Sunday, January 08, 2012

Blog Stats - This is So Cool!!!

This blog has been floating around the net since some time in June of 2005 but it was not until June 2009 that Google started tracking viewer stats for me and with an almost 2 year hiatus from internet I didn't even discover the stats page until this past September when I re-upped. And up until then, let me tell you, it was depressing because there I was, sharing thoughts and photos and thinking no one was reading. Didn't stop me though. I like writing.

However, it has been gratifying to see that I do indeed have readers. And apparently they check back for more once in a while. I had no readers in June 2009, but in July of that year 149 viewers read the blogs and by November and December 2010, 571 and 535 respectively. I have to attribute some of this to more assertiveness - using Twitter and my Facebook page to let friends know I've posted a new post. I also joined and a comment on regarding my Big Bear Ranch blog also made a difference I think; as does the use generous use of labels. Of course, none of this has helped me sell my photos on items available at CafePress, but what the heck. This is fun!!!

My most-read items? I thought for sure anything to do with the 2010 Olympics. I have had a few hundred folks check those out - mostly USA, Russian and Euro viewers. But the kicker is the one I wrote in August 2007 about my sure fire cure for mosquito bites! 314 and counting. The January stats reveal 24 readers so far - the UN Year of Cooperatives and the Christmas Spirit posts being the most popular.

Now, I never set out to be a blog star; not my style. And believe me the numbers are so low that that will never happen. The most successful bloggers specialize in something - anything - and are either experts in that field or are really, really good at finding newsworthy items, articles and/or news on that subject. Me, I'm a generalist. I write about whatever strikes my fancy. I appreciate those who take the time to read my contributions and I am thrilled when my readers spend a few minutes to send a comment about my pics and blogs.

I am still learning how to cross-reference my blogs and link to other sites. And labelling is an art form!

While washing the dishes blog ideas pop up like mushrooms so even if it is just to keep the creative juices flowing - try creating your own blog. I use Google's Blogger but there are plenty more out there to choose from.

It really is fun!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Daily Internet Habits - What's on Your Toolbars?

Now that I'm retired and have a new PC and time enough to enjoy poking around the internet I have established a routine of sorts. After making a cup of coffee - fresh ground Ethical Beans with brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and soya milk - I head for my PC and going in order of priority from left to right on my Google Chrome toolbar:
First up - Tagoria- An RPG I've been playing on and off for years. I collect my ambers from working on the farm, do the obligatory safety fight on some hapless lower level player, chat for a few minutes on the shout box, then -
Second up - Check my email. Sort, delete, read stuff.
Next - Facebook. It's a way to keep track of what my relatives and friends are doing. Sort of. I do not use the multitude of available corporate info-collection apps since they collect way too much info that is no one's bloody business. I like to think I still have some privacy. A myth, I know, but a nice one. Enough said about that!
Moving right along -I check out my work schedule on-line daily. It can change.
Then - BBC news feed. Browse that for a while. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour or two. Main interests are international events, sciences, tech.
Ditto for the Discovery News feed - Although I'm a little disappointed at some of the content. Supposedly science info but editing skills are often lacking and tend toward sensationalist or just plain misleading headlines. No link - find it if you want.
Much better is Discover Magazine's blog. Excellent science news, in brief. Written by people who know their subject matter. Also, a source for video lectures, symposia, all sorts of interesting science discussions news and debates. You can spend hours here. This morning I watched a discussion about the role of the sciences and the role of the humanities in the 21st century. Great food for thought!
Wired is another science blog. A little more upbeat. Science, tech, a little politics, volcanoes, earthquakes, physics, webcams, etc.
TED has some excellent lectures - Ideas Worth Spreading. I'm hoping much of what they offer is being shown in schools. There is something for everyone here.
Just when you think I'm all science and reason - I check out BurdaStyle and Threads to see what freebie sewing patterns are new to the site. Then hop over to CafePress to see if I've sold anything recently. Ditto for eBay and Etsy.
I also check out YouTube, especially the Vancouver Film School stuff. There is some incredible talent in this city and students come from countries all over the planet. Sometimes in the evening I watch one or two of the free movies on YouTube as well. Check out Robinson Crusoe on Mars - there are several links. Remarkable, considering the film was made before CGI. Plenty of world-class documentaries, some classics, award winning animation, etc.
Some days I spend pretty well the whole day on the net. Other days, I'm trying out new recipes, walking the dog, visiting, serving on my co-op's board of directors, out taking photos, and thinking about my next blog.

Happy New Year. The links above are my gift to you. Enjoy!