May 2015 in review

This is the eighth of my month-in-review posts. I started month-in-review posts in October 2014. You can see my first post here and my previous month-in-review post here.

Some overall background

As predicted, this was a busy month work-wise. In addition to the greater workload, the increased commute time meant less time for personal pursuits. The increased workload will continue into at least the first two or three weeks of June, at which point I expect to be able to get weekends back for finishing some long-pending projects.

Wikipedia editing

For background information, see my site page about Wikipedia

I created the following Wikipedia pages this month:

  • The Marshall Project, a journalism nonprofit focused on the criminal justice system in the United States. I created this over two BART rides (one on Thursday May 7 and one on Friday May 8), incorporating material I had read sporadically over the past week.
  • USCIS immigration forms, created Saturday, May 23, 2015, after on-and-off editing since the beginning of April 2015.
  • Direct Consular Filing, created Saturday, May 23, 2015, after 1-2 hours of editing.
  • Credible fear, created Saturday, May 23, 2015, after 1-2 hours of editing.
  • Form I-130, created Wednesday, May 27, 2015, after half an hour of editing on a BART ride, and about an hour of editing at home.
  • Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, created Wednesday, May 27, 2015, after half an hour of editing on a BART ride, and under half an hour of editing at home.

I also added some content to these pages:

Unfortunately,, whose numbers I use to feed in to Wikipedia Views, is missing two days from the month of May (May 9 and May 24). Therefore, the numbers are underestimated somewhat, by a factor of about 5%.

The pageview counts for the remaining 29 days are given below. As always, note that these include bots but exclude mobile pageviews.

June forecast: Historically, my forecasts have tended to be underestimates: I’ve generally managed to just about stay within 80% intervals but actual values have tended to be at or near the upper bounds of the intervals. I’m trying to adjust for this, while also working to avoid erring in the other direction. For June, my point estimate is 160,000 views, my 80% probability interval estimate is 125,000-215,000 views, and my 95% probability interval estimate is 95,000-275,000 views.


For background information, see my site page about WikiHow

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, I forayed into editing WikiHow. My first edits were to the page How to Ride Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). My motivation for exploring editing was two-fold: have a way of sharing wisdom that was of a how-to nature, and understand the nature of the site so I could suggest it to other people as a place to write. Over the course of the month, I created the following pages:

  • How to Ride BART from the East Bay to San Francisco, created Sunday, May 17, 2015 (after about 1-1.5 hours of editing). At the end of the month, the page reported 244 views.
  • How to Efficiently Work Offline, created Sunday, May 24, 2015 (initially drafted offline for about 30 minutes, then incorporated online with some edits and improvements in about 45 minutes). At the end of the month, the article reported 39 views.
  • How to Gauge the Popularity of a Topic Online, created Sunday, May 24, 2015, edited for about 2 hours total on that day (the initial version was created after 30 minutes of editing). At the end of the month, the article reported 401 views.

Subject wikis

General background information: My site page about the subject wikis

I spent some time correcting some site errors (reported in an error-reporting form by others) and also made some other edits (including creating some new pages) to Groupprops. I have a list of further planned edits to Groupprops, that I intend to continue making in my spare time, but it is not a high priority or bound by any deadline. Traffic was within the range of expectation, with robust year-on-year growth.

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

Metric May 2015 Apr 2015 Mar 2015 May 2014 Apr 2014 Mar 2014
Pageviews 77.232 88,046 82,377 63,211 66,233 57,724
Sessions 37,834 43,968 40,280 31,225 34,310 29,249
Pages/session 2.04 2.00 2.05 2.02 1.93 1.97
Pageviews in sessions with at least 5 pageviews 26,016 27,991 27,641 20,727 19,837 17,924

The total number of pageviews (77,232) was within my 80% interval of 72,000-96,000, but a little lower than my point estimate of 82,000, suggesting that my estimate precision could be improved.

Here are the pageview counts on some other subject wikis:

June forecast: June 2014 saw 38,363 views according to Google Analytics, significantly less than May 2014. This is because of the nature of the academic year: students in the US and in many other countries around the world are off studies in June. I expect a similar 20% year-on-year improvement for June as seen for May, so my point estimate for June is 46,000. I estimate that, with 80% probability, the number of pageviews will fall between 35,000 and 60,000.


General background information: My site page about Quora

I wrote five Quora answers in the month of May, higher than most previous months. Here are the answers:

My Quora views were: about 23,000 for answers, about 11,000 for questions, and about 200 for posts. The view count for answers was higher than usual because of the large number of new answers (new answers get shown more in feeds) as well as Issa Rice’s decision to promote one of my answers (the answer on the benefits of writing web pages that say the obvious things about a topic).

Open borders

General background information: My site page about open borders

Very similar to last month: no blog post of mine was published, nor did I get time to work on any drafts. However, some of my Wikipedia page creations and edits related to migration were indirect preparation for future blog posts. I hope to get enough free time around the end of June to begin work on a much needed revamp.

Other sites and forms of online presence

  • This website ( got 2,853 views in the month of May according to Google Analytics (and 2,057 views according to WordPress Analytics).
  • Wikipedia Views got 1,136 views according to Google Analytics.

Friends’ projects

Server downtime

There was about ten minutes of server downtime. The downtime ended on the automatic server restart (that is currently scheduled to happen once every 20 minutes, down from once every 5 minutes now that the server seems quite stable).


After a fairly long time, I watched two Bollywood movies (on alternate weekends) using my Eros Now subscription: Ek Villain and Queen (despite the English words in the titles, both are Hindi-language Bollywood movies, though the latter is partly set in Paris and Amsterdam). I also bought two of Carly Rae Jepsen’s songs (I Really Like You and Call Me Maybe) and the song Galliyan from Ek Villain.

I also explored many cover songs on YouTube with different artists rendering songs I had already heard in their original form several times. For instance, I listened to Siddharth Slathia’s and Gaurav Dagaonkar’s versions of Tujhe Bhula Diya, my favorite song. I also enjoyed acoustic covers by Aakash Gandhi for Galliyan and Tum Hi Ho. While I find the originals (which I’ve listened to hundreds and in some cases thousands of times) better overall, the variants offer new perspectives into the songs. The scope for rich variation also speaks to the songs’ strengths.