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Posts Tagged ‘meta’

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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200th Post

 

UCSB's Psychology East building, this HDR photo was made from 9 RAW files.

UCSB's Psychology East building, this HDR photo was made from 9 RAW files.

Looking at the posts that people actually read I realize that most of the traffic to my blog is from various reviews and articles on Photomatix and HDR photography. Occasionally graduate applications or Teach for America applications make it up there.

So essentially posts like this one are not read very often, or not read outside of the main page. I do wonder what draws people to the blog, the articles, the random posts, the photos or accident.

In any case I made it to 200 posts, one a day. I really did not expect to make it this far and hopefully I will be able to complete a full year of blog posts.

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Blog Photos

 

I am fairly sure that this is indeed a butterfly.

I am fairly sure that this is indeed a butterfly.

When I upload new photos to my computer I go through and keyword them so I can perhaps find them later. The amount of keywording really depends on how I feel at the time, sometimes I go the extent of labeling subject or color most often I just do location and sometimes lens.

One set I always keep up is the keyword for photos I have used in this blog, so I know that I don’t post the same photo twice. Likewise when I am adding keywords I pull aside photos to use in future blog posts, either as an addition to a post or as a subject.

The problem is that some photo shoots result in ten or twenty photos tagged this way and a back log starts to occur. And thus photos like the above one are pulled out and added to a non-photo related post to help clear things out. I try to vary the photo of the day but sometimes I realize that I have posted five sunset shots in a row or three leftover aquarium shots.

These leftovers are of course good for short posts of just a photo and a line of text or two.

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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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I like signs.

I like signs.

So I have changed the name of the blog. Instead of Hutchins Travel it is now (as you can see) Walk the Grass. The name was inspired by the above sign I saw in a Dutch tulip garden and since I love signs that are grammatically incorrect.

When coming up with the new name I originally wanted to find something deep and meaningful that would say alot about me as a person in a pithy phrase. I then realized that my blog is nowhere near deep and meaningful and mostly borders on ramblings and thoughts of the day. So maybe an obscure line of poetry perhaps, e. e. cummings or Lewis Carrol. Again nothing came of it that sounded like something I could write under. I tried alliteration as that is a good avenue in a pinch. Once again nothing suited. My last bastion of hope before turning to Walk the Grass, puns. As a physics student I do enjoy a good pun, but nothing would work in the name of my blog. So I went with the current name after thinking about one of my favorite signs.

The original name was always a place holder anyway, when I formed the blog a month and a half ago I knew what I wanted to put into the blog but not what to call it. Initially it was to be all about travel and hence the original name, now I find myself topically varied and without a core theme to my articles. Thus the name change. Some of the rejected names were: Grandiloquent by Design, Creativity by Constraint and Obsequious and Oblong. These sounded great in my head, the moment I said them aloud to someone else I realized that they would not do.

I also just finished studying for the GRE (taking it next Tuesday) and so I had all this new vocab rattling around in my head looking a way to escape. I hope the new name fits better then the old one, I am looking into updating the header picture as well.

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The seedy underbelly of outdoor theater.

The seedy underbelly of outdoor theater.

Not much today. I added a new page for information about all of my photos and such. Essentially I just wanted someplace to put basic copyright information. In this case it consists of “(c) Michael Hutchins – All Rights Reserved”. There is more I could do I just do not think it is worth it at this time.

A positive note is that I am now uploading all of my photos to flickr so if you want to see an photo from an old blog post you can look there instead of going through all the old post. Mostly because the post titles and the photos are not necessarily coordinated in any way.

My only comment is that to upload the previous forty photos I used the Flickr Uploader program. First I exported the photos at a set resolution to a folder and then tried to upload them using this program. It took three tries to get all of the photos and none of my tags in iPhoto carried over. So I am not that impressed by it. I would use Picasa instead but flickr has the group feature I want to try out. If I do switch over to picasa in the future I will of course post it here with yet another unrelated photo. Unless I happen to get a tour of Google between now and then.

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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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A New Blog

 

A sunset captured off the California coast.

A sunset captured off the California coast.

Hello,

This is a new blog for myself (since I did just start it). My old blog was on PNN. Towards the end of the last school year I stopped updating with the intention of starting it again every day. I never did.

So now I am going to try starting again with another site and another goal. Since I am starting to become more involved in photography I hope to have a photoblog of sorts, or maybe I will find myself going back to my other blog (I did get the hutchins username over there).

I shall end the first post, aside from the automatically generated one, with a photo.

I should also mention that I have an online web gallery hosted by UCSB.

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