My Goals for Exploring Binary in 2009

Well, it’s been one year! I’m very happy about how things are going, even if I didn’t meet any of my goals! (See below for how I did in 2009.)

This post was motivated by the article “What Are Your Internet Goals for 2009?”, by Daniel Scocco.

Since I am new to blogging (I just started this blog a month ago), my internet goals for 2009 are my goals for Exploring Binary specifically. I’d like to get this blog off the ground before I try anything else!

I’ve been maintaining a long list of things I want to accomplish with this blog, but I whittled it down to the most important goals — all challenging but realistically attainable:

  1. Write 64 articles.

    My articles are technical and generally require a lot of research, and I want them to be accurate so that they will be a resource to search traffic for years to come. My current rate is about one article every 10 days. I’d like to publish one full-length article per week in 2009, plus some shorter articles that take less work.

    I wrote 36 articles in 2009. It just takes me a long time to write a good article, and I’m comfortable with that.

  2. Average 512 unique visitors per day.

    This is based on some keyword research, relative to the articles I plan to write. I expect the majority of visitors to be from search engines.

    I fell way short of this goal. My average is about 50 visitors and 100 page views per day. I really had no idea what to expect, but I am happy that the numbers keep (slowly) rising. One “problem” is that I’m writing about what I find interesting, not necessarily what the masses want to read.

  3. Average 256 RSS subscribers.

    I’m hoping some of my visitors are interested enough to subscribe, but from what I’ve read, only a small percentage of people use RSS.

    I fell way short on this one too. The subscriber count fluctuates daily, but it’s around 60. In fairness, I’ve done very little to promote this blog.

  4. Rank #1 in Google for “binary numbers”.

    This one could be tough. I have to beat the current number one, Wikipedia, which has a page rank of six.

    I didn’t even try. I chose to write about topics that are not well covered, or covered poorly. That said, I now know that there’s no way I could have beaten a PR6 article within a year’s time!

  5. Average 1 comment per day.

    Feedback is probably what I want most: to correct me, to teach me, and to guide what I publish. I would hope some feedback would follow if I meet the above goals. I am kind of in the dark on this estimate though. I’ve read that a tiny fraction of visitors make comments, and that seems to be the case on blogs I read.

    If the passive approach to getting comments doesn’t work, I may have to solicit them. Polls? Contests? Q&A? I’ll have to see.

    Factoring out trackbacks and my own comments, I got 33 (you do the math). But I got a comment from Rasmus Lerdorf, so maybe that counts for 332? 🙂 The bottom line seems to be this: I need the traffic to achieve this rate.

  6. Go social on 1 post.

    I don’t expect my content to be Dugg, but if ever there were a chance, it would be the article I plan to write about the powers of two and their relationship to the NCAA basketball tournament (Of course I plan to publish that in March Update: published 3/11/09).

    It wasn’t the NCAA article, but I wrote one that did go social — on reddit: “Print Precision of Dyadic Fractions Varies by Language”. It got about 700 views within a half day.

  7. Make $128 from advertising and commissions.

    I don’t expect to make much money, especially with a tech-savvy audience. That said, I’m looking forward to hanging my first Google Adsense check on my wall (like a pizzeria hangs their first dollar bill).

    I made less than $5. I removed ads from my site halfway through the year though — it was clear they weren’t making me money, and so why cheapen my site — but maybe I would have hit $12? 🙂

(I didn’t set out to make the numbers gimmicky, but if you’re going to estimate, why not with powers of two? At least I didn’t add an eighth goal just to have 8 goals.)

I’ll let you know how I did this time next year!



  1. Hi,

    Regarding this: “My current rate is about one article every 10 days”
    I would suggest you to write often even with 200-300 word articles.
    You don’t have to aim for the perfect articles because there is no such thing and they could take forever and a small amount of people will read the whole long 5k words article.
    By the way I saw your list on dailyblogtips.
    P.S. Increase the font of the comment box probably with css update 😉


  2. Slavi,

    Point taken about shorter articles, but I don’t think I can ever get to 200-300 words. This article is 455 words, and I thought it was short!

    P.S. I made the font bigger.

  3. fabulous stuff here. i found you at rolfe’s.
    the ads aren’t at all obnoxious
    (i can’t read anything when there’s
    stuff on the screen that moves …)
    so i’m willing to wish you well
    with *all* your goals for this year …

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