I have been posting for five years

While doing the previous post, which got me looking at dates, I realised that last month I passed the five year mark in maintaining this site.

Yep. I have been posting for five years. Well, five years and one month to be precise.

I have never achieved anywhere near the number of visitors that I originally thought I might. When I started I thought I might get up to around 5,000 or so regular visitors. That seemed achievable. After all there are something like 2.5 billion people surfing around the Internet. All I was hoping to get was about 0.0002 percent of those.

At the peak, which only happened a small number of times, I managed 500.

Another thing is the lack of comments. People generally don’t seem to like to comment.

I have not done a check back but I estimate that probably only about two or three percent of posts have a comment.

Looking back I am reasonably happy with the variety and content of most of the posts I have done.

I sort of started this blog with the aim of mostly posting photographs I was going to take, and there has been a bit of this. There have been the pictures of Seriously Cute Niece (SCN; features in 27 tagged posts) and various ‘rustic’ themed picture I have posted. But overall only 2.7 percent of my posts have been tagged as photographic posts and I was probably expecting, back in the beginning, for about a quarter of posts to be photography posts.

As it turned out the largest tagged grouping is “tech/computers” which comes out at about 3 percent.

If the gods are kind and I live that long, maybe I will make it to August next year and then I can tell you I have been posting for six years.

BarryMark

Top 10 for first week of September, 2014

It is always interesting to check which posts people are looking at. Following are the Top 10 for the first week of this month.

Top10Sept1stWeek

First: The first one is the main page so it is not surprising this is at the top. This is where everybody ends up when then just go to abalook.com.

JWL-SmallSecond: The next one “Titbit: Hunger Games ‘Amazing’” (here) is from March 2012 and is about the reviews that the movie was getting in America.

At the time I had not seen it myself.

This post features some pictures from then of Jennifer Lawrence.

Third: Third in the list “Some Christmas presents just take a little more work” (here) is from December 2012 and is a posting about a pair of high heels my son got for his then girlfriend (now fiancé).

These high heels took some work. They are custom painted with an R2D2 theme. He had to find a suitable pair to have painted, and then get them to the person was going to paint them, and get them done and back in time for Christmas.

R2D2-ChristmasHeels

Fourth: Next in the list is from March 2012: “Country girls wear shorter shorts” (here).

ShortShortsBlueEven though it is two years ago I remember this. I was getting my usual stores of sustaining alcohol from the Liquorland in the country town where I work away, and walking back to my car I spotted this vision in eye-catching pale pink shorts in the Subway store off to my right.

From memory I started keying that post almost as soon as I got back to the motel unit; well that would be after having a couple of glasses of life enriching and sustaining red wine.

The picture used in the posting to illustrate the concept of ‘short shorts’ (a reduced version shown at left) was obviously NOT of the girl I saw. I just Googled the Web for ‘short shorts’ and picked a picture.

Also the shorts I saw being worn by the black-haired babe in Subway were NOT as short as this.

It was one of those times you wished you had a camera around your neck, or maybe had a pair of Google Glass; so you could capture that stunning view forever.

AdrianneSmall-RepostFifth: Sitting in the number five slot is “Adrianne Palicki Chosen to Play Wonder Woman” (here).

Regular readers will know that this posting has always been in the Top 10; almost since I posted it way back in February 2011. In fact I am pretty sure that if I was to do a count back I would find that this posting would be in the Top 5 most popular ever postings.

Interestingly, as popular as it it, it has zero comments attached.

There must obviously be a lot of Adrianne Palicki fans out there for this posting to have maintained its position in the Top 10 for so long.

Observation: In the interests of “Keep the posts short”, I won’t go on and bore you further with notes and comments about the other five in the Top 10; but there is one observation that I have made.

All the ongoing popular posts were done in 2012 or earlier.

BarryMark

Testing on SquareSpace 6 continues . . .

As I think I mentioned a number of posts ago I am looking into converting my site over from SquareSpace v5 to SquareSpace v6. I don’t have to do this because the SquareSpace team have said that they have no intention of stopping v5. But there are two good reasons for me trying to convert from v5 to v6.

