Possibly also the poll lead of Britain's Conservatives over the incumbent Labour Party - with acknowledgements to Randall Munroe

Persistence can mean a lot of different things, sadly to me it is often the world of databases that comes to mind first. Having linked to my previous article entitled Perseverance earlier today, I won’t bother to do that again, but this is clearly another meaning.

In this case I am going to employ the sense of “continuance of an effect after the cause is removed” and apply it to the stats of this blog. Aside from today’s spurt and a wish of Season’s Greetings and Goodwill to all Readers back in December, I last blogged in anger back on 30th July 2009. Somewhat ironically, the title of this piece was Inspiration as mine subsequently dried up!

The number of monthly readers dropped significantly in August 2009, however, despite this removal of cause, it plateaued at about 3,000; a level it has never dropped below since. Having taken a look at the more detailed statistics (which regulars will be delighted to hear may lead to a revsion of An update of the most read articles on this site to cover the last six months), the readership seems to be pretty evenly spread and not dominated by any one article.

The speed of search engine algorithms?

Whether what I am observing is the general persistence inherent in the Internet (where links from one page to another will exist as long as both pages do), or to do with slow-moving algorithms in search engines I do not know. I suppose it could feasibly be related to the enduring appeal of my writing, though this seems a long way removed from the bleeding edge of Occam’s razor.

Some deeper digging may yield further indications (e.g. did I receive more hits from searches, or via other sites as the fallow period of the last six months progressed), but I can’t imagine that these will be statistically significant.

From an experimental perspective, I guess I should have refrained from posting for a bit longer and then calculated the half-life of my writing.

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