Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blogcessive Compulsive: The Thousandth Hit

Well, this is interesting. I'm writing this on my portable workstation (Don't know if I've mentioned this but I can't spend a lot of time standing up or sitting down so I've had to put together workstations that let me lay down. Right now I'm in bed with the little dog peacefully napping at my feet.) and I'm on Safari on this machine rather than Firefox and everything is different -- including the images, which in this mode are just big-ass chunks of HTML.

Anyway, let the pigeons fly! Let the bells ring out! Today Renaissance Oaf tops a thousand hits. Thank you, Brian Switek, Glendon Mellow (whose attitude in the face of controversy makes his last name descriptive), Zach Miller, and the mysterious figure behind Why I Hate Theropods. Didn't know anything about that last individual until I looked at my statistics and found that he/she/or whatever is polite (I'm guessing it's a guy because there is a girlfriend mentioned on the site but I come from the SF Bay Area and have found that presumption in these matters is extremely unwise) had posted a link to my site that a lot of people clicked on. I also have received a lot of hits from the post I made on the Jurassic Fight Club page on History Channel's site -- and I regret that so few of them read the post where I apologize for the flippant attitude with which I began my critique.

Reviewing Jurassic Fight Club got me a whole lot of attention, more than anything else I've done. It was Brian Switek's idea... I have mixed feelings about that. I adore attention, of course, but this blog is about my writing and art and my attempts to find a way of making a living from them. On the other hand, getting attention furthers that goal. Part of me thinks that I should cold-bloodedly get into the review/criticism thing but part of me is repulsed by calculated attempts to garner more hits. Why, my site should grow and flourish purely on the basis of my artistic ability!


So when I went into my hit counter and wandered among the statistics I noticed something interesting.

Lemme tell you a little story to put things into perspective.

I once had a pal of mine at work refer to me as the salt of the Earth. I said, "That's not it. Everybody loves salt. I'm more like blue cheese." She cracked up and agreed with me.

Blue cheese is an acquired taste. And not everybody acquires it.

So most people hit on my site and back off instantly. But what's weird is the percentage of folks who stay here for a while. According to the counters, at last estimate more than fifteen percent of the folks who click on this site stay for more than an hour. The number of pages accessed has always exceeded the number of initial viewings -- when people actually do look at the site they tend to look around for a while.


And people are downloading my images! What the fuck? I shouldn't be surprised that some of my fully rendered dinosaur stuff gets some interest but most of the assignments from my Digital Drawing class have been downloaded.

It's homework, people!

And every time I post a comment on another site a few people follow it back here... and some of them wind up poring through the archives.

So. Should I do more reviews? Should I deliberately troll for hits? Maybe so.

And it's interesting that most of my internet interactions are focused on paleontology rather than fine arts or fiction. It's my own damned fault. But it's also nice to be getting a positive result from folks in the science world.

A couple of months, sixty-five posts, a whole lot of images...

I can hardly wait to see what it's like in a year or so.

Thanks for reading. I hope I can keep y'all entertained.


Glendon Mellow: The Flying Trilobite said...


I really like the holly? branch at the top. Made me smile.

(Umm, I'm a pretty hyper in person in real life. My name is genuine, not like a stage name or pseudonym or anything. Did I miss a controversy?)

I remember seeing a blogger once post something with like, Paris Hilton! over and over for the title, then explain that now that he had your attention, here's some facts about atheism.

I don't know; I was Pharyngulated last week when PZ linked to my poster for his upcoming Toronto visit, and as exciting as it is, I'm happiest if I get some good readers out of it, and maybe some more exciting freelance projects.

My StatCounter, Amazing Counter and Blogflux all disagree on how many hits I get, (Statcounter records the most), and Technorati has missed at least 8 links in the past couple of months that Google Alerts has told me about. They're all great fun, not perfect.

Hits aren't everything, but you know that or you wouldn't have written your nifty blue cheese story.

Sean Craven said...


As re. the name joke...

When I first lipped of at you over at Laelaps your response was quite gentlemanly, hence the comment.

I am, of course, in no position to be making cracks about patronyms...

I've found over the years that a 'craven' joke is (and I say this with affection, respect and comradeship to all those who have spent time with graph paper and Platonic solids) an unfailing sign of a dungeonmaster.

Interestingly enough my family has a strong tradition of fucking idiocy in the face of physical danger -- the whole "What are a redneck's last words? Hey, look at this!" thing. Go figure.