Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

XXX Heinlein

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Steve over at the Crotchety Old Fan has one of those omnibus posts that covers soup to nuts. Included in it is the factoid that if you want to get lots of traffic, just include the phrase XXX Heinlein in your tags.

He mentions me as a someone to vote for in the Hugo awards short story nominations. – Thanks, Steve.

He also suggests that one might want to consider Fred Pohl’s The Way the Future Blog for best fan writer. I was going to vote for Steve anyway, but I really  enjoy Fred’s musings on the early days of SF, so I’ll vote for him, too.

Steve makes lots of sensible  recommendations. Steve and I would beg you please do not vote for Avatar in the movie class. The story is an embarrassment to anyone striving to be a Science Fiction author.

XXX Heinlein and other stuff.

Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I wrote a short article on advertising for small websites comparing the relatively unknown advertising page Project Wonderful, to Google’s advertising options. It’s over on my Blog’s Eye site.

Blogs Eye – Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful.

Links and Ads

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Fred Pohl linked back to the post on the Science Fiction League. This was nice of him and so far I have seen a dozen hits. I hope y’all come back now.

The project wonderful ads have started generating a (very) little income, but I am pleased with the ads. Currently they are for a fairly unique site that lets you continue a shared story by writing posts. I think I’ll even click on it and lurk. It does look like fun.

I know that four or five SF writers and editors have had reservations about advertising on their blogs and zine sites because the ads are out of their control. Specifically the keyword Fantasy often gets some weird ads, as you can imagine. With the project wonderful website you approve the ads before they appear on your site. The downside is that the income is pretty low for small sites. Higer volume sites (over 1,000 hits a day) can make more.

I have started advertising my Name a Star site using project wonderful and I am getting a few click-throughs. The price is quite a bit lower than adwords and I can pick and choose the sites where I want the ads to appear. If you need to advertise a site, on a budget, then project wonderful is perfect. There are numerous gaming and spec-fic sites to choose from (J. Erwine and Ephemeris, please note!)

Project Wonderful

Friday, October 9th, 2009

I activated a new kind of advertising today called Project Wonderful. You can see it on the right hand column (at least for the time being). I don’t have high hopes for this, but we’ll see.

In this system people bid for your ad and the bidding starts at a penny! It means that unless lots of people want to advertise on my site that I don’t make anything. I have a feeling that there are lots more publishers than advertisers. I may make a few cents a day.

If I had a self published sf book or a website that I wanted to promote, I would use this and put ads on my site with a penny a day bid, because as long as no one bids against you, it is free.

I am going to make an ad for my name a star site and advertise it on a bunch of these practically free sites and see if it generates any interest. I might even make an ad for and get people coming in who’ll see the ads, generate a small (probably pennies a day) income that I can use to leverage other sites. It just might work.

If this works out it means that I will be getting some free or cheap advertising, and maybe some traffic. If it doesn’t, it will cost me practically nothing.

Blogs Eye – Ideas

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

I have had some success writing Facebook apps and WordPress plugins and widgets. (By success I mean that I’ve written programs that work, not that they are popular.).

I decided to make an idea page so that I can set goals for the things that I’d like to write. I have one of these already for my short stories and now I have made one for Facebook apps and WordPress plugins and widgets.

Drop by and add you ideas to the comments.

Blogs Eye – Ideas.

Permalink Finder Plugin Released

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

I put a few of my programming projects on my domain I decided to use it to keep my programming projects separate from the rest of my work.

The stuff that I wrote for this blog in order to correct the migration problems that I had with going from blogger to WordPress is working well. I cleaned it up and formalized it. The next step is to get it listed in WordPress’ repository.

You can read about the plugin here:
Blogs Eye – Permalink Finder Plugin Released.

I will now go on to build a bunch more of these. I have ideas and they are going to make me millions.