The first reason is that I would be able to post pictures up to 900 pixels wide, whereas my current limit with my v5 site is 652. This would allow me to post pictures almost a third wider. For a site that I sort of hope will become more photography focussed it would be of great benefit to be able to post wider ‘landscape’ orientation pictures.

The second reason is that v6 has been designed from the bottom up to cater for mobile devices. When people using any size of tablet or any size smartphone connect to a v6 site the engines behind the site know the type of device connecting. So then they automatically adjust the presentation of the site to better suit the device being used.

Also, instead of images simply being resized by the browser to fit the viewing screen size, they are resampled by the back-end SquareSpace engine before being sent to the viewing device. This means, generally, depending on the starting point image and the device being used to access the site, that the quality of the picture that ends up on the screen is much better.

It has not been easy duplicating the look of my v5 site in v6 but I am relatively close now.

Below are two screen captures. The first screen capture is from the test v6 site. The second screen capture is of the same posting from my existing v5 site. Both captures were done in the same size screen browser at full width. So this means, even though the images are reduced to fit my posting width here, that the relative size difference is perfect (i.e., the representation is to scale).

Ignore the sidebar gibberish in the v6 screen grab. At this stage in my testing I have not done anything with the sidebar.

v6-Test-1

v6-Test-2

You can instantly see the obvious difference. While the sidebar is effectively the same width (it is actually a tiny 12 pixels wider), the main posting area is much wider. It is now 900 pixels compared to 650 pixel previously.

There are downsides. There are ALWAYS downsides. Following are the two biggest downsides.

Firstly, due to the way v6 works, none of the desktop content creation tools will work with it. This means Live Writer, which I use for v5, and am using now to create this entry, cannot be used to create content for v6. Basically to key up posts for v6 you have to log into SquareSpace and do it there.

This is a big hurdle for me. I love Live Writer. I have Live Writer configured so it works from Microsoft’s Skydrive. This means I can use Live Writer installed on any computer anywhere and create and edit posts stored in the Skydrive.

Also, I seriously hate entering content into Web-browser based tools. They are slow, all the short-cut keys I know and love do not work, they typically don’t have as-you-key spell checking (in fact the SquareSpace 6 online editor does not have any form of spell checking), and the interfaces are generally clumsy due to the limitations of working via a browser.

Secondly, when I import all my existing content from my v5 site the formatting that I took care to get just how I wanted it (with each an every post) is going to get wrecked. The only way for this to be ‘fixed’ is for me to review all of my past postings and, one by one, fix up any really bad formatting failures caused by the import.

See … it is not easy running and maintaining a quality site.

If anyone who has converted to SquareSpace 6 has any thoughts or ideas to share then please post a comment or e-mail me.

BarryMark

Wonder Woman to the rescue … again …

Mar2013StatsOver the last five days the unique visitor count for my site has skyrocketed up from the 150 or so average to an average of 444. And this is without me doing much posting lately.

I thought, “Wow! Someone has discovered one my highly insightful postings and it is being linked over to”. I mean. Look at those numbers—524 unique visitors on Saturday March 30th with 873 views.

But after clicking on the Popular Content statistics button and reducing the history to three days it quickly becomes obvious where the interest is. It is the posting “Adrianne Palicki Chosen To Play Wonder Woman” (here) from back in February 2011. This posting is back up there in the top spot again, with the Emilia Clarke cute babe posting (here) taking the number two slot.

Mar2013Stats-2

But look at the three day numbers for Adrianne Palicki. Her posting has had almost six times more visitors than Emilia got in those three days.

Adrianne and Emilia together got over 4.5 times the visitors that the next eight in the Top 10 got added together.

It seems my postings relating to the Gen4 2014 Subaru Forester are also of interest. One of the posting made it into the Top 10 (at number 7) and two others made it into the Top 20.

BarryMark

Top 5 posts for the last 30 days based on views

Following are the Top 5 posts based on views for the last 30 days.

