Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blogging Is Like Fishing

It's been a year now that I've been blogging. What Do I Know now I didn't know then? Lots. Some thoughts:

1. Blogging is like fishing

I started blogging to just see what it was all about. I really didn't care who read it, and I'm reasonably pleased that those who do stop and comment have been civil (I know that's sounds like an invitation to the uncivil, but it seems they aren't reading it, or it's too boring for them to even respond.) But I noticed early on that I started looking at the "Viewed Profile" numbers. Then someone suggested I put up site-meter. That is addictive - not just seeing how many hits I get, but where they are all from. And until I got site-meter, I had no idea how much information I left at other websites. Unlike fishing, even posts I've dropped into the water months ago can get hits today.

2. Hits

I was averaging anywhere from 3 to 10 hits per day -with spikes into the 20s - before July. Up til then, the biggest days came from my posts on trying to get help fixing my Maytag. But in July I blogged a local trial of a politician tried (and convicted) of extortion, bribery, and money laundering. That got me links on the local newspaper's website and several other sites and my hits zoomed up - 30, 45, on up to 150 and then slowly back down. But some of those folks have stayed and I'm in the 20s regularly now. This week's Sicko review got linked to a major Italian movie site and was translated into German on another site. Then there are the "unknown" referrals. Some, like my mom, are regulars. But I wonder how others found my site. One commenter said her search engine alerted her that my site had mentioned one of her flagged terms: 'prophy-paste.'

3. What are people searching for?

Major topics have been the Tom Anderson Trial, Carnival Cruise lines, Alaska Airport Railroad Depot. I like the idea that people trying to figure out how to get from the airport to their cruise get to read about how the cruiselines are ripping everyone off. A few hits for "Viddler v. Youtube." Then there are my favorites who searh for the exotic. Who are the people (three or four altogether) who have searched for awazdo? (I did some posts on trucks in India with pictures of their "Please Honk" signs. Then I discovered awazdo meant "give me horn" in Hindi (Maharashtri?) and posted on that. ) I guess other people have the same bizarre curiosity I have. People also have searched for names of people (ordinary people) I've posted about. And then there are the people whose searches get them to me, but only because the words appear scattered in different posts, but nothing I have is relevant to them. Someone the other day from New Jersey got here googling, "i live in a condo above a smoker and the smell comes in what can i do to get rid of it." That got him to my April archive that began with a post on the Confucius Institute. But five or six posts down was
"What is it about smokers?" Did he read down that far? Who knows?

4. Searching and Finding
I still haven't figured out exactly why search engines give the results they do. Sometimes they give the archive - like with the smoker - and then the person has to find it on the page. Sometimes they give my latest posts and then they have to search the blog. Sometimes they give the exact post they were looking for. I haven't studied it enough to figure out if there is a pattern - whether the word is in the post, title, or labels. I originally thought the labels were a good idea so people could search my blog by topics so I wanted to limit it to a few general categories. But I've been slipping in more specific things lately.

5. Google Hits and Technorati Rankings

Technorati seems to be focused on how many other people link to you and how high their rankings are. I've moved up from Zero to 1, then 2, and eventually up to 9 this week. (The Italian movie blog was ranked around 3200 to give you a sense.) So I'm a slight bump in the blogosphere. On the other hand, Google must be impacted by how often you post. I've been posting once or more a day on average and as I check the site-meter to see how people got to me, I've been on page one of Google fairly often.

6. New features

I started with just text. Buying my Canon Powershot changed everything. I was soon adding photos. And then video. First YouTube, then I found Viddler. And now Blogger has an upload, but it didn't work yesterday. That may have to do with the bugs in iMovie08. Fortunately, it left iMovie06 on my computer. (There was no '07, but the blog wags are calling iMovie08, iMovie07.) And Jamfest made posting audio easy. You can even download directly from websites to Jamfest. And Blogger added polls, but I'm not sure how I would use them. They seem like toys on most blogs. And I probably don't have enough readers anyway.


I discovered early, accidentally, that leaving comments on other posts, often brings a visit from that blogger, and even a comment. I do wander to other blogs now and then, though I'm cruising Alaska blogs more than the 'next blog' button. I'm not even sure how I got to Mirksome Bogle. Mirk has become a regular commenter here. Visually, our sites are totally different, but our content has some overlaps - photos of nature, quirky photos, punnish, and eclecticity.

Those are some things that pop into mind musing on my blogging.


  1. I think you're doing a great job with the blog. And I like this set of comments about blogging in general. I believe you know Michael Carey, who plans to start blogging as early as next week. I'll send him your thoughts for sure -- he's new to it as well, and we're excited to see how he tackles the new medium.

  2. Thanks. And I'll give Michael an email or call.

  3. Oh you found me, or I found you I should say through an obstreperous ;) comment you left on Saltys blog concerning me.

    I'm bored tonight and just looking about on Google etc and found this arrr! Much as you are talking about in this post.

  4. Anon, What little you've left here doesn't mean anything to me. Which is Salty's blog? I'm in the dark. You can email thru the profile if you care to tell me who you are. And if I said something stupid about you, you can give me a chance to apologize.


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