Ramble: 2020 in review

It goes without saying that 2020 has turned out to be… less than optimal for most of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on virtually every facet of our lives, with innumerable losses around the world. Even with all the (involuntary) free time added due to local lockdown(s) and other social restrictions, I’ll admit that I haven’t made nearly as many blog posts this year as I would have liked. However, that doesn’t mean that people haven’t stopped reading my content – let’s see how this year has fared in that regard.

Top 5 Posts

Post Views
(New!) Reverse-engineering SanDisk’s High Endurance SD card 7,717
KitchenAid induction cooktop service manual 4,185
Building my own SD card with an eMMC chip 4,082
Resurrecting a dead MacBook Pro 3,649
SIM card PIN recovery with a logic analyzer 2,952

The one post that did make it out of the Drafts folder this year was my adventure in reverse-engineering a SanDisk high-endurance memory card in order to see what specific kind of NAND Flash was being used, earning over 7,500 views this year; these views primarily came from Hackaday, Twitter and Reddit.

The other posts are classics that people still love to read about. Once again, the KitchenAid service manual’s popularity indicates that KitchenAid/Whirlpool still hasn’t done anything to fix their faulty designs – and the comments suggest that the (ongoing as of the writing of this post) pandemic has made it even more difficult to get damaged cooktops serviced!

Views

This year ranks 5th out of 8 years of running my blog, amassing 102,420 views this year. Given the relative lack of featured posts on sites like Hackaday, this drop in views is largely expected – but I’m still happy to have surpassed the 100,000 view mark this year.

WordAds Performance

This year’s WordAds performance is the worst I’ve seen since I joined back in late 2017. Despite serving 933,470 ads this year, this only netted $98 USD, yielding a CPM (cost per 1,000 ad impressions) of merely $0.10! This is in stark contrast with even last year’s CPM of $0.24 – and that was already on a huge downslope! The lowest point was in June, with a CPM of merely $0.04, and a revenue of $5.21 respectively. However, the CPM rates have begun to improve to late 2019 levels since October.

Of course, this isn’t unexpected as the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the world’s economy, and online advertisements are no exception. Consequently, this year’s revenue isn’t even enough to cover my hosting costs, but it still helps make running the blog less painful for my wallet.

Looking Forward

After this year’s tumultuous chain of events (and not being quite out of the woods in terms of COVID-19 vaccination and elimination), hopefully 2021 will be a reprieve after 2020’s parade of constant interruptions and unforeseen consequences. Hopefully the upcoming year will be a lot better for all of us. I want to get a lot of posts out of the Drafts folder, as I’ve been working on a lot of projects – but blog posts (sadly) don’t write themselves! Stay tuned…

Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping 2021 won’t be nearly as disastrous as 2020; once again, many thanks to everyone who reads and shares my blog posts – it means a lot to me! –Jason