Well, we’ve survived another year of writing about CFD and mesh generation. When we started Another Fine Mesh a couple years ago it was truly an experiment – we had no idea what would become of it. It seems that it has turned out OK.
Blogging is Harder Than it Looks
In one interview – I don’t recall where – I admitted that the weekly post This Week in CFD began as a desperate effort to come up with something to write about. This is the ugly truth.
Fortunately, I try to keep up with news in the CFD, CAD, and CAE worlds. I had all this information that I used to only share with other folks in the office. So we figured why not share it with everyone.
Starting a blog seems like a good idea in the abstract. But in practice when you’re staring a blinking cursor on a blank screen when you haven’t posted anything in two weeks, you realize how hard it really is. I have developed an enormous respect for bloggers who are able to write three or more valuable articles a week. (Three is the oft-cited optimal number of weekly blog posts.)
One blogger and blog who deserves a lot of credit is Nicole Sharp and F%^$ Yeah Fluid Dynamics. Not only does she maintain a steady flow of content (pardon the pun) but it’s valuable content judging by her readership and citations in the mainstream media. Plus, she does all this while working on a PhD.
Interestingly, Nicole’s content is quite concise yet her audience actually suggested that she write longer articles. On the other hand, another ugly truth about AFM is that I tend to ramble on way too long [Look, I'm doing it right now.] and could benefit from a dose of brevity.
2013 in Review
By the numbers:
- Another Fine Mesh was visited about 75,000 times during the year.
- AFM has 875 email followers and an untold number of RSS and other followers.
- We posted 79 times during the year for an average of about 1.5 per week.
- Visitors to AFM came from 137 countries.
I’m tempted to express happiness with those numbers (except posts per week) but then am reminded of the question that Edward Tufte wants us to ask of data: “Compared to what?” So I’ll cite FYFD’s 180,000 readers and 13,800 visitors per month. At least Nicole has given us a stretch goal.
Most Popular Posts
If you look at all pages and posts on the site, the ones with the most hits during 2013 are:
- Home Page
- Accuracy, Convergence, and Mesh Quality
- There’s More to CFD Convergence than Reading the Manual
- Why Cartesian Grids Are Good
- CFD and Social Media
- CFD Events Calendar
- About Pointwise
- 8 Questions with Stanford’s Juan Alonso
- This Week in CFD, 11 Jan 2013
- This Week in CFD, 05 Apr 2013
What surprised me the most about this list is the inclusion of static pages – the social media page, the events calendar, and the “about us” page. I’m glad you are using these as resources and it tells me we should spend a bit more time keeping them up to date.
And Now for 2014
Our goal remains the same – to use the Another Fine Mesh blog to share information about CFD and mesh generation that’s educational, interesting, and entertaining.
Toward that goal, I urge you to let us know what you’d like to read about. You can email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment on any post on AFM. I can’t make any promises but we’ll do our best.
Because 2014 marks Pointwise’s 20th anniversary (meaning that Dr. John Steinbrenner has been working on Gridgen and Pointwise for 30 years!) you may expect some (hopefully) not too self-indulgent articles about our history.
Thank you for your readership.