February to April 2016 in review

Last quarter, I switched my review frequency to quarterly, in the hope of being able to provide more substantive updates in each review. Here I am, with my second quarterly review, this time covering the months of February to April 2016.

Things continue to be busy on the job front, but they are also more stable. In addition, I attended to some personal bureaucracy, including submitting my tax return and getting my passport reissued. With most of these items out of the way, I have started focusing more on various long-term projects, and hope to have a lot to report next quarter.

Wikipedia editing

For background information, see my site page about Wikipedia

I created 8 pages in February (the somewhat increased page creation count is because I took a total of four weekdays off that month, in addition to weekends). I created 2 pages in March and 2 pages in April. In total, I created 12 pages in the quarter.

As I mentioned in my previous quarterly review, the pages I am creating right now are not as optimized for pageviews as pages in the past have been. Rather, they are pages in domains where I want to acquire a deeper understanding and believe the research process involved in creating the page will help me. As was the case last time, my focus remains on issues surrounding migration. In fact, of the 12 pages I created in the quarter, only one, namely the page on Amazon Underground, was unrelated to migration.

In addition to creating pages, I also significantly edited and expanded some existing pages, most of them in the domain of migration. Some of the pages I significantly edited in this quarter were: F visa, I-20 (form), H-2A Visa, and Optional Practical Training.

In total, pages I created over my lifetime got 574,352 pageviews over the quarter. You can see the data for all of 2016 (including January, not included in the quarter) here. This is between the 50th percentile estimate (495,000 views) and 75th percentile estimate (640,000 views) that I made in my previous quarterly review. The main reason they were higher than my median estimate was that one page (Park Yeon-mi) got a lot of traffic in March due to related news coverage.

Forecast for future impact: I expect the pageview counts to be roughly similar to the previous quarter: a baseline of around 165,000 pageviews per month, plus a possibility of minor spikes because of some pages being topical. I have reduced the variation in my distribution since I am now more confident of the stability of pageview counts. The distribution is skewed to the right because of potentially huge traffic as a result of some events being highly topical.

  • 2.5th percentile: 350,000 views.
  • 10th percentile: 400,000 views.
  • 25th percentile: 460,000 views.
  • 50th percentile: 520,000 views.
  • 75th percentile: 645,000 views.
  • 90th percentile: 720,000 views.
  • 97.5th percentile: 800,000 views.

Sponsored Wikipedia editing

For background information, see my site page about sponsored Wikipedia editing

Through the quarter, I sponsored Wikipedia page creation by three people:

  • Alex K. Chen (updated page list here): Alex has worked on a large number of pages, including technology company timelines, as well as angel investors and venture capitalists and their funds. In addition to the pages I pay him to create, he also creates a number of other pages.
  • Issa Rice (updated page list here): After completing some pages on taxes and migration, Issa has shifted focus to global health and poverty.
  • Ethan Bashkansky (updated page list here): Ethan has continued to do sporadic work on tax forms.

In April, I announced on the Effective Altruism Forum that I was looking for people interested in Wikipedia editing. As a result of this announcement, I got two new people who have contributed significantly and expect to continue contributing for the next few months:

  • Jesse Clifton (updated page list here) is primarily working on topics related to animal welfare and rights. His first article was a timeline of animal welfare and rights. He has subsequently been working on articles on animal welfare and rights by country. I hope to share more exciting details of his work in my next quarterly review.
  • Sebastian Sanchez (updated page list here) is currently working on topics related to global health. I hope to share exciting details about his progress next quarter.

There are also other editors who are getting started with editing, and I expect to see some of them (and/or other recruits) make further progress during the quarter.

Subject wikis

For background information, see my site page about the subject wikis

I did active work on the subject wikis for a few segments of a few hours, but not in any systematic way that would affect the overall level of content or change the experience of typical visitors. The subject wikis have been doing well traffic-wise, but this is not due to any additional effort on my part.

Groupprops got a total of 261,975 pageviews this quarter compared to 244,136 for the corresponding quarter last year. The seasonal pattern in traffic was very similar between quarters, so much so that it is visually striking when you look at the graphs in Google Analytics. Market declined (47,781 compared to 65,367) and Calculus stayed stable (60,241 versus 58,499).


For background information, see my site page about WikiHow

I wrote one new WikiHow article: How to Avoid Crowds in Mass Transit. The article has received 491 views so far. I estimate that about 200 of those views were driven by my Facebook share of the article, and another 50 were a result of initial publication, plus my own views. The remaining views are probably organic.

Two of the WikiHow articles I have created over my lifetime now have over 1,000 views: How to Use Git Effectively (at 1,467 views) and How to Ride BART from the East Bay to San Francisco (At 1,362 views).

Other written content

I finally got around to publishing the blog post How did we get here? Chinese Exclusion Act buildup (1848-1872). The post summarized my understanding of the historical backdrop that built the momentum for the Chinese Exclusion Act in the United States.

I also worked on a few other drafts. I expect to publish some of these drafts this quarter, as well as start on (and possibly finish) some new posts.

I also posted to the Effective Altruism Forum to recruit Wikipedia editors.


I finished watching a few Korean dramas on Viki as they wrapped up: Madame Antoine, Descendants of the Sun, and Marriage Contract. In addition, I watched one older Korean drama: City Hunter.

I expect to be spending less time watching Korean dramas going forward, as I start picking up the pace on some more long-term projects during the weekends, now that some of the bureaucratic activities are completed.