Tag Archives: blogging

2010 in Review: the Blogging Edition

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 39 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 277 posts. There were 37 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 437 views. The most popular post that day was Modern Love in the New York Times.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, quartertothree.com, en.wordpress.com, search.aol.com, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for present tense, tree fort plans, tree fort, play fort plans, and sketchup.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Modern Love in the New York Times March 2009


True Stories July 2008


The BFG November 2007


About Tim Elhajj February 2007


I Am Not Your Broom July 2008

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Your Ex Wants You Back

It’s true White as Milk, I’ve been around.

I got tired of your fonts and your narrow view of my posts. Your white background bored me. I wanted something different. There was short dalliance with The Journalist v1.9. I hate to admit it, but I even spent a night with DePo Masthead and Black-LetterHead (not at the same time, mind you).

What was I thinking?

Last night I came to my senses, White as Milk. I love how your posts are left justified, while your menu leans to the right. I realize now how much I long for the cute way you stack my tags. The way you squeeze each and every one of my uploads between impossibly thin margins.

O, I’ve been a fool, White as Milk!

Please, forgive me. I swear I’ll never leave you again.

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Tracking Visitors to Your Blog

Last week I was traveling for business (something I rarely have to do) and I learned that I am not the only one from my company that visits my blog. How did I know this? I use three different packages to track visits to this site. Why three? Each offers something a little bit different.

SiteMeter: Gives me immediate feedback about visits. There is even a link that tells you who is accessing the site right now(it shows visits from the last 20 minutes). Once I emailed a story submission to an editor who I knew lived in a certain town in Massachusetts. Later that week that very same Massachusetts town lit up on my SiteMeter chart. Not long after, that very same editor offered me some good news about my submission. Gotta love that kind of feedback.

WordPress.com Stats: This is an essential add-on widget for WordPress. The user interface is good for getting an idea which blog posts are most popular and seeing which strings are used in searches on your site.

Google Anylytics: Good for analyzing trends. Lovely user interface. For some reason the cities and towns that light up on SiteMeter don’t always light up on the Google Analytics map. I have no idea why this happens, but it’s annoying. I haven’t spent much time with this yet.

You never know what you’ll find when you start tracking visits to your site. I had always thought all those visits from my company’s domain where my own visits. As for you visitors from the company (you know who you are), leave some comments already. I know you’re out there.

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Hard Out Here for a Blogger


This site can be a challenge to maintain.

WordPress, the software that powers this blog, is a web application written in PHP with a MySQL backend. The nice thing about it is that it’s free and enjoys popular development of a lot of themes and widgets. The bad thing about it is that it’s free and enjoys a lot of theme and widget development. Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right: the good is the same as the bad.

Here is what usually happens: You upgrade the site to the latest version of WordPress and then realize that half your widgets don’t work and now your theme looks funky. With a local installation of WordPress, you could try stuff out before you commit to the live site. The drawback for me is that I know very little about programming in general, much less PHP programming. Worse, I’m a Windows dweeb, so Apache and MySQL are scary to me.

Enter XAMPP.

XAMPP is free software that installs Apache and MySQL so you have the infrastructure to setup a local copy of WordPress, even if you use Vista or XP. Download the Windows version of XAMPP. The installer worked fine for me; the zip file has batch files to get you running. Once you get it installed, use a broswer to go to http://localhost.

The web client for MySQL is phpMyAdmin. God only knows why it’s called phpMyAdmin. Use this tool to create a new database with utf8_unicode_ci collation.

Download the latest WordPress files and add them to the xampp\htdocs folder, wherever you installed xampp. In the WordPress files, use a text editor, like notepad.exe, to edit the wp-config-sample.php file.

Fill in the variables for DB_NAME, DB_USER, and DB_PASSWORD.

  • DB_NAME is whatever you named the database in phpMyAdmin.
  • DB_USER use root.
  • DB_PASSWORD leave blank.

Save the file as wp-config.php.

In your browser, go to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php and follow the instructions.

You now have a locally copy of WordPress. Feel free to mess it up. If it all comes tumbling down (as we all know it must), you can just delete the WordPress files and start over again.

Next up we’ll figure out how to get the data from the live site onto the mirror site.

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