February 2015 in review

This is the fifth of my month-in-review posts. My posts for the past four months (in reverse chronological order) are here, here, here, here respectively.

Some overall background

The month was busy for me as usual. Work picked up, as our company got a bunch of new clients. Thus, my online non-work output declined considerably relative to January.

The month of March will be even busier work-wise, so it’s highly likely that my March 2015 review will be a lot shorter because I won’t have time to get much non-work stuff done. That said, I do hope to finish a couple of long pending items, the most important of which is the (long pending) Open Borders: The Case site revamp.

Wikipedia editing

General background information: My site page about my Wikipedia contributions

I created four new pages in February:

Each of these pages took about 1-2 hours to create, a little more than my usual time taken to create pages of this sort. This was partly because the new nature of topic meant that information sources were a little harder to find and connect into a coherent narrative.

I created these pages as part of a recurring interest in understanding two key components of the economy: agriculture and finance. The first page was also related to my interest in migration, specifically understanding migrant labor in the US agricultural sector.

The majority of the work creating and editing these pages was done during BART rides. However, unlike January, a fairly small fraction of BART rides was devoted to Wikipedia editing. That’s part of the reason my Wikipedia throughput this month was small relative to last month.

In addition, I made minor edits to other pages, such as to the Sandler Foundation page to cite external coverage of the foundation, including coverage by GiveWell.

February impact: Pages I’ve created over my lifetime got a total of 130,493 pageviews in February 2015. You can see the pageviews by page for the month here. You can also see pageviews for pages I created and all months here, and the corresponding numbers for all years here.

The total number of pageviews just slightly exceeded the upper bound of my 80% confidence interval (107,000-130,000) (that I provided in my January 2015 review) despite there being no significant surprises with regards to pageviews. This suggests the need for widening confidence intervals.

As for pages edited significantly but not created by me, the number of pageviews was 87,525, notably less than what I’d expected (about 100,000).

March forecast: Given that my February forecast appears to have been too narrow, I’ll aim for a wider forecast for March. For pages I’ve created, my point estimate is 139,000, my 80% confidence interval for pageviews is 111,000-157,000 and my 95% confidence interval is 90,000-175,000.

Subject wikis

General background information: My site page about the subject wikis

I spent zero time editing the subject wikis this month. Traffic to them grew at its usual steady pace, highlighting that the subject wikis have become sufficiently mature that they don’t need much ongoing supervision.

February impact: I’ve put the numbers for Groupprops in a table for easy perusal and comparison. Numbers are from Google Analytics.

Metric Feb 2015 Jan 2015 Dec 2014 Feb 2014 Jan 2014 Dec 2013
Pageviews 73,713 55,121 77,725 57,925 41,989 60,232
Sessions 36,417 26,717 36,147 29,123 21,466 28,769
Pages/session 2.02 2.06 2.15 1.99 1.96 2.09
Pageviews in sessions with at least 5 pageviews 24,338 19,408 28,641 18,354 13,166 20,793

The total number of pageviews (73,713) was near the middle of my 80% confidence February forecast interval (68,000-80,000) made in my January 2015 review.

Views of other important subject wikis:

  • Market: 20,704 pageviews, compared with 20,053 for February of last year. It’s fairly stagnant. An increase in pageviews would probably be contingent on content expansion, something I hope to get to after achieving specific milestones with Open Borders: The Case.
  • Calculus: 19,539 pageviews, compared with 16,193 for February of last year.

March forecast: Last March, there had been a site issue where pages with math in them had failed to render properly for a short period of about four days. Therefore traffic last year (57,724 pageviews) is less than it should have been (about 64,000). Adjusting for this, and what seems like an year-on-year growth of 20-40%, my 80% confidence interval for the number of pageviews this March is 75,000-100,000.

Open borders

General background information: My site page about open borders

Four of my blog posts were published on Open Borders: The Case. Most of the work in drafting and editing the posts happened within the month.

You might also want to check out the site’s month-in-review.

Plan for March: I hope to spend practically all my off-work hours on completing the site revamp, which has been pending in a partial state for quite a while now.

Server downtime

Server performance this month was a lot better than last month, with a total of about 40 minutes of downtime on February 24/25. Overall uptime was 99.9%.

Stuff by others I’m loosely involved with


I bought the first season of the Mary Tyler Moore show, which I find an interesting sitcom given its historical importance (the most famous line in it being the pilot “You’ve got spunk!” line, which is how I originally discovered the show). I didn’t get time to watch much of the show, though — I watched about four episodes. It’s a nice show but I don’t know if it’s good enough to be worth finishing, and I probably won’t buy other seasons for a while. Unlike Gilmore Girls, it’s not really that “realistic” — this is partly because it’s a sitcom and therefore intended to be unrealistic, and partly also because it’s from an era farther back in time that is harder to relate to.

I also bought a few more MP3 songs, including Humdard from Ek Villain and two songs by Shakira: Hips Don’t Lie (apparently the best selling single of the 21st Century) and Whenever, Wherever. This was my first time properly listening to Shakira, and I enjoyed it.

I’ve been reading the recently released chapters of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter fanfiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR), which I found interesting though not as gripping as I used to find HPMOR. (This isn’t because of a decline in quality of HPMOR, but because I’m preoccupied with many other things these days).

Bureaucratic activities

Although I was basically done with my taxes at the end of last month, I kept postponing the proofreading and final submission, as other, more urgent, stuff kept coming up. In the last week of February, I finally got a chance to proofread my federal taxes. I intend to send them off today (March 1). I also filed my California and Illinois taxes online.