost noticed that.

Bot Traffic Problem

So there are reasons to look at Google Analytics and by extension your weblogs other than vanity. Having maintained websites for over 20 years you have to deal with crap like this or hope your webhost can handle it. So lets just look at the last 11 months of traffic, according to Google Analytics today, just 66 people read anything I posted in 2021. I’m not sure how that can be true unless my lack of HTTPS is to blame. I looked at my website more than 66 times, but again I may have been smart enough not to count myself or Google was.

Looking at just my blog traffic in 2021, my most popular content was written in:

  1. 2008
  2. 2019
  3. 2011
  4. 2012
  5. 2005

Clearly Covid-19 and literally not doing anything interesting for two years affected my online popularity. Even the 2019 post was the result of investigating an old obscure Mac OS X iTunes error message. Back in 2013, I looked at 8 years of Google Analytics and back then my most popular content was miniature painting advice. This just reinforces the decision to focus on that blog in 2022.

I wonder if Google Analytics can handle going back to November 16th 2005 which I think is the day I launched this blog. That bot attack really screws up the Y axis of graphs. Looking at the data and ignoring the bot attack my top three posts of all time are pretty respectable even if I’ve managed to become less popular since apparently 2012.

Top 3 Blog Posts since 2005

  1. Excel spreadsheet for planning a new business
  2. FREE CFA® Level 1 Study Materials
  3. 30 Level 1 CFA® questions to practice

Everything Else

If there aren’t pictures, it didn’t happen. But one thing I did do during Covid while drinking all my beers and listening to all my tunes was play video games. The game I played in 2021 was Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. I was going to write a blog post about it, but then I just didn’t have the motivation or energy. I did win on the most difficult setting but I think the game has gotten easier overall, but there are so many options you can probably push the odds a lot in your favour if you wanted to.

On Twitter they had a contest to choose the best empire and leader but the one I think might be the best and the one I won on Deity difficulty level didn’t even get invited to the popularity contest. That tells you all you need to know about my gaming style, I play the least popular most niche characters and win in my own unique way.

Deity Difficulty Victory!

I retired from Civ and all video games after my momentous accomplishment. I want to play more real games with real people and paint models for said tabletop games. If you have big plans or odd memories of 2021 you can leave them below.

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Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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