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Grant McDermott

Data. Economics. Environment.

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Well, a day late... but that can probably only be described as fitting.

Of course, recent postings have taken a severe backseat, as you might have observed. To be completely honest, I'm not sure whether I'll ever be able to get back into (semi) regular blogging activity if my workload continues to be this heavy. Hopefully that isn't the case, though... I've been told by almost everyone that the first semester of PhD is the worst.

But, enough blagging. You didn't stop by to hear excuses for current blogging inactivity. You came to see a review of the year passed! (If you didn't; unlucky just go with it.) So, without further ado...

The top five posts over the last twelve months, in terms of unique page views, have been:
1) Why we need maths in economics (317 page views)
2) Movember* (266)
3) Meat and Veg(etarianism) (129)
4) Facts vs Beliefs (114)
5) Should pregnant women be banned from smoking? (110)
* Somewhat depressingly, (2) has virtually all been traffic directed from "movember" image web searches... And, almost certainly for the logo itself rather than my steamy latino pose.

The five most commented on posts are fairly similar:
1) Facts vs Beliefs (24 comments)
2) Should pregnant women be banned from smoking? (21 comments)
3) Meat and Veg(etarianism) (11 comments)
4) Mises's action "axiom" or false dichotomy? (8 comments)
5) And then a bunch with six comments...

If these staggering </sarcasm> numbers weren't enough for you, in terms of readership by country we have:
1) United States (1,871 page views)
2) South Africa (728)
3*) Norway (519... although we should really exclude this as they're mostly mine)
3) United Kingdom (470)
4) Canada (173)
5) Australia (145)

Thanks to everyone that has ever stopped by The Corral for a visit! 

My own favourite posts are bit harder to nail down, especially in the little time I have available here. Still, alongside some of those already mentioned, here are a couple that I probably did enjoy writing more than others:


The lessons that I have learned from blogging very closely parallel my general experiences in the blogosphere. And, on the whole, they are certainly positive. 
  • It really is a great resource for testing and expanding upon ideas; both in the sense of how others respond, and making sure that you understand an idea well enough to write it down in plain language for all to see. (Not that I always managed this...)
  • Blogging takes up a lot of time. For me anyway. That may simply be due to the fact that I am something of a stickler for facts and have an uncanny knack for stretching a story out. Being on the long side of winded is not my favourite personal trait, but at the same time I don't wish to let go of it completely! I'm hoping that keeping this blog has actually moved me towards some kind of middle ground.
  • It's hard to attract a big, regular audience unless you focus on specific, narrow themes. Jumping between completely unrelated topics kills your readership. My feeling is that people mostly visit blogs because they expect certain themes to be consistently addressed (even though the applications can vary widely); not to hear someone's everyday ramblings on whatever interests them. Unfortunately, I tend towards the latter... but so be it! (Although, I certainly have written posts simply because I thought that it would interest one particular person who might have been reading.)

Something I also want to mention specifically is music. I was hoping to put together a downloadable playlist of all the songs that I've linked to over the course of the year... but who has the time? I hope that you'll settle for YouTube links:


Not a bad collection, if I say so myself! (With a little help from the odd Poncey guest post and suggestions by others.)

And with that, I have some GMM estimation techniques that need looking at.

See you soon,
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