Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comparing the 6th Year of CSI wo Dead Bodies to the 5th: More Engagement from Russia

For my 6th anniversary post, instead of just listing my most popular posts, I thought I would take a look at how traffic to the site has changed over the past year (9/29/2015 to 9/28/2016) compared to the previous year (9/29/2014 to 9/28/2015).  The measures I chose are listed in the Google Analytics output below in the Times-Roman font.  The graph at the top shows the total sessions for each month with increased sessions for every month of the last year compared to the previous year except for the months of May and August.

The total sessions (when someone visits the blog), total pageviews (the total posts visited on the blog), and number of users (unique individuals who visit the blog) for the period increased by 34.04%, 22.09%, and 36.96% respectively.  The number of pages per session and the average pages per session decreased in the last year by 8.91% and 13.21% respectively.  This suggests that while the number of visits to the page have increased in the past year, the level of engagement has declined slightly which is to be expected as a wider audience is reached.  

Beneath these statistics are the charts for the % of new visitors to the site for both years.  This % increased by 2.07% which shows that hew users are coming to the site more often.  The bounce rate (the% of single page visits) increased by 26% which corresponds to the decreased engagement.   

At the bottom of the output, the top countries from where the number of sessions come are listed with the United States of course coming out on top.  The total number of sessions from the US increased by 32.1% while the its share of the total number of sessions decreased slightly by 1.4%.  This indicates a greater share of foreign traffic to the site.  The countries with larger % increases in sessions are Iraq (2100%), India (196.15%), Russia (191.67%), Canada (80.65%), and ones where the country is not set (69.86%).  


The increased foreign traffic raises thoughts of hackers or surveillance as the Russians have been accused of hacking into various election servers.  I have no data that I haven't publicized on the election.  As programmers would say the information on this site is open source available to all.  Looking at the level of engagement from Russia the bounce rate increased by 44% while the average time on the page increased by 1382.79%.  In India it decreased by 75.39%, in Canada it increased by 37.06%, in Iraq it decreased by 100%, and in areas where the country was not set it decreased by 93.71%.  This suggests greater engagement from Russia.  Looking at the cities that the traffic is coming from are Moscow, Sverdlovsk Oblast, St. Petersburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, and Novosibirsk Oblast.  An oblast is a state in RussiaThese are remote states in Russia where the time on the page was the highest.  I don't know if these are intelligence gatherers or just curious Russians.

Select a metric
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016: Blue Line
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015: Orange Line
Sessions
Oc…January 2016April 2016July 2016250250500500
SessionsSessionsChange
412751.85%
166244-31.97%
36820678.64%
33629613.51%
45229254.79%
30915698.08%
22514258.45%
39022474.11%
389462-15.80%
29822134.84%
482236104.24%
227265-14.34%
30620549.27%
TotalSessions
34.04%
3,989 vs 2,976
Users
36.96%
3,346 vs 2,443
Pageviews
22.09%
11,671 vs 9,559
Pages / Session
-8.91%
2.93 vs 3.21
Avg. Session Duration
-13.21%
00:00:48 vs 00:00:56
Bounce Rate
26.80%
47.93% vs 37.80%
% New Sessions
2.07%
83.20% vs 81.52%
New Visitor
Returning Visitor
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016
16.8% 83.2%
C1C2
New Visitor3,320 Sessions
Returning Visitor669 Sessions
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015
18.5%81.5%New Visitor2,426 Sessions (81.5%)
C1C2
New Visitor2,426 Sessions
Returning Visitor550 Sessions

CountrySessions% Sessions
1.
United States
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 20163,08277.26%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 20152,33378.39%
% Change32.10%-1.44%
2.
United Kingdom
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 20162015.04%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 20151334.47%
% Change51.13%12.75%
3.
(not set)
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 20161243.11%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015732.45%
% Change69.86%26.73%
4.
India
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016771.93%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015260.87%
% Change196.15%120.95%
5.
Russia
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016701.75%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015240.81%
% Change191.67%117.60%
6.
Canada
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016561.40%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015311.04%
% Change80.65%34.77%
7.
Germany
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016411.03%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015351.18%
% Change17.14%-12.61%
8.
China
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016270.68%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015210.71%
% Change28.57%-4.08%
9.
France
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016250.63%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 2015210.71%
% Change19.05%-11.18%
10.
Iraq
Sep 29, 2015 - Sep 28, 2016220.55%
Sep 28, 2014 - Sep 28, 201510.03%
% Change2,100.00%1,541.31%
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Pre-Debate, Pre Blog Anniversary Post