My WordPress Configuration

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I wrote up all the details of what I’ve done to get this blog running on WordPress. If you have a WordPress blog, you might read it. It is quite a bit of reading, though.

My WordPress Configuration | Wanderings.

Science Fiction Keywords

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The main key to success on the internet is keywords. 99% of all of your readers find their way to your site by doing searches on Google (and now Bing) looking for keywords. If you want to have readers that will  stick with you, you have to have the right keywords in order to lure and trap them.

The Crotchey Old Fan has a post about this. His is in reference to text ads and their keywords, but such talk can get you in trouble, so I will mention no mentions.

I have borrowed his keyword list (in exchange I offer a very valuable link back to his site).

Here is what Steve wrote:

Please bear with me: Science Fiction. Sci Fi. SciFi. Speculative Fiction. Spec Fic. SpecFic. Genre Fiction. Steampunk. Cyberpunk. Greenpunk. Space Opera. Science Fantasy. Urban Fantasy. High Fantasy. Sword and Sorcery. Military SF. Hard SF. New Wave SF. Paranormal Fantasy. Donkey Kong.

Neil Gaiman. Charlie Stross. John Scalzi. Cory Doctorow. Robert Sawyer. Nick Mamatas. Robert Heinlein. Arthur C Clarke. Isaac Asimov. A. Bertram Chandler. David Drake. Mike Resnick. Edward Lerner. Larry Niven. Eric Flint. John Ringo. Baxter. Weber. Ellison. Delany. Silverberg. Piper. Russell. Brown. Ooops! Cherryh. Bradford. Butler. Russ. Wilhelm. Norton. Bradley. Ursula LeGuin.

Tor. Baen. Angry Robot. Haikasoru. Subterranean Press. DAW. Del Rey. Ace.

Fandom. Fanzine. Worldcon. Hugo Award. Nebula Award.

Donkey Kong?

via The Crotchety Old Fan: Science Fiction For Old Farts.

John Ottinger: SF/F/H Reviewer Linkup Meme, 2nd Edition

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

My Wandering blog made John Ottinger’s Spec-Fic reviewer list. I am required by law to post the whole list:


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German


7 Foot Shelves
The Accidental Bard
A Boy Goes on a Journey
A Dribble Of Ink
Adventures in Reading
A Fantasy Reader
The Agony Column
A Hoyden’s Look at Literature
A Journey of Books
All Booked Up
Alexia’s Books and Such…
Andromeda Spaceways
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Ask Daphne
ask nicola
Audiobook DJ
Australia Specfic In Focus
Author 2 Author


Barbara Martin
Babbling about Books
Bees (and Books) on the Knob
Best SF
Bewildering Stories
Bibliophile Stalker
Big Dumb Object
The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
Bitten by Books
The Black Library Blog
Blog, Jvstin Style
Blood of the Muse
The Book Bind
Booksies Blog
The Book Smugglers
The Book Swede
Book View Cafe [Authors Group Blog]
Breeni Books


Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]
Charlotte’s Library
Circlet 2.0
Cheryl’s Musings
Club Jade
Cranking Plot
Critical Mass
The Crotchety Old Fan


Daily Dose – Fantasy and Romance
Damien G. Walter
Danger Gal
It’s Dark in the Dark
Dark Parables
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
Darque Reviews
Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Dead Book Darling
Dear Author
The Deckled Edge
The Doctor is In…
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
Drey’s Library
The Discriminating Fangirl
Dusk Before the Dawn


Enter the Octopus
Erotic Horizon
Errant Dreams Reviews
Eve’s Alexandria


Falcata Times
Fan News Denmark [in English]
Fantastic Reviews
Fantastic Reviews Blog
Fantasy Book Banner
Fantasy Book Critic
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Fantasy By the Tale
Fantasy Cafe
Fantasy Debut
Fantasy Dreamer’s Ramblings
Fantasy Magazine
Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin’ News and Reviews
Feminist SF – The Blog!
Fiction is so Overrated
The Fix
The Foghorn Review
Follow that Raven
Forbidden Planet
Frances Writes
Free SF Reader
From a Sci-Fi Standpoint
From the Heart of Europe
Fruitless Recursion
Fundamentally Alien
The Future Fire