Top5-1-Emilia1. Cute Babe 009: Emilia Clarke

1,221 views.

Emilia Clarke has well and truly taken over as the top interest posting on my site from Adrianne Palicki, who is currently down at number 16.

Long time readers will be aware that Adrianne held a spot in the Top 5 for many months—for over a year actually. However Emilia, who plays ‘mother of dragons’ in Game of Thrones, has been in the Top 5 almost since I did my first post featuring her.

Can’t wait for Season Three of Game of Thrones to start. This is a big season for the ‘mother of dragons’. Not long now.

Click on the picture of Emilia to link to the posting.

2. Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper

726 views.

This posting goes way back to August 2010 and since that time it has consistently been in the Top 10.

It is about a wallpaper I found called the ‘Amazing Transformation’ and it features a girl transforming “from cute babe to goddess in four easy steps”.

If you haven’t seen this and are a bit curious you can find this posting here.

Top5-R2D2Heels3. Some Christmas presents just take a little more work

291 views.

This is a very recent posting. It was posted on the 29th of December last year. Not even a month ago—yet it has made it into the Top 5. It has clocked up 291 views since it was posted.

Click on the picture at right to link to the posting.

4. Sexual Arousal: Males Are Massively Visual

With 288 views this is another post that goes way back to November 2010 and yet still gets a lot of hits—in relative terms anyway, for a site that only gets about 130 to 160 unique visitors per day. It also picked up a relatively recent comment (in November last year) and, for some reason, comments to my site are very rare (hint, hint).

Reader ‘63yearold’ commented: “Very interesting and pretty accurate!! Well done!”

Top5-VisualMales

Click the above clipping to go to the post.

5. Memes from Quickmeme.com

This got 283 views. I am not too sure why really. Obviously someone is linking to it. If you want to check it out then you will find this posting here.


The interesting thing about posts like these getting high view counts is that it probably means that other sites are linking directly to them. You see if someone comes to my site via the basic URL of www.abalook.com then they get placed at the top of the site roll and that ‘view’ is counted as a ‘Journal’ view. Then if they simply go down the posts sequentially using Next then none of those views gets recorded against the individual posts.

In order for individual posts to have their view counter incremented a reader has to actually click directly to that post either via a site search, using a link embedded in some other post they are reading, via the categories, or via a link from some other site or in an e-mail.

So, I wonder who is linking directly to my Emilia Clarke posting? Hmmmm. Whoever it is; thanks.

BarryMark

HSD: Uniques pop over 300 on 20/11/2012

It’s amazing what happens when you are not looking. I have not been paying much attention at all to my site for the last four weeks or so. My work is consuming all my thinking time. My ‘beautiful’ project is having some issues. After 14 months of preparation we are now starting to deploy. Whenever large IT projects involving rebuilding all the PCs in the business—we are rebuilding all PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7—get to the deployment phase there is always a period of what is referred to as ‘Deployment Inertia’. Deployment inertia is the term used to cover all the things that go wrong with the deployment phase at the start because they were overlooked, or if they were thought of they were not properly resolved.

Anyway, as I said, I was not paying much attention to my site.

CountPeakThen now, when I just checked the statistics, I see I have a day where the uniques went over 300. In fact there are four days of high unique counts, for my site anyway, from the 19th to the 22nd of November.

I just had to find out what it was.

As regular readers might have guessed the cause of these numbers was down to three posting. Top of the chart was the Adrianne Palicki posting (here for anyone wanting to check it out), second was ‘the amazing transformation’ wallpaper (here), and third was the cute babe posting featuring Emilia Clarke (here).

One of my postings about the new Forester due out around February next year in Australia was in the Top 5 (it was 5th), but the view count for that was just 83 compared to the view count for Emilia Clarke of 158 (almost double).

For whatever reason 4th place went to a posting about categorising posts and I never did understand why this posting often manages to get a lot of views, and still seems to. Very odd. A mystery really.

BarryMark

Nice comment: See I am still checking in now and then

See. I am still checking in now an then. Maybe not two or three times a day like I used to. Probably more like once every two or three days. But I am still checking in just to see what is going on with the numbers.

One new comment has been duly noted from the posting “HSD: Emilia Clarke blitzes Adrianne Palicki” (here).

mohitcomment

It’s “high heels” rather than “high heals” . . . but I understand Indian-English—verbal and written <insert smiley face here> and I am one of the 85 to 90 percent of males who would have to agree with your comment.

BarryMark

My interest in the site has declined over the last few months

As regular readers will have probably gathered my enthusiasm for Abalook has decayed a bit over the last few months. I basically have not done a single posting while working away at site for the last three or four months. The only postings I have done have been on weekends back at base and they also have been getting a little scarce.

I won’t shut the site down yet. I will keep the site name registered and continue to pay my fees to SquareSpace. Who knows? Maybe I will get a burst of enthusiasm and get back into posting again. I certainly have enough topics stored up in OneNote to do about two more years of postings.

I more or less started Abalook as a place to feature some of my photography. But that never really got going. Even so I kept Abalook going for a solid three years which far exceeds the statistical average for an active site—which is around five months.

But I never really got exciting unique visitor numbers. The last three days have been around 160. The only really high-ish numbers were with my postings of SCN and the other babe postings I have done here and there. But even so I never got anything up around 1,000. With so many people on the Internet you would have thought 1,000 uniques would have been easy to achieve.

I have only had three comments this month. Two of those were on the Emilia Clarke posting. Thanks to ‘grills’ for the suggestion that I should do a “babe picture very week” because out of my Top 5 views four of them were babe related.

Grillscomment

But really; doing babe postings is hard work. First you have to decide on who to post. Then you have to find a few high quality pictures to use. They will always need photo-editing to make them look their best and that can take a little bit of work. And finally you need to find some narrative to put with them.

It can take half a day to put that sort post together—with a coffee or two slotted in.

The third comment in October (to date) was from my wife who pointed out that the world did not end on the 15th of October. So I guess that increases the possibility the 21st of December is THE day that the world will end.

So, just to let you know that the postings, if any, are likely to be few and far between unless I get motivated again.

Thank ya’all for visiting . . .

BarryMark

Only two comment in September … one of those was from my wife

Just2Comments

Man oh man! Only two comments in September. And one of those was from my wife.

What about the thousands of views of the Emilia Clarke “Cute Babe” posting (see previous post). Surely three or four or five of you could have left some little comment behind. Something like “Awesome images of Emilia” or “Can’t wait for the next Cute Babe posting” or “Great image editing on those pictures”. You get the idea. It’s really easy.

All you need is to make up some kind of nickname, anything you like, and then put in a comment and then pass a really simple little test to prove that you are a person and not a bot. You don’t need to provide any other information. I have mandatory e-mail address turned off. Providing an e-mail address is optional.

BarryMark

Most Popular Post … Based on Comments

Whitby Falls Coach House

I set up Abalook three years ago. On average I have posted something like 21 articles per month.

Based on the number of views the postings featuring cute babes get the high numbers. Adrianne Palicki has been top of the Abalook charts ever since I posted my feature about her.

AdrianneGlamourWith SquareSpace I cannot check back any further than a month but I would estimate that my Adrianne posting has clocked up something like 17,000 views since it was posted in February 2011. In the last month alone Adrianne’s posting (here) clocked up 981 views, which is over twice the next nearest … the posting for Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones (here) with 424 views.

But based on the number of comments my posting about the Whitby Falls Coach House takes the number one spot. Somewhat sadly it only took seven comments for this posting to make it to the top spot—which gives you some idea how many comments I manage to attract.

The latest comment was very recently on the 20th of this month (August) from “J”.

CommentFromJ

I zoom past the coach house every week coming down to site to work, and then zoom back past it again later in the week when I return home. Every time I wish I was a multi-millionaire and could do something to ‘save’ it.

I would love to see inside and get to take more photographs from within the grounds.

Such is life.

BarryMark