It was fun comparing my high school graduating class to the class of '16 at Bishop McCort, but now I feel that I need to weigh in the election.  Since the conventions the candidates have been focusing on things like Trump's personality and temperament which I admit are pretty scary but I'm hearing little discussion of issues.  The campaign ad below shows Republicans rightly denouncing Trump.  The ad appears to be trying to get Republicans to vote for her or for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  Sanders did get some concessions from Clinton on the public option and the $15/hour minimum wage in the party platform but I'm hearing little discussion of it from her now.  The closer the race gets the more she needs Sanders supporters.



On a side note Bernie Sanders has sat down for an interview for The Nation magazine on the status of his movement since the conventions. In it he argued that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the nation and the world.  It's hard to argue against that.

My last comment is in response to a letter to the editor in The Tribune-Democrat titled "Nation Closer to Socialism than Many Believe."  In it Jackie Clark argues that the US is on a slippery slope towards socialism following Central and South American countries such as Venezuela and Brazil.  Clark argues that the socialism is just a precursor to establishing Soviet style communism.  

Clark neglects to mention that most European nations have embraced some form of democratic socialism for the past 70 to 100 years and are showing no signs of sliding into communism.  Indeed the communism that existed behind the iron curtain during the Cold War was imposed on them by the Soviets and fell apart quickly as the USSR did.  If they really intended to become communist they would have done it by now. 

As far as suppressing freedom goes, the Scandinavian countries are in a better position to take personal initiative in creating businesses as they do not need to worry about health care, child care, and education expenses.  The difficulties in Venezuela, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and others are more due to the global financial crisis (due to unfettered capitalism), to the decline in global oil prices, and to good old fashioned corruption.

The last three paragraphs will be submitted to the Tribune Democrat in response.  I'll let you know if it is published.  Next up, the 6th anniversary post.

 
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Comparing McCort's Class of '16 to the Class of '88 in their College Plans



In my last post I showed that there was a higher percentage of students at Bishop McCort High School in the national honor society (NHS) in the class of 2016 than in the late 1980's when I was there.  This week I thought I would take a deeper look at which colleges the classmates were attending according to the graduation programs.  I only have the program from my class (1988) and  the alumni newsletter from last years (2016).

First before I discuss the rankings of colleges.  US News and World Report comes out with a well regarded ranking of colleges and universities which universities love to use for marketing to prospective students.  They have a scoring system on a 100 point scale based on factors such as selectivity available resources and 14 other factors.  

I categorized schools according to the US News score.  An elite school had a score of 61-100 (U. of Penn, Johns-Hopkins) a second tier school had a score of 35-60 (Pitt, Penn State), a third tier four year school had a score of 34 or below or were unranked (Indiana (PA) or IUP as we in PA call it, Pitt-Johnstown or UPJ).  Community colleges, jr colleges, or advanced technical schools were 4th tier.  Those who went into the military or were employed were placed in the 5th tier and those who were undecided or deferred for a year were placed in tier 6.  This classification is totally mine and you are welcome to disagree with it.  The listing of all schools, their 2016 US News score (if available), the classification, the school considered, and the number of students going to that school from each class are presented at the bottom of this post.




1988
2016
Category
n
%
n
%
1 Elite
(eg. Penn, CMU)
13
8.78
5
5.15
2 State Univ (eg. Pitt, Penn State)
44
29.73
46
47.42
3 Public (IUP, UPJ)
64
43.24
32
32.99
4 Comm Coll/Tech Sch.
11
7.43
6
6.19
5 Military
12
8.11
1
1.03
6 Undecided
4
2.70
7
7.22
Total
148

97



The table above shows the six categories, the number of students placed in this category for each class, and the % of students out of the whole class in this category.  The median category for 1988 was a 3 and the median category for 2016 was a 2.  There was a slightly higher % of students in the 1st tier in 1988 (8.78%) than in 2016 (5.15%) but there was a much larger % in the 2nd tier (47.42%) in 2016 than in 1988 (29.73%).  The school chosen most often in 1988 was the Pitt-Johnstown campus (UPJ) by 26 students or 17.6% of the total while in 2016 it was Indiana Univ. of PA (IUP) chosen by 15 students or 15.5% of the total.  One student from the Class of '16 was admitted to am Ivy league school, The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business (Donald Trump's Alma Mater).



1988

NHS
no
yes

n
%
n
%
School Ranking
1
6
5.26
7
20.59
2
27
23.68
17
50.00
3
57
50.00
7
20.59
4
9
7.89
2
5.88
5
11
9.65
1
2.94
6
4
3.51
0
0
Total
114
100
34
100
2016

NHS
no
yes

n
%
n
%
School Ranking
1
2
3.03
3
9.68
2
25
37.88
21
67.84
3
25
37.88
7
22.58
4
6
9.09
0
0
5
1
15.15
0
0
6
7
10.61
0
0
Total
66
100
31
100

Drilling down further into the numbers I thought I would take a closer look at national honor society membership in both classes and which colleges they attend.  For both classes the median tier school was 2nd tier for NHS members and for non NHS members it was 3rd tier in both classes.  Because there was a higher percentage of NHS members in the NHS in 2016 it appears that this is what is driving the admissions to 2nd tier schools in 2016.  NHS membership certainly looks good on a college application.

Of course the rankings of colleges change from time to time.  My Alma Mater IUP was ranked as one of the best buys in college education in 1988 and was unranked in 2016.  Mount Aloysius was a junior college in 1988 and is a 4 year college in now.  Cambria Rowe Business College no longer exists.  Also I know that where students were planning to go on graduation day is not necessarily where they ended up finishing.  There is no telling where life leads us.  The Takeaway with John Hockenberry has a good discussion of college admissions.




US News Score
Ranking
School
1988
2016
51
2
American U.
1
0
61
1
Boston U
0
1
79
1
Bucknell U
0
1

3
California (PA)
1
1

5
Cambria Rowe Bus. Coll
1
0

3
Carlow University
2
0
74
1
Carnegie Mellon
2
0
63
1
Case Western Res. U.
1
0
38
2
Catholic Univ. America
2
2

4
Central PA Bus Sch
1
0
49
2
Chatham Univ
0
1

4
Chiyoda Intl. Lang. Acad.
0
1

3
Clarion (PA)
2
2
46
2
Coastal Carolina U.
0
1

4
Conemaugh Sch Nursing
0
2
41
2
Davis & Elkins College
0
2

6
Defer
0
5

4
Devry Inst. Tech
2
0
44
2
Drexel Univ
1
0
40
2
Duquesne Univ.
4
7
65
1
Earlham Coll.
1
0
42
2
Eastern College
1
0

3
Edinboro (PA)
5
1
67
1
Elizabethtown
1
0

5
Employed
4
0

4
EMT
1
0
48
2
Gannon U.
2
0
35
2
George Mason Univ.
0
1

3
Goldey Beacom College
1
0

4
Hagerstown JC
1
0
55
2
Hood College
1
0

4
ICM Sch. Business
2
0

3
Indiana (PA)-IUP
8
15

4
Indiana (PA)-Kittaning
1
0
79
1
John Carroll U.
1
0
90
1
Johns-Hopkins U.
1
0
56
2
Juniata College
3
1
26
3
Kent State
1
0

4
Lee Hosp. Sch. Radiology
1
0
31
3
Mansfield U. of PA.
1
0
49
2
Michigan State
0
1

5
Military
7
1
22
3
Mount Aloysius
6
2
58
2
Mount St. Mary's
1
0
82
1
Notre Dame
2
0
58
2
Ohio State U.
1
0

4
PA Acad. Cosmetology
1
0

4
Penn Highl. Comm. Coll.
0
3
60
2
Penn State
9
1

3
Penn State-Altoona
4
1
54
2
Pitt
2
7

3
Pitt-Johnstown (UPJ)
26
7

4
Pitts, Inst. Aeronautics
1
0
35
2
Point Park U.
0
2

3
Potomac State
1
0
47
2
Robert Morris U.
1
1

3
Salem State U.
0
1
51
2
Seton Hill
0
1
41
2
Shippensburg U.
0
1
43
2
Slippery Rock U
1
3
51
2
St. Francis (PA)
10
4
45
2
St. Vincent (PA)
2
5
27
3
Theil College
1
0
42
2
Tiffin U.
1
0
91
1
U of Penn (Wharton)
0
1
61
1
UC Davis
0
1
62
1
UC Irvine
0
1

6
Undecided
4
2
100
1
Villanova
3
0
57
2
Washington & Jefferson Coll.
1
2
40
2
Waynesburg Univ.
0
3
26
3
West Virginia
5
2
81
1
Wheeling Jesuit College
1
0

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