The Galaxy Express
Game Couch
The Gamer Rat
Garbled Signals
Genre Reviews
Got Schephs
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
Grasping for the Wind
a GREAT read
The Green Man Review
Gripping Books


Hero Complex
Highlander’s Book Reviews
The Hub Magazine
Hyperpat’s Hyper Day


I Hope I Didn’t Just Give Away The Ending
Ink and Keys
Ink and Paper
The Internet Review of Science Fiction


Janicu’s Book Blog
Jenn’s Bookshelf
Jumpdrives and Cantrips


Kat Bryan’s Corner
Keeping the Door
King of the Nerds


Lair of the Undead Rat
Largehearted Boy
Layers of Thought
League of Reluctant Adults
The Lensman’s Children
Library Dad
Libri Touches
Literary Escapism
Literaturely Speaking
ludis inventio
Lundblog: Beautiful Letters


Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Book Review
Mari’s Midnight Garden
Mark Freeman’s Journal
Mark Lord’s Writing Blog
Marooned: Science Fiction Books on Mars
Martin’s Booklog
Michele Lee’s Book Love
Missions Unknown [Author and Artist Blog Devoted to SF/F/H in San Antonio]
The Mistress of Ancient Revelry
MIT Science Fiction Society
Monster Librarian
More Words, Deeper Hole
Mostly Harmless Books
Multi-Genre Fan
Musings from the Weirdside
My Favourite Books
My Overstuffed Bookshelf


Neth Space
The New Book Review
Not Free SF Reader


OF Blog of the Fallen
The Old Bat’s Belfry
Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy
The Ostentatious Ogre
Outside of a Dog


Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Patricia’s Vampire Notes
The Persistence of Vision
Piaw’s Blog
Pizza’s Book Discussion
Poisoned Rationality
Popin’s Lair
Post-Weird Thoughts
Publisher’s Weekly
Pussreboots: A Book Review a Day



Ramblings of a Raconteur
Random Acts of Mediocrity
Ray Gun Revival
Realms of Speculative Fiction
Reading the Leaves
Review From Here
Reviewer X
Revolution SF
Rhiannon Hart
The Road Not Taken
Rob’s Blog o’ Stuff
Robots and Vamps


Sandstorm Reviews
Satisfying the Need to Read
Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics
Science Fiction Times
Sci-Fi Blog
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
The Sci-Fi Gene
Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]
SciFi Squad
Scifi UK Reviews
Sci Fi Wire
Self-Publishing Review
The Sequential Rat
Severian’s Fantastic Worlds
SF Diplomat
SF Gospel
SF Revu
SF Safari
SF Signal
SF Site
SFF World’s Book Reviews
Silver Reviews
Simply Vamptastic
Slice of SciFi
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Solar Flare
Speculative Fiction
Speculative Fiction Junkie
Speculative Horizons
The Specusphere
Spiral Galaxy Reviews
Spontaneous Derivation
Sporadic Book Reviews
Stainless Steel Droppings
Starting Fresh
Stella Matutina
Stuff as Dreams are Made on…
The Sudden Curve
The Sword Review


Tangent Online
Tehani Wessely
Temple Library Reviews
Tez Says
things mean a lot [also a publisher]
True Science Fiction


Ubiquitous Absence
Urban Fantasy Land


Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
Variety SF
Veritas Omnia Vincula


Walker of Worlds
Wands and Worlds
Wendy Palmer: Reading and Writing Genre Books and ebooks
The Weirdside
The Wertzone
With Intent to Commit Horror
The Wizard of Duke Street
WJ Fantasy Reviews
The Word Nest
The World in a Satin Bag
The Written World



