Summer Break: A Look back… and ahead


It was November last year when I seriously started blogging and it is time to share with you some experiences and highlights before the summer break… so read on!

The first thing that really surprised me (and still surprises me) is the popularity of my blog – and I say this without false modesty: when I started out I thought that a few dozen people would visit my blog per day (most of them my students looking for clues for the upcoming exams…). Instead nearly 20,000 people visit my blog every month (each of them viewing about 3 pages per session), sometimes more than two thousand per day! Some of the posts get nearly one thousand facebook likes and are very actively reshared, people commented hundreds of times, some post got dozens of comments alone. All of this still blows me away, what an honour! I cannot thank you enough for your commitment!

The most popular posts plus some I am especially proud of:

So, what are my motivations for blogging? Actually, manifold:

  • R really is my passion: I want to push its popularity even further and give back to the community which has given me so much!
  • We are living in a complex world and I want to explain things most of us use on a regular basis as simple as possible (e.g. see Google’s Eigenvector… or how a Random Surfer finds the most relevant Webpages, Customers who bought… or Understanding the Maths of Computed Tomography (CT) scans).
  • I want to create an online script for my students on some of the topics I teach.
  • I am always eager to learn and I am always interested in feedback (btw, also concerning my English because I am not a native speaker!) – so, please use the comment section frequently!
  • And finally, I want to create some publicity for my consulting work: I know a thing or two about Data Science, as a manager and as a “nerd”, and can support you on your AI journey (which I successfully did already for many renowned companies). If you are interested or want to know more: Your AI journey… and Happy Holidays!

At the moment I publish one post per week which is a murderous pace if you want to create high-quality content (and still have a day job). I think that I will have to slow down a bit. Although you can support me:

  • If you have any ideas or suggestions for posts, please let me know in the comments below!
  • If you want to contribute to this blog via guest posts (to e.g. promote your books or your own blogs), also please let me know in the comments or contact me here: About.

Concerning the technical side, it was quite a learning curve: as we all know WordPress is pretty sophisticated and writing a blog post is not a problem… yet, as always, the devil is in the detail. It really took some time to get rid of some nasty problems, e.g. showing R code correctly. I found out that it works best for me to only use the text view of my editor to have full control over the HTML, LaTeX and R code. I don’t want to bore you with all the technical details: if you have some specific questions please leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them as best as I can.

Yet one unresolved issue remains, so perhaps one of you can help me:
SyntaxHighlighter Evolved: PHP Versions >7.0 don’t work properly.

If you have a solution you can either answer directly on Stack Overflow or in the comments – Thank you!

The last thing I want to do in this post is thank you again all very, very much for your great support during the last few months! You are amazing! I am overwhelmed and humbled and I am looking forward to interacting with you guys after the summer break again!

I’ll will be back on the first of October, so stay tuned!

Here you see stuff my kids made for me… I love you guys!

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