This is my first annual review blog post. I previously did month-in-review posts that you can see here. I now intend to switch to quarterly reviews plus an annual review.
Some overall background
2015 was my first year of full-time work. My current job is at a startup in San Francisco, and work levels were quite high this year. Consequently, I had less time for the other things I customarily do. With that said, I believe I made reasonable use of the time I did have. I expect to have even less time in 2016, but to make correspondingly better use of it.
2015 was also the first year that I experimented with paying people on a large scale to do things I might otherwise have done in my spare time, such as sponsored Wikipedia editing. This is discussed more later in the page.
For background information, see my site page about Wikipedia
In 2015, the pages I created were largely in a few domains:
- Migration history: Chae Chan Ping v. United States, Angell Treaty of 1880, Chy Lung v. Freeman, and Chinese Confession Program.
- Migration forms: USCIS immigration forms, Labor Condition Application, Form I-129, and Form I-130.
- Migration laws: American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act, American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, Employ American Workers Act, H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004.
- Migration procedures: Automatic visa revalidation, Direct Consular Filing, Premium Processing Service, credible fear, expedited removal, reinstatement of removal, and stipulated removal.
- Other migration-related pages: H-1B1 visa, Targeted Employment Area, Catch and release (U.S. immigration policy).
- Pages related to various aspects of government: Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, Analytics.usa.gov.
- Pages related to nonprofits and altruism: Animal Charity Evaluators, Nonprofit Marketplace Initiative, and Niskanen Center.
- Technology companies: AirPair, Chartbeat, Gusto, and Zenefits.
The above isn’t a comprehensive list of pages I created, but it should give a flavor of the key themes.
Starting April 2015, I started sponsored Wikipedia editing by Alex K. Chen. Some of the pages I had been considering creating myself I therefore paid him to create. Some examples of these pages include timeline of Uber, timeline of Reddit, timeline of Square, Inside Philanthropy, and The Humane League. You can see his entire contribution history here; note that not all the pages he created, even after I started paying him, were created at my behest.
Impact in 2015: 2015 was a slow year for Wikipedia editing for me, compared to the peak of 2014, but it was still higher than 2013 and significantly above previous years. Pages I created in 2015 got 283,445 views in 2015, with a monthly run rate of about 37,000 (note that the annual total is less than that obtained by extrapolating from the monthly run rate, since many pages were created after the beginning of the year).
Pages I created over my lifetime got a total of 1,983,596 views, up from 1,118,970 last year. Most of the increase is attributable to pages created in 2014 (that now had a full year rather than only the partial year they got in 2014) and 2015 (that didn’t even exist in 2014). The monthly pageview count is currently in the 175,000-200,000 range.
Content plans for 2016: I intend to only create pages related to taxes and migration, though it’s possible I’ll create a few other pages on the side while investigating specific issues. In 2015, pages I created related to migration got about 70,000 views, and I had created only a couple of pages on taxes. This will change significantly in 2016. I expect the pages about taxes to get a large number of views, and the pages about migration to get a decent but not a large number of views. My reason for focusing on these is independent interest in understanding the topics, and the difficulty of outsourcing this work given its complexity (with that said, I am experimenting with paying others to create some pages in these domains).
Forecast for 2016: Extrapolating from the monthly pageview count of 175,000-200,000 at the end of 2015, I expect between 2.1 million and 2.4 million views for pages I have already created. I expect pages I create in 2016 to get between 0 and 300,000 views over the year, so that the expected total is between 2.1 million and 2.7 million.
General background information: My site page about the subject wikis
The subject wikis saw near-zero maintenance effort from me (other than looking at error reports and making fixes accordingly). Overall usage increased somewhat.
Here are pageview counts for the most important subject wikis:
- Groupprops: 881,735 pageviews, compared to 740,227 in 2014.
- Market: 209,792 pageviews, compared to 224,132 in 2014.
- Calculus: 210,826 pageviews, compared to 182,937 in 2014.
Content plans for 2016: None.
Forecast for 2016: I expect the year-over-year increase to taper off in 2016. Specifically, I expect the increase from 2015 to 2016 to be under 10%.
For background information, see my site page about WikiHow
I started editing WikiHow in May 2015. In 2015, I significantly edited one existing WikiHow article and created a few new articles.
- Transportation: Significant improvements to Ride Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and creation of Ride BART from the East Bay to San Francisco.
- Productivity: Efficiently Work Offline.
- Analytics: Gauge the Popularity of a Topic Online.
- Amazon Web Services: Optimize Your Amazon EC2 Costs, Optimize Your Amazon S3 Costs, and Use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.
I blogged in three locations in 2015:
- I wrote 17 blog posts for Open Borders: The Case. You can see all my blog posts for the site here. I had originally founded the site back in 2012; you can read more about my interest in the subject here. Most of this blogging was in the first three months (January to March) and in July and August, with a couple of posts in between. I haven’t blogged since August 4, when my last post was published.
- I wrote three blog posts (plus one post submitted on behalf of somebody else who didn’t have an account at the time) on the Effective Altruism Forum. You can see all my posts here and read more about my connection with the subject here.
- I wrote one blog post on Less Wrong: The great decline in Wikipedia pageviews (condensed version). I published the longer version on my site here.
Content plans for 2016: I intend to return to blogging for Open Borders: The Case, probably after finishing up more of my migration-related Wikipedia pages. I’d like to return to blogging after I have a more solid understanding of many of the topics that I’ll be touching on in future blog posts. I might also do one or more blog posts for the other two sites, but don’t have definite plans on those fronts.
I bought about 20 MP3 songs, ranging from standard pop music to Bollywood movie songs (total annual cost $22.78). I still maintained my Pandora subscription, but shifted more of my non-purchased-song consumption to YouTube.
Similarly, I maintained my Eros Now subscription, but didn’t use it much. I did start subscribing to Viki (a site that specializes in Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese dramas and has high-quality translated subtitles plus in-video comments by other watchers) for a variety of reasons, but primarily so that I could watch Remember.
Plan for 2016: Pretty similar to 2015. I expect to re-evaluate my Pandora and Eros subscriptions closer to renewal, and re-evaluate my Viki subscription after Remember finishes airing.