Young Adult Science Fiction



Cititor SF [with English Translation]



Foundation of Krantas
The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [with some English essays]
Yenchin’s Lair




Fernando Trevisan
Human 2.0
Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm
Ponto De Convergencia


Fantasy Seiten
Fantasy Buch
Fantasy/SciFi Blog
Welt der fantasy
Bibliotheka Phantastika
SF Basar
Phantastick News
Phantastick Couch
Fantasy News
Fantasy Faszination
Fantasy Guide
Zwergen Reich
Fiction Fantasy


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German

Blog Changed and Traffic

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I made some changes to the home page and the blog. My intent was to improve the navigation. Of course, I wound up changing the wrong elements and, as of 10 minutes ago, the blog is totally screwed. Since the blog is so big it takes 15 minutes to republish it and any mistakes I make are bound to be seen by a few people.

My weeks of traffic glory are now over. Stumbleupon no longer sends me traffic and the BoingBoing link is not sending any new surfers. Inexplicably my Google Page Rank is now down to 1 on the blog and 3 on the home site. This makes no sense unless I somehow offended the Google Gods. I am worried that my eBay pages, which make a good chunk of money, have somehow polluted the site.

My traffic is back to pre-stumbleupon rates plus about 30%. Gone are the days of 1,500+ viewers a day. I’m back to normal. I did notice that people explore more of the site, which is nice. The average person is looking at 4 or more pages, and that is phenomenal.

The reason that I redid the navigation menus is that I want to see this trend of surfers actually reading pages keep going up.

Hunter S. Thompson is still my most popular entry. My Joke-a-day blog is somehow getting hits, even though it is experimental and I never linked to it. Next is the clich� page. A surprise hit are the blog entries about my poker buddy Jim’s kid Stella Maeve who is an actress and is surprising everyone with her performance in The Runaways.

I just checked and the pages seem unbroken and the menus work again. Any ideas for improving the navigation would be appreciated.

Boots is Back!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

E. Jim Shannon lives in the northern hinterlands of Edmonton in Canada. They have some pretty fierce cold weather there. It goes down well below zero Fahrenheit. He had been taking in a stray cat he named Boots. Two weeks ago, in the middle of a deadly cold blast, Boots ran out onto the cold and disappeared. He and his wife called him for days but there was no sign of him.

Today, on his blog, Jim has a picture of Boots who met them at the door yesterday and ran up to the apartment and is now resting from his adventures.

Good News. (follow the link to see Jim’s other cats.)

Status Update

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I am getting over a nasty little cold. I have not been doing much of anything, including reading, just sneezing.

I ordered a new pair of glasses online at quite a savings. I got the eye exam at a department store and I am waiting for the glasses. I will blog about the results when the glasses arrive in the next few days.

I registered for the SAO short course in Astronomy. The international balance of trade make it somewhat affordable again. I have received the welcome letter with instructions on how to get started. I will blog about this regularly.

I have found a farm within driving distance that sells beekeeping supplies and they will have a shipment of bees ready for me on May 9th, if I want it. Getting started costs around $350, but there is twofer deal, so I want to talk to Larry about it. I’ve have to drive up just north of Albany to pick up the bees and hive. It would take about 3 hours up and 3 hours down. There is another site that will overnight the bees and hive to you for a total of $400 if I decide not to drive. I want to do this, but I don’t want to kill the bees.

There is a satellite launch on March 5th at the Kennedy space center. You can view the launch from a beach in Cape Canaveral. Air fares to Florida have dropped so much that it is silly to not go. I will ask Larry or the poker boys if anyone is willing to go down and share expenses for a motel room and the rental car. We could go down the night before, watch the launch and then get our ears at Disney World, or just hang at the beach all day. If I can pull this together I will post the hotel where we are staying and anyone out there who wants to meet us there can join the party on the beach. I’ll be bringing my harmonicas.

