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Monday, August 12, 2013

Ruminations on Blogging

From time to time I like to think out loud and talk about my adventures in blogging and try to share tips and information that I find useful about the process. I have my Masters in The Obvious, so some of this might be a little duh for some of you.

In any event I also like to record some of my findings and then look back to see how things worked.

Blog Format

I switched back to the Simple template and chose one of the ones in the middle. It's ok. The main thing is I can control the presentation of the blog. The dynamic views are a little too same same for me. Also the issues with the javascript not always loading are frustrating. For those of you still using this format would you please, for the love of God, edit the timeout so that your comments etc will load.

http://www.2globalnomads.info/2013/06/blogger-dynamic-views-css-fail-bug-custom-reload.html

I know I've posted this before.

Since going back to simple template my daily page views have suffered.


I now surge at 100+ and drop down to 50 or so the second day. I realized a while back that I have about a two day cycle on my blog for views, after that they go in the toilet.

I'll have to wait and see what my blog normalizes to for the month of August, because the first half of July was still dynamic.


The first pike starts in January 2013 as I switched to Dynamic views, but there was already a significant trend up in December. July was roughly 1000 page views over that, so we'll see.

Anonymous Commenting

I think this should be abolished from all blogs. The vast majority of these are spam. I subscribe to all of the posts I comment on and some of the anonymous comments can be quite tedious. I seriously think that I can count on one hand the number of non spam comments I have read. I like adverts for penis pills, steroids and asian SEO  sites as much as the next guy, but get a fucking google account if you want to post on a blog.

Feed Readers

I have been using Feedly since before Google Reader gave up the ghost. Now that Reader is gone the blogs I follow do not update to Feedly and their tutorials or email requests for help offer no solution. Perhaps I'm going to have to go back in and manually enter the ever expanding number of blogs I read since Readers demise a few short months ago. I thought maybe Old Reader might be the solution, but all these guys say to Import from your reader account, fat lot of good that does me. So if you have any tips I'd love to hear them. I'll be sure to share what I find out.

GIMP Tip

This last one falls under the category of duh, but I'll share it here anyway because it was something I had never really done before and it was bugging the crap out of me. I wanted to change the background of my blog. If you'll note I used the hand drawn map of my old Mighty Empires campaign. Now this file is about 4MB and you need to get it down to 300K. Normally I just scale things down, but I needed it big and 300K or less. Cutting it down to 1800 x 1600 only brought it down to 2MB or there abouts. So changing the image mode from RGB to Indexed and then adjusting the Quality slider with the preview checked to show final file size. Obvious perhaps, but I had never done it in about 6 years of using this program.



So there you have it.

More Oldhammer and my current folly with painting up 1/72 plastics for Rally Round the King in the near future.

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip on Gimp I have been using it for years and never knew this could be done. I fully agree with the anonymous commenting, I disabled that after a bad episode of spam, but have not had to use captcha since doing this. I hate Captcha. Dont even get me started on Damnamic views and loading I only know of one regular blogger that has performed this task.

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    1. You're welcome Andrew, like I said I feel I'm pretty competent with GIMP and I'd never done that. I only really hate captcha when they have the blurry pictures of house numbers. People who have captcha plus owner approval are really gilding the lily. I like the term "Damnamic".

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  2. I think the dropping in views may also come from users not having to load the page twice or thrice as with the dynamic views.
    But thank you for getting away from those dynamic views. Much better now :-)

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    1. Very possible Paradox0n. I like the page better even if I don't get the gratification of high post views. I prefer the interaction with other bloggers.

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  3. Paradox0n is right in the drop in page views. It's due to us having to click multiple times just to comment and I know people knew that. That's why they kept Dynamic view-to increase page views.

    I got rid of anonymous comments due to spam. I moderate my comments after 24 hours due to trolls. It's not unusual for female bloggers to be assaulted by trolls and we all deal with it in our own way.

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    1. Hi Anne, I'm inclined to agree at this point. There was some talk of it being more accurate in terms of a view per actual post, but there were probably a lot of views due to refreshing trying to get to comments etc. Sorry you had a problem with trolls, I have had surprisingly few. I usually wait to respond a day or more so I don't get into internet chest thumping with some a-hole. Because I will "taze you bro".

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  4. For me it has to be ease of access over views, I found the dynamic style really hard to like although it did look rather snazzy.

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    1. Thanks Michael. The dynamic views are actually quite difficult to customize. I like the unique look of your blog and that would be wiped out in dynamic views. You could get elements back, but never the same look you have now. Unless you know something I don't about coding these templates.

