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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Hall of Mosses

Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rainforest, Washington

Hall of Mosses, not to be confused with the Halls of Moses.

Is it at this point I believe I am supposed to apologize for not writing for the past year and a bit. However I am not sorry, not one bit. In fact I have looked at the pageviews since I stopped writing: they have not significantly changed!

That means I may have had a handful of people actually reading consistently but by and large most of the views were from random people stumbling onto my blog. On the plus side I have received the occasional check from ThinkTank Photo from that handy link on the side of my page (which has been updated). And I don’t feel bad about having it! People who utilize can get a a free bag and I get a referral fee, a win-win situation.

Anyway, so why am I posting again? Well I have found myself writing less and less of late, namely due to increased class load (all done now!). I tried the website 750words.com for the months of November and December and that filled some niche need of writing but then I dropped it. I am really starting again because my girlfriend, Leah, has started a blog herself and if we both do it then we are more likely to actually write, the beauty of peer pressure.

I am also hoping this will pressure me into taking pictures again, something in which I have greatly fallen behind.

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On Writing

I love to write. Writing has so many uses and applications, it is truly an amazing thing. I find that I write for several different reasons that, in a way, add up to a image of myself.

First there is Walk the Grass. This is mainly where I stand on a given soapbox (sometimes shoebox) and talk about what I want to say on a particular subject (like writing) or when I desire to share information (reviews or help). It is not the greatest writing or even great content, however it is an outlet for a particular type of writing. Unless I wanted to start a newsletter.

Second there are social networks such as Facebook. In this small details of my life are recorded. Things like what interesting thing I did (donate blood followed by five hours of physics homework), how I am feeling or maybe an interesting link. It also has a profile (sadly not up to date) where I try to define myself in list form, what do my favorite books say about me?

Third are personal communications such as e-mails, instant messages, texts and Facebook comments. Some of these I save such as e-mails and IMs, others are temporary and fleeting words. These may end up on a server somewhere but nowhere I could quickly access them.

Fourth is a weekly e-mail I write. Ever since I started college I wrote an e-mail every week to my family and family friends about what I have been up too. Things like how classes are doing, special things I have done, my general well being and general statements about things like parties. In a way it is a replacement for calling home. These I have saved from the beginning in several places.

Fifth are a host of journals both physical and electronic. I have a few personal journals in compound notebooks and journal notebooks, a couple travelogues and a dream journal (short lived) all in paper form. Recently I transitioned over to an electronic journal under a password where I write without reservation. I tend to write this as a form of catharsis and I average about one entry about every two months. I don’t know who I am writing too but writing for an unknown future audience lets me write whatever I want.

When all five of these are combined together I would like to think that they give an idea of who I am at the time of writing. I can already look back at my weekly e-mails (they have been around the longest) and see how I have changed since I was a college freshman. While what I write may not be interesting now, or in five years I may find that chat logs from IM conversations are fascinating when I am seventy.

Everyone writes for their own reasons, hopefully something interesting will come of my personal writings.

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Correlation

A level of class I may never achieve.

This has been the longest I have gone without a new post (3 days) and from it I have discovered two correlation.

First, the longer it has been since I have taken photo the less inclined I am towards posting.

Second, a post a day schedule is not what brings people to this site (all 40 of them a day).

I am guessing that I won’t start posting in earnest again until the quarter ends and perhaps after the holidays. This quarter has taken a lot time when combined with my RA position.

I still think a smaller camera would encourage me to take more photos out and about.

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Polling

 

Taken with a Lensbaby (which I have not used in a long time)

 

Well I wanted to make a poll for this post however it requires creating an account with a sister website to WordPress and I don’t feel up to that.

I was going to ask why people come to this site, it is something that I have always wondered about and now I am thinking of restructuring how I do things I would like to know what is actually valuable.

I am reconsidering the photo+text for every entry and may go for text only for some or photos only for others. I also need to reevaluate the once a day posting. I don’t know if I have the time for it anymore, at least not as a last minute thing at the end of the day.

I wonder this because I seem to consistently get about fifty or so visitors to the site everyday but the top posts are never the ones I write during the week. Either this is from the way that wordpress calculates the hits per post (such as viewing the main page does not count as a hit for a particular page) or only a few things I have written are ever read.

Hence the desire to have a poll. It is sort of just the desire to have some grasp on the statistics more so then a need to see what is popular.

The sample size would be too low anyway.

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This guy probably not so concerned with blog traffic.

This guy probably not so concerned with blog traffic.

I have mentioned before that I am a sucker for statistics. Give me a good graph any day of the week. WordPress provides a statistics section on the admin page that I cannot help but check once or twice a day.

Something I have noticed is that there is occasionally a large spike in traffic followed by a linear decay back to normal rates. Starting last Sunday the traffic has followed this pattern (normalized to average traffic):

  • Sunday: 5.6
  • Monday: 3.6
  • Tuesday: 2.5
  • Wednesday: 1.3

Almost all of this traffic is directed towards my post on the Think Tank Photo Streetwalker review I did in January.

I wonder if the number of traffic spikes would double if I did a review on a new Think Tank product? Of course I would have to wait for a new release that I could use since I could not really utilize their latest product.