I have been taking a course in web design. I know, I know, I have been designing web pages for years and even taught 4 semesters of a course in it. I decided that I did not have a well enough grounding in the actual esthetics of the design process even if I have the mechanics down pat. Everyone agrees that I make ugly web pages. I would like to see how another instructor deals with the topic. I have been in some interesting disagreements here at work about creating simple effective pages without all the fancy clutter.

I got a rewrite request on my story The Dinosaur Dance Floor, but I have not been able to get myself excited enough to do the work. Antihistamine pills take all the creative oomph out of your life. had a bang up Valentines day, even better than Christmas. It has slowed down since then, but I am still running better than 50% over the same period last year.

I have a camera full of pictures from January and February. I have not found time to empty it out and now there has to be a dozen blog entries worth of stuff in it so I am shirking this. I will try to get to this on the weekend.

In order to save money, all contractors working for the county of Westchester have to take an extra week off without pay. This may go up as the year goes on. It means more free time for me, but less money in the bank. It also means that I may be staying home on a few Fridays over the summer in order to catch some of those Friday afternoon garage sales.

Newsweek: Growing Rich by Blogging Is a High-Tech Fairy Tale

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

This guy, who had lots of hits, never made any money. In his best months with more than a million hits he made about a grand. I have made more than that on my harmonica blogs in some months.

The thing is that blogs that do not focus on a specific segment of the market do not make any money. I make money on the harmonica sites because advertisers want to advertise on harmonica sites. Harmonicas, the most popular instrument in the world, are big business. The blogger in the Newsweek article wrote about Steve Jobs. There is no focused market for Steve Jobs. No advertiser thinks that they can sell their product to people interested in reading about Steve Jobs. Without the tight link of content to advertising, there will be no ad revenue.

The one exception that I have discovered to this tight focus rule is Speculative Fiction. Other genres seem to work. Romance especially seems to make money. There is little or no money in SF and Fantasy fiction. The only way to get readership and ad revenue in spec-fic is to tie it in to comics, games and movies. I am a purist and I will not sink so low.

That being said. I am looking for an artist willing to work with me to produce some graphic stories. I’d like to convert a few of my ideas to graphic novels. I have even started to storyboard some ideas. Artists, it seems, are not that interested in working with writers. We seem bookish, boring and very uncool, I guess. It would be a difficult step for a teenage artist to take direction from an old guy like me.

Growing Rich by Blogging Is a High-Tech Fairy Tale | Newsweek Daniel Lyons | Techtonic Shifts |

Using a Net Name

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I recently received a couple of invites to be a friend to someone whose name I did not recognize. I get these from time to time and they are usually spam bots. The name seemed familiar, so I clicked through and there was my cousin’s face smiling at me on facebook. She had used the surname Mansfield, which is an old family name on my mother’s side. The Mansfields were an interesting branch to the family and we have a diary written by one of my ancestors. It is from the 1830s and is mostly a list of disasters like train crashes, steam boats exploding and large city fires. My cousin used her own first name, but used the Mansfield surname to hide her real world identity.

My real name is scattered all over the internet, sometimes in places I would rather not think about. I wrote shareware in the 1980s and many of my programs were quite famous. I received a shareware writer of the year award back in the 90s. My program txt2com allowed someone to take a text file, wrap a reader around it and then compress it. The file was self contained and not easily altered. It was used for bomb making recipes, really dreadful porn and many other things that I did not know about. The bad thing was that my name was embedded in the file as the copyright owner of the software. I was not the owner of the contents. Searches on my name find some dreadfully bad stuff attributed to me.

In the world of the internet, I have been writing articles about harmonicas, science fiction, and web development since 1993. Yahoo shows 53,000 pages with Keith P. Graham on them.

I was thinking that it might be better to assume a Net-Name like Keith P. Mansfield to protect myself. It is like closing the barn door after the horse escaped, but in the future it might make a difference.