I put a counter on my web page last February. Today, in just less than a year, it has reached 10000 hits. I thought this was maybe worthy of note. It doesn’t put me in the celebrity class (thankfully!), but it’s probably reasonably good for an ordinary mathematician, and shows that some people appreciate the effort I put in.
Like most academic web pages, it began as links to the course material for the courses I teach, access to my preprints, and professional affiliations. But it has grown since then; if you haven’t visited it, let me see if I can tempt you.
- I keep a list of conferences in discrete mathematics and related areas (algebra, logic, etc.). Probably this is the most visited item on the site.
- Nowadays, when I give a course, I produce a set of lecture notes as I go along, and put it on the web. I know that these notes are used in various places. Recently, Morteza Mohammed-Noori sent me a list of misprints in my Notes on Counting that he and his students had found when he gave a course in Tehran using the notes.
- My most time-consuming passion these days is walking. I started keeping a list of long-distance trails I had started or completed. At some point I decided to put the list on the web. I take photographs on my walks, and I decided to put some of these on the web too.
- An advantage of being a mathematician is that I have travelled a lot. On some of these trips I kept diaries, and some of these are now on the web. Take a trip to New Zealand, India, Iran, Slovenia, …, or Birmingham.
- There is an open problem on my web page, which changes from time to time; I keep a file of old problems with their status. You might find a research topic there.
One of the most interesting and thought-provoking blogs I have found is that of Diamond Geezer. Recently he made an amusing post where he made hay out of some corporate person who had (politely) asked him to change the wording of a year-old post. Among many good points, DG made one which is perhaps more questionable: old web-pages are an item of record and should not be altered. That got me thinking.
I agree that weblogs should not be changed. As the name suggests, they are items of record; nobody reads old blogs unless brought there as the result of a search. But there are other sorts of web pages, such as my conference listings, whose usefulness depends on their being updated regularly. And as always in life, when you distinguish two categories of things, you find that there are many cases that don’t quite fit the pattern. Anyway, my webpage carries a notice “The contents may change at any time”. I think it is these changes that bring my visitors back.
In a couple of years, I will be pensioned off, and sent to the old men’s room in the sky (strictly speaking, on the fifth floor, with views of Tower Bridge and Limehouse). Probably my webpage will disappear at that point. So read it while you have time!