What draws people to a site?

I have no idea, really… I know some factors that are of imporance, like:

  • using good search words;
  • having your page indexed by a search engine;
  • optimize your page for search engines (SEO);
  • getting your page linked on other sites;
  • promote products that promise wealth withouth effort, make money sites and such

Maybe I can come up with some more, or if I google for relevant articles, I probably can make a longer list. The cause of my pondering is a simple one, I do get visitors for this blog (a limited amount tho, but hey I do not advertise this site anywhere, and I did not do any of the above). I also receive comments, where most are obviously fully automated, non-contributing ones. Even tho these may be seem as spam, as long as the comment does relate somewhat to the post I wrote and I do not get a comment a day from the same IP address, I let them get away with it. I received a bunch of spam too, clearly spam all from silly generated e-mail addresses, non-contributing remarks, and all from a few IP addresses. Of course those were deleted… I am not that forgiving.

So how do people end up on this page? Articles that received comments are ones with certain buzzwords (even tho they were probably not in the context that the commentator expected), and I assume that has a lot to do with it. I decided to repeat the words in this article and see what happens with the comments. Also note that in the above list a few buzzwords were introduced, so that may help too :D. The words I suspect of drawing a crowd are:

  • CMS
  • Umbraco
  • gadgets
  • update
  • WordPress
  • chances

So now post and wait. Update will follow.


Blub: Vector Fish
Blub: Vector Fish

Today I worked on a simple vector design for a fish. I used a very simple drawing style, nice sharp lines and vibrant colours. A tutorial on how this cute little fellow was created, as well as the vector itself, will be made available for download soon at my new site VerySimpleDesigns.com.

Burst of energy

Sometimes I open this window and close it, as I have no idea what to write about. It must be like that for a lot of personal blogs, especially if a week has been without disturbances. I am waiting for a few things to happen:

  • Positive replies to the jobs I applied for;
  • The new release for InkScape;
  • Inspiration;
  • Motivation.

Of course the last two are a bit in a jest, but it is really hard to get started. Every morning I do the same few things, read my e-mail, read and browse the forums I frequent, check for jobs that might be to my liking, and the everyday stuff we all do. It is alright to do that I guess, but sometimes I feel bored. It took a year or so, but now I am allowed to work and I really want to work again. So I find it hard to do other stuff at the moment. But today I seem to have found a new bubble of energy.

Accidental Gardener

The weather here is AWESOME, we just escaped winter but we have already 30 degC sunny afternoons and I picked up a bit of gardening too. We have a nice veggie patch (about 25 sqm) and we try to grow our own produce as organically as possible. Now I am not a natural greenthumb, I am more an accidental gardener. We do have a great compost heap tho, and it does a better job in sprouting seeds than our carefully prepared seedtrays :D. Looks like this year we grow our own tomatoes, peas, beetroot, lettuce, radice, spinach, chillies, capsicum, cabbage and so on. It is all doing quite well, tho some other creatures seem to feast on our potential dinners too. We had a real snail pest and some cabbage whites seem to visit our cabages and some caterpillars had to be removed.

We learn quickly about all stuff that we are growing and the internet provides a great source of information and help. Today I discussed the option of setting up another website where we can show the progress our garden makes, and how we solve some common problems. A bit like a garden diary, with do’s and dont’s we picked up along the way. There are many sites like that around but I figured it would be totally cool to have our own. So I have started on a design and I will post some previews soon.

Job hunt

One should think that a week of acclimatising would be enough, but somehow I do not feel so motivated at all. And I like to blame it on jetlag, but I think a week is pretty long for that *grins*

I finally can look for paid work here and that both excites me as well as it freightens me. I have done a lot of creative things in the last 8 months, and now I have to choose what path to follow. I know it will be IT related and I also know that it will be focused on project work, as I cannot imagine myself doing the same thing day in day out for any number of years. But IT covers a broad spectrum, and my skills cover quite a few subjects within that spectrum.

One of the main sources to look for job vacancies is seek.com.au. And I set up an profile there and created an advanced search for possible jobs. There are plenty to go around, even tho there is lot said about economic crisis. My next problem is how to find a job that requires a nice blend of the skills I have and is interesting enough to do. While I write this, I realise how stuck up this sounds. I have never picked a job because it pays exceptionally or guarantees a safe income. I always looked for jobs that are interesting, offer a lot of variety, allows me to interact with users. And that is a very luxury position, I never had to accept just anything because of limited options. It also has a sense of freedom, I work because I like to work and the income it generates is needed as I am not wealthy enough to sit back permanently, but it is just part of the incentives.

So there I am, browsing for jobs 🙂 and I find a few job descriptions that seem to match my profile. I see a job description that fits me perfectly and I decide to apply. I give the recruiter a call and they seem quite keen, I am asked to send my resume and salary expectation. Now that poses a new problem, I have no idea what market-conform fees are for these jobs. The job description listed a minimum and a maximum salary value. Am I going for the maximum possible, or the minimum. How does my resume and old jobs compare to the new ones? I knew exactly what I was worth overseas, but it is not as simple as doing a conversion based on exchange rates. As I have been enjoying a sabatical for almost a year, I do not want to start with a high pressure, work till you drop dead job. I was thinking of doing short term well paid contracts. But this job opening seems to be exactly what I like. I sent my resume, and within hours I got a confirmation that they will present me to their client. Yay… I might be on my way. But my partner said I gave them a too low value for my salary expectation. We’ll see…