Year 3 and Counting!

Hello, world!

jay_shilstone_HS I begin this post the same way I began my first post, three years ago today. Who would have believed I would have lasted this long writing a blog. My father was always the one who enjoyed writing magazine articles, while I preferred to play with computers. It seems that I found a way to do both, so the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. I thought today I would give you a view of the results of this blog.

Viewer Statistics: In the last year almost 11,000 viewers have seen over 21,000 pageviews of this blog. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, the top 5 countries viewing the blog are:

  • India (which actually edged out Canada for the #2 spot)
  • Brazil
  • UK
  • Australia
  • UAE

Of the almost 14,000 viewing sessions, about 9,000 have come from search engines with the rest coming from direct entry of the blog name or from links in emails or social media.

The most common search terms over the past year have been:

  • ACI 211
  • Gap graded aggregate
  • Command Alkon
  • 45 power chart
  • Coarseness factor

Unfortunately most of the search engines are now hiding the search terms and I can’t find out what most people are looking for.

Summary of the Past Year’s posts: As I have done the last 2 years, below is a summary of the blog articles I have written, sorted from oldest to most recent.


Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Paste (reprise) (9/15/14)

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – w/c curves aren’t just about water and cement (10/10/14)

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Using w/c curves (10/13/14)

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Statistical Overdesign by ACI (Part 1) (10/27/14)

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Statistical Overdesign by ACI 318 (Part 2) (12/1/14)

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Statistical Overdesign using EN-206 (12/22/14) – This was a great example of thinking an article was going in one direction, only to have it change course and head off into an entirely different direction.

Meet Rocky and Learn about Particle Packing (1/5/15) – This was a presentation I did at the ACI Fall Convention that ACI recorded and placed on YouTube.

Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science – Statistical Overdesign Conclusion (1/26/15)

Concrete Testing – The Elephant in the Living Room (2/16/15) – An interesting note is that this blog article has been reproduced by Concrete Construction magazine, The Concrete Producer (where it has been published as a guest editorial in the April/May issue) and the CSI Weekly Newsletter.

Concrete Production – Changing to Ready Mix 2.0 (3/16/15 – “Beware the Ides of March”)

If you are interested in the summaries of my last 2 years’ posts you can find them at:

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 2 years now!

Concrete Blogging – The Year in Review (and other inspirations from Janus)

What’s Coming Next: You will probably notice that I didn’t maintain my “every other week” publishing goal. I think I can put this down to two reasons:

  • If you want to learn what you don’t know about a subject, try teaching it to someone else. I was pretty confident about aggregate mix design methods since I have written so much about them. When it came to cementitious design methods, though, there were a lot of t’s to cross and I’s to dot. Especially when it came to EN206 I had to forget what I thought I knew and re-read the document with fresh eyes.
  • As I approached the end of the “Mix Design” part of this series I didn’t have a real feel for the direction I wanted to head next. As I see it I have two possible directions – “Materials” and “Special Durability Requirements”. I think I’m going to do “Materials” next and see how it goes.

I fully expect to continue my “Concrete Mix Design: Art and Science” series until I get it complete enough to assemble it into an ebook. Who knows when that will be? However, you can also expect to see unrelated articles interspersed with the CMD series. There is a lot of interesting stuff going on in concrete these days. Some things, like BIM and architectural concrete, I have already spoken about but there is more to tell. Other things, like using 3D printers to “print” with concrete, are extremely new and need more exposure.

Blogs are like software. Neither one is ever finished. Just as Command Alkon is always adding customer requests to COMMANDqc, I will continue adding new topics on this blog. I am continually grateful to the readers of this blog and their many comments. Most comments are not posted on the blog site, but are sent to me via email. Whichever way you prefer, I love hearing from my readers. Please let me know if there are any rabbit holes you think are worth venturing down.

Until next time,

Jay Shilstone

P.S. If you are interested in COMMANDqc or any other Command Alkon products feel free to contact me. Also, we will be hosting a 2 day Regional Training Conference in Dallas may 5 &6, 2015. You can find out more here:

About Jay Shilstone

I am a concrete technologist for Command Alkon, Inc. and have been in the concrete industry for over 35 years. For 28 of those years I have been working on quality control software for the concrete industry. I am a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and a member of multiple ACI, ASTM and NRMCA committees. I look forward to talking about concrete mix design and quality control with everyone.

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