Monday, December 1, 2008

Notes on Blogging

Today marks the beginning of my fourth month as a blogger. As I mentioned in my very first post, the main catalyst for beginning this project was a prospective employer who simply couldn't believe that I claimed to be a writer and yet really hadn't written anything, not even a blog. But I'm glad she came down on me like that because I've been having so much fun doing this and have met so many interesting people! So basically I just thought today I'd discuss two tools that have been very useful to me as a blogger.


A nifty little tool that's easy to install, StatCounter will tell you how many visitors your website has had today, as well as how long they spent there, what links they clicked, what their Internet service provider is, and where they live (approximately, that is – before I figured out how to block my IP address, I was identified as living in a city that's two hours away), among other things. Yes, I know, it sounds very sketchy. But it's also incredibly fascinating! Here is a list of some of the search terms people have used to find me, in order of popularity:
  • The Many-Hydra by Linebaugh and Rediker
  • shreve stockton people magazine
  • 2xpose winter coats
  • shreve stockton in people magazine
  • people magazine shreve Stockton
  • what is the exposition of twilight?
  • "people magazine" coyote shreve Stockton
  • second great awakening Diggers
  • lorenzo dow abolition
  • kubrick insurrection
  • alice in wonderland unsunk chin video [WTF???]
  • exposition of twilight
  • falwell ministries on twilight saga [Okay, I've discussed Twilight but where did "fallwell ministries" come from?]
  • what was the relationship between the evangelical revivals of the "second great awakening" and the s
  • poets are midwives to reality keats Williams
  • star trek 2008 JM 1791
  • "as if you could outrun me" stephenie meyer
  • "daily coyote"
  • strangelove ideology
  • botkin sisters"
  • "Shreve Stockton + People magazine"
  • "people magazine" daily coyote
  • squanderers and hoarders punished by
  • "corson's inlet" ammons analysis
  • twilight-as if you could outrun me
  • shreve stockton,people magazine
  • "The natural world" bbc "atlantic realm" video
So according to StatCounter, most people find This Book and I Could Be Friends while searching for either Shreve Stockton and the Daily Coyote or something Twilight-related. Interestingly, most of the Twilight folks spent an average of 0 seconds on my blog. Must've been fangirls who couldn't stand to see me trash their most favoritest books in the whole entire world.

Making a list of search terms people use to find you and commenting on them actually seems to be a common activity among bloggers. It really is a lot of fun, so StatCounter is definitely recommended. It's just so neat to be able to see how popular your site is and how others are using it.

The Cutest Blog on the Block

I feel kind of guilty about this one. You see, I removed the link in the upper right-hand corner that comes with the background you upload. It's a little blue box with the words "Free Backgrounds & More @" in white. But I hated it. It ruined the design, especially when the colors clashed. So what I did instead was I added Blogroll for the second time, renamed it Free Backgrounds and Layouts, and put a link to the Cutest Blog on the Block underneath. Totally unobtrusive, yet still giving credit to this wonderful website.

Just out of curiosity, I did a Google Blogsearch for the phrase "the cutest blog on the block" and the results were very intriguing. They invariably fell into three overlapping categories: craft/scrapbooking blogs, family blogs, and blogs owned by Mormons. (Even those who weren't Mormon usually included something like The Daily Bible Quote widget.) Obviously I am none of those things. And I never quite got those family blogs. There certainly seem to be a lot of them – just keep clicking on "Next Blog" and you're sure to come across one pretty quickly. Now I can understand wanting to keep your friends and relatives updated but Blogger does have privacy settings, you know. I mean, I'm not sure giving out your full names and the city where you live while posting tons and tons of pictures of your kids is such a good idea.

But I'm sure I'm not the only unmarried, non-scapbooking, non-Mormon out there who uses The Cutest Blog on the Block. Am I?


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