It is good that there is the occasional Think Tank related traffic spike, hopefully one of those people will utilize the handy link for my Think Tank Affiliate program. So far that link is averaging me a whole seventeen cents a day. Imagine, a new packet of ramen every single day.

It is like unto a dream.

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He's happy for one year of Walk the Grass

He's happy for one year of Walk the Grass

Today marks the one year anniversary of Walk the Grass.

Whew, one post a day for a whole year and I am still here. I am glad that I have been able to stay dedicated to writing a little bit each day and this blog has motivated me to go take photos as I hoped it would. It also adds some slight structure to every day, keeps me creative and forces me to take a break from whatever I am doing.

Two things have consistently surprised me while writing for the last year:

  1. The popular posts are never the ones that I think will be popular.
  2. People are consistently reading what I write.

Well I assume that it is what I am writing, it could very well just be the photos that draw people to my posts. Either way it is good feeling to know that your creative works are being shared with others.

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The bike rack successfully keeps the lagoon locked up.

The bike rack successfully keeps the lagoon locked up.

Last week this blog managed to get slightly over one hundred visits in one day!

I know this because I am horribly addicted to any live statistics given to me for free, especially ones relating to myself. I periodically (maybe once or twice a day) check to see how many visits Walk the Grass has received for no other reason then the numbers are there.

The one thing I would love to know is the why behind the number of visits in a given day. Are they random searched showing up here just once? Regularly readers coming everyday? Or strange linkages across the internet?

Most importantly I would like to know why people read this blog, for the daily pictures, the content or one of the few popular posts I have written?

In case you are wondering about the last one it is my post on the Think Tank Streetwalker which has garnered almost 1,500 views since writing it.

Based on the stats I should do more articles on ThinkTank Photo gear, Photomatix Pro and GeekTools. Hopefully over the summer I can do the first two (I will probably work this summer at ThinkTank again) and I may do the last if I get a new laptop that won’t be bogged down by GeekTools.

Anyway, 101 visits in a single day, neat.

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100th Post!

 

The Humanities and Social Science Building at UCSB.

The Humanities and Social Science Building at UCSB.

Woo! My one-hundredth post!

I have managed to keep posting one entry a day for a hundred days. If I had a goal this might have been it, except that I did not set a final goal. I will keep on posting once a day to have a creative outlet and motivation to take and work on my photos.

I am sure someday Walk The Grass may help me in some way, until then I will keep posting photos and entries.

After a hundred posts, my goal is now to keep it up for as long as I can.

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WordPress Photos

 

Front page color rendition is off.

Front page color rendition is off.

Two things have been bothering me about the way that WordPress handles embedded files.

The first is that whenever I start a post off with a full width photo (so all of my posts) Worpress adds an extra line at the top after I publish them. I can go back and delete the line if I edit a posted entry but there is no way to correct this before publishing.

The second is the image quality itself. When a photo is in the post the color rendition and sharpness is altered. It may just be my particular computer (G4 Powerbook) but this problem occurs in several browsers. When I click on a photo and it opens in its own window then the color and sharpness is restored. Maybe it is just me.

If anyone knows how to fix either of these, especially the photo quality one, please let me know.

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Meta-Post

 

Under The House

Under The House

So why do I have a blog? Occasionally I ask this alongside of: why am I even putting this online?

These questions usually come up when I post something that I know is not the best thing out there or even the most mediocre thing out there. Yet I seem to post it anyway. My answer to myself is that I want to have one post a day for as long as I can, once a single day lapses then it becomes so much easier to put a post of for another day. Then another. Soon the blog falls to the wayside much like my first blog at PNN. With the blog falling out of sight and mind it is hard to come back to it, it is much easier to start a new one with new goals and hopefully a new audience (or an audience depending). 

When I am in school I write an e-mail home every week about what I have been doing or often what I should have been doing. The e-mails tend to average around 1300 words each. This gave me plenty of opportunity to write creatively during the school year. Then summer hit (if you go from Scotland to California it does literaly hit). I stopped writing. I needed an outlet in which to write. I also like taking and sharing photos.

Thus I created this blog. 

Creativity is a fickle thing when it comes to writing every day. I try though to be original, mildly entertaining or at least provide a nice picture. Sometimes creativity does strike and I come up with a series of posts on the same subject. Other times I look at my photos until I find one that I like and write about it. Then there are those times when I don’t feel like doing anything and just post a picture with a few words. Finally there are days like today when I conduct a short bit of introspective blogging on my own blog. This does lend itself to rambling.

One feature of WordPress blogs is the easy to access daily hit graph in the admin section. I really wish they did not have this. The mere presence of the hit counter causes me to compulsively check it to see how my blog is doing. I hoped, in the beginning, that there would be some correlation between what I post and the hits I get in a given day. So far no pattern has emerged. A second problem is that I base my concept of the day on local time (-8 GMT) while the little graph (and the whole website) on GMT. So while I do post once a day my time I sometimes post two things in a day or none at all. Again this does not help me and my compulsive need to track statistics.

Rambling is hard to stop. So about that photo up there. I took that in the crawlspace under my family house with a Nikon D60 and a tripod. I compiled about seven shots to make the HDR photo seen above, I might do some more HDR shots of the wine barrels as I feel that they turned out particularly well.

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