April 4, 2013

  • early monthly update April

    First of all, let's just see where my head's at.

    Easter weekend was cool because the weather actually got kind of nice. I can't get over the camera quality in my droid. I might never go back to a regular camera. Spent some time outside with the chickens. We were all relieved to get out.

    This was my first video upload onto youtube from my droid. happy 

    The groundcover is popping out.

    I was able to open windows and my house was filled with the scent of hyacinths blooming. They grow wild around here.

    March was a pretty rough month after a really rough winter. I tend not to talk about my stuff while I'm in it, prefer to curl up in solitude, so anyone who actually knows me is probably surprised I managed to stay kinda public through a lupus flare up affecting my nervous system, and even now nearing the end of some pretty rigorous physical therapy. I built my first Lexx fan site in full blown illness and no one ever knew I crawled through my nights practically wearing sunglasses while I worked on my coding. I confess I have a little more trouble nowadays staying that dedicated, so my Lexx film study went on hold. Didn't help that photobucket's new beta flipped my way of mass posting pix upside down.
     
    My chickens had it rough, too!  In all the years we've lived here, we've never had a parasite problem with our chickens. Not sure what the crap, but they got a big bad mite infestation in their nests this winter and were eaten alive while the mites chewed their feathers to the nubs around the oil glands above their tails and the vent area where their skin is moister. It looked like we took an electric razor to them and buzzed their bottoms bald. This happened so quickly that it was mind blowing and very surprising. So we got the chicken house and pen all cleaned out and dusted real good, and their poor feathers are trying to grow back. Feathers don't grow continuously like hair does, so we may have to wait till they molt to see if the damage is repairable. Some of them are getting some fluff back, but the pin feathers were just destroyed. How To Protect Your Chickens From Mites - BackYard Chicken This isn't the best video for assessing mites, but you can see what I mean, and this is after treatment and some recovery, so you didn't see how bad it got.
     

     
    We didn't have a big to do for Easter, but I went ahead and made yummy food. This is glazed ham and candied butternut squash.

    Kinda needing to assess where I'm at now since I started this blog back up, kind of surreal being so detached during my not feeling well stuff. My widget box on the left side of the main page (you can't see it on individual post pages) says I've gotten over 7000 clicks just inside the box since I installed it. My sitemeter says I've had 6900 extra views on top of initial main page hits, but it doesn't count redundancy, like people visiting more than once in one day or even week. My Xanga tracker shows me that stuff, though, some of you are pretty dedicated. heart Actually, Xanga says I've already got over 2000 hits just this week so far, so my site meter numbers must be extremely conservative.

       

    And believe it or not, Lexx fans, this isn't my highest traffic blog. winky If I combined all my blogs hits it would be pretty impressive.
     
    Does this matter? Not really, but I use it as incentive to keep going and to assess what sorts of things I maybe should be concentrating on. Remember, I'm the one who deleted all the old Lexx stuff in the first place, never told anyone how sick I was, and I assumed when I came back that no one cared and that was all in the past. Apparently a lot of you do care, and the past is swirling all around us into the future. It helps to see those numbers when my days get rough, because it's easy to assume 'no one' reads something if numbers are low (and easier to forget that these things can be read in the future, it doesn't all have to be immediate). Believe it or not, I actually considered shutting down again last week, or at the very least just walking away (it was a fleeting hour in the dark of a very bad night). It's hard work keeping up 5+ blogs and writing for other people on top of it, plus other stuff I'm doing, but you know what? I think that is the key to getting through hard stuff, staying busy. That I have people supporting me with traffic is icing on the cake, and it does help a person feel better. But if I weren't a puny person, I'd be doing all this anyway just because I love blogging, and the numbers wouldn't mean a thing to me. I have 8 years of blogs tucked away in private.
     
    I want to make a couple comments on stuff I've seen recently on twitter regarding numbers.
     
    One woman decided to shut down her paid for blog because readers (apparently to her mind) didn't appreciate that they didn't have to put up with ads, and she wasn't getting the feedback and traffic she was expecting to get in return for what she was paying out. You know what? Blog for YOU. Pay to remove the ads for YOU. I'm talking to all you bloggers. If you don't get traffic and that's what you want to see, dang, pay for the traffic to get it started, start networking. There is no magic. Sometimes you have to work to be seen in the crowd. You might be a boring person, but there are way more boring people than me on twitter and blogs that have more followers than me because they dedicate the time to networking, and I don't think boring has as much to do with it as simply just taking people on your journey with you. Share your world because you want to. It's ridiculous to fuss at your readers for not being better cheerleaders. They have lives and stuff, too.
     
    Then I read a story about a guy who had been on twitter for four years, made over 10,000 tweets, and had less than 20 followers the whole time. He finally decided to shut his twitter account down, had tried everything, like retweeting funny or interesting stuff, couldn't ever seem to get more followers. I think the guy's mistake may have been that he wasn't original. YOU are the only person on the planet that can say the stuff from the point of view that is your head. What do YOU think about things? What makes you laugh and cry? What do you think is cool? And again, share because you want to. If it's only about numbers while you repaste other people's stuff, you lose the game. You have to care about your readers caring about you, not just pull their strings to get reactions. If you don't enjoy entertaining people off the top of your head with your stuff and you think it's too much work, maybe tweeting and blogging isn't your thing. Kind of like people on American Idol who can't carry a tune, sometimes you just have to realize that no matter how much you love something, not everyone else has to appreciate that you love it. Doesn't mean you can't walk around singing at the top of your lungs or tweeting your eyeballs out, just don't take nonresponse as a signal to quit.
     
