Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mainstream concerns

One of the issues that I worry about at times is the concern of possibly leading math students astray especially younger ones, so it's worth noting how I've acted with that concern in mind, which can explain some things which may have puzzled readers of this blog.

For instance it was originally titled "My Math" which I thought was an emphasis on these being original ideas of a particular individual, which at the time seemed like a way of stressing that I'm NOT part of the mainstream mathematical order. However, noting web traffic I noticed that possibly I had created a situation where kids could get directed here when they were trying to get to a site built for them:

At the time I was still trying to process web stats from Google Analytics telling me this blog was getting annual readers from over 120 countries. It just seemed strange and didn't connect back into my regular life.

I was also dominating search results with that title which to some extent I now dominate search results, at least on Google, with the current one. So it DID seem to be an issue I should try to handle and I broke the possible mis-direction connection with the shift from "My Math" to "Some Math" and problem was solved.

The other benefit was that after years of pondering how I could possibly be read in over 120 countries with it not seeming to matter much and with domination of search results in math areas I had the distinct pleasure and sense of disquiet when with the new name I looked at blog stats of 0.

No visitors at all, which was of course expected.

At that time there were no links to this blog except from my other two blogs (since removed), so there was no reason for there to be traffic. People didn't know where it was. It was in that sense new with the new name.

And then I could watch as traffic slowly began to arrive and watch as the country counts built up but they never returned to the previous level. For instance last year Google Analytics just told me as I just checked that there were visits from only 56 countries. So my name change cut the country count in half, whatever that means.

Also ALL my domination in web search for the site was reset, so all went away and I could watch to see what of my research returned to search domination. For instance my research on reducing binary quadratic Diophantine equations did so nicely.

In my latest posts I've made a point of emphasizing I'm not a mathematician. This site is not meant to replace mainstream mathematics sites and it's not meant to direct math people away from them. I think it can augment mathematical understanding for people with a thorough foundation in mathematics who should be able to test what they read most effectively.

In my view I am doing what's necessary to be a good citizen on the web with ideas that some might find worrying or disruptive.

For those who wondered about the name change and have kept with this blog through it, maybe the above will finally explain something that might have puzzled, and can give confidence that it won't happen again.

I'm actually giddily happy with the name change and was lucky it was available for me. I think it fits better, and is more appropriately focused less on me than on abstraction as a math site with some math on it.

James Harris

No comments: