Top Posts of 2019

The top posts of 2019 are a little different than I have seen in the past. Usually it is a mix of a few big hit posts that were linked on other sites and a lot of older posts that have long lives.

TMT Rendering
An overhead view of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, credit TMT Observatory Corporation

This year DarkerView’s traffic was dominated by the controversy on Mauna Kea. Publishing a series of posts on specific issues resulted in a lot of shares, mostly on FaceBook that drove traffic.

TMT supporters would routinely link DarkerView to provide more information in the raging online arguments that drove so much of the controversy. I can only hope that the posts had some effect in countering the dizzying amount of misinformation that featured in these arguments.

1A Compendium of Anti-TMT Myths5,047
2Keep it Running3,318
3Where can you fly a drone in Hawaii?3,254
4A Backyard Telescope Pier1,763
5The Mavic Air Panorama Modes1,410
6Remove the abandoned telescopes?1,328
7Will TMT use nuclear power?1,204
8Jan 20th Total Lunar Eclipse1,017
9Are there TMT jobs for locals?1,003
11The observatories pay no rent?695
12Restoring the Cave Astrola680
13The motivation for TMT is greed and profit?667
14Old School Drive Corrector657
15Will TMT be the biggest building on the island?652

Of course the Backyard Telescope Pier article continues to be the most popular long term post. This post has been on every DarkerView top post list since I started the blog. A number of other similar reference posts can be found in the top post lists.

Overall DarkerView had 74,125 page views from 39,679 unique visitors, a large increase from the 46,707 views of 2018, almost double.

Favorite Posts of 2018

While the top posts of 2018 are interesting, the list is quite different when treated to a list of my favorite posts of 2018. The posts chronicle a very eventful year, a little too eventful perhaps. Fire and destruction was brought to a large section of the island, the entire island shaking and shuddering as the volcano erupted.

Fissure 8 Lava Fountain
The lava fountain at fissure 8 in Leilani Estates throwing lava hundreds of feet in the air on June 4th, 2018

As I compile this list I relive 2018 a bit, recalling good memories and the year’s many adventures. As I often state… DarkerView is a blog in the old sense, a web-log or online diary. It may be public, but it is also quite personal, a record of my life.

That is a long list!  I find myself unable to shorten that list by much, indeed, there are good posts that should be added.  The length of that list states one thing very clearly…  2018 was an eventful, interesting year.

A distinct change in this year was my increased political activity, particularly as it surrounds Mauna Kea. I am not just discussing blogging here, there was more… From submitting written testimony on state legislative actions, to attending public meetings, and testifying on issues I feel strongly about. The blog posts record some of that, but by no means all.

The year was eventful on the mauna. With record bad weather in the beginning of the year ruining many night of observing. there was plenty to keep my busy through the year. There is much to feel satisfied about, a few nice accomplishments, even a small victory or two.

The annual Alaskan voyage may very well be my last, my father is considering selling the boat, something that was always part of his plan. Certainly this was my last run along the Inside Passage, a milestone that I mark with some sorrow.

I re-read my written memories here, recall much of what has happened this year. I suspect that 2018 will stand out in my memory when other years have grown dim with fading memory.

Kiholo Bay by Drone
Kiholo Bay taken by the Mavic Air

Top Posts of 2018

Examining the most popular posts for the year shows trends we have seen in the past. Certain subjects have a very long lifetime, with steady interest and thus search engine hits. The backyard telescope pier plans continue to be one of my all time most popular posts, it has been in the top spot for a few years running. In general a number of amateur astronomy how-to articles are represented on the list.

Other articles reflect what was popular this year. Getting to the lava may now be obsolete, but the eruptions and the news boosted this post into my top rankings. Canon mirrorless cameras also garner a lot of news this year, and thus more hits on DarkerView.

1A Backyard Telescope Pier2,358
2Repairing a Wii Balance Board1,085
3Astrophotography with the EOS-M889
4Restoring an Orange Tube Celestron C8644
5Viewing the ISS599
6Rewiring a Celestron NexStar Telescope595
7Starscape Photography568
8Visiting the Summit of Mauna Kea529
9Light-years, Light-minutes and Light-seconds524
10Old School Drive Corrector503
11Shooting the Canon EOS M5487
12Emergency Alert Fatigue397
13Tragedy on Mauna Kea380
14End-of-Road Puakō374
15Getting to the Lava374

The message is clear, while the new articles on DarkerView are popular, it is the old articles that form a legacy here. People continue to search for and read a lot of the old material on the blog, a result that gives me some satisfaction.

WordPress Blocks

WordPress 5 introduced an entirely new editor, Gutenburg.  I knew it was coming, but had not really paid attention.  So when I updated DarkerView to WordPress 5 I was unprepared for what was coming.

The new Gutenburg editor introduced with WordPress 5
The new Gutenburg editor in WordPress 5

Oh *#$@!  This is different.

Blocks?  What are blocks?  Everything is blocks? I think I get it, it makes sense, the concept is straightforward… The trouble is in the details of actually doing anything useful, learning what icon to press, how to arrange things.  There should be a way to do this, but where is it?

Now that I have had some time with it, and watched a couple training videos, I think I am getting the idea.  At least I have been able to produce new posts without struggling.

The new editor is truly more powerful, more of a desktop publishing editor than a simple blogging editor.  With Gutenburg the power of WordPress to produce professional websites is dramatically improved.

I wonder what new users will think of when they encounter the editor.  Gutenburg dramatically steepens the learning curve necessary before using WordPress.  It is possible to use the classic editor, but only within a block.  A more explicit way to use the classic editor may be a good idea.

The only real effect on DarkerView right now will be a modest increase in the time it takes me to write a post, there are more keys to press and a few more mouse clicks to get the job done.  There will be no real change in the appearance or function of the blog, at least for now.

Top posts of 2017

2017 was a good year for me personally. This is reflected in the blog, with an array of posts chronicling my life over the past year. The posts resulted in 60k visitors to the blog, and while that may be down from last year I will consider that an improvement given DarkerView was not hacked to serve porn this year.

It is interesting to check the most popular posts. These do not necessarily represent the top read posts for the year as most folks read the latest post on the home page. Rather the top posts are the ones that gather steady traffic from search results, people looking for information on the subject and finding it in the archive of back posts…

Post Hits
A Backyard Telescope Pier 3379
Tragedy on Mauna Kea 1980
Astrophotography with the EOS-M 1536
Repairing a Wii Balance Board 1529
Getting to the Lava (Revised) 1449
Starscape Photography 1436
Consequences of a Bad LED 1411
Rewiring a Celestron NexStar Telescope 809
Viewing the ISS 747
Visiting the Summit of Mauna Kea 656
Restoring an Orange Tube Celestron C8 622
Street Photography with the Canon EOS-M3 585
Fungus on Glass 575
Canon EOS-M3 Review 541
Shooting the Canon EOS M5 518

In the list only a few of the posts are from this year. Most represent popular posts from the past several years, posts that continue to be steadily popular. This is in many ways the measure of a good blog, people find the back archive of posts valuable, that Darker View represents good content.