    Another guy I follow on twitter gets those little weekly or monthly activity reports that show up in his feed for everyone to see. This last week he had 22 retweets, 6 new followers, and 15 mentions. What most of his followers may not realize is that he cross tweets over at least 3 accounts that he owns while pretending to be other people. Then he live tweets a tv show that he rewatches that has been over for a couple of years, but his tweets are random action alerts, rarely snarky, rarely emotionally involved. You know what? People must love it because he has a LOT of followers compared to me. Why? Because he also contributes real content to movie review sites, interacts well with people all over the world, and gets excited about other people's stuff. He's interesting in probably a very different way than he thinks he's interesting. His personna amuses me, I like him, nerd to the max. If something doesn't go right, he just creates another account and keeps working away. You have to admire and respect that kind of dedication.
     
    And still another guy I follow on twitter does almost nothing but build legos. Every day he shares a pic of a new lego thing he constructs with his young son, and dang if he's not talking to people all over the world about legos. I'm not a legos person, but because of the ocassional interesting picture or little story about his kid, I've begun noticing all kinds of really cool lego stuff from conventions and lego obsessed builders. There are some really talented people out there.
     
    Stay busy. Keep blogging or tweeting or whatever it is you do. Do it because you want to. Numbers are nice, and it's a fun game trying to bump them up, but never let numbers tell you what you are doing is dumb or unwanted. It may be that you just aren't being seen by the right audience, or that you haven't figured out how to network yet. Don't limit yourself to one media and reject the rest. This world is too big for that. Also, use your numbers wisely. Stat reports like this one are a great way for me to gauge how well I'm still managing during a sick spell. It's not about traffic as much as it is about my weaker productivity.
     
     
    Watch your trending, compare it to same time year before, assess yourself and your content, do experiments to see where you can tweak your traffic. NEVER use traffic stats as a one-time only assessment tool to shut down your stuff. Time and traffic are fluid, numbers go up and down, and it might have a lot more to do with weather and the time of year than you think. I've noticed for years that my worst traffic is usually between spring break and Memorial Day.
     
    Ok, back to real life. My commissioned Lexx art t-shirt is supposed to get finished up pretty soon. It's a huge job, two artists are working on it, it's pricey, and I can't wait to be a show off in it. cool 
     
    Also got a nice gift for my coming soon grandbabies from a really sweet actress-entrepreneur in England after I got silly and told her she'd be rewarded for talking to me on twitter with a promo on my silly survey blog. Click this pic if you want to see where they came from.
     
     
    I'm hoping that my energy level is picking back up for real and that I'll be getting busier on my blogs again soon. If it hadn't been for twitter I think I would have just croaked off in a corner, so thanx to everyone on twitter who tolerated my weird facebook crossposting at one in the morning kind of stuff. Honestly, droid has changed the way I handle life, certainly makes it easier to get through tough nights now. I never want to bother people with middle of the night phone calls, and blogging about stuff only makes it more depressing, but get me rocking twitter on a droid and the night just flies by. There are so many awesome funny and creative people out there, and it's nice to find I'm not alone in the wee hours. And sometimes I get lucky and a someone famous retweets me or follows me back. It's a fun twitter game. laughing 
     
    Ok, guys, I'm off to make some cookies. I haven't had a cookie in a long time.
     

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My first tracker was installed in 2004 and broke several times before moving to a new server, which lost a few months of stats, and then Xanga moved to new servers and I lost more stats for more months before the page came back up, so I've lost a total of about two years' worth of stats. The second was installed 2-22-14 and is considered very conservative by business owners who use analytics, which itself is very conservative, estimates being that roughly one third to one half of hits by real live people aren't even counted, most likely due to javascript discrepancies. Actual hits on several posts here are in the thousands now, and the Lexx Index in the ten thousands. I've got pingbacks turned off, so spam isn't counted at all within the Xanga internal tracker, and most direct post hits can be correlated to my real time linking activity on twitter and other social media. When I did Google Analytics beta testing I got to see how search engine performance compares to tracking. I believe live feed linking sources to various social medias are key to a future where search engines are more about performance than cataloging, which has been confirmed to me by coders who create bot algorithms as I was beta testing paper.li. I've fought hard through redundant age-old stacks to make my way to the google front lines again, so my Lexx work shows up faster on Chrome searches now. This has been a really interesting ride. At any rate, my point is, I can still go back 6 years on my original tracker and I can still see that in 2013 just before the last big blog server move, I was getting traffic like this (and since then, the tracker may have been abandoned, we can't tell). Click the thumbnail to see full size.

My original tracker also still lets me see the latest 500 visitors on a map. I once counted over 80 countries among the total visits. You guys are not alone. Click the map to see it better.

Besides Lexx, the most common search phrases that bring new visitors here are variations on 'huge spaceship'. The most seen post from a phrase search is How Big is the Lexx? My biggest Lexx referrer is Lexx Domain. Most of page views per person count comes from the Lexx tag on Tumblr. Visitors who stay the longest come through URLOpener and are pinged through the Google translator server in Mountain View, CA.

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