Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
October 12th, 2009

Links and Ads

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!)






August 25th, 2009

Blog Changed and Traffic

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´┐Ż 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.






August 6th, 2009

The Scale of the World Wide Web

As I went out to get coffee I tried to estimate the number of pages that I own. I have large databases of things like stars, email archives and blues song lyrics. For a while I was producing dynamic pages from any database I could find and my theory at the time was that I needed “shelf space”. I remember from my MBA days that an important marketing concept was positioning for shelf space. Given choices, a shopper often picks randomly from all possibilities, so if your product and its permutations takes up a greater percentage of the shelf, your sales will reflect this. My idea was to make lots of low quality pages and get a large number of total clicks from low page traffic.

If I have a web site that I spend time working on, like this one, that gets 1,000 hits a day, is that good?

To answer this I have to place that traffic on the universal scale.

There are more than a trillion unique web pages on the internet. By one estimate there are about 100 million active websites. About 240 million people have access to the internet and the traffic might be more than 10 billion page requests (hard to find any hard data on pages).

My little corner of the world is about half a million pages with monthly traffic of 310,000 page views (Also includes the odd sites and harmonica stuff). This appears to be a very small share of the total internet – less than 0.00005 percent of the total web pages and less than 0.003 percent of the page views. On the surface it seems that I have the tiniest of fractions of the internet.

The internet is a curve with a small percentage of sites getting most of the traffic and a very large number that get no traffic, which makes the statistical internet much smaller. Actually, I rank 32,521 on Quantcast (composite of all of my sites). That means there are about 32,000 websites ahead of me. Sfsite.com is about 31,000. So my sites are big deals, at least in the SF world, I am rated at near the same percentile as SFSITE where major magazines are hosted.

The next question is: Why aren’t I rich? The answer is that I don’t know, but I’m working on it.






November 26th, 2008

Ward’s Heat Exchanger

This is an interesting idea. It is designed to heat up water going to the hot water heater by extracting heat from waste water. Basically, when your dishwasher is flushing hot water down the drain, the heat exchanger is grabbing the heat and pre-heating the water going to your hot water heater. It is a simple and easy to recreate design. Ward is putting these together and selling them on the internet.

He says that he’s selling a version that he has modified to fit most waste pipes for $275 plus shipping. They go for around $500 on eBay. He says there is an amazingly good ROI. He’ll have a web page up soon.

You can contact Ward about it at

h-exch

h-e

Oh boy, I think I might get plumbing stuff for Christmas.






November 23rd, 2008

Traffic up

Lately I’ve notice a gentle rise in traffic here. The traffic has doubled over the last four months. I figured it was due to the book reviews that I was doing, although I doubt that they really appeal to many people. A very recent increase in hits is because my cliche page has been getting pounded thanks to StumbleUpon.com. Some of these viewers are trickling up to my other pages. So maybe 20,000 people visit my site each month. Not many of them actually read the blog. The blog has a limited audience and appeal. It has a few dozen hardcore readers and a few hundred who wander in every day from google searches and never come back.

One interesting thing is that I get twenty or so hits every day through google image searches. People are dropping in to view pictures of my cats and yard. They especially like my fall and winter scenes. I can only assume the pictures are appearing in magazines or calendars somewhere.

Go to MyBlogLog.com and sign up for a free account and you also can get some nice stats. MyBlogLog is good at telling you where surfers go when they leave you page, as well as where they come from.






October 6th, 2008

Switched to Kontera Context links

I you see light blue links with a double underline on my web pages, that is Kontera dynamically adding context links to the page. From what I have seen the keywords seem to be generic. Amazon’s links were usually much more relevant. I’ll leave it up, but if I decide it the intrusive aspect of the links is not justified by the income I’ll pull them off. The links are on pages that total about 8,000 hits a day. I’ll know in a day or two if they work.