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  5. I don't understand the appeal of the dynamic view style. I just find it annoying...have to hover over icons to see what they are instead of the info just being there, it's harder to scroll since the side thing is in the way of the scroll bar, and it does odd things with throwing a page up at you when you don't want or expect it, which messes with the back button and generally makes it harder to navigate. No idea why you'd get more views based on the format, unless it is creating the need for reloads or extra clicks like Paradoxon said, or maybe it's unrelated and one of the spam referrer sites found you. if you accidentally clicked one of those when looking at your stats traffic sources then they'll keeping hitting your site hoping for more traffic in return. seriously annoying.

    I think I only ever got one legitimate comment from an anonymous person, the rest was spam, so eliminating that and no need for captcha which is a real pain. People can sign in using other sources than a blogger/google account, so it shouldn't be a burden. you might add an rss subscribe widget so people without a blogger account can subscribe to increase traffic.

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    1. Hi LF, I think the lure of a lot of views is one thing but it is also nice that people can see many of your posts in flip card, thus encouraging to go back and look at your pearls of wisdom.

      I should probably add an RSS or email feed widget. Good idea.

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  6. I have always required commentators to have an account of some kind, it is the first line of defense against the spambots.

    Dynamic views are problematic and more likely a gimmick from Blogger than something truly useful.

    My own problem with pageviews is all my fault, not having a consistent habit of posting, using nice pics. I blame myself and RL for this, but even so, my most highly viewed posts have few or no comments. Go figure.

    I prefer to not live in a bubble when it comes to discussions about gaming, but if I must be the proverbial island in society, I guess I will hold up my end of it (so it won't "tip over" :).

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    1. Hi Justin, yeah I've always required some kind of account as well.

      Cross linking on forums is the best way to drive people to your site. Right now I only really do TMP and the THW yahoo group for that. I found I wasted way too much time on forums and so cut back heavily. The blog and Facebook are enough of a time suck.

      Always happy to have a chat. Keep doing what you do.

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  7. Thanks for switching back to normal, I'd be much more gladly commenting your page now.

    I think drop in views comes from all the complexity the dynamic view had. You had to click from basic view to get to full posts and so on. Thats 1 more click ? 1 more view perhaps?

    I need to start subsribing comments, too. I'm not the best with computers and I've always been revisiting the blogs to see if author has replied to me, lol. I can't even use my age as an excuse :(

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    1. Hi Mathyoo, no problem. I'm glad it is easier to comment now. Yeah just hit that "Subscribe by email" link at the bottom when you comment and watch your email get lit up, if you comment on a post by Ray, Fran or Anne especially.

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  8. Don't do dynamic views cos they're just messy. Don't do anything fancy cos of my indifference to things I consider superfluous. I just keep it as simple as I can and focus on the content, but I can't even get that right. However, I do try to consider people with sight problems and keep the font large etc.

    I shouldn't worry too much about people not reading posts after a couple of days: nobody reads a newspaper the day after it's published and not too many people read Dickens or Shakespeare without a gun to their head.

    FWIW I'd focus on what you like about blogging or there's a danger it'll become some sort of Frankenstein's monster. I like the current format, it's clean and straight forward.

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    1. Hi Gary. Dynamic views seemed like a good way to feel like I was reaching an audience. The only problem is that the comments weren't matching the views per se. I prefer the back and forth. And yes it is all about content, sometimes mine is good, other times meh. I do this to have fun and shame myself into actually doing the hobby.

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  9. Besides the dynamic views I think integrating blogger comments to be the second worst. I made that mistake and it was such a pain. Turning it off lost many of the comments I had received. You live and learn.

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    1. Hi Chris, I don't know anything about integrating comments but it sounds like I should stay away from that. Sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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  10. I like the traditional 'Down The Middle' view for blogs. The dynamic ones are too awkward to use.

    My page-views fluctuate wildly, but that depends on whether I link the post on TMP or not. Posts promoted on TMP get ten times the views of ones I either leave 'unadvertised' or promote elsewhere.

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    1. Hi Kaptain, I agree simple and to the point.

      TMP has provided me with the most traffic. TMP and Boobs, watch out.

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  11. Great idea to change back Sean. I prefer it this way! I totally agree with the anonymous commenting, can be a right pain in the butt!

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    1. HI Rodger, yeah the anonymous posts have just been getting on my nerves lately.

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  12. Thanks for this; I do like your articles on blogging. Maybe it's because I don't really pay much attention to these technical issues myself - it's nice to know that someone else is doing the research and experimentation!

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    1. Hi Colgar, no problem. I don't know if I've truly been successful, but I feel like I've learned a lot and think I should share what I've learned.

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  13. I prefer this to the dynamic but saying that I haven't tried the dynamice view....yet!

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    1. Hi Fran, your blog on dynamic views would probably crash the internet with the amount of hits you'd get.

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