This is the week for everyone to do “looking back at 2010” reviews, and I’m no exception. I thought this would be a good time to review my past year (really, past seven months) of blogging on Howard County topics, including presenting some site statistics and gathering in one place links to the various multi-part series of posts I’ve done.
In 2010 I did a total of 60 blog posts (not counting this one), of which 57 were focused on Howard County (more or less). I didn’t actually post anything Howard County-related until May 19 (day 139), so in reality I did 57 Howard County posts over 226 days, or one post every four days. Obviously I’m never going to be a post-per-day (much less multiple-posts-per-day) blogger in the mold of HoCo Rising or Wordbones; however given that I write pretty long posts and do a fair amount of research for each one, one post every four days is actually much better that I thought I’d do.
Mine is the very definition of a “micro-niche” blog, and the traffic statistics for 2010 bear that out; the following table gives total page views for each month in 2010:1
The average number of views was 2,107 per month or about 69 views per day. It’s worth noting that in 2009 I did 46 posts total, of which only two were about Howard County (the rest being divided between Mozilla-related posts and posts on eMusic and other music-related topics), and my average number of views that year was 1,876 per month or about 62 views a day. So it appears that I’m destined to attract a niche audience no matter what I blog about.
Here’s a (somewhat selective) list of posts (or series of posts) I published this year, in roughly chronological order and with additional commentary as appropriate:
My series on the Taxpayer Protection Initiative (“Why the Taxpayer Protection Initiative is a bad idea,” “What would the Founders think about the Taxpayer Protection Initiative?,” “More on the Taxpayer Protection Initiative,” and “Requiem for the Taxpayer Protection Initiative”). This was the topic that really got me started on doing Howard County blogging in a major way, after a few early posts in 2008 and 2009. If I were writing these now I’d dial the snark down a couple of notches.
Ruminations on Howard County and a “sense of place” (“A sense of place in Howard County?,” “A sense of place in Howard County? ctd.,” and “What is a sense of place?”). Doing these posts inspired me to do my next series of posts (see the next item). They also continued my questioning of the idea of Columbia being something more than just another DC-area exurban community. (This skepticism dates back to my 2008 two-part series on income inequality and Howard County.)
“Howard County and the 21st century suburb.” This post kicked off an ongoing set of multi-post series on the general topic of “Howard County in the 21st century.” This proved to be a useful frame within which I could address a number of different topics relating to Howard County; I’m not done with it yet.
“Howard County and economic inclusivity in the 21st century.” My conclusion in this post was that Howard County by its nature will never be as economically diverse as a true city—not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“Howard County and ethnic diversity in the 21st century” (part 1 and part 2). This is an area where I think the “Columbia vision” definitely did and does have a positive impact, although as I noted in part 2 that doesn’t mean that there won’t be bumps along the way.
“Howard County and civic equality in the 21st century” (part 1, part 2, and part 3). This series was meant to be a discussion of how cultural changes (including growing support for marriage equality) would affect gays and lesbians in Howard County, to some extent mirroring the situation with regard to ethnic diversity. However I got sidetracked by the fascinating (to me at least) questions around estimating the size of the LGBT population at national, state, and county levels.
“Could Howard County be the Silicon Valley of cybersecurity?” (part 1, part 2, and part 3). In case you couldn’t tell from this series, I’m really tired of people claiming that this region or that could be the next Silicon Valley.
“Voting for the Howard County Democratic Central Committee” and “Howard County Democratic Central Committee 2010 Election Results.” These two posts proved to be the most popular ones I did in 2010, with the former one attracting over a thousand views. This doesn’t say anything about my competence as a blogger; rather I think it highlights the failure of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee and the local Democratic clubs to provide comprehensive online information to local Democratic voters.
“How independent are Howard County independents?.” My local take on the myth of the “independent” voter.
“Margins of error in Howard County polling” (part 1 and part 2). This series was partly a consumer’s guide for local polling results reported in the media, and partly an excuse for me to re-learn some statistics.
“Howard County likely voters in the 2010 general election” and a follow-up post. More on the assumptions that go into local polls, and my first foray into using the R statistical package.
“A Howard County Democrat looks at Ed Priola.” I did this post mainly because Trevor Greene (unknowingly) dared me to do it. I think we should have more in-depth profiles of local candidates; local media don’t seem to be that interested in doing them, so this may be a prime area for bloggers to fill the gap. (See also HoCo Rising’s “unauthorized biography” of Brian Meshkin for another example of this phenomenon.)
“Exploring Howard County election data with R” (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4). This series was mainly an excuse for me to learn more about R, but I thought it might be of more general interest. Note that I promised a part 5 that I still haven’t delivered.
“A history of Howard County Council redistricting.” This is the mother of all my multi-part series, at eight posts thus far with several yet to come. (I’ve linked only to part 1, which contains an updated list of all the other posts.) The post “Howard County population growth, 1950-2009” provides additional context.
Some other points about this blog that may be of interest:
If you’re interested in seeing new Howard County-related posts as soon as they’re published (as opposed to coming back to the home page now and then) you can use an RSS reader to subscribe to the blog’s Howard County-specific RSS feed (
If you’re interested in redistributing or otherwise reusing any of the material I publish, you’re free to do so, as long as you provide proper attribution.
I encourage comments on my blog posts, and ask only that you use a consistent moniker for yourself when commenting, whether your real name or a pseudonym. (I don’t care which.) See also my posts on anonymous commenters and my personal commenting policies.
In my next post I’ll look forward to 2011 and what it means for this blog.
All values are from the summary tables displayed in the WordPress.com interface; the figure for December is as of 5 pm EST on December 30. ↩︎