30,000 hits – unbelievable!

11 June, 2007

Last week I posted the stats from my first two month’s blogging. The most hits I’ve had in a single day is 96, and what a day that was! 🙂

I knew my numbers were miniscule compared with some of the power bloggers out there like ProBlogger or Seth, but I really had no comprehension of the sheer volume of the potential blogging audience until I read Post-Mortem of My First Visit to the Digg Front Page on Jason Batholme’s SEO blog.

The article describes Jason’s experience with having one of his posts picked up by Digg and a few other social networking sites. A lazy 30,000 hits in one day, if you don’t mind!

(Imagine having to let your host know that what you have posted is so relevant and important to the web community that the traffic is likely to bring their servers to their knees! And to apologise to other customers for the impact your traffic has had on services to their site.)

Later on I found out that Problogger has nearly 25,000 subscribers. Sure beats my six!

I didn’t start up my blog to make money or even to build an audience – pretty much I wanted a repository for my writing endeavours, and I came across WordPress and fell in love with the functionality, look, feel (and price!) and the rest is history.

I soon found, however, that the WordPress stats section is pretty addictive, and I’m finding it hard not to think about ways of boosting my numbers – especially when I read posts like When Was Your Greatest Day of Traffic and How Did it Happen?

That would probably mean finding a niche, and writing more for others rather than myself. Also it would require more time and effort put into blogging, and with a focus on monetisation rather than just on the enjoyment of writing about things I find interesting or amusing.

I think I’m better off concentrating on writing and marketing some articles for publication and leave the blogging as an enjoyable sideline.

I’d be interested in your thoughts…


My movies

3 June, 2007

Moodb

I spent part of yesterday updating the database for my DVD collection.

I’ve been using OXD Movie Organiser software, which can be downloaded free from here. The Movie Organiser software is integrated with the MOODb movie database, as well as the IMDB database.

Populating your personal database with details of the movies in your collection is as simple as keying in the title and selecting from the list of possible matches provided. By selecting the appropriate option, your personal database is automatically updated with details of the DVD, including cast, director, year, running time, genre, and a thumbnail shot of the cover graphics.

You can keep a record of DVD’s that you have lent to friends – a great feature except that most of mine get lent out after marathon dinner parties, and the first I know they are out is when they get returned!

An online list of my DVD collection can be found here.


Best Web Freebies

24 May, 2007

This great article was in today’s Melbourne Age newspaper.

It reviews ten of the best free software packages available on the Web, including Open Office, Primo PDF Writer, and Paint.NET 3.

I must say I’m surprised that Firefox didn’t rate a mention, (or any non-IE browser for that matter), as I’ve been extremely impressed with the functionality and stability of Firefox since installing it a month or so ago.

The whole Google suite has also been an eye-opener for me. I started with Gmail because Hotmail’s spam was doing my head in, not to mention the crap storage allowance they provided at the time – this led on to Google Calendar, Picassa and most recently Google Reader. I have found all to be stable and with appropriate functionality for my needs – and the best part is the seamless integration between the various Google modules. I even checked out Google Spreadsheets and was pleasantly surprised by the look and feel. (Not rushing out to replace Excel just yet though!)

I used to be a bit skeptical about free software – worried about bugs and poor functionality – but my recent experiences with WordPress, Firefox, Picassa and the myriad of other programs, widgets and gadgets that I’ve come across since joining the blogging fraternity have got me wondering what other great stuff I am missing out on.

I’d love to hear your feedback about any of the programs reviewed in The Age article, or on any other great free software out there.


Favourite Web Sites Part 2 – Recipezaar

8 May, 2007

For those into home cooking, Recipezaar is a fantastic resource.

It contains 219,000 recipes, with filters available to drill down by course, ingredient, cuisine, diet, occasion and preparation type.

As with much of the internet, contributors tend to be from the US of A, so there are occasionally some problems interpreting or identifying some of the ingredients. Measurements are not a problem as recipes can be converted to metric at a click of a button.

As you would expect, there are some shockers amongst the 219,000 recipes, (haven’t these people heard of cholesterol?), but generally you don’t have to scroll too far through the menus to find something decent that suits your pantry and taste buds. I usually sort any searches by reader ratings – generally if a few people have given it 5 stars it’s a pretty good indication.

Try one of our favourite recipes from the site, Chicken Chaat. We usually add cumin to the spice mix, and serve in wraps.


Firefox v Internet Explorer

3 May, 2007

This is an interesting article from today’s Melbourne Age newspaper which discusses Firefox’s incursion into Microsoft’s virtual monopoly over the browser market.

I was interested in the analysis by Brian Krebs from The Washington Post which showed IE6 was vulnerable to critical flaws for 284 days of last year, compared with a single nine-day period of vulnerability for Firefox.

After much deliberation and skepticism, I recently changed my browser at home from IE to Firefox. I must say, I haven’t looked back and have been more than impressed with Firefox’s features and reliability. I have added in a few of the plug-ins described in the article and can’t believe how well they integrate into the core product. I wish now I’d made the change to Firefox earlier.


Favourite Websites Part 1 – Swim4fitness.com

2 May, 2007

Swim4fitness is an excellent resource for anyone interested in improving their general fitness by way of a structured swimming program.

The site includes a variety of downloadable programs, tailored to all levels of swimming ability and fitness.

There is also an on-line swimming log that can be used to track details of your individual sessions and (hopefully) your improvement over time.

The ultra keen can enrol in one of the four swimming challenges, including Melbourne to Sydney, the Amazon, and (you are kidding me!) London to Sydney, the latter weighing in at a mere 1.25 million lengths!

I joined the site in January and have racked up 59kms (2,373 lengths) so still quite a bit of work ahead of me to rack up the London challenge!

Note – I have linked above to the Australian sites. For international versions of the site, click here.

This is the first in an occasional series of my